The real cost of transportation - Part 1: driver's licence

Text transcript: Money smarts in a flash

The real cost of transportation - Part 1: Driver's licence

Before you even think of owning a car, you have to get a driver's licence. Everyone knows that, but how do you do it? What does that involve? How much does it cost?

Step 1: Driver's ed
Driving lessons are mandatory and cost around $825. This includes 12 two-hour theory courses that must be completed within 1 month, and 15 driving sessions of 55 minutes each. You must be at least 16 years old to take the lessons. 

Step 2: Learner's licence
The learner's licence is valid for 12 months. It will cost $66 for 18 months. 
To get it, you must:
  • Get parental consent if you are under 18 years old.
  • Fill out the medical declaration from Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec.
  • Pass the vision test.
To keep it, you must:
  • Always drive accompanied by a person who has held a valid driver's licence for at least 2 years.
  • Have less than 4 demerit points on your driving record.
  • Comply with the zero-alcohol rule.
Step 3: Knowledge test
The exam costs $11.

To take it, you must:
  • Have held your learner's licence for at least 10 months.
  • Have completed 11 out of the 15 driving sessions.
  • Make an appointment online or by phone.
Step 4: Road test
The practical test is 30 minutes  long and costs $28.

To take it, you must:
  • Have successfully completed your driving lessons.
  • Have held your learner's license for at least 12 months.
  • Have successfully completed your knowledge test.
Steps 1 to 4 take at least 13 months. 

Step 5: Probationary licence
Your probationary licence is valid for 24 months and costs $189.

After passing your road test, you will receive your probationary licence. This is the final step to obtaining your driver's licence.

To keep it, you must:
  • Have less than 4 demerit points on your driving record.
  • Comply with the zero-alcohol rule.
Step 6: The driver's licence
Congratulations! You got your licence. Now, hang on to it! 

A driver's licence costs $102 per year.

To keep it, you must:
  • Not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Obey speed limits.
  • Respect the Highway Safety Code.
Don't drive without a licence! If you do:
  • Your vehicle will be impounded for 30 days.
  • You'll be fined between $600 and $3,000. 
  • You'll incur towing and impounding charges.
Total costs: over $1,220 

The data used in this infographic come from the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec website.

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