Thinking of getting your Class 1 License in Manitoba? There are lots of driving jobs out there for skilled professional drivers. Signing up for some Class 1 training will not only improve your chances of getting a job but will help you on your knowledge and road tests. 

Let’s dig into the requirements to get your Class 1 License in Manitoba, find out what Class 1 training costs and discuss the Class 1 knowledge test and road test in Manitoba. We also have all the driving manuals, location finders and contact information to guide your through the whole process, including How to Get your Manitoba Class 1 License in 5 Easy Steps. 

What is a Manitoba Class 1 License?

A Class 1 License in Manitoba is the highest level of driver’s license you can obtain. It is primarily to allow you to drive semi-trailer trucks but also permits you to drive any other vehicles in other license classes. 

Class 1 vehicles are almost always equipped with air brakes so you will need to obtain your air brake endorsement as well.

Want to learn about a Class 3 License instead? We have a Guide for that too. Find out How to Get a Class 3 License in Manitoba in 5 Easy Steps.

How do I get a Class 1 License in Manitoba?

In order to get a Manitoba Class 1 license you must meet certain minimum requirements, pass knowledge and road tests and be in good health. 

The process to get a Class 1 license in Manitoba is administered by Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI). The MPI is a non-profit crown corporation that provides mandatory public auto insurance and administers the licensing process. There are both MPI Services Centres and independent agents known as AutoPac Agents or Brokers. 

Given semi-truck trailers are equipped with air brakes, you will need to get your A (air brakes) endorsement and your S (slack adjustment) endorsement, which can all be done at the same time. 

Let’s show you how to get your Class 1 License in Manitoba in 5 Easy Steps.

class 1 license manitoba truck

Step 1: Meet the Minimum Requirements

If you are thinking about getting your Class 1 License, you are probably already driving in Manitoba. You must apply to the MPI to get what is called Authorized Instruction so you can legally learn to drive your Class 1 vehicle.

In order to obtain Authorized Instruction, you must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • hold a minimum Class 5 Intermediate Stage or Class 5 Authorized Instruction driver’s license
  • pass a medical and vision exam
  • successfully complete a written knowledge test

If you are coming from another province or country and have a similar license to a Class 1 (meaning you have been driving a truck), you may be able skip many of the steps below. In order to find out if you qualify, give MPI a call at 204-985-7000 or toll-free 1-800-665-2410. 

A semi-trailer truck is a truck tractor and a semi-trailer combined

Step 2: Medical Exam and Vision Test

You must be in good physical health and meet the vision standards to get your Class 1 license in Manitoba. This means that you will have to get a medical examination by a doctor and complete a vision test. 

If you have concerns about your hearing, vision or general physical or mental health, you should contact MPI Driver Fitness to discuss any disability or restriction you may have. The phone numbers are listed in the Contacts section of this article. 

We recommend getting your medical examination first, then attending an MPI or AutoPac location to get your vision test done at the same time that you are writing your knowledge test. 

Medical Examination

The medical examination is done at your doctor’s office and the report is filed with MPI. Manitoba Health does not pay for this and your doctor will likely charge you a fee.

You can get your medical examination after your knowledge test but you should probably do it first so you know you are good to go health-wise before doing the knowledge tests. The medical examination is valid for 6 months so you have to get your learner’s license within this time frame. 

Vision Test

There are minimum vision standards to operate a Class 1 vehicle but glasses or contacts are fine to correct any issues. The standards are: 

  • Vision acuity no less than 6/9 with both eyes open and examined together with the worse eye no less than 6/30.
  • Visual fields must not be less than 150° with both eyes open and examined together. 

If you wear contacts, you must always have your glasses in the truck with you just in case you need to remove a lens. Make sure you take them with you to the vision test. 

Step 3: Class 1 Knowledge Tests in Manitoba

There are two knowledge tests that you will need to complete: 

  • Air Brake Knowledge Test
  • Class 1 License Knowledge Test

These written closed book tests must be scheduled ahead of time with an AutoPac agent or at an MPI Service centre. Use this feature to find a location near you. The test can be scheduled up to 8 weeks in advance in either English or French. 

If you fail a test, you will have to wait until the next business day and pay the fee again which is $10 per test attempt. 

Once you have completed the knowledge tests (and assuming you already submitted the medical examination), you will be issued a learner’s license so you can start practicing your driving skills.

Make sure you study for these tests. You can do this by reviewing the Professional Driver’s Manual, Air Brake Manual and try a practice quiz online. Find them all at the end of this article in our Resources section. 

Make sure you are familiar with all chapters of the Professional Driver’s Guide. Even though you may just want to drive a truck, a Class 1 license let’s you drive any other vehicle like a bus or taxi so you will be tested on that content too. 

Step 4: Class 1 Training in Manitoba

There is no official requirement to complete formal training or driving lessons, however we recommend that you do some. Not only will it help you sharpen your skills for the road test but it will keep everyone (including you) safe on the road and looks great on the resume when applying for jobs. 

If you know someone with a truck, you can practice with them. They must have had their Class 5F license for at least 3 years and their Class 1 license for at least 2 years. In the alternative, you may want to take some lessons or sign up with a school for a training package. 

Formal Training Schools & Lessons

If you do not have any formal training it may be very difficult to convince a company to hire you, especially if you don’t have any previous driving experience, like driving a Class 3 vehicle. 

Some of these training programs can be funded by Manitoba Jobs (MB ETT), Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF), Workers Compensation Board (WCB), and/or First Nations Bands. Some are also registered with the Private Vocational Institute so you can get a rebate on tuition you pay, known as a Tuition Tax Credit (T2202A). Give a couple schools a call and ask them about funding. 

Training ranges from hourly lessons up to 244 hour (6 week) packages. We recommend taking a training package that includes an air brake component and a vehicle rental for your road tests. The most common for new drivers is the 244 hour package that includes everything from in-class and on the road instruction, pre-trip and air brake inspections, coupling/uncoupling, log book completion and truck rental for the road tests. 

There are various training packages and schools out there. Be sure to shop around and pick a program that suits your financial and driving needs. 

Step 5: Class 1 Road Test in Manitoba

Before you try the Class 1 road test in Manitoba, MPI requires that you: 

  • wait at least 2 full weeks since you obtained your Authorized Instruction
  • possess your full (F) Class 5 driver’s license

Road Test Locations

Not every city offers Class 1 road tests. The following are the locations that road tests are available:

  • Winnipeg (including the municipalities of Headingley, East and West St. Paul)
  • Beausejour
  • Brandon
  • Dauphin
  • Portage la Prairie
  • Steinbach
  • Thompson
  • Winkler

You must take your road test at the location near you. You can obtain the contact information for a testing centre by selecting broker under services and picking one of the above cities that is closest to you. Remember you have to schedule the test ahead of time. 

manitoba class 1 license driver in a truck

The Vehicle

You are required to provide your own Class 1 vehicle (semi-trailer truck) equipped with air brakes. The vehicle must be in good working condition. You will also have to provide a Vehicle Registration Certificate to show the truck is insured and registered. 

Assuming you don’t have your own truck, which is probably almost all of you, there are a couple options. The most practical is that the majority of schools that you do Class 1 training with offer a truck to you for your test as part of the training package. If they don’t or you didn’t do any training, you may be able to rent one from these schools or another provider. Of course, you can always borrow one from a family member or friend that may be in the industry. 

The Road Test

You must arrive 15 minutes before your test starts. You will be required to do a pre-trip inspection of the vehicle and an actual driving test. You will also be required to do an air brakes pre-inspection test. 

The driving part of the test is used to evaluate your driving skills and test your ability to operate a Class 1 vehicle in a safe and legal manner. The cost of the Class 1 road test is $50.

You must successfully complete both the pre-inspection tests before moving on to the driving part of the test. If you fail you can try again the next business day. 

The Air Brake Test

In addition to your Class 1 road test, you also need to do an air brakes practical test to get your A (air brakes) endorsement and S (slack adjustment) endorsement. This is actual just a pre-inspection of the air brakes system because you are going to be using the air brakes during your Class 1 road test. The air brake test is comprised of two parts: 

  • a practical demonstration of a pre-trip brake inspection along with a verbal explanation of the air brake components and their functions 
  • a demonstration that shows you can adjust a manual slack (S endorsement)

This test can be done at the same time as your Class 1 road test and is free. If you do this test separately, the cost is $30. 

Make sure you have the right tools and equipment to do a brake adjustment during the air-brake pre-inspection test. The Air Brake Manual gives information on air brake system inspection and adjustment found below in our Resources section. 

Class 1 License Costs Manitoba

Now that you know what a Class 1 license is and how to get it, let’s go over the costs. We are assuming that you have no professional driving experience in this estimate, take a training program and don’t qualify for any upfront financial assistance. 

Average Cost With Training

$9,105

Medical Examination – $85

Class 1 Knowledge / Written Test – $10

Air Brake Knowledge / Written Test – $10

Class 1 Training – $8,950

Truck Rental – $0

Air Brake Road / Practical Test – $0

Class 1 Road / Practical Test – $50

Costs

  • Medical Examination: This cost is determined by your doctor but the average rate is approximately $85. 
  • Class 1 License Knowledge / Written Test: $10 – Administered by MPI or Autopac agent.
  • Air Brake Knowledge / Written Test: $10 – Administered by MPI or Autopac agent. 
  • Class 1 Training: $8,950 for a 244 hour course. 
    This seems to be the standard Class 1 Training in Manitoba. It includes everything you need to pass your tests and get on the road. The training programs typically include in class and on the road training, practice for air brake, pre-inspection and road tests, log book completion, employment skills and truck rental for your tests. 
    If you feel you can take on the challenge of testing and have talked to some possible employers about accepting you without lots of training, there are some but not many courses out there for approximately $3,795 for 36-40 hours of training. 
    Remember, most of these programs you get a tuition tax rebate or are able to apply for some government assistance programs that pay for all or some of the cost. 
  • Truck Rental for Pre-Inspection, Air Brakes and Road Tests: Typically included in your Class 1 training package or on average $300. 
  • Air Brake Pre-Inspection Test: This test is free if done at the same time as your road test. If you do it separately, the cost is $30
  • Class 1 License Road / Practical Test: $50 – Administered by MPI or Autopac agent.

Class 1 License Manitoba costs are approximately $9,105. This is with the standard full length training program and your air brakes endorsement. Tuition rebates or government assistance may be available to help cover your training depending on your circumstances. Some funding will actually come in advance of your training program.

Manitoba Class 1 Quiz

Here are some quizzes you can use to prepare yourself for the knowledge test

Contacts

Here are some helpful contacts to ask general questions or obtain testing centre locations. 

Manitoba Public Insurance Contact Information

Online Contact Form 

Phone Numbers 

In Winnipeg: 204-985-7000

Outside Winnipeg (and outside Manitoba): Toll-free at 1-800-665-2410

Contact Centre Hours of Operation

  • Monday to Friday – 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday – 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sunday – Closed

Mailing Address

Manitoba Public Insurance
Box 6300
Winnipeg, MB R3C 4A4

Delivery Address

Manitoba Public Insurance
Box 6300
Room B100, 234 Donald Street
Winnipeg, MB R3C 4A4

MPI – Driver Fitness

Use these phone numbers to inquire about your medical fitness to obtain a Class 1 license. 

Phone Number: 204–985–1900
Toll-free: 1–866–617–6676

Manitoba Trucking Association

25 Bunting Street 
Winnipeg, Manitoba R2X 2P5

Phone Number: 204–632–6600

Resources

Air Brake Manual

Class Licences

Driving Quizzes

Find an Autopac Agent/Broker Office

Professional Driver’s Manual

Tuition Tax Credit


About The Author: Commercial Driver HQ

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Manitoba Class 1 License: Knowledge Test, Training and Quiz
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Manitoba Class 1 License: Knowledge Test, Training and Quiz
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How to get your Class 1 License in Manitoba. Learn about the knowledge test, the medical check ups, and practice with a quiz!
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Commercial Driver HQ
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