Prince Edward Island
By Dana Hall
Posted on April 19, 2021
Official Language: English
Age of Majority: 19
Legal Drinking Age: 18
Getting a Health Card
You are eligible for health coverage on the day you arrive in P.E.I. To register, you must be able to prove that you’ll live in P.E.I. for over six months of the year.
- If you are a student, you can get health coverage if your study permit allows you to work off campus and if you are a full-time student. You will need to submit a letter of enrollment written by the Registrar’s Office. It must contain your full name, date of birth, and confirmation that you are a full-time student. Your health card will need to be renewed each year to ensure you still meet the criteria.
- If you have a work permit, you can get health coverage as long as your permit is for more than six months. Depending on your application, you may be asked to provide confirmation of employment.
You can apply online or in person at PEI Medicare in Montague, Health PEI in Charlottetown, or an Access PEI centre. You will need to fill out this form and bring proofs of your right to live in P.E.I. and your address. If you apply online, you will need to upload copies of these documents to go with the online form.
How to get a licence: The legal age to drive in P.E.I. is 16. To get your learner’s permit, you will need to book a knowledge test at an Access PEI centre. You will need to study the PEI Driver’s Handbook to prepare for it. You can take a practice test here.
You will need to bring proof of your right to live in P.E.I. and two proofs of address with you to the appointment. Examples of proof of address are bills or bank statements, government correspondence, rental or mortgage agreements, or a letter from your employer.
If you are under 16, you will also need to sign the consent form at the end of this document. A list of valid documents can be found here. If you pass your knowledge test, you will be granted your Instruction Driver’s Permit. This will allow you to drive with someone who has their full licence. You will be given a yellow “L” sticker to put on your window, so that other drivers know that you are learning how to drive. You will need to maintain a zero-alcohol level at all times while driving.
You need to have your Instruction Driver’s Permit for at least a year before you can take a road test. If you take a driver’s education program, then you can take the test after just nine months. If you do not take driver’s education, you will need to take a Novice Driver Course offered by Access PEI before you book your road test.
If you pass your road test, you will be granted a Class 5 Stage 2 licence. You will be given a yellow “G” sign which you must have on your dashboard when driving. To see the restrictions associated with Stage 2, please refer to the PEI Graduated Driver Licencing program. If you are caught breaking restrictions, you will receive a 30-day suspension. If you are caught a second time, the suspension will be for 90 days. Your licence will be at Stage 2 for one full year. After a year, it will automatically upgrade to a Stage 3 licence. If you are under 18, your licence will not be upgraded until your 18th birthday.
Your licence will be at Stage 3 for a year-long probationary period. You must maintain a zero blood alcohol level when driving, and you cannot use a cellphone while driving. If you receive a fine for either of these things, you will receive a 30-day suspension. If you are caught a second time, the suspension will be for 90 days. After a year, your licence will automatically become a full Class 5 licence.
You can view licence fees here.
How to transfer a driver’s licence: You can use a foreign driver’s licence for up to four months in P.E.I. After this, you will need to exchange it for a P.E.I. licence.
You will need to pass a vision test, knowledge test, and road test. You will need to bring your original photo driver’s licence, immigration documents indicating your right to live in Canada, and two proofs of address. If your licence or documents are not in French or English, you will also need to provide certified translations.
You can take the vision and knowledge tests by booking an appointment at an Access PEI location. You must complete the Novice Driver Course for Newcomers program before you book your road test.
If your country has an exchange agreement with P.E.I., you will not need to take a knowledge test or a road test. Countries with an exchange agreement are:
- The Isle of Man
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States
Prince Edward Island public school information
You will be able to send your child to either French or English school. The English school board is called the Public Schools Branch, and the French school board is called La Commission scolaire de langue français. If your child speaks English but you would like them to learn in French, you should register them for a French Immersion program offered by an English school. French immersion is a part of the English school system, and it is for children who do not speak French.
School in P.E.I. is mandatory from the age of five, which means that children must attend Kindergarten. These are the different levels of education in P.E.I:
- Kindergarten: Age 5
- Elementary school (Grades 1–6): Ages 6–11
- Junior high school (Grades 7–9): Ages 12–14
- High school (Grades 10-12): Ages 15–17
Your child’s grade is determined by the year they are born. For instance, everyone born in the year 2015 will go into Grade 1 in 2021. That’s because they will turn six in 2021.
The PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada is a good resource for information on how to register your child for school and what language courses are available in your area.
Information on homeschooling is available here.
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