Service NL
May 16, 2018

Government and Representatives Working Together to Strengthen Taxi Industry

In an effort to help strengthen the taxi industry in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Provincial Government is introducing more stringent requirements for taxi drivers and vehicles. The changes, which will come into effect on July 1, 2018, focus on skilled drivers, experience in driving in Newfoundland and Labrador road conditions, driving history, passenger safety and safer vehicles.

A complete list of the policy changes can be found in the backgrounder below.

Under the Highway Traffic Act, the Registrar of Motor Vehicles has the authority to impose conditions which contribute to road safety in the province.

The Provincial Government listened to concerns and suggestions of the taxi industry to inform development of the amendments, realizing the importance of the industry to the provincial economy and the valuable service provided to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. There are over 800 taxis registered in the province.

Initiatives such as this deliver on commitments in The Way Forward to strengthen the province’s economic foundation and deliver better services and better outcomes for residents. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living, and can be viewed at

“Our government understands the important service taxi companies provide to the residents of our province. We have developed these policies to help strengthen the industry and also enhance road safety for the travelling public.”
Honourable Sherry Gambin-Walsh
Minister of Service NL

“The changes announced today will serve to increase the professionalism in the taxi industry across the province. Newfound Cabs is pleased to support this endeavour."
Derek Hayter
Newfound Cabs

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Learn more

Highway Traffic Act

The Way Forward

Follow us on Twitter: @GovNL and @ServiceNL_

Media contacts
Krista Dalton
Service NL
729-4748, 685-6492

Derek Hayter
Newfound Cabs

Policy Amendments for the Taxi Industry

Current Requirements/New Requirements

Current: There is no requirement for persons seeking a Class 4 taxi driver’s licence to have any specialized driving training.

Change: New drivers seeking a taxi driver’s licence will have to:

  • Successfully complete the defensive driving course;
  • Complete an on-road assessment and up to five hours practical driving experience from a professional driving school.
  • The driving assessment must include highway and urban driving, parking in traffic and backing-up scenarios.
  • Successfully complete a test in traffic administered by a Motor Registration Division Driver Examiner.

Section 45 of the Highway Traffic Act

Section 23 of the Highway Traffic Driver Regulations, 1999

Current: To obtain a Class 4 (Taxi) licence, a driver must hold a Class 5 driver’s licence for at least one year, meet medical standards and pass a written exam.

Change:  New applicants will have to:

  • Hold a Class 5 licence for at last two years;
  • Pass a written exam which will include questions on pre-trip inspection;
  • Pass a road test which will include new areas such as performing daily vehicle inspections and in-traffic testing, including highway driving, parking and backing-up scenarios.

Section 45 of the Highway Traffic Act

Subsection 3(4) of the Highway Traffic Driver Regulations, 1999

Subsection 13(2)(d) of the Highway Traffic Driver Regulations, 1999

Current: Individuals from jurisdictions with whom no driver’s licence reciprocity agreement exists must hold a Class 5 licence for one year before they can apply for a Class 4 taxi only licence.

Change: Individuals from jurisdictions with whom Newfoundland Labrador does not have a driver’s licence reciprocity agreement will have to hold a Class 5 driver’s licence for two years before being eligible to apply for a Class 4 licence. All other previously listed criteria will apply.

Subsection 3(4) of the Highway Traffic Driver Regulations, 1999

Current: Past driving habits are not used to determine if a person should be permitted to continue to hold a Class 4 (Taxi) licence.

Change:  Driving record review for all Class 4 (Taxi) drivers will be conducted annually.

Class 4 taxi licence will be revoked based on :

  • Three or more Highway Traffic Act driving-related convictions or accidents in a two-year period;

  • Administrative suspension of licence;
  • Criminal Code Conviction related to driving or Highway Traffic Act conviction related to bodily harm and/or death.

Eligibility for reinstatement will depend on the driving record. 

Subsection 48 (1)(n)(iii) of the Highway Traffic Act

Current: Taxis are required to have one inspection annually at an Official Inspection Station (OIS) but are not mandated to report results to MRD. 

Change: Taxis will be required to provide a copy of their OIS inspection to MRD. MRD will randomly select and inspect a minimum of 30 per cent of the operator’s fleet.

Inspections will focus on:

  • Vehicle and Driver fitness;
  • Examination of daily pre-trip logs; and
  • Could result in laying of charges against the drivers and/or owner operator under the HTA

Schedule B  Official Inspection Station Regulations

2018 05 16                             9:55 a.m.