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Becoming a truck driver (NOC 7511) in Atlantic Canada

May 13, 2022 by Katie Enman, Immigration Consultant
Becoming a truck driver (NOC 7511) in Atlantic Canada

With the national shortage of truck drivers seen in markets worldwide, Canada is experiencing supply chain challenges like never before.

Prior to Covid-19, industry experts estimated a trucking labour shortage of roughly 20,000 drivers. With the ongoing challenges brought on by the pandemic combined with changes in the economy and markets, the federal government has projected a truck driver shortage of over 23,000 over the next seven years. These grim numbers pose enormous challenges for small to large trucking companies looking to grow and continue to be profitable. A simple search online or drive through an industrial park will yield several signs reading “Class 1 Drivers Wanted” and “Urgently Hiring Drivers”.

“This is a national issue and potentially becoming a national crisis,” explains Stephen Laskowski, president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance, in a recent story by Global News

With many companies having to think strategically about its labour force, many are turning to the international markets to fill those roles. In fact, some provinces have dedicated streams to help recruit truck drivers:

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia’s ‘Occupations in Demand’ stream which targets specific NOC C and D occupations in high demand in the province has truck drivers (NOC 7511) on its currently list. Eligibility criteria include:

  • have 1 year of work experience related to the job;
  • be 21 to 55 years old;
  • have a high school diploma;
  • have the appropriate training, skills and/or accreditation for the job;
  • prove language ability equal to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 4 even if your first language is English or French;
  • show enough financial resources to successfully settle in Nova Scotia.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick’s NB Transport Truck Driver – NOC 7511 stream has a variety of selection factors that award points based on age, education, work experience, and language. Contrary to Nova Scotia, NB requires 24 months’ work experience related to the job with 6 of those months taking place in New Brunswick.

Prince Edward Island

An ‘Occupations in Demand’ stream also exists under the Prince Edward Island PNP Workforce Category where, among other NOCs, truck driver (NOC 7511) is listed. To be eligible, applicants must:

  • have a full-time, non-seasonal permanent job offer from a PEI employer in either
  • have one year of work experience directly related to the job offered by a PEI employer
  • be 18 to 59 years old;
  • have successfully completed (at minimum) a secondary school diploma (high school);
  • provide a valid language test result from an IRCC-approved testing institution, with a minimum score of CLB/NCLC 4. Language tests are valid for 2 years after the date of the test result;
  • have sufficient financial resources to pay all immigration costs (including travel expenses) for you and your family to be able to establish in PEI; and
  • demonstrate a genuine intention to settle in PEI.


Fees and testing for obtaining a Class 1 license will vary by province so it’s important to note each province may have slightly different requirements. If you’ve moving from another province and/or have experience, it’s possible you will only need to challenge the road test and written exam in order to obtain your Class 1. If you’re coming from abroad, further requirements will be needed.

For example, in New Brunswick to obtain a Class 1 driver’s license, applicants must make an appointment at Service New Brunswick and provide the following information: their original home country driver’s license; an English or French translation of the driver’s license (if not already in English or French) from a translation agency or an International Driver’s License; and original passport (photocopied and returned to client immediately). Other Identification requirements can be found here:

After passing the written test, the Driver Examiner will give the applicant a Qualification Report. This Qualification Report is valid for six (6) months only. Once all this is completed, an applicant can do the testing for Class 1.

A Medical Fitness Report must be completed before the client may make an appointment, and must be presented, each time that they deal with the driver examiner.

The Applicant must be at least 18 years of age.

After studying the driver’s handbook, the applicant will be required to complete a vision and written test by contacting Service New Brunswick.

The fee for the written test is $25.00 + HST

The Retest fee if failed the first time is $15.00 + HST

The written test consists of 3 or 4 written tests (depending if the client needs air brake endorsement as well): This includes, commercial written test, basic rules of the road, and signs.

If the applicant needs air brakes endorsement –the following test are also needed: Air Brake Written test and Air Brake practical.

They must also provide a medical (no older than 6 months), a valid license (class 5 or higher – steps for this were noted above), and a vision test (Must pass vision screening (20/30 best eye; 20/50 weakest eye)

After passing the written test, the original medical is kept by the driver (which has a section that is completed by the Driver Examiner) and acts as a beginner’s license for Class 1 – in other words, the client is permitted to operate a Class 1, 2, 3, or 4 vehicle with one other driver that has the proper license to operate that vehicle with.

Requirements for road test ($50.00 + HST) include:

  • Medical (no older than 6 months)
  • Appropriate Written tests must be completed first
  • Air brake practical must have been completed
  • Valid registration & insurance for vehicle that will be used for testing
  • Duration of test is 2 hours (includes pre-trip inspection and road test), or
  • Duration of test is 1 hour if the client has already passed a pre-trip inspection

Once the applicant has successfully completed the road test, they must go to the local SNB to update your driver’s license to a class 1. The fee to update and print the new driver’s license is: $22.00

Job Interview

We spoke with industry experts who provided us with a list of questions they typically ask a potential new hire. Some of those questions include:

  • What sort of safety precautions do you take before, during, and after a delivery?
  • Describe the use of a logbook in your previous experience.
  • Please provide us a copy of your Driver’s Abstract.
  • What type of freight are you use to carrying?

Other requirements may include language test results, photos of trucks driven in previous jobs, and reference letters from previous employers.

If you’re wondering if you have the qualifications and experience to be a truck driver in Canada, reach out today and book a consultation.

The article above is intended to provide general and non-case specific information on immigration related matters. It should not be used or relied on as formal legal advice.