Changes Are Coming For Driver Licensing in Alberta

To get your full Class 5 driver’s licence in Alberta, new drivers must go through the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program that was first introduced in Alberta in 2003. New drivers must hold a Class 7 licence (also referred to as a learner’s licence) and adhere to the following conditions:

  • Must have a fully licensed person seated next to them while driving
  • No driving between midnight and 5AM
  • Have no drugs or alcohol in their system while driving

Drivers can get a probationary Class 5 licence after a year with their learner’s licence, pass a basic road test, and meet other conditions. Drivers can then get a full licence after two years with their learner’s licence and pass an advanced road test.

Come spring of 2023, the above requirements are changing and driver’s licence services will become more simplified.

No advanced road tests required for new Alberta drivers in Spring of 2023

The Government of Alberta will no longer require drivers to take an advanced or additional road tests for Class 5 licence (passenger vehicles), Class 6 licence (motorcyle), Class 4 licence (to transport passengers in taxis, ride-share vehicles, limousines, small buses, and ambulances).

Some of the benefits of eliminating the advanced road toast include:

  • Reduced red tape
  • Reduced costs for Albertans and businesses
  • Eliminates the logistics and costs associated with advanced road tests

Alberta Transportation Minister, Prasad Panda, stated in an interview, “It is common sense. It reduces costs for drivers and also, in a way, for businesses, without compromising safety in any way. [….] It’s not reducing safety. They have to be on probation for two years, so those two years should sort out if there are any issues with those drivers, whether it’s traffic violations or drug and alcohol.”

Statistics show that an estimated 65% of Alberta do not take the second advanced road test

Since the GDL was introduced, drivers have been allowed to continue driving without taking their second road test, a factor that was considered with the new changes coming in spring.

Panda adds, “Some of them are not that young anymore. They are in their 40s, but they are simply not taking the test because they’re already driving with the (Graduated Driver Licence). Many of them probably thought spending that extra $150 for the advanced test is not giving them any extra benefit or comfort other than getting a full licence.”

Additionally, GDL holders who have shown poor driving behaviour or incurred unsafe driving offences during their last year of probation would have their probationary period extended for another year. An estimated 500,000 drivers with their GDL are likely eligible to get their full Class 5 licence because they have met the requirements and followed driving conditions.

What you need to get a learner’s (Class 7) licence in Alberta

To get a learner’s driver’s licence you must:

  • Be 14 years of age or older
  • Have parental or guardian consent if you are under 18 years of age
  • Pass a knowledge test
  • Pass a vision test

If you’re looking to get your learner’s permit, renew your current driver’s licence, or have an out-of-province licence, and more, Riverbend Registries in Edmonton is open 7 days a week for your convenience. Contact us or visit us at 532 Riverbend Square NW and one of our knowledgeable registry agents will be happy to assist you.