What MELT means for new commercial drivers

MELT stands for Mandatory Entry-Level Training for commercial drivers. It’s required for individuals who want to obtain a Class 1 or Class 2 driver’s license, with the exemption for those who have an agricultural or school bus licence extension. This article details what the program involves, the cost, and who is required to take it.

Commercial Driver

What do you need to be eligible for a Class 1 or Class 2 driver’s licence?

Our vehicle registry in South Edmonton can help you through the driver’s licencing process or re-class your licence.

To get a Class 1 or 2 driver’s licence, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have an existing and current Alberta non-probationary driver’s licence (note: drivers with their GDL is not eligible for a Class 1 or 2 licence)
  • Provide an Alberta driver’s medical exam report by a licenced practitioner and approved by a registry agent or by Alberta Transportation’s Driver Fitness and Monitoring.
  • Pass the Air Brake Program (Q Endorsement), if applicable
  • Pass the School Bus Driver Improvement Program (S-Endorsement) (a requirement for school bus drivers)
  • Complete and pass a MELT program

Who is required to take the MELT program?

Those who obtained their Class 1 or Class 2 license before October 10, 2018, do not need to take the program. However, you will need to enrol for MELT if you:

  • Obtained your Class 1 or Class 2 license after October 10, 2018
  • Are any out of province residents applying for an Alberta driver’s licence

What is included in the MELT curriculum?

The program is a standardized Class 1 and Class 2 curriculums with enhanced knowledge and driving tests, including:

  • In-class, in-yard (when the vehicle is not moving), and in-vehicle (when the vehicle is moving) training
  • Basic driving techniques
  • Cargo securement
  • Document and regulatory compliance
  • Emergency response
  • Professional driving habits

What this means for new commercial drivers is a higher level of safety, which benefits the driver, the company, and the general public. The time to complete each training session is detailed below:

Class 1 MELT program:

  • In-class – 40.5 hours
  • In-yard – 15.5 hours
  • In-vehicle – 57 hours
  • Total Hours to complete: 113

Class 2 MELT program:

  • In-class – 18 hours
  • In-yard – 10.6 hours
  • In-vehicle – 21.25 hours
  • Total Hours to complete: 50

Final thoughts

One of the constraints drivers have is the program’s total cost, which is regulated by the Government of Alberta. The maximum amount that can be charged for the program is $10,000 for Class 1 training and $5,000 for Class 2 training. There may be funding available for drivers to take the MELT program and meet the Government of Alberta eligibility requirements.