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Alberta’s Graduated Driver Licensing System

Regardless of their age, new drivers spend a substantial amount of time practice under low-risk conditions before graduating to more demanding conditions. Becoming fully licensed entails demonstrating responsible driving habits and handling skills, and passing an advanced road test. Drivers can become fully licensed in a minimum of three years (four if beginning at 14 years of age).

In their quest for a license, Alberta drivers must complete the following learning stages.

Stage 1: Learner

In this stage, the driver earns his or her Class 7 Learner’s License. To qualify, the candidate must:

  • Be at least 14 years old, with valid identification.
  • Pass a vision test and written test covering road rules.
  • Have parental consent (if under 18).

During this phase of the program, the new driver:

  • Must hold the Class 7 Learner’s License for at least one year.
  • Must be accompanied when driving by a fully licensed adult driver, seated next to the driver.
  • May not drive from midnight to 5 a.m.
  • Is not permitted to have more passengers than seat belts.
  • Will be suspended at eight demerit points rather than the fully licensed driver limit of 15.
  • Must maintain a zero alcohol level.

Stage 2: Probationary

To earn the Class 5-GDL Probationary License, the candidate must:

  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Have held a Class 7 License for at least one year.
  • Pass the Alberta Class 5 road test.

During this phase of the program, the new driver:

  • Must spend a minimum of two years as a probationary driver.
  • Is not permitted to have more passengers than seat belts.
  • Will be suspended at eight demerit points rather than the fully licensed driver limit of 15.
  • Must maintain a zero alcohol level.
  • May not upgrade to a Class 1, 2, 3 or 4 commercial license.
  • Cannot serve as an accompanying driver to a learner.

Following completion of these two stages and provided the driver has remained suspension-free for the last year of the probationary stage, he or she may take the advanced road test to earn the Class 5 License and become a fully licensed driver.

Motorcycle Licensing

Drivers applying for a Class 6 Motorcycle License as their first license must follow the conditions of the GDL, with the following modifications. The driver:

  • Must be at least 16 years old .
  • May not drive from one hour past sunset or 12:00 midnight, whichever is earlier, they are also not permitted to drive until one hour before sunrise or 5 a.m., whichever is later.
  • Must be accompanied by a fully licensed adult driver, either seated on the motorcycle or following in close proximity in or on another motor vehicle.

For more information, call Alberta Transportation at 780-427-8901 (toll-free, first call 310-0000).

Source: Government of Alberta

Alberta’s Graduated Driver Licensing System

Always striving to keep its roads safe, the Government of Alberta has instituted a driving program that extends the learning stage for new drivers: the Graduated Driver Licensing program (GDL).