Learn about Alberta License Classes

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learner drivers

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve either just moved to Alberta or have been here for a while and don’t know the difference between the license classes. Well luckily for you, I’m going to break it down so that you have a full understanding of Alberta’s driver’s license system.

Getting a driver’s license in Alberta isn’t too much different from other provinces. Much like Ontario and the rest of Canada, Albertans are expected to go through graduated licensing that includes knowledge tests, road testing and successfully completing probationary periods before gaining full driving privileges.

How does GDL licensing in Alberta work?

Alberta’s GDL system is designed to make sure that all new drivers have the necessary experience, knowledge, and instruction before being granted a license. As a GDL driver, you will start with your learner’s license (Stage One) and then your probationary license (Stage Two).

Below we will outline the features and conditions of both phases in Alberta’s GDL program.

How do I get my driver’s license in Alberta?

For all new drivers, it takes a minimum of 3 years to complete the two stages of Alberta’s graduated driver licensing system. All drivers must complete both stages of the GDL system in Alberta.

Stage 1: Learner (Class 7)

In order to qualify for your learner’s license, you must meet the following criteria:

  • meet the minimum licensing age of 14
  • pass a vision test
  • pass a knowledge test
  • have parental consent if you’re under the age of 18
  • have a valid form of ID (Canadian passport, health card, or Canadian birth certificate)

Conditions

These are the conditions and restrictions you have when you hold your Class 7 license:

  • you must be accompanied by someone with a valid driver’s licence (non-GDL probationary) driver who is over the age of 18. They must be sitting in the passenger seat.
  • you are not allowed to drive between the hours of midnight – 5 am
  • you are not allowed to have more passengers than seatbelts
  • your license will be suspended if you accumulate more than 8 demerit points
  • zero alcohol tolerance
  • you must have your learner’s license for a minimum of 1 year

Stage 2: Probationary (Class 5-GDL)

Once you’ve been driving for one year with your Class 7, you are eligible for the Class 5-GDL license. In order to quality, you must also meet the following criteria:

  • hold your class 7 driver’s licence for a minimum of 1 year
  • be 16 or older
  • pass the Alberta class 5 road test

Conditions

  • you are not allowed to have more passengers than seatbelts
  • your license will be suspended if you accumulate more than 8 demerit points
  • zero alcohol tolerance
  • you need to have a probationary license for a minimum of 2 years
  • you cannot serve as an accompanying driver to someone with their learners’ license
  • you are not yet able to re-class your license to a commercial driver’s license (classes 1, 2, 3, or 4).

Stage 3: Full, Class 5 driver’s licence

Once you’ve completed your learner and probationary periods, you are eligible to become a fully licensed driver. You must meet the following criteria:

  • pass the advanced road test
  • have your probationary license for a minimum of 2 years
  • accumulated 0 suspensions the last 12 months of the probationary stage

Once you are a fully licensed driver, you will:

How long do you have to wait to become a fully licensed driver in Alberta?

A driver’s license in Alberta will take a minimum of 3 years to complete. It takes 4 years if you get your learner’s license at the age of 14.

You must have your stage one learner’s license for 1 year, and spend 2 more years as a probationary driver in stage two.

How old do you have to be to get a learner’s license?

You must be 14 years old to get your learner’s license in Alberta.

How much does an Alberta driver’s license cost?

The cost of an Alberta’s driver’s license depends on how long you decide to renew it for. Here are the prices:

  • 1 year: $26
  • 2 years: $43
  • 3 years: $60
  • 4 years: $77
  • 5 years: $93

Types of Alberta license classes

There are seven driver’s licenses in Alberta that drivers use to operate different motor vehicles under various conditions. For some people, a driver may have more than one license – for example, a taxi driver who has a motorcycle needs both Class 4 and 6 licenses.

Class 1: Professional license to drive any motor vehicle, including motorcycles as a learner

Class 2: Professional license to drive any vehicle that a holder of a Class 3, 4, or 5 license is allowed to drive, including buses

Class 3: Professional commercial license to drive any motor vehicle with 3 or more axles that is towing a trailer with one or more axles (without airbrakes); a class 2 or 4 vehicle without passengers (taxi, bus, ambulance)

Class 4: Professional license allowing you to drive a taxi, bus, or ambulance that seats less than 25 people; all motor vehicles included under class 5

Class 5 GDL: Probationary license allowing you to drive a two-axle single motor vehicle; motorhome without airbrakes; a vehicle towing a trailer if the trailer does not have airbrakes; a moped; a recreational vehicle; any combination of recreational vehicle and trailer if the trailer does not have airbrakes

Class 5 Non-GDL: Same as above with some probationary restrictions

Class 6: Professional license allowing you to drive a motorcycle or moped

Class 7: Learner’s license allowing you to drive any class 5 vehicle with restrictions

Alberta Driver’s License Renewal FAQs

It’s important to renew your driver’s license before it expires. A driver’s license in Alberta will expire after one to five years based on the class of license and other factors. The expiration date is on the back of a person’s driver’s license.

What do I need to renew my license?

In order to renew your license in Alberta, you will need the following documents:

  • your current driver’s license
  • a completed license renewal form
  • you may also be asked to provide a medical form if you are over the age of 75 or have a class 1, 2, or 4 driver’s license

Can I renew my license online?

No, you cannot renew your license online in Alberta. You must renew your license in person.

How much does it cost to renew your license in Alberta?

It costs $93.65 to renew an Alberta driver’s license for a 5-year period. If you have an out of province driver’s license, there is an additional charge of CAD$7.00

Can you renew an expired driver’s license?

Yes, you can renew an expired driver’s license. You have up to 6 months from the date of expiry to renew it. However, it’s important to note, once your license expires it’s illegal for you to drive.

If your license has been expired for over 6 months, you will need to provide a birth certificate, passport, or proof of residency in Alberta to renew.

If your license has been expired for more than 3 years, you will need to pass the written knowledge test.

Is there a fine for driving with an expired license?

According to the Alberta transportation regulations, it is against the law to drive without a valid license. The penalty for not having one could be up to $200 or more.

Other FAQs

Does it cost money to change your address on your driver’s license?

Yes, it costs $28 to update any personal information on your driver’s license. You need to update your address within 14 days of an address change, or any other changes to your personal information. You can visit a registry agent in person to complete any personal information change.

How much does it cost to replace a lost driver’s license?

It costs $28 to replace a lost or stolen driver’s license in Alberta.

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