Class 5 License Alberta: Everything You Need to Know

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class 5 licence

If you’ve recently moved to Alberta and are looking for a way to get around, then you’ll need to know about the Class 5 License Alberta.

You may not realize this, but there are different classes of licenses that will allow you access to different motor vehicles on the road in Alberta. Your license class is determined by your age, driving experience, and what type of vehicle you’re looking to drive (ie. commercial trucks, motorcycles, etc).

In Alberta, there are seven different classes of drivers’ licenses. The most basic learner’s permit is a Class 7 license and is the first step in Alberta’s graduated licensing program.

In this article, we will provide drivers with everything they need to know about the class 5 driver’s license in Alberta.

What is a Class 5 license in Alberta?

In Alberta, a Class 5 driver’s licence allows you to drive cars, trucks, or vans without supervision. These include mopeds, most two-axle vehicles or RVs, recreational vehicle, and motorcycles. There are two types of class 5 licenses – Class 5 GDL, which is the probationary license and a full Class 5 license.

Class 5 Graduated Drivers License (GDL)

In Alberta, a Class 5 GDL driver’s license is the second step to becoming a fully licensed driver. Once you get your Class 7 learners’ license, you must drive for 2 years at class 5 GDL status. You can upgrade to a full class 5 when your pass the advanced road test.

In order to qualify for a Class 5 GDL, you must meet the following requirements:

  • be at least 16 years old, drivers under 18 must have parental consent
  • have a Class 7 learner’s license with at least one year of experience driving
  • pass a vision test
  • pass the standard Alberta road test
  • have valid ID, proof you live in Alberta, and be a Canadian permanent resident, or approved refugee claim from the Immigration and Refugee Board

Class 5 GDL restrictions

Being a probationary driver, you’ll have certain restrictions:

  • you must have a zero blood alcohol level and no drugs in your system while driving
  • you need to spend 2 years as a Class 5 GDL driver
  • you cannot upgrade to a commercial license
  • you only have 8 demerit points before you have your license suspended
  • you cannot be an accompanying driver for a Class 7 driver
  • you can’t have more passengers than seat belts in your vehicle

Full Class 5 license

In order to qualify for a Full Class 5 License in Alberta, you must pass an advanced road test and be suspension-free for the last year of your Class GDL license.

It will take a learner and probationary license holder at least 3 years to obtain their full class 5 driver’s license. It would take 4 years for a driver who obtained their class 7 at age 14

Full Class 5 license rules

Like your Class 5 GDL, there are still some rules & restrictions for full Class 5 drivers:

  • you can accumulate up to 15 demerit points now
  • you can’t operate a vehicle transporting passengers for hire (taxi, uber, etc.)
  • you can’t operate a vehicle with air brakes
  • you can’t operate a vehicle with a capacity of more than 15 people
  • you can’t operate a motorcycle – you need a Class 6 license

Class 5 driving test

To qualify for a Class 5 or Class 5 Non-GDL license, you will be required to pass a driver’s test. To obtain the class 5 GDL License, you must first complete a basic road test and then take an advanced road test to get your Non-GDL license.

What does my vehicle need to be eligible for the Class 5 road test?

All vehicles need the following to be eligible for the Class 5 road test:

  • valid licence plate, drivers licence, and proof of insurance
  • working brake lights and signal lights
  • functioning horn
  • functioning speedometer
  • working brakes and parking brake
  • unobstructed windshield
  • tires that are in good condition
  • working driver and passenger doors
  • functioning vehicle seat belt and seats
  • exhaust system
  • enough fuel to complete the test

Class 5 GDL road test

After passing the basic road test, a driver can move from their Class 7 to their Class 5-GDL probationary license. This is determined by proving whether or not they are able to follow the rules of the road and drive safely using sound judgment. You will have to show that you are able to operate your own vehicle and interact with other vehicles on the road.

What do they test you on?

The GDL road test takes about 25-30 minutes and you will be required to know and demonstrate the following:

  • how to properly operate your vehicle controls
  • how to perform left and right turns safely
  • understanding school zones and speed limits
  • how to parallel park
  • how to park on a hill
  • lane changing
  • how to manage intersections

Class 5 advanced road test

The advanced road test evaluates whether a probationary driver has acquired the necessary advanced driving skills and experience to become a fully-licensed, non-GDL driver.

What do they test you on?

The advanced road test takes about 60 minutes and includes:

  • driving through intersections, including uncontrolled ‘T’ intersections
  • merging onto the highway
  • driving on the highway at speeds of 80 to 100 km/hr
  • high volume traffic areas
  • various parking situations (angle or perpendicular)

How much does a Class 5 road test cost?

The cost of a road test depends on which road test you take.

The basic road test costs $89.25, this includes tax and your permit

The advanced road test costs $149.90, this includes tax and your permit

Can I book my road test online?

Yes, you can book your road test online through a registry agent.

Common reasons for not passing the road tests

  • accumulating too many error points

The following are grounds for automatic failure

  • exceeding the speed limit
  • failing to stop completely before a stop sign intersection or before turning at a red light
  • failing to yield the right of way
  • driving too slowly and obstructing traffic
  • stopping unnecessarily
  • climbing over the curb when you park


What is the difference between Class 5 and Class 5 GDL?

The biggest differences between the Class 5 and Class 5 GDL are the demerit points, alcohol limitations, and being able to upgrade to a professional license. With your full Class 5 license you are able to upgrade to a commercial license if you want, you have a 15 demerit point limit (compared to 8 with the Class 5 GDL) and the zero alcohol tolerance is removed.

Can a Class 5 GDL drive after midnight in Alberta?

Yes, a Class 5 GDL can drive after midning in Alberta.

What is the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program?

The GDL program is designed to issue probationary licenses to new drivers. A GDL comes with certain restrictions compared to full licenses. You must spend at least 2 years with a GDL before you can take your advanced road test.

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