Starting in spring 2023, Alberta will no longer require the advanced road test for Class 5 and Class 6 driver’s licences. Albertans who successfully complete a 24-month probationary period will automatically qualify for their full Class 5 or Class 6 driver’s licence and save $150 by not having to take a second road test. Furthermore, an additional road test will no longer be required to upgrade to a Class 4 licence.
The province estimates that this change will affect nearly half a million Alberta drivers, who will benefit from the elimination of Class 5 and Class 6 advanced road tests under the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program. Alberta's Minister of Transportation, Prasad Panda said that the current measures in place are a roadblock for many Albertans and that these changes are focused on reducing costs and red tape for hundreds of thousands of Alberta drivers while ensuring Alberta roads remain safe.
“Many Albertans have told us that the advanced test costs too much, is a roadblock to finding jobs and has created unnecessary red tape. That’s why we are eliminating the advanced road test for (Class 5) passenger vehicles and (Class 6) motorcycles as well as the additional Class 4 road test while maintaining strong safety standards for drivers," he said in a press release by the province.
GDL drivers must have no suspensions or traffic violations within their last 12 months of probation, including zero tolerance for any alcohol and/or drug consumption.
Drivers who exhibit poor driving behaviours and incur demerits, or are ticketed for other unsafe driving offences during the last year of their probation will have their probationary period extended for an additional year. Drivers will also be allowed to reduce their probationary period by up to six months if they complete an approved driver training course.
An additional road test will no longer be mandatory to obtain a Class 4 driver’s licence, which is required to transport passengers in taxis, ride-share vehicles, limousines, small buses and ambulances. An enhanced knowledge test, and driver medical and vision test will still be required to obtain a Class 4 licence. With this change, Alberta’s government hopes to attract more competition to the ride-sharing industry.
Eliminating the advanced road test in the GDL program was suggested by many Albertans in a 2019 survey on red tape reduction actions to be taken by the government.
According to provincial statistics, over the past five years, about 65 per cent of drivers did not take their advanced road test and 99 per cent of motorcycle riders did not take the test.
The current GDL program requires drivers to pass a basic road test, be on probation for two years and be suspension free for the final 12 months of probation before they can take the advanced road test to earn their full driver’s licence.
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