Last fall, the province announced that come spring 2023, Alberta would no longer require the advanced road test for Class 5 and Class 6 driver’s licences.
The province stated that Albertans who successfully completed a 24-month probationary period would 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.
However, according to statistics by the Alberta Motor Association, approximately 700,000 drivers currently hold a Graduated Driver's Licence (GDL), but only 500,000 of them have no tickets or demerits.
"This means that 200,000 GDL holders won’t be eligible to get their full Class 5 licence automatically, once the change takes effect," the AMA stated in a press release.
Hence, the AMA is reminding Albertans that if you currently hold a GDL licence, and you’re waiting for the government change to take effect, this could save you the time and cost of an additional road test. But there is a caveat.
"If you’ve received tickets, fines or demerits in the last 12 months of your GDL probationary period, you still have time to complete your advanced road test now so you can exit the GDL program before the changes take place."
The AMA also added that any infractions that result in a ticket, fine or demerit will increase the length of a new licence holder’s probationary period by one year. This includes major errors such as collisions in which the driver is found to be at fault, but also minor infractions such as speeding and parking tickets. The length of the probationary extension is the same, regardless of the infraction.
The elimination of 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. The province also noted in 2022, that 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.
Other changes to driver's licenses in Alberta were implemented at the beginning of February, which encompassed Class 1 and Class 4 licenses. For those seeking a Class 1 license, drivers now have the option to complete the Class 1 road test in an automatic transmission truck, while those seeking a Class 4 driver’s licence are no longer required to take a road test to obtain a Class 4.
No concrete date has been set as of yet for the Class 5 and 6 driver's licence changes to take effect.
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