Advanced road tests are no longer required for Alberta drivers currently in the graduated driver licensing program. For those with clean records, this represents savings of $154 for the advanced road test to get a full Class 5 or Class 6 licence.
During his April 1 announcement, Transportation Minister Devin Dreeshen noted that basic road test requirements would be stepped up at the same time.
Eligible GDL drivers are those with no suspensions or demerits within their last 12 months of probation. This includes zero tolerance for any alcohol or drug consumption. To exit the program, drivers must also have completed 24 months of probationary driving and be at least 18 years of age.
Drivers who exhibit poor driving behaviours, incurring demerits or tickets for other unsafe driving offences in the last 12 months, will have their probationary period extended for an additional year.
About 700,000 people are currently in the GDL program, with around 500,000 potentially able to exit the program under the new rules.
“This number continues to grow because the advanced road test is a costly administrative hurdle that causes many drivers to just simply not take that test,” Dreeven said.
“The actual experience of being behind the wheel, demerit and suspension free, is a way better indication that a driver is actually ready for a full driver’s licence here in Alberta,” he added.
In the past five years, about 65 per cent of eligible GDL drivers did not take their advanced road test, along with 99 per cent of motorcycle riders.
“Existing GDL drivers who meet the requirements will automatically exit the GDL program and will receive a letter from the Government of Alberta confirming that they have exited the program,” said Dreeven.
The letters will automatically be issued beginning June 25.
In the meantime, all restrictions of current GDL licences remain in place until drivers receive their letters.
Those with an urgent need to exit the program — needing a non-GDL licence for a job, for example — can go to a registry office to confirm their eligibility. Registry agents can determine eligibility and issue a non-GDL licence at no cost.
Removal of the requirement of an advanced road test took effect April 1.