Alberta operates on a system of classes of driver’s licences. Each class of driver’s licence allows the driver to operate a different type of vehicle. Certain licences are learners permits only, others are professional driver’s licences. In order to be eligible for an Alberta licence, you must be a legal resident in the province of Alberta. You will need to submit proof of age and residency. Drivers as young as 14 years of age can apply for a learner permit and a full licence at 16 years of age.
Here is a quick run-down on the various classes of drivers licences available in Alberta.
New drivers over 14 year of age, will start with a written Class 7 test. This is a 30-question multiple choice test. You must correctly answer at least 25 questions to pass. Once you have passed your Class 7 written test, you will be allowed to drive a moped by yourself or a Class 5 or 6 vehicle under the supervision of someone 18 years of age or older who holds a valid Class 5 licence (not a GDL licence). There are several restrictions on a Class 7 license, which include:
- You cannot drive during the hours between 12:00am and 5:00am
- You must have 0% alcohol levels when driving at all times
- You cannot drive with more people than there are seat belts in your vehicle
- You are allowed 8 demerit points before receiving a suspension of your licence
Once you have your Class 7 licence and you are at least 16 years of age, you can proceed towards your Class 5 Graduated Driving Licence (GDL). The test for a Class 5 GDL licence is a road test conducted at a local registry agency plus an eye test to ensure your vision is adequate for driving. Your Class 5 GDL licence will allow you to drive all Class 5 motor vehicles (i.e. regular cars and trucks). In addition, your Class 5 GDL licence allows you to drive:
- a 2-axle single motor vehicle
- a motorhome without airbrakes unless you hold an air brake certificate
- tow a trailer with one or more axles if the trailer is not equipped with airbrakes
- a moped, a recreational vehicle, or any combination of recreational vehicles and a trailer, if the trailer has 2 axles or less, and isn’t equipped with airbrakes
As a GDL driver you will be subject to the following restrictions:
- you cannot drive with more people than there are seat belts in your vehicle
- a GDL licence will be suspended at 8 demerit points
- blood alcohol level of the driver must be 0%
- Class 1, 2, 3, or 4 licence upgrades are not allowed
- a GDL driver cannot be the accompanying driver to a learner
You will be considered a GDL driver until you upgrade to a full Class 5 licence. To upgrade you must:
- hold your GDL for at least 2 years without any suspensions for the last year
- take an advanced Class 5 drivers test
Other than the general Class 5 licence which allows you to operate regular cars and trucks, there are several other classes of Alberta drivers licences. They include:
- Class 6 for motorcycles. This requires both a written and a driving portion of testing.
- Class 1 professional. This professional driver’s licence allows you to operate any motor vehicle other than a motorcycle (which you can operate as a learner).
- Class 2 professional (bus). This professional driver’s licence allows you to operate any motor vehicle that a Class 3, 4 or 5 driver can operate. You can drive a bus. You are considered a learner for a Class 1 or 6 vehicle.
- Class 3 professional (3 axles or more). This professional driver’s licence allows you to operate any motor vehicle that a Class 5 driver can operate plus a single motor vehicle with 3 axles or more. You can operate a motor vehicle with 3 or more axles that is towing a trailer with one or more axles (if the trailer is not equipped with airbrakes). You can operate a Class 2 or 4 vehicle without passengers (bus, taxi, ambulance) and any Class 1, 2 or 6 vehicle as a learner. You cannot operate a vehicle that seats more than 15 people including the driver or transports passengers for hire.
- Class 4 professional (taxi, Uber, ambulance). This professional driver’s licence allows you to operate a taxi, ambulance or bus (including a school or kindergarten bus) that seats fewer than 25 people including the driver. You can operate a Class 5 motor vehicle and are considered a learner for Class 1, 2, 3 or 6 vehicles.
For more information visit: https://www.alberta.ca/drivers-licence-education-plates.aspx
If you ever have questions regarding your driver’s licence or insurance policy or coverage in general, contact Rizk Insurance today and we’ll help answer any inquiries you may have.