Starting April 1, 2023, Albertans will no longer need to take the advanced road test to obtain their full Class 5 or Class 6 driver’s licence. The province has decided to simplify the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program, making it more accessible and cost-effective for young drivers. Under the new system, eligible Albertans who have held their Class 5 or 6 graduated driver’s licence for at least two years without any recent road violations can now upgrade to their full licence without taking a second road test.
The GDL program, implemented in 2003, was designed to enhance road safety by offering a structured learning environment for new drivers. Despite its intentions, the advanced road test, which costs over $150, has been considered redundant for drivers who maintain a clean record. It has been noted that about 500,000 Albertans aged 18 to 36 have no demerits and a clean driving record, yet they still carry GDL provisions. Furthermore, there are roughly 700,000 Alberta drivers with a GDL licence.
Under the updated GDL program, the two-year probationary period will remain in effect. Once this period is completed, provided that drivers have not had any suspensions, demerits or violations in the preceding 12 months, they will automatically be upgraded to a full licence. Those who receive a violation during the final year will have their probationary period extended by an additional year. To further enhance road safety, the basic road test will now be 15 minutes longer and incorporate elements from the discontinued advanced test.
This significant change in the GDL program is expected to benefit a large number of Albertans, saving them time and money without compromising road safety. The automatic upgrade process ensures that only responsible drivers with a clean driving record will be eligible for the full licence, while still providing an opportunity for those with minor violations to eventually exit the GDL program.
By June 25, 2023, the province promises to have upgraded all eligible drivers to a full licence in their databases. These drivers will receive a government letter confirming the change and can continue to use their existing licence until it expires.
In conclusion, the elimination of the Advanced Road Test from the GDL program marks a significant change in Alberta’s approach to driver licensing. This decision is expected to benefit a large number of Albertans, saving them time and money without compromising road safety. The automatic upgrade process ensures that only responsible drivers with a clean driving record will be eligible for the full licence, while still providing an opportunity for those with minor violations to eventually exit the GDL program.