Classroom and in-vehicle instruction is provided by licensed driving instructors. These instructors are authorized to provide driver training under the Driver Training Regulation under the Traffic Safety Act.
Driver training provides new drivers with the knowledge and skills necessary to help them become capable, proactive and responsible drivers.
There are many reasons to take driver training from a licensed Alberta driver training school.
A formal driver training program allows you to gradually learn driving manoeuvres in a controlled and safe environment. A licensed driving instructor will provide ways to improve your driving.
If your driver training is from someone who is not a licensed instructor, you may learn incorrect information and develop unsafe driving habits.
If you successfully complete a Class 5 driver training program you may be able to get vehicle insurance at a reduced rate.
Choosing a driver training school
It is recommended that you consider the following when deciding which driving school to attend.
Hours of instruction and training
Alberta Transportation requires new drivers with a Class 7 Learner's or a Class 5 Graduated Driver's Licence (GDL) complete at least 15 hours of classroom and 10 hours of in-vehicle instruction and to pass the knowledge and practical assessments to receive a Notice of Driver Education Course Completion form from the driver training school.
Drivers who already have a Class 5 non-GDL licence must complete at least 15 hours of classroom and a minimum of 6 hours of in-vehicle training.
The Notice of Driver Education Course Completion form may be used to get a discount on your vehicle insurance.
Driver training school and instructors are licensed
To become licensed in Alberta, driver training schools and driving instructors must meet specific requirements as outlined by Alberta Transportation and the Driver Training Regulation.
Rates, hours of training and refund policy
If you request, the driver training school must provide a written policy of the rates (including all charges), hours of training and refund policy.
Course outline for classroom and in-vehicle training
The Class 5 curriculum criteria (PDF, 109 KB) for classroom and in-vehicle training is set by Alberta Transportation. The outline will give you an idea of the material that will be covered and how well the lessons are planned and carried out. While this is only an outline, it also shows what the average student should be able to do with proper instruction by the end of the course.
Ask to talk to someone who can tell you how the classroom is run and what teaching aids and methods are used. Some examples of classroom teaching methods are lecture, one-on-one and group discussion. Methods of instruction used during the in-vehicle instructor training sessions include hands-on practice and instructor demonstrations, observations and illustrations.
Parent/guardian involvement in the education and training
Parents and guardians play a large role in helping the new driver gain experience through practicing. Many driving schools have programs to involve parents.
Training vehicles are safe and well-maintained
Driver training schools must have their training vehicles inspected annually if the vehicle is older than the current year. The inspection certificate must be in the vehicle at all times.
Training on a standard-transmission vehicle
Some driving schools will provide a vehicle for standard-transmission/manual shift training.
How to prepare for the course
When you register for the course, you should be provided with the books and information needed to prepare for the course. This may include a workbook, progress report card and the Alberta Driver's Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing: Cars & Light Trucks.
You must attend all classes to qualify to write the knowledge assessment. Driver training schools must offer a minimum of 15 hours of classroom instruction. The class size will range from 10 to 30 students. The duration of classroom sessions will vary: Weekday evenings may be 3 to 4 hours and weekends 8 to 8.5 hours.
There will be lectures, group work, class discussions, videos and homework.
You will likely have the same instructor for all sessions.
Your classroom and in-vehicle instructor may or may not be the same person.
Guest speakers may include someone from police, ambulance and fire departments.
In-vehicle training can include:
- behind-the-wheel, hands-on training
- discussing the lesson before and after driving
- preparing for new activities through demonstration, illustration and observation
- grading and feedback after each lesson and at the end of the course - a minimum overall score of 7.5 out of 10 is required by the end of the training
What you can expect from a driving school
The driving instructor will:
- provide proof of identification on request
- keep the conversation focused on driver education material
- be courteous and professional at all times
- provide clear and accurate information and instruction, in a timely manner throughout the lessons
- provide clear feedback regarding areas performed well and areas requiring improvement
- provide assistance assessing when the student should take the Class 5 driver’s road test
You can order the Class 5 Driver Education: A Guide for Students from Alberta Queen's Printer.
To connect with Driver Programs and Licensing Standards:
Driver Programs and Licensing Standards
1st Floor, Twin Atria Building
4999 98 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T6B 2X3
Driver Programs and Licensing Standards
1st Floor, Willowglen Business Park
803 Manning Road NE
Calgary, Alberta T2E 7M8