Overview

Mandatory training for new Class 1 and Class 2 commercial drivers will result in safer and more highly skilled drivers working in the truck and bus industries. Drivers seeking a Class 1 (tractor trailer) or Class 2 (bus) licence are required to complete Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) to apply for their commercial driver’s licence. Training includes a government-mandated number of training hours for in-class, in-yard and in-vehicle modules with standardized curriculums being taught at all licensed Alberta driver training schools.

See eligibility criteria for Class 1 and Class 2 driver’s licences at Obtaining a commercial licence.

To confirm that you are medically eligible to apply for a Class 1 or 2 driver’s licence, it is recommended that you complete a medical assessment through a physician or nurse practitioner before participating in the MELT program. Medical forms are available from an Alberta registry agent or an Alberta physician, or nurse practitioner. Medical forms can only be approved by a registry agent or by Alberta Transportation’s Driver Fitness and Monitoring.

Requirements

  • New Class 1 or 2 Alberta drivers

    Step 1. Complete MELT program

    You must successfully complete training delivered by an Alberta licensed driver training school. Refer to the list to find a school that provides the MELT program for the desired class of licence. Not every school offers every MELT program.

    • Class 1 MELT program will take 113 hours to complete. This total does not include the Air Brake program, which is approximately 8.5 additional hours.
    • Experience and Equivalency Class 1 MELT program will take 40 hours to complete. This total does not include the Air Brake program, which is approximately 8.5 additional hours. For details on the program eligibility, read the Experience and Equivalency Class 1 MELT section below.
    • Class 2 MELT program will take approximately 50 hours to complete.
    • Class 2-S MELT program will take 53.5 hours to complete.

    Classroom training

    The standardized classroom session is:

    • Class 1: 40.5 hours
    • Experience and Equivalence Class 1: 11 hours
    • Class 2: 18 hours
    • Class 2-S: 19.5 hours

    To operate a vehicle equipped with air brakes, you must have an air brake (Q-endorsement) on your driver’s licence. To get a Class 1 driver’s licence, you must first successfully complete the air brake program to get your Q-endorsement.

    In-yard training

    The standardized in-yard training session is:

    • Class 1: 15.5 hours
    • Experience and Equivalency Class 1: 6.5 hours
    • Class 2: 10.6 hours
    • Class 2-S: 9.5 hours

    Practical training

    The standardized practical training session is:

    • Class 1: 57 hours
    • Experience and Equivalency Class 1: 22.5 hours
    • Class 2: 21.25 hours
    • Class 2-S: 24.5 hours

    Costs

    To ensure training costs are fair and accessible, the maximum amount a driver training school or organization can charge is:

    • up to $10,000 for Class 1 MELT
    • up to $4,000 for Experience and Equivalency Class 1 MELT
    • up to $5,000 for Class 2 MELT
    • up to $5,000 for Class 2-S MELT

    Driver training providers may choose to charge less, depending on their organization.

    Step 2. Pass driver's knowledge test

    Upon successfully completing the classroom portion of a MELT program you are eligible to attempt the Class 1 or Class 2 driver's knowledge test at an Alberta registry agent. To attempt the knowledge test you must have:

    • a completed Classroom Evaluation Form showing 80% or higher on the classroom assessments, or
    • have a MELT designation on your driving record indicating you have completed a MELT program in its entirety.

    Step 3. Schedule road test

    You have the option to schedule a Class 1 or 2 MELT driver's road test (as applicable) through the Alberta Road Test Scheduler online or in person at any Alberta registry agent.

    You must provide a vehicle for the road test that meets all legal requirements and has the following configuration.

    Class 1

    • a tractor-trailer with gross vehicle weight of at least 11,794 kg and a:
      • 13-speed manual transmission
      • full air brake system on both tractor and trailer (requires the Q-endorsement)
      • minimum tandem axle tractor and a tandem axle trailer
      • fifth wheel coupling device
      • single trailer with a minimum length of 48 feet and a minimum distance of 35 feet measured from the kingpin to the centre of each rear axle

    Class 2

    • a bus with a seating capacity of more than 24 passengers, excluding the driver. If the vehicle is equipped with air brakes, you must have either air brake training (Q-endorsement) or a course completion certificate from an approved air brake organization.

    Prior to your road test, you must go to any Alberta registry agent to confirm your eligibility and identity. This can be done up to 72 hours in advance of your scheduled test.

    Step 4. Pass road test

    You must pass the pre-trip inspection and the driver’s road test.

    Step 5. Go to the registry agent

    Once you have passed the pre-trip inspection and road test, you can go to any Alberta registry agent to get your Class 1 or 2 driver’s licence.

    For more information, go to the Upgrade to a commercial licence page.

  • Out-of-province Class 1 or 2 drivers

    Canadian jurisdictions with MELT programs

    If you have successfully completed an equivalent MELT program in another Canadian jurisdiction, you are not required to take Alberta’s MELT program or the MELT knowledge or road tests to get an Alberta Class 1 or Class 2 driver’s licence.

    Canadian jurisdictions without MELT programs

    Drivers with a Class 1 or 2 driver’s licence for more than 24 months

    If you have held a Class 1 or Class 2 driver’s licence from another Canadian jurisdiction for more than 24 months when you apply for an Alberta driver’s licence, you are not required to take Alberta’s MELT program or the MELT knowledge or road test.

    Drivers with a Class 1 or 2 driver’s licence for 12 to 24 months

    If you have held a Class 1 or Class 2 driver’s licence from another Canadian jurisdiction for 12 to 24 months when you apply for an Alberta driver’s licence, you can choose to:

    • pass the Class 1 or Class 2 MELT knowledge and road tests
      • if you fail either of these tests on the first attempt you must complete Alberta’s MELT program, or
    • complete Alberta’s MELT Program and take the Class 1 or 2 MELT knowledge and road tests

    Drivers with a Class 1 or 2 driver’s licence for less than 12 months

    If you have held your Class 1 or Class 2 driver’s licence from another Canadian jurisdiction for less than 12 months when you apply for an Alberta driver’s licence, you must complete Alberta’s MELT Program prior to taking the MELT knowledge and road tests.

    Drivers with a Quebec Class 1 Licence

    Drivers who have a Quebec Class 1 licence may apply for an Alberta Class 1 driver’s licence without having to take an Alberta Class 1 MELT course or the Class 1 MELT knowledge and road tests if they have:

    • completed a vocational training program, and
    • hold a Diploma of Vocational Studies (DEP) in truck transportation (for Class 1 only) issued by Quebec’s Ministère de l'Éducation et de l'Enseignement supérieur.

    You must provide proof of successful completion by presenting a registry agent with a copy of the transcript or the Diploma of Vocational Studies (DEP) in truck transportation.

  • Experience and Equivalency Class 1 MELT

    Notice: Transfer to other jurisdictions

    Class 1 driver’s licences earned through the Experience and Equivalency Class 1 MELT Program in Alberta may not be transferable to other jurisdictions (provinces and territories) where MELT designations are required. If you are looking to transfer your Alberta driver’s licence to other Canadian jurisdictions, check with them to determine their requirements.

    This does not affect interprovincial travel while you remain an Alberta resident.

    To recognize the experience gained by drivers operating commercial trucks, a shorter version of the Class 1 MELT program is available.

    The Experience and Equivalency Class 1 MELT Program fees are capped at $4,000.

    For more information on the Experience and Equivalency Class 1 MELT program, read the Experience and Equivalency Class 1 MELT Program Overview.

    To take the Experience and Equivalency Class 1 MELT program, drivers must:

    Step 1. Apply to Alberta Transportation

    To apply, please submit a completed Experience and Equivalency Class 1 Mandatory Entry Level Training Application to [email protected].

    To be eligible, drivers must:

    • have a valid Alberta Class 1, 2 or 3 driver’s licence
    • have held an Alberta Class 1, 2 or 3 driver’s licence or the equivalent driver’s licence from another Canadian jurisdiction for 2 or more years
    • have 2 or more years of work experience operating a motor vehicle with 3 or more axles

    As part of the application, you will need to submit documentation that demonstrates experience.

    Step 2. Receive approval from Alberta Transportation

    You will receive an emailed response from Alberta Transportation approving or denying your eligibility after your application has been reviewed.

    Step 3. Provide approval to driver training school to schedule training

    You must provide the Alberta Transportation approval to the driver training school before they will schedule you for the Experience and Equivalency Class 1 MELT program.

Contact

Connect with MELT and Licensing Standards:

  • Edmonton office

    Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
    Phone: 780-427-8230
    Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
    Email: [email protected]

    Address:
    MELT and Licensing Standards
    Alberta Transportation
    1st Floor, Twin Atria Building
    4999 98 Avenue
    Edmonton, Alberta  T6B 2X3

  • Calgary office

    Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
    Phone: 780-427-8230
    Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
    Email: [email protected]

    Address:
    MELT and Licensing Standards
    Alberta Transportation
    1st Floor, Willowglen Business Park
    803 Manning Road NE
    Calgary, Alberta  T2E 7M8

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