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Overview

Mandatory training for new Class 1 and Class 2 commercial drivers will result in safer, more highly skilled drivers working in the truck and bus industries.

Effective March 1, 2019, 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.
  • Standardized curriculums are taught at all licensed Alberta driver training schools.
  • Knowledge and road tests for Class 1 and Class 2 drivers are comprised of the new MELT curriculums.

Eligibility

To get a Class 1 or 2 driver’s licence you must:

  • be at least 18 years of age
  • hold any class of Alberta non-probationary driver’s licence (Graduated Driver’s Licensing Program drivers are not eligible for a Class 1 or 2 driver’s licence)
  • have an approved Alberta driver’s medical examination report completed by a physician or nurse practitioner and approved by a registry agent or Alberta Transportation’s Driver Fitness and Monitoring before taking MELT training
    • this will ensure you are medically eligible for a Class 1 or Class 2 licence prior to investing in training
  • pass the Air Brake Program (Q Endorsement), if applicable
  • pass the School Bus Driver Improvement Program (S-Endorsement) — required for school bus drivers
  • complete a MELT program

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 participate in training delivered by an Alberta licensed driver training school. Refer to the list to find a school that provides the 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 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: 18.5 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: 11 hours

    Practical training

    The standardized practical training session is:

    • Class 1: 57 hours
    • Experience and Equivalency Class 1: 22.50 hours
    • Class 2: 21.25 hours
    • Class 2-S: 24 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 each for Class 2 and Class 2-S MELT

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

    Subject to funding availability, there may be support and training opportunities available through the Canada-Alberta Job Grant (CAJG) program to those who meet eligibility requirements. The CAJG helps employers who are not in the public sector. The Canada‑Alberta Job Grant is a training program where an employer applies on behalf of their present or future employee(s) for eligible training costs. Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT) can be funded through this program.  Training must be provided by a third-party.

    Step 2. Pass driver knowledge test

    Once you complete the MELT program, go to any Alberta registry agent to complete the Class 1 or 2 MELT driver's knowledge test.

    Step 3. Schedule road test

    You have the option to schedule a Class 1 or 2 MELT driver's road test (as applicable) online through the Alberta Road Test Scheduler 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
      • 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 both the pre-trip inspection component and the practical on-road component of the 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.

  • Existing Class 1 or 2 Alberta drivers

    Licence received before October 11, 2018

    If you got a Class 1 or 2 driver’s licence before October 11, 2018, you are not required to take the MELT program or road tests.

    Transition drivers — licence received between October 11, 2018 and February 28, 2019

    If you got a Class 1 or 2 driver’s licence between October 11, 2018 and February 28, 2019, you were put on a probationary period that ended two years from the date you received your Class 1 or Class 2 licence. You must have maintained a clean driving record during the probationary period.

    A clean driving record is defined as:

    • No high-risk driving offences within the last 10 years. A high-risk driving offence is one that has incurred 6 or 7 demerits.
    • No driving-related suspensions within the last 10 years. This does not include a 24-hour suspension or the 3 day Immediate Roadside Suspension.
    • No demerit points accumulated since the Class 1 or Class 2 licence was issued.

    Drivers who maintained a clean driving record for the 2-year period will keep their commercial driver’s licence without having to take the MELT knowledge or road tests.

    Drivers who did not maintain a clean driving record for the 2-year period will be notified by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles and will have to pass the MELT knowledge and road tests within 90 days of that notification in order to keep their commercial licence.

    If you want to check the status of your driving record, you may request a copy of your driver abstract from any Alberta registry, for a fee.

    If you are identified for MELT testing, your notification will include a letter from Alberta Transportation with details on how to take the MELT knowledge and road tests. You will have 2 attempts to pass each of these tests.

    • Government will pay for your first MELT knowledge and road tests. You must pay for all other costs, including the vehicle rental.
    • If you fail either test on your first attempt, you will have one more chance to take the tests at your own expense.

    If you fail your second attempt at either the MELT knowledge or road test, your driver’s licence will be re-classed to the class of licence you held previously (for example, a Class 5) and you will have to take the MELT program to get a Class 1 or 2 licence.

  • Out-of-province Class 1 or 2 drivers

    If you transfer your Class 1 or Class 2 driver’s licence from another Canadian jurisdiction to Alberta after March 1, 2019, you will be subject to Alberta's new commercial driver training policies.

    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.

  • Experience and Equivalency Class 1 MELT

    To recognize the experience gained by drivers operating commercial trucks that require at least a Class 3 driver’s licence to operate, a shorter version of the Class 1 MELT program is available.

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

    Step 1. Apply to Alberta Transportation

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

    • have a valid Alberta Class 3 driver’s licence
    • have held an Alberta Class 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 (vehicles that requires at least a Class 3 licence to drive)

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

    As part of the application, you will need to submit documentation that demonstrates you have at least 2 years of experience driving vehicles with 3 or more axles commercially. Acceptable documentation is:

    • A signed letter(s) from an employer that states you have a minimum of 2 years work experience operating a single motor vehicle with 3 or more axles. The letter must include the employer’s contact information.
    • A signed letter(s) from customers or suppliers that specifies that you operate a vehicle with 3 or more axles to provide your service to them and have provided the service for a minimum of 2 years. The letter must include the customers’ or suppliers’ contact information.
    • A daily log book for a 2 year-period that meets the requirements under outlined in the Drivers’ Hours of Service Regulation or the Government of Canada’s Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations.

    Step 2. Receive approval from Alberta Transportation

    You will receive emailed approval of 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.

    Please ensure you have an approved Alberta driver’s medical examination report completed by a physician or nurse practitioner and approved by a registry agent or Alberta Transportation’s Driver Fitness and Monitoring before taking MELT training. This will ensure you are medically eligible for a Class 1 or Class 2 licence prior to investing in training.

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