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 licence.

  • Training includes a government-mandated number of training hours in-class, in-yard and in-vehicle.
  • Standardized curriculums are taught at all licensed Alberta driving schools.
  • Knowledge and road tests for Class 1 and Class 2 drivers will be comprised of the new curriculum.

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
  • complete the 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 before participating in the MELT program. Medical forms are available from a registry agent or a doctor.

Requirements

  • New Class 1 or 2 Alberta drivers

    Step 1. Complete MELT program

    You must participate in training delivered by a 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.
    • 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
    • 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.

    In-yard training

    The standardized in-yard training session is:

    • Class 1: 15.5 hours
    • Class 2: 10.6 hours
    • Class 2-S: 11 hours

    Practical training

    The standardized practical training session is:

    • Class 1: 57 hours
    • Class 2: 21.25 hours
    • Class 2-S: 24 hours

    Curriculum for Class 1, 2 and 2-S

    Class 1

    Class 2

    Class 2-S

    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 $5,000 for Class 2 and Class 2-S MELT

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

    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 driver's knowledge test.

    Step 3. Schedule road test

    You have the option to schedule a Class 1 or 2 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.

    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.

    Curriculum

    Class 1

    Class 2

    Class 2-S

    For more information, see Apply for a licence for a driver training school.

  • Existing Class 1 or 2 Alberta drivers

    Licence received prior to 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, enhanced knowledge test or enhanced road test.

    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 must take the new enhanced knowledge test and enhanced road test when they become available in March 2019. You must successfully complete these tests to keep your Class 1 or Class 2 driver’s licence.
    • You will receive a letter from Driver Programs and Licensing Standards (DPLS) with details on how to take the enhanced knowledge test and road test. You will have 2 attempts to pass these tests.

    The Government of Alberta will pay for the first enhanced knowledge test and first enhanced road test. You must pay for all other costs, including the vehicle rental.

    If you fail either enhanced test, you will have one more chance to take the test at your own expense.

    When MELT is required for existing Class 1 or 2 Alberta drivers

    If you fail both the enhanced knowledge test and the enhanced road tests after 2 attempts:

    • your driver’s licence will be re-classified to the licence class you held before getting your Class 1 or Class 2 driver’s licence
    • you must take the MELT program to get a Class 1 or 2 driver’s licence

    For more information, refer to the letter you received from DPLS.

    If you do not pass the enhanced knowledge test or enhanced road test before March 1, 2020, you will be required to take the MELT program.

  • 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 Class 1 or Class 2 MELT program in another Canadian jurisdiction, you are not required to take Alberta’s MELT program, the enhanced knowledge test or enhanced road test to get an Alberta Class 1 or Class 2 driver’s licence.

    Canadian jurisdictions without MELT programs

    Drivers with a Class 1 or 2 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, the enhanced knowledge test or the enhanced road test.

    Drivers with a Class 1 or 2 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:

    • take the Class 1 or Class 2 enhanced knowledge test and enhanced road test (if you pass these tests on the first attempt, you are not required to take Alberta’s MELT program), or
    • complete Alberta’s MELT Program and take the Class 1 or 2 enhanced knowledge test and enhanced road test

    If you do not pass either the knowledge test or the road test on the first attempt, you must complete Alberta’s MELT Program.

    Drivers with a Class 1 or 2 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 enhanced knowledge test and the enhanced road test.

  • Training extension for farmers

    To support a successful 2019 farming season, farmers and farm workers will have until November 30, 2019 to apply for an extension to comply with the MELT program for new commercial drivers.

    Apply for an extension

    To be eligible, farmers must apply for the extension by filling out the application form (PDF, 207 KB) on behalf of their employees.

    Drivers who get their Class 1 licence under the extension must still meet the new MELT standards. These drivers must take and pass the enhanced knowledge and road test (based on the new Class 1 MELT curriculum) by March 1, 2020, in order to retain their Class 1 licences.

    More information on the application process and how to get and keep your farmer's extension Class 1 licence is included in the MELT: Agriculture Industry fact sheet (PDF, 71 KB).

    How it works

    Until November 30, 2019, drivers approved for an extension can continue to:

    • get a Class 1 licence under the existing process
    • take the existing (pre-MELT) knowledge and road test to get their Class 1 licence
    • study the Commercial Driver's Guide to prepare for testing

    Farmers and farm workers are still encouraged to take the MELT program, but it is not mandatory during the extension period.

    Class 1 requirements

    Drivers must meet all other Class 1 requirements:

    • be at least 18 years old
    • have a non-probationary Class 2, 3, 4 or 5 Alberta driver’s licence (Graduated Driver’s Licensing Program drivers are not eligible for a Class 1 licence)
    • have an approved Class 1 driver’s medical completed by a physician
    • have successfully completed the Air Brake Endorsement Program
  • Training extension for school bus drivers

    To support Alberta’s schools, new school bus drivers will have until July 31, 2019 to apply for an extension to comply with the MELT program for new commercial drivers and to get their required School Bus Driver Improvement Program S-endorsement.

    Apply for an extension

    To be eligible, school bus providers must apply for the extension by filling out the application form (PDF, 197 KB) on behalf of their employees.

    Drivers who get their Class 2 licence under the extension must still meet the new MELT standards. These drivers must take and pass the enhanced knowledge and road test (based on the new Class 2 MELT curriculum) by March 1, 2020, in order to retain their Class 2 licence.

    How it works

    Until July 31, 2019, drivers approved for an extension can continue to:

    • get a Class 2 licence under the pre-MELT process
    • take the pre-MELT knowledge and road test to get their Class 2 licence
    • study the Commercial Driver's Guide to prepare for testing
    • get their S-endorsement training up until July 31, 2019

    More information on the application process and how to get and keep your school extension Class 1 licence is included in the MELT: Education and school authorities fact sheet (PDF, 71 KB).

    New school bus drivers are still encouraged to take the MELT program, but it is not mandatory during the extension period.

    Class 2 requirements

    Drivers must meet all other Class 2 requirements:

    • be at least 18 years old
    • have a non-probationary Class 3, 4 or 5 Alberta driver's licence (Graduated Driver’s Licensing Program drivers are not eligible for a Class 2 licence)
    • have an approved Class 2 driver’s medical completed by a physician
    • have successfully completed the Air Brake Endorsement Program, if applicable

Public engagement

We received feedback from more than 3,300 key stakeholders and members of the public on three initiatives to improve traffic safety in Alberta:

  • mandatory entry-level training for all commercial truck and bus drivers
  • pre-entry requirements for new commercial carriers
  • returning the road test program to a government-run model

The vast majority of participants supported mandatory entry-level training for new commercial drivers.

Learn more about the engagement

News

Contact

To connect with Driver Programs 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: trans.driver.prog@gov.ab.ca

Address:

Driver Programs 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: trans.driver.prog@gov.ab.ca

Address:

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