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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 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
  • have successfully completed the Air Brake Program (Q Endorsement), if applicable
  • have successfully completed the School Bus Driver Improvement Program (S-Endorsement) — required for school bus drivers
  • 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 an Alberta registry agent or an Alberta physician. 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.
    • 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 to get your Q-Endorsement.

    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

    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 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. Funding can be used to help with truck/bus driver training when the trainee is unemployed, or when training is incremental, such as when an individual is moving to a different role in the organization. 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) 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
      • 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.

  • 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 will be put on a probationary period that ends two years from the date you received your Class 1 or Class 2 licence. You must maintain a clean driving record during that time.

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

    • If you do not have a clean driving record, you will have to pass the MELT knowledge and road tests by February 28, 2020 to keep your commercial licence.
    • If you receive any demerits, driver’s licence suspensions, cancellations or any serious violations during your two-year probation, you will have to pass the MELT knowledge and road tests within 90 days of receiving notice from the Registrar of Motor Vehicles, in order to keep your 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, you will get a letter from Alberta Transportation with details on how to take the MELT knowledge and road tests. You will have 2 attempts to pass 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 tests, 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.

  • MELT extension for farmers

    Farmers and farm workers have until November 30, 2020 to apply for an extension to comply with the MELT program, and until March 1, 2021 to pass the MELT knowledge and road tests.

    Apply for an extension

    To be eligible farmers must apply for the extension by filling out the application form (PDF, 163 KB) on behalf of their employees. Email the completed application form to Alberta Transportation at transitiondrivers@gov.ab.ca.

    Drivers must meet all other Class 1 eligibility requirements.

    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, 51 KB).

    How it works

    Drivers approved for an extension will have until March 1, 2021 to:

    • study the Commercial Driver's Guide to prepare for pre-MELT testing
    • pass the pre-MELT knowledge and road tests to get a Class 1 driver's licence
    • study the MELT Curriculum to prepare for MELT testing
    • pass the MELT knowledge and road tests to keep your Class 1 driver's licence
      • you will have two attempts to pass the MELT knowledge and road tests
      • the first MELT knowledge and road tests will be paid for by government, but the driver is responsible for all other costs of testing, such as the rental of a commercial vehicle for the road test

    Please leave ample time to complete both the pre-MELT and MELT testing before the March 1, 2021 deadline.

    If you do not pass the MELT knowledge and road tests before March 1, 2021, your driver's licence will revert to the class of licence you held when you first applied for the commercial driver's licence (for example, a Class 5 driver's licence). You will no longer be authorized to drive Class 1 commercial vehicles.

  • MELT extension for school bus drivers

    Thank you for your interest in the School Bus Extension. The deadline to apply has now passed and applications for the School Bus Extension are no longer being accepted. New school bus drivers must refer to the “Overview” section of this page for information on the Class 2 MELT requirements.

Contact

Connect with Driver Education and Examination 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 Education and Examination 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 Education and Examination Standards
Alberta Transportation
1st Floor, Willowglen Business Park
803 Manning Road NE
Calgary, Alberta  T2E 7M8