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, unless they have received an agricultural or school bus extension.

  • 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.

Government is reviewing the driver history of Class 1 and 2 drivers to determine if they will be required to retest in order to keep their commercial licence. Only drivers who got their licence under the pre-MELT system and who have a clean driving record will be considered, and will receive a letter in fall 2019 with details about these changes and any required next steps.

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
  • have successfully completed the Air Brake Program (Q Endorsement), if applicable
  • 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.

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.
    • 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

    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 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.

  • 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, 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 will receive a letter from Driver Programs and Licensing Standards (DPLS) in fall 2019 with details about your driving record and whether you will have to take the MELT-enhanced knowledge and road tests to keep your commercial licence.

    • Drivers with clean driving records (that is, no demerits, violations or suspensions) will not have to re-test.

    • Drivers with demerits, violations or suspensions will have to re-test or complete other requirements to keep their commercial licence.

    If you want to check your driving record while you wait for your letter, you may request a copy of your driver abstract from any Alberta registry, for a fee. Otherwise, your letter from DPLS will provide you this information for free.

  • 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 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, the enhanced knowledge test or the enhanced 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:

    • 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 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 enhanced knowledge test and the enhanced road test.

  • Training extension for farmers

    Farmers and farm workers will have until November 30, 2020 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, 163 KB). Email the completed application form to Alberta Transportation at transitiondrivers@gov.ab.ca.

    How it works

    Drivers approved for an extension will have until November 30, 2020 to:

    • study the Commercial Driver's Guide to prepare for testing
    • take and pass the pre-MELT knowledge test and road test to get their Class 1 driver's licence

    Government is reviewing the driver history of new Class 1 drivers who received a MELT extension. This review will determine if these drivers are required to retest to keep their commercial licence. Only drivers who got their licence under the pre-MELT system and who have a clean driving record will be considered, and will receive a letter in fall 2019 with details about these changes and any required next steps.

    Keeping your commercial licence

    You will receive a letter from Driver Programs and Licensing Standards (DPLS) with details about your driving record and whether you will have to take the MELT-enhanced knowledge and road tests to keep your commercial licence.

    • Drivers with clean driving records (that is, no demerits, violations or suspensions) will not have to re-test.
    • Drivers with demerits, violations or suspensions will have to re-test or complete other requirements to keep their commercial licence.

    If you want to check your driving record while you wait for your letter, you may request a copy of your driver abstract from any Alberta registry, for a fee. Otherwise, your letter from DPLS will provide you this information for free.

    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 valid Alberta driver’s licence (Graduated Driver’s Licensing Program drivers are not eligible for a Class 1 driver’s licence)
    • have an approved Class 1 Alberta driver’s medical examination report completed by a physician
    • have successfully completed the Air Brake (Q Endorsement) Program
  • Training extension for school bus drivers

    New school bus drivers will have until July 31, 2020 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, 153 KB) on behalf of their employees.

    How it works

    Drivers approved for an extension will have until July 31, 2020 to:

    Government is reviewing the driver history of Class 1 and 2 drivers to determine if they will be required to retest in order to keep their commercial licence. Only drivers who got their licence under the pre-MELT system and who have a clean driving record will be considered, and will receive a letter in fall 2019 with details about these changes and any required next steps.

    Keeping your commercial licence

    You will receive a letter from Driver Programs and Licensing Standards (DPLS) with details about your driving record and whether you will have to take the MELT-enhanced knowledge and road tests to keep your commercial licence.

    • Drivers with clean driving records (that is, no demerits, violations or suspensions) will not have to re-test.
    • Drivers with demerits, violations or suspensions will have to re-test or complete other requirements to keep their commercial licence.

    If you want to check your driving record while you wait for your letter, you may request a copy of your driver abstract from any Alberta registry, for a fee. Otherwise, your letter from DPLS will provide you this information for free.

    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 valid Alberta driver's licence (Graduated Driver’s Licensing Program drivers are not eligible for a Class 2 driver’s licence)
    • have an approved Class 2 Alberta driver’s medical examination report completed by a physician
    • have successfully completed the Air Brake (Q Endorsement) Program, if applicable
    • have successfully completed the School Bus Driver Improvement Program (S Endorsement), if applicable (required for school bus drivers)

Contact

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