In 2003, Alberta brought in its GDL program, which placed new drivers on a 24-month probationary period for safety and required an advanced road test in order to be removed from the program. Effective April 1, eligible drivers currently in the GDL program will save $154 by not having to take an advanced road test to get their full Class 5 or Class 6 Alberta driver’s licence.

“There are close to half a million drivers who will benefit from this. These changes will help GDL drivers exit the program and apply for other classes of driver’s licences whether it’s for a semi-truck, gravel truck or bus.”

Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Transportation and Economic Corridors

“This is a good common-sense approach that cuts red tape. Albertans have told us this was red tape - we listened and are addressing it. This change will also help make driver’s licensing more affordable for Albertans.”

Dale Nally, Minister of Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction

Over the past five years, about 65 per cent of drivers did not take their advanced road test and 99 per cent of motorcycle riders did not take the test. Moving forward, all restrictions of a GDL licence will remain in place until a driver has received a letter from the government indicating that they have exited the GDL program.

Starting April 1, drivers who have an urgent need to exit the GDL program – needing a non-GDL licence for a job, for example ­– can go to a registry agent office to confirm their eligibility. If the registry agent determines a driver is eligible, they will exchange the driver’s GDL licence for a non-GDL driver’s licence free of charge.

“Requiring a second test costs too much, it’s a roadblock to finding jobs and has created unnecessary red tape for my generation. The elimination of the Class 5 and Class 6 advanced road tests under the Graduated Driver Licensing program is one of the most significant cost-saving and red tape reduction measures introduced for young Alberta drivers.”

Mark Emes, student, Mount Royal University

On June 25, the Government of Alberta will implement technology that will automatically exit eligible Albertans who have demonstrated safe driving behaviours from GDL drivers to non-GDL status.

GDL drivers must have no suspensions or demerits within their last 12 months of probation, including zero tolerance for any alcohol and/or drug consumption.

Drivers who exhibit poor driving behaviours and incur demerits, or are ticketed for other unsafe driving offences during the last year of their probation will have their probationary period extended for an additional year.

Quick facts

  • About 700,000 Albertans are currently in the GDL program.
  • About 500,000 drivers may be eligible to exit the GDL program on April 1 under the new rules.
  • The criteria for exiting the GDL program is:
    • you must be 18 years of age
    • you must have completed your 24 months of probationary driving
      • if you have taken a Class 5 or Class 6 driver training program from a driver training school licensed by Transportation and Economic Corridors, you may be eligible to reduce the 24-month probationary period by up to six months
    • you must be suspension and demerit free for the last 12 months
  • In order to obtain a Class 4, 3, 2 or 1 driver's licence, a driver must first have a full (non-GDL) Class 5 driver's licence.
  • The Graduated Driver’s Licence program was established in 2003.