The Restricted Driver’s Licence (Demerit) Program allows fully licensed (non-Graduated Driver’s Licence) drivers with a demerit suspension to apply for and obtain a restricted driver’s licence to drive for their primary employment, education or medical purposes. Specific eligibility criteria must be met to be approved to participate.
Demerit driving suspensions are administered when fully licensed drivers accumulate 15 or more demerit points within a 2 year period. Demerit points are assigned for traffic violation contraventions.
For more information related to demerits, see the Demerit Point Program and Service of Documents Regulation in the Traffic Safety Act.
Factors such as readily available access to other means of transportation (for example, public transportation), hours of work, travel time to and from work and medical needs are considered in assessing your application and supporting documents to participate.
Applications for a secondary source of employment, education or the medical condition of others will not be taken into consideration.
Complete the following steps to confirm eligibility. Ensure you have fully read, understand and agree to the eligibility criteria listed in the Restricted Driver’s Licence (Demerit) Program Information Sheet.
- Confirm your eligibility to participate by reviewing the criteria listed in the Restricted Driver’s Licence (Demerit) Program Information Sheet, which is also available free of charge at any Alberta registry agent.
- Purchase a driver's abstract from any Alberta registry agent.
Those licensed under the Graduated Driver’s Licence Program are not eligible to participate in the Restricted Driver’s Licence (Demerit) Program.
However, if you are eligible to exit the Graduated Driver’s Licence Program to become a fully licensed driver, you can schedule an appointment for the Class 5 advanced road test. Once you have successfully completed the Class 5 advanced road test, you can exit the Graduated Driver’s Licence Program by obtaining a non-Graduated Driver’s Licence and at that time, you may apply to participate in the Restricted Driver’s Licence (Demerit) Program. This process must be fully completed prior to the demerit suspension taking effect.
How to apply
Step 1. Purchase an application form
Once you have confirmed you meet all eligibility criteria, you may purchase an application form from any Alberta registry agent.
As application form fees are non-refundable, ensure you fully read, understand and agree to the eligibility criteria listed in the Restricted Driver’s Licence (Demerit) Program Information Sheet prior to purchasing your application form.
Step 2. Submit the application form
Ensure both sides of the application form are fully completed and submit your application to Driver Program Client Support Centre. If you have supporting documents, submit with your application as one submission.
Submitting your application for the Restricted Driver’s Licence (Demerit) Program does not guarantee your acceptance.
Allow up to 5 business days for processing. To expedite processing, ensure your employer, educator or physician is aware we will be contacting them to confirm details provided in your application.
Delays in confirming this critical information will delay processing and the decision of your application form.
Step 3. Application assessment and telephone interview
We review your application form and supporting documents, motor vehicle file and driving record to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria. By signing the application form, you authorize us to contact your employer, educator or physician to confirm details provided in your application and supporting documents.
We consider factors such as access to other means of transportation (for example public transportation), hours of work, travel time to and from, and more.
Prior to approval or denial of your application form, we interview you by telephone to confirm the application form details and eligibility.
You must immediately disclose to the Registrar a disease or disability that could interfere with you safely operating your vehicle. As a result, we may use personal information to establish driver fitness and to maintain licensing privileges.
Step 4. You will be notified of application status
Approval to participate and related restrictions will vary based on individual needs and requirements.
You will be contacted by telephone and by mail regarding the result of your application.
- You will be advised by telephone so you can proceed to any Alberta registry agent to obtain a restricted driver’s licence.
- You will receive a letter of approval by mail outlining the restrictions which apply to your Restricted Driver’s Licence.
We will update your motor vehicle file to reflect the approval and the associated restrictions of your restricted driver’s licence.
- You will be notified by telephone.
- You will receive a letter of denial by mail outlining the rationale of the decision. The letter is mailed to the address listed on your motor vehicle file. If this is not correct, visit an Alberta registry agent with identification to update your address
If denied, you can apply for a review through the Registrar Reconsideration process. See the section below regarding requesting review of a Restricted Driver’s Licence (Demerit) Program application decision.
Step 5. Get a restricted driver’s licence
Once approved, you can obtain your restricted driver’s licence from any Alberta registry agent. You must surrender your regular driver’s licence before the restricted driver’s licence can be issued.
The restricted driver’s licence you will be issued carries a highly visible restricted designation, including your restriction terms. The restricted designation and your specific restriction terms are entered in a central computer system which is accessible by law enforcement agencies.
If stopped by law enforcement, they will require proof from you to demonstrate how you are meeting the identified restrictions.
There are associated fees to obtaining a restricted driver’s licence and non-restricted driver’s licence from an Alberta registry agent.
Obtaining your non-restricted driver’s licence
The restricted driver’s licence is generally valid for the length of your demerit suspension term, except when:
- Your restricted driver’s licence has been revoked for receiving a driving-related traffic ticket or contravention.
- Law enforcement determines you’re driving outside your restrictions.
You must return the restricted driver’s licence to any Alberta registry agent to have your non-restricted driver’s licence reissued.
After a demerit suspension, you will be reinstated with 7 demerit points on your driver’s abstract (driving record). These demerit points will stay on your record for 2 years from the date of reinstatement.
If you receive a driving-related traffic ticket (for example, speeding, distracted driving, or a DUI), your restricted driver's licence will be immediately revoked, and you will be required to serve the remainder of your demerit suspension term without an ability to drive.
If you do not abide by the restrictions of your restricted driver’s licence, you may face any of the following consequences:
- You cannot re-apply during this period to the Restricted Driver’s Licence (Demerit) Program.
- The vehicle you are driving may be seized by law enforcement.
- You may face additional charges of driving while unauthorized by law enforcement. If convicted, this will result in an additional driver’s licence suspension.
If your application to participate is denied, you can request a review of this decision.
Section 34 of the Traffic Safety Act allows for a denial decision to be reconsidered by the Registrar within 30 calendar days from the date of the decision letter. It is important to note the only applications eligible for reconsideration are those that are able to provide the following:
- indication we made an error on the original decision
- new information that was not available to us in the original decision
Go to Contact Registrar Reconsideration to have this decision reconsidered by the Registrar or if you have any further questions regarding the reconsideration process.
Once you apply for a Registrar Reconsideration, we will no longer comment or assist on the issue until that process has been completed. This protects the integrity of the Registrar Reconsideration processes and avoids any real or perceived influence, interference, or manipulation.
Connect with the Driver Programs Client Support Centre
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