Changes to impaired driving laws

Alberta’s impaired driving laws are changing effective December 1, 2020. A new Roadside Sanction program will keep our roads safer by providing serious and immediate consequences for all impaired drivers. Read Freeing up police and courts to make Alberta safer for more information.

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Fully (non-GDL) licensed drivers with demerit driving suspensions can apply to the Restricted Driver’s Licence Program to get a Restricted Driver’s Licence which allows them to drive for primary employment, health or educational reasons.

Demerit driving suspensions are applied if you accumulate 15 or more demerit points within 2 years. Demerit points are assigned for traffic violations.

For more information, see the Demerit Point Program and Service of Documents Regulation in the Traffic Safety Act.


Factors such as hours of work, travel time to and from work, shift work, training commitments and health needs are considered in assessing applications for this program.

You are eligible to participate in the program if you meet the following criteria:

  • you live or are employed in a remote area without readily available access to other means of transportation (for example public transportation)
  • you have a valid Alberta driver’s licence at the time you receive the Notice of Suspension
  • your driver’s licence is not a Class 7 learner’s licence, probationary or Graduated Driver Licence (GDL)
  • your suspension was imposed because of an accumulation of demerit points
  • you have no other active or pending suspension(s) or any types of warrants(s)
  • you have not served any demerit or Criminal Code (Canada) suspension(s) within the past 2 years
  • all outstanding fines and non‐alcohol reinstatement fees must be paid in full
  • you are able to provide a copy of a current Letter of Employment or proof of self-employment, a copy of your program/school schedule or a complete listing of all pending and pre-scheduled medical appointments
  • any other reinstatement conditions must be met

For more information on the eligibility criteria, see the Restricted Driver's Licence Program – Demerit Suspensions information sheet, also available at any Alberta Registry Agent.

For proof of self-employment, you are required to provide one of the following:

  • valid employment contract for the full duration of the demerit suspension, duly dated and signed by all parties
  • valid sub-contractor agreement for the full duration of the demerit suspension, duly dated and signed by all parties
  • a Statutory Declaration, outlining:
    • the name and contact details of the contracting company
    • the individual’s name and contact details representing the contracting company
    • the duration of the contract
    • reasons to prove that a driver’s licence is required to fulfil the job entailed in the contract
    • the type of documentation the applicant will provide to satisfy law enforcement regarding the purpose of driving, such a way bills or work orders
    • an explanation for not establishing a legal employment contract/sub-contractor agreement

If you do not provide satisfactory proof of self-employment, your application will be denied and you will not be reimbursed for the cost of the application. You can appeal this decision with the Alberta Transportation Safety Board.

The Restricted Driver’s Licence applies to your primary employment, program/school, or your own medical condition only. Considerations for a secondary source of employment, program/school or the medical condition of others will not be taken into consideration.

To help you confirm your eligibility, you can purchase a Suspension Verification form from any Alberta registry agent. This form provides details of your driver’s licence suspension, including your reinstatement date and any reinstatement conditions included in the Notice of Suspension.

Graduated Driver’s Licence (GDL) Drivers

GDL drivers are not eligible to participate in the Restricted Driver’s Licence Program. However, if you are eligible to exit the GDL program to become a fully licensed driver, you can schedule an appointment for the Class 5 Advanced Road Test with any Alberta registry agent. Once you have passed the Class 5 Advanced Road Test, you can exit the GDL program by obtaining a non-GDL licence, and at that time you may apply for a Restricted Driver’s Licence.

How to apply

Step 1. Purchase an application form

Once you have determined that you are eligible to apply, you can purchase an application form from any Alberta registry agent for $150 and the registry agent service fee. The fees are non‐refundable regardless of acceptance into the program.

Step 2.  Submit the application form

Ensure both sides of the form are fully completed and submit your application to Driver Fitness and Monitoring.

Submitting your application for the Restricted Driver’s Licence program does not guarantee acceptance. It can take up to 5 business days for your application to be processed.

Step 3. Complete a phone interview

Alberta Transportation will review your application to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria. By signing the application form, you authorize Alberta Transportation staff to contact your employer, physician, educator or family member to confirm the information on your application.

If you are self‐employed, you must complete the “Employer” section with your own information on the back of the application. Applications will not be reviewed if it is left blank and will be sent back to you for completion.

You will be interviewed over the phone about your application.

Step 4. You will be notified of application status

You will be contacted by phone and by mail to be advised of the result of your application.

If approved, you will receive a letter of confirmation outlining the restrictions which apply to your Restricted Driver’s Licence.

Step 5. Get a Restricted Driver’s Licence

Once you have been approved, you can get a Restricted Driver’s Licence from any Alberta registry agent. You must turn in your regular driver’s licence before the Restricted Driver’s Licence can be issued.

The Restricted Driver’s Licence is valid for the length of your suspension term only, unless it has been revoked. It includes a visible ‘restricted’ designation which includes the restriction terms. Your restricted designation and specific restriction terms are also entered into a central computer system which is accessible to law enforcement agencies.

Appeals/Reviews of a Restricted Driver’s Licence Application Decision

Decisions regarding the Restricted Driver’s Licence Application can be appealed to the Alberta Transportation Safety Board (ATSB). You will receive a letter you outlining the steps to appeal this decision. You must appeal the decision within 30 days of the date of the decision. For more information, contact ATSB.

Further to the Traffic Safety Act, a request for a review or an appeal of the decision must be made within 30 calendar days from the date you received the decision letter


If you violate the program’s restrictions:

  • your Restricted Driver’s Licence will be revoked and you will have to serve the remainder of your demerit suspension term without it
  • you cannot reapply to the Restricted Driver’s Licence Program during the remainder of your suspension term
  • the vehicle you are driving may be seized for 30 days
  • you may be charged with driving while your driver’s licence is suspended
    • if you are charged and convicted of driving while suspended, your driver’s licence will be suspended for at least 6 more months

If you are charged with a driving offence, your Restricted Driver’s Licence will be immediately revoked.

After your suspension term

When your suspension term is over, 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 abstract (driving record). These points will stay on your record for 2 years from the date of reinstatement.


Connect with Driver Fitness and Monitoring:

Driver fitness monitoring contact form

Phone: 780-427-8230
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)

Hours: 8:15 am to 12:00 pm, and 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)

To connect with the Alberta Transportation Safety Board:

Hours: 8:15 am to 12:00 pm, and 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)

North office (if you live north of Red Deer)

Phone: 780-427-7178 (ext. 6)
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-422-9739

Alberta Transportation Safety Board
Main Floor, Twin Atria Building
4999 98 Avenue NW
Edmonton, Alberta  T6B 2X3

South office (Red Deer and south)

Phone: 403-297-3466 (ext. 6)
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 403-297-4139

Alberta Transportation Safety Board
Suite 302, Willow Park Centre
10325 Bonaventure Drive SE
Calgary, Alberta  T2J 7E4