Overview

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 in order to be approved to participate.

Demerit driving suspensions are administered when fully-licensed drivers accumulate 15 or more demerit points within a two-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.

Eligibility

Factors such as readily available access to other means of transportation (i.e.: public transportation, etc.), hours of work, travel time to and from work and medical needs are considered in assessing your application and supporting documents to participate.

The restricted driver’s licence applies to your primary employment, education or your own medical condition only. Applications for a secondary source of employment, education or the medical condition of others will not be taken into consideration.

You can confirm your eligiblility to participate by fully 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.

To help confirm your eligibility for the Restricted Driver’s Licence (Demerit) Program, it is strongly recommended you purchase a driver's abstract from any Alberta registry agent.

Prior to purchasing the Restricted Driver’s Licence (Demerit) Program application form from an Alberta registry agent, please ensure you have fully read, understand and agree to the eligibility criteria listed in the Restricted Driver’s Licence (Demerit) Program Information Sheet.

Graduated Driver’s Licence Drivers

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, please 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

Please ensure both sides of the application form are fully completed and submit your application to Driver Fitness and Monitoring. If you have supporting documents, please submit with your application as one submission.

Submitting your application for the Restricted Driver’s Licence (Demerit) Program does not guarantee your acceptance.

Please allow up to 5 business days for processing. To expedite processing, please ensure your employer, educator or physician is aware that Driver Fitness and Monitoring 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.

Self Employment:

Failure to provide satisfactory proof of self-employment will result in the automatic denial of your application without reimbursement of the cost of the application. Full details on how to prove your self-employment status can be found in the Restricted Driver’s Licence (Demerit) Program Information Sheet.

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

Step 3. Application assessment and telephone interview

Driver Fitness and Monitoring reviews your application form / supporting documents, motor vehicle file and driving record to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria. By signing the application form, you authorize Driver Fitness and Monitoring to contact your employer, educator or physician to confirm details provided in your application and supporting documents.

In assessing the application form, Driver Fitness and Monitoring considers factors such as readily available access to other means of transportation (i.e.: public transportation), hours of work, travel time to and from, etc.

Prior to approval or denial of your application form, applicants are interviewed by telephone to confirm the application form details and eligibility.

In accordance with Section 16(1) of the Operator Licensing and Vehicle Control Regulation, a person who holds or applies for a driver’s licence shall immediately disclose to the Registrar a disease or disability that may be expected to interfere with the safe operation of a motor vehicle by the person. As a result, the personal information collected and disclosed may be utilized to establish driver fitness and/or 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.

If approved:

  • you will be advised by telephone so you can proceed to any Alberta registry agent to obtain a restricted driver’s licence, and
  • you will receive a letter of approval by mail outlining the restrictions which apply to your Restricted Driver’s Licence.

Your motor vehicle file will be updated by Driver Fitness and Monitoring to reflect the approval and the associated restrictions of your restricted driver’s licence.

If denied:

  • you will be notified by telephone, and
  • 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, please visit an Alberta registry agent with identification to update your address.

If denied, you can apply for a review through the Registrar Reconsideration process. Please 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 you have been 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.

For example, a driver may receive approval for a restricted driver’s licence to fulfill job duties for deliveries of products during specific hours. The highly visible restricted designation displaying on the face of the restricted driver’s licence and in the central computer system accessible by law enforcement may appear as:

Restricted to driving for ABC123 Company during the hours of Monday to Friday from 7:00 am – 9:00 am only

If stopped by law enforcement, they will require proof from you to demonstrate how you are meeting the identified restrictions.

Note 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, or
  • your need for the restricted driver’s licence is not substantiated until the end of the demerit suspension term. In this case, you will remain suspended without an ability to drive until your demerit suspension term ends.

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.

Penalties

If you receive a driving-related traffic ticket or contravention (i.e. speeding, distracted driving, suspension under the Immediate Roadside Sanctions Program, etc.) while participating in the Restricted Driver’s Licence (Demerit) Program, 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:

  • your restricted driver’s licence will be revoked, and you will be required to serve the rest of your demerit suspension without an ability to drive;
  • 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; and
  • you may face additional charges of driving while unauthorized by law enforcement. If convicted, this will result in an additional driver’s licence suspension.

Requesting review of a Restricted Driver’s Licence (Demerit) Program application decision

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 of error made by Driver Fitness and Monitoring on the original decision, or
  • new information that was not available to/considered by Driver Fitness and Monitoring in the original decision.

Should you wish to have this decision reconsidered by the Registrar or if you have any further questions regarding the Registrar Reconsideration process, see Contact Registrar Reconsideration.

Note: Once an applicant applies for a Registrar Reconsideration, any department contact, Minister’s Office or Premier’s Office will not be able to comment or assist on the issue that is before the Registrar for reconsideration 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.

Contact

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 pm, and 1 to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)