Overview

There are 4 classes of commercial driver’s licences in Alberta, and each one allows you to drive different types of vehicles.

Class Allows you to drive
1 – Commercial
  • any motor vehicle other than a motorcycle
  • Class 6 vehicles as a learner only
2 – Commercial
(bus)
  • any motor vehicle that the holder of a Class 3, 4 or 5 driver’s licence is allowed to drive
  • a bus
  • a Class 1 or 6 vehicles as a learner only
3 – Commercial
(3 axles or more)
  • any motor vehicle that the holder of a Class 5 licence may drive
  • a single motor vehicle with 3 or more axles
  • a motor vehicle with 3 or more axles that is towing a trailer with one or more axles (if the trailer is not equipped with airbrakes)
  • a Class 1, 2, 4 or 6 vehicles as a learner only

However, you cannot drive a vehicle that:

  • can seat more than 15 people including the driver
  • transports passengers for hire
4 – Commercial
(taxi, ambulance)
  • a taxi, ambulance or bus (including a school or kindergarten bus) that seats fewer than 25 people including the driver
  • all motor vehicles included under Class 5
  • a Class 1, 2, 3 or 6 vehicles as a learner only

To upgrade to a commercial driver’s licence, you’ll need:

  • photo ID

Visit the ID requirements page to find out what types of documents you need.

For Class 3 and Class 4, it is recommended, though not mandatory, to take a driver's education course before upgrading to a commercial driver's licence.

Eligibility

To upgrade to a commercial licence you must:

  • have a full Class 5 driver’s licence
  • be a least 18 years old

Effective March 1, 2019, all new Class 1 and 2 commercial drivers must successfully complete Mandatory Entry-Level Training.

Effective March 1, 2019, driver’s licence requirements for school bus drivers have changed. See the School Bus Driver Improvement Program for more information.

How to upgrade

Step 1. Take a knowledge test

Go to a registry agent and take a driver's knowledge test. You will need to pay a $17 fee to take the test. You can take the test once a day.

You will need to bring acceptable ID.

To drive a vehicle with air brakes, you must pass an air brake knowledge test. For more information, check the Air Brake Program.

Step 2. Pass a vision test

A registry agent will test your vision to see if your vision is good enough to drive.

A medical report form from your doctor will be required for class 1, 2 and 4 licences.

Step 3. Pass a road test

Schedule a road test through a registry agent or online through the Alberta Road Test Scheduler.

Registry agents have a road test information sheet that lets you know what you need, including:

  • eligibility
  • vehicle requirements
  • required documents
  • fees and cancellation/no-show policies

Effective March 1, 2019, all road tests are conducted by Government of Alberta employees and road test fees are standardized.

If you purchased a road test permit before March 1, 2019 and were not able to take the road test before February 28, 2019, you must contact the registry agent location where you purchased the permit before August 31, 2019 to receive a full refund for the cost of the permit, including the service charge.

Step 4. Purchase your licence card

If you successfully pass the knowledge test, road test and vision test, you will be able to upgrade to a commercial class driver’s licence.

You will be given a temporary licence that’s valid for 30 days or until your licence card comes in the mail.

Your licence card should arrive in 7- 10 business days. If it hasn’t arrived in 21 days, call the number on the back of your temporary licence and you’ll be given instructions on what to do. Report the missing licence to a registry agent within 60 days of applying, or you may be charged for a replacement.

When you get your licence card, you’ll have to destroy the temporary licence.

Cost

A knowledge test costs $17 plus GST.

Effective March 1, 2019, all road tests are conducted by Government of Alberta employees and road test fees are standardized. See Driver’s road test for more information.

The maximum charges for the tests are outlined in the Registry Agent Product Catalogue (PDF, 379 KB).

Exchanging your licence for a commercial class licence

The fee for exchanging your licence card (not including GST) is $13.00. You can extend your licence expiry for several years.

# of years valid Cost
1 $21
2 $37
3 $53
4 $69
5 $84

Contact

To connect with Motor Vehicles:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-7013
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: mv@gov.ab.ca