GDL licenses and the new changes

GDL licenses & the new changes

Changes to the Alberta Driver Licensing System

The Alberta Government recently announced some changes to the Alberta Driver Licensing Program. The changes came into effect on April 1, 2023.

What is the Graduated Driver Licensing Program?

Under the old law, drivers were required to take a road test after 1 year of having a Class 7 learner’s license to obtain a Class 5 Basic (GDL) License. Once you were given a Class 5 GDL License, you remained a probationary driver for at least 2 years and were subject to certain conditions. These conditions included, amongst others, having your license suspended with 8 or more demerit points, and not being able to serve as an accompanying driver to someone with a learner’s license. To have these conditions lifted, GDL drivers would have to take a second and more advanced driving test to obtain their full license.

What changes were made to the GDL program?

Effective April 1, 2023, it is no longer necessary to take a second road test to obtain your full Class 5 Alberta driver’s license. Instead, there will be one longer test which will include elements from both the basic and advanced driving tests. The Alberta Government has stated that the cost of $154 associated with taking another advanced road test is oftentimes what prevented drivers from upgrading to a full license.

Am I automatically eligible to upgrade to a full license?

Drivers who held the GDL license before April 1, 2023, may be eligible to exit the program and be upgraded to a full license. Provided you do not receive a suspension or demerit in the last 12 months, and completed the probationary period, you will likely be eligible for an upgrade to your license, so long as you have met certain other requirements.  Drivers already in the GDL program will be advised by mail if they qualify for the upgrade.


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