Driving Requirements

This page is intended to provide information to members of the Department of Biological Sciences on driving University of Alberta vehicles. Additional information is available on the Facilities & Operations' Transportation and Parking website or by contacting Vehicle Pool (492-1920).

Express Service for previous drivers:

If you were previously approved and plan to drive again, simply advise the Fleet Safety Contact in the Department and they will contact Vehicle Pool to update your Alberta drivers licence abstract. If you are not sure if you have submitted the Driver Information Form and met the requirements, check with your Fleet Safety Contact or with Vehicle Pool.

Note: Vehicle pool checks drivers abstracts every 6 months for persons who continue to drive University vehicles. This is not new, they have been doing this since 2003. It's like getting your blood pressure (or tire pressure) checked regularly, they want to know "is it still OK" or if anything has changed.

Overview for New Employees: Everyone must be approved to drive before they may operate a University vehicle. This approval process is ongoing through periodic checks of all drivers' abstracts. New drivers will need to fulfill the requirements described below and:

Important Notes:

  • anyone carrying students as passengers on trips that are part of a credit course that the student is registered in must have a Class 4 licence. Further details are on the Driving Students page
  • there will be no charges for defensive driving courses or road evaluations taken through the University of Alberta instructors
  • the defensive driving course may now be taken through any Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) affiliated club as well as any course that is sponsored by the Canada Safety Council
  • in extenuating circumstances, individuals may take their road evaluation through a Canadian Automobile Association club. If someone needs to do this, there will be a $50 fee charged by Vehicle Pool to coordinate the evaluation and ensure that it is comparable to the University of Alberta standard

Summary of Current Requirements for University Employees, Students, Collaborators and Volunteers: (March 2018)

  • possess a valid Canadian or US drivers licence (no other countries); Class 5 or better
  • show that you are in possession of your drivers licence when you pick up the vehicle at Vehicle Pool
  • submit an Application for University Driving Privilges/Consent to obtain Driver Abstract form (only need to do this once unless the information changes)
  • have a maximum of 5 demerit points (new employees) or 6 points (existing employees)
  • have a maximum of 3 moving violations on the driver abstract
  • age greater than 19 years
  • have taken a defensive driving course (DDC) within 2 years
  • have taken a practical driver road evaluation

If you submitted an Application for University Driving Privileges/Consent to obtain Driver Abstract form in the past, you do not need to complete a new form. Simply advise me if you plan to drive again and Vehicle Pool will obtain an up-to-date abstract from Alberta Registries. For people driving daily, they check twice a year, for seasonal drivers, they check at the start of the driving season (in Biological Sciences, that is March and September each year).

Other Requirements/Restrictions:

  • no probationary or graduated driver licenses will be accepted
  • if your license is not from Alberta, you must obtain and submit a driver abstract (here's how)
  • volunteers must complete a "University of Alberta-Biological Sciences-Volunteer Registration" form and submit it to the Department's Personnel Assistant
  • collaborators should submit a letter from their Human Resources Department indicating their employment status and that they are covered under the companies Workers Compensation Board agreement
  • the DDC and the road evaluation are free for those who take the training through University of Alberta instructors and if you need the courses to be able to drive University vehicles as part of their work or research. If you take a DDC or road evaluation outside of the University of Alberta, you will be responsible for paying any fees.

Historical Background: As most people are aware, there have been several changes in the requirements for driving University vehicles over the last few years. The changes which began in May 2002 were due to an increase in payouts by our insurance provider of third party automobile liability insurance. Failure to address the problem would have resulted in substantial increases in our premiums so measures aimed at reducing the occurrence of accidents by University of Alberta drivers were implemented.

Phyllis Clark, Vice-President (Finance and Administration) outlined the problem and proposed changes in a letter sent to Deans and Chairs on January 07, 2003. Linda Dudley of Insurance and Risk Management summarized the guidelines in two memos Vehicle Briefing Memo and U of A Driving Guidelines in April 2003. The new policies affected new hires, driving 15 passenger vans and persons with International driver licences. These changes were recommended by a fleet safety consulting firm that reviewed the University vehicle policies in late 2002. On March 31, 2004, the Vice Presidents of Finance & Administration and Facilities & Operations posted another memo on driving University vehicles that referred to driver road evaluations which began in spring 2004. On March 16, 2005, the VPs sent out a memo describing new funding for the Fleet Safety Program that eliminates the costs for defensive driving courses and road evaluations if taken through the University of Alberta. Anyone hiring people who are expected to drive University vehicles should make themselves aware of the current policies and procedures. Potential drivers must have the appropriate license, a defensive driving course taken in the past two years, a road evaluation, appropriate experience with the kind of vehicle that they plan to drive and a maximum of 5 demerits and 3 moving violations on their license.

Further Details: Possession of a valid Drivers Licence:

When the vehicle is picked up, you will have to show a drivers license (or provide photocopies) of all persons who will be driving the vehicle. The copies will be destroyed when the vehicle is returned. Only licenses from Canada or the USA will be accepted because of concerns regarding the licensing standards of other countries ( e.g. you can get an International Drivers License online and may not even need to have a provincial license).

Driver Information/Application Form:

The current Application for University Driving Privileges/Consent to Obtain Driver Abstract form (PDF, revised 2012) should be completed and submitted to Tom Hantos (Department Fleet Safety Contact). I will send the forms to Vehicle Pool for evaluation and approval. A driver abstract will be required for all drivers (full time, seasonal, casual). Vehicle Pool can now obtain an Alberta abstract for you using the signed Driver Information form. There is no direct charge for this (cost is included in the rental fee). If you are from another province or the United States, you mustobtain the abstract and submit it with the Driver Information form since Alberta Registries can only access information on Alberta licenses. If your driver information and abstract are satisfactory, your name will be added to an approved list at Vehicle Pool. If your name is not on that list, you will not be able to be listed on the vehicle rental agreement and will not be able to drive that vehicle. If the driver information application is not approved, Risk Management will contact the applicant and supervisor.

NOTE: if you submitted the Driver Information form before, it should still be on file and you do not need to complete a new form if the information is still current. Contact me by email and I will have Vehicle pool request a new abstract.

Demerit Restrictions on Drivers:

For new employees, only persons with a maximum of 5 demerit points and 3 moving violations will be authorized to drive University of Alberta vehicles. Current employees must have a maximum of 6 demerits and 3 moving violations. Taking an in-class, Canada Safety Council approved Defensive Driving course will take 3 demerits off your record.

Defensive Driving Course:

As of March 01, 2003, all new employees (permanent, seasonal and casual) must obtain a Defensive Driving Certificate that is dated within the last two years. Individuals can take a course from:

  • any Canada Safety Council sponsored course
    (e.g. from U of A instructors, the Alberta Safety Council or an online course - see the Training web page)
  • any Canadian Automobile Association affiliated club

The University has several individuals trained as instructors who offer courses as required. You sign up for a U of A course through the Learning Shop web page (anyone can set up an account with the Learning Shop, you don't have to be a U of A student or employee). The University does not charge for a course taken on campus but does not cover the cost if you take any other defensive driving course. Attach a photocopy of your defensive driving certificate to the "Driver Information and Consent to Obtain Driver Abstract form" mentioned above (copies will be automatically sent to Vehicle Pool by your instructor if you take a campus course). Those employed by the University before March 01, as well as casual or seasonal drivers who were registered to drive in 2002 are exempt from this requirement.

Note: if it is less than 2 years old, you can take your Defensive Driving certificate from a classroom course (but not the online version) to an Alberta Registry office and get 3 demerits off your driving record.

Driver Road Evaluation:

As of March 01, 2003, all new employees (permanent, seasonal and casual) must take a practical U of A driving evaluation that will take about 1 hour. Seasonal/casual drivers who were registered to drive for the University of Alberta in 2002 are exempt form this requirement. For further information or to register for the evaluation, please contact, the Fleet Safety Officer for the U of A (telephone 492-1233).
Note: Road evaluations from other agencies such as the Canadian Automobile Association may be used if a person cannot reasonably attend one in Edmonton. An administration fee of $50 will be charged to cover the extra work in coordinating the evaluation.

Age Restrictions on drivers:

The current policy excludes anyone under 19 years of age from driving a University of Alberta vehicle. You must be over 21 years to drive a 15 passenger van.

Passengers in University of Alberta Vehicles:

All persons who are not University of Alberta employees or students must sign a waiver before riding in a University vehicle. This could include volunteers, colleagues from another University or government agency or a relative IF they were volunteering to help with a project. Use the waiver called: Volunteer Registration Form-University of Alberta-Biological Sciences - (Word.doc). Please note that persons under 18 years of age cannot sign this waiver and their parent / guardian cannot sign their rights away so no one under 18 may ride in a University of Alberta vehicle. Send the completed waiver to the Front Desk in the CW422.

Note 1: a person under 18 years who works for the University or is a student here may ride in a university vehicle because they would be covered under the University WCB policy.

Note 2: Collaborators can ride in a University vehicle if they are working on a project with someone from the U of A. They can complete and submit the form that volunteers sign or they can have a letter (sample here) sent to Risk Management at the U of A from the Human Resources Department of their work institution indicating that:

  • they are covered under the companies Workers Compensation policy, and
  • the individual is covered by that institution's third party liability insurance for damage to property or injury to a third party.

Being covered by the Workers Compensation Board means that the employee cannot sue the employer and the employer cannot sue the employee. All disputes are adjudicated by the WCB instead of the court system. Volunteers are not covered under WCB so they need to sign the Volunteer form where they waive their right to sue the University of Alberta.

Non U of A Employees Driving University Vehicles:

As of June 2003 when we renewed our insurance coverage, collaborators and volunteers are again eligible to drive University vehicles. They should complete the volunteer form mentioned above or have a letter sent indicating their insurance coverage and then submit the Driver Information forms as described for University employees The fact that we are progressing in the implementation of the fleet safety consultant's recommendations was helpful in getting collaborators and volunteers covered as drivers when we renewed our insurance.

15 Passenger Vans:

Here is some background information on the rollover problem with 15 passenger vans and SUV's. These vehicles have a substantial risk of rollover if loaded improperly and as of April 01, 2003, anyone wishing to drive a University of Alberta 15 passenger van must:

  • be over 21 years of age
  • have a valid Class 4 drivers licence (for ambulance, taxi and small bus)
  • attend a training session (theory and practical) on driving 15 passenger vans

This class 4 licence will require a written test (cost about $15) and a road test (cost ~$40; both available through an Alberta Registry office) and a medical examination (cost ~$70; available through your doctor or UofA Health Services). Most other provinces already require a Class 4 licence for driving this type of vehicle. You will also need to attend a training session offered on campus by Vehicle Pool (register with Vehicle Pool at 492-1920).

Send your completed Driver Information and Consent to obtain Driver Abstract Form to: Send the ORIGINAL signed Volunteer Registration form to:
to be filled
Departmental Fleet Safety Contact
Biological Sciences Building
University of Alberta Edmonton AB T6G 2E9
Front Desk
CW405 Biological Sciences Building
University of Alberta
Edmonton AB T6G 2E9
If you have specific policy questions, please contact: to enroll in a campus Defensive Driving or 15 passenger van course or to schedule a driver road evaluation, contact:

Manager - Insurance and
Risk Management
Phone No.: (780) 492-8891
Kenji Kinoshita
Fleet Safety Officer
Facilities Management
(780) 492-1233 cellular: 780-405-5201


Form Links: submit to:
Application for University Driving Privileges/Consent to Obtain Driver Abstract form (PDF) Department Fleet Safety Contact
Volunteer Registration Form-University of Alberta-Biological Sciences (PDF)

Original signed form to the Safety Officer in Biological Sciences (CW317A)

Consent Letter for Collaborators (DOC, 21kb)

Insurance and Risk Management Office
3rd Floor Administration Building