Graduated Driver Licence

To drive a University of Alberta vehicle, you must have a full (non-probationary) class 5 licence issued in Canada or the USA. You cannot drive with a Learners Permit (class 7) or a probationary licence (Class 5-GDL). Two instances where this has had an impact on us in Biological Sciences are:
  • a person who has not obtained a driver's licence until recently, and
  • visiting scientists who have licences from outside of North America (however, if they have driven for more than 2 years and they establish residency in Alberta, they can qualify to get an AB licence)

In 2003, Alberta instituted a Graduated Driver Licence (GDL) system that applies to all persons who are new to driving irrespective of age. The purpose of this system is to ensure that people have the time to develop the skills needed to drive safely before they are given a full, non-probationary, Class 5 licence without restrictions.
There are two stages in the GDL system: a learners stage and a Probationary stage that you must pass through before you can take the advanced driving road test to qualify for the non-probationary licence.

If you have not had a drivers licence before; then the sequence is:
1. Learners Stage (Class 7 licence):
To get a Learners Permit you must:

  • be ³ 14 years old
  • pass a vision test
  • pass a driving knowledge test
you must stay at this stage for at least 1 year and follow several driving restrictions. 2. Probationary Stage (Class 5-GDL licence):
To qualify for this stage, you must
  • have had a learners permit for ³ 1 year
  • be ³ 16 years old
  • pass a Standard (Basic) Road test
you must spend at least 2 years at this stage and follow several driving restrictions 3. Non-Probationary Stage:
To qualify for a full Class 5 licence, after driving for ³ 2 years as a Probationary driver, you must pass an Advanced Road test.
Note: It will take at least 3 years to go from a Learners permit to a full Class 5 licence.

If you have had a licence from another jursidiction and want to transfer to an Alberta licence, then you must:

a). if licenced for £ 2 years:

  • do the vision test, the knowledge test and the Basic road test to get a Probationary licence.
  • after you have driven a total of at least 2 years, you can take the Advanced Road test to get a full Class 5 licence
b). if licenced for ³ 2 years:
  • do the vision test and the knowledge test
  • do the Advanced road test to qualify for a full Class 5 licence.
Note: if your driving licence is from anywhere else in Canada or from a country having a reciprocol agreement with Alberta (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom, United States of America), you may simply transfer your current licence to an Alberta licence without doing any testing. To get an Alberta licence, you must be a resident of the province so collaborators who are only here on a temporary basis will not be able to do this. The University of Alberta does not require you to transfer to an Alberta licence if you have a licence from anywhere else in Canada or the USA but provincial regulations requires that within 90 days of establishing residency in a province, that you must obtain a licence from that jurisdiction (exception: students enrolled in a post secondary program).

Further information is available at: