Albertas Graduated Driver Licensing System

New drivers, regardless of age, will be driving in a lower risk, more controlled environment under Alberta’s new Graduated Driver Licensing system. The program came into effect May 2003. The graduated program improves road safety by extending the learning stage for new drivers, helping them gain more experience and improve their skills before graduating to more demanding driving conditions. New drivers progress through two stages: Learner and Probationary.



To obtain a Learner’s licence (Class 7) you must:


  • Be 14 years of age or older
  • Pass a vision test and a written knowledge test on the rules of the road
  • Have parental consent if you are younger than 18 years of age


Learner’s Conditions:


  • Must hold a Learner’s licence (Class 7) for at least 1 year
  • Must be accompanied by a fully licenced (non-probationary) driver who is 18 years of age or older and who is seated next to the driver
  • Not permitted to drive from midnight to 5 a.m.
  • No more passengers than seat belts
  • Fewer demerit points are allowed than for fully licenced drivers
  • Have a zero alcohol level

Probationary Drivers

To become a Probationary Driver you must:


  • Be 16 years of age or older
  • Pass the standard Alberta road test


Probationary Conditions:


  • Must spend a minimum of 2 years as a Probationary Driver
  • No more passengers than seat belts
  • Fewer demerit points are allowed than for fully licensed drivers
  • Have a zero alcohol level
  • No upgrading to a commercial licence
  • Cannot serve as an accompanying driver to a Learner


To become a fully licenced driver (Class 5) you must:


  • Have been suspension free for the last year of the 2-year Probationary Stage
  • Pass an advanced road test


It will take a minimum of 3 years to complete both the Learner and Probationary stages, and 4 years if a driver gets their Learner’s licence at 14 years of age. To move from one stage to the next, drivers must show responsible driving behavior and sound driving skills and pass road tests.

Applicants for motorcycle licences (Class 6) as their first licence are also subject to the graduated license conditions.

Consequences Related To Graduated Licenses

Learner and probationary drivers with even a trace of alcohol in their blood are subject to a 24-hour suspension followed by a seven-day temporary driver permit and then a one-month driver’s licence suspension.

Fines and Penalties Specific to graduated licensing:


  • Conditions Penalty
  • Zero tolerance for alcohol
  • No more passengers than seatbelts
  • Driving after midnight
  • No accompanying driver
  • Immediate 30 day suspension
  • $100 fine and two demerit points
  • $100 fine and two demerit points
  • $150 fine and two demerit points


Strong support for Graduated Licences

There is strong support for graduated licensing in Alberta and throughout North America. Significant decreases in the collisions, injuries and deaths of new drivers have been seen in all provinces that have implemented a graduated program. In Ontario, collision rates for new drivers have decreased 30 per cent since the province introduced graduated licensing.