Over 3 million insurance quotes
Compare Quotes from 30+ Car Insurance Providers and Save
Compare Quotes from 30+ Car Insurance Providers and Save

Obtaining a Driver’s License in Alberta

September 9, 2013

Driver's License in Alberta, OntarioAlberta driver licensing follows a two-stage graduated licensing system that all new drivers regardless of their age must go through in order to become a fully licensed driver. Alberta drivers start with a Class 7 learner’s permit that allows them to practice driving skills and prepare for the road test. Passing the road test earns a Class 5-GDL license that is probationary for two years before the advanced road test for the full Class 5 license.

The Class 7 License

Alberta’s learner’s permit is the Class 7 license. In order to obtain this license you must be at least 14 years old. A written knowledge test is required to obtain the Class 7. A vision test is also required to get a Class 7 license. All drivers are required to hold the Class 7 for at least one year before they can take the road test for the Class 5-GDL, but can hold it for up to two years as you must be 16 to take the road test. Class 7 drivers must follow a set of restrictions at all times.

  • They can only drive when a fully licensed driver over the age of 18 is in the passenger seat.
  • They can’t drive between midnight and 5 a.m.
  • Can not carry more passengers than there are seat belts
  • Have a 0% blood alcohol level
  • Can have only 8 demerit points before facing suspension

The Class 7 license is designed to allow new drivers to practice their skills and prepare for the road test.

The Class 5-GDL

The next stage in the process of getting your full license is the Class 5-GDL. This is the probationary version of the Class 5 license that allows you to drive without most of the restrictions of the Class 7. You will need to pass a road test in order to get the Class 5-GDL and you must be 16 years of age to take the test.

The Class 5- GDL license allows you to drive without a fully licensed driver in the passenger seat. You must still maintain a blood alcohol level of 0% and continue to ensure there are no more passengers than available seat belts. Class 5-GDL drivers can drive at any hour but can’t serve as a second driver to a Class 7 driver.

The probationary period lasts for 2 years. As long as you maintain a clear driving record without any suspensions for that time period, you can take the advanced road test.

The Full Class 5 License

After you pass the advanced road test you will obtain the full class 5 Alberta driver’s license. There are no further restrictions at this point and you can be the second driver for a Class 7 driver as long as you are over the age of 18.

The entire process of getting your full Class 5 license takes between 3 and 4 years depending on when you get your Class 7 learner’s permit.

Getting an Alberta License When You Move

If you are moving to Alberta from another province or country, the process of getting your Alberta license is slightly different. If you already hold a full driver’s license from another Canadian province, you can exchange it for a Class 5 Alberta driver’s license without having to take any tests. However, if you hold a learner’s permit on par with the Class 7 license, you will have to go through the Alberta graduated licensing program from the start in order to obtain a full Class 5 license.

If you are from another country, whether or not you can exchange your license for a Class 5 Alberta license depends on what country you are coming from. Some countries have equivalency agreements, while others do not. In some cases you will have to take the tests to get your Alberta license.

The process of obtaining a full Alberta license for new drivers, regardless of age, takes several years. The graduated licensing system is in place to ensure that everyone who holds a Class 5 license has taken the time to learn how to drive safely and smoothly and has learned all of the rules of the road. Three tests, one written and two road tests, ensure that drivers have all of the skills necessary to handle driving in multiple situations.

  • John Doe

    So I’ve had my L license in BC for 4 years (expired once) and I just recently renewed it. I can’t go for my road test in Alberta even though I’m eligible to do it in BC?

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com


    You are best to double check with the Ministry of Transportation in Alberta


  • GC

    Hi I have the class 5 GDL (Alberta). Do the car needs to have a sticker on it?


  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com


    I don’t believe so but you are best to check with the Alberta Ministry of Transportation.


  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com


    You are best to check with the ministry of transportation in Alberta. here is their website


  • Lindsay

    I have a learners permit. I was moving my boyfriends truck in the parking lot. Somebody t boned it. What is going to happen to me and will his insurance cover everything?? Does anybody know by chance. please help!!!!

  • Yennid

    Hi, I just got my G2 Driver license from Ontario 2 weeks ago , I m moving to Alberta in 5 days , would I be able to change my G2 driving license to the equivalent Level 5 GDL in Alberta without a problem?

  • Matt

    Im 23 years old i still have to wait 7 months out of a year to get my class 5 it is ridiculous. I know i should have got my learners earlier in life but really ive been driving in the country since i was 11 is there litterally no way i can get my class 5 any sooner?

  • danie


  • Khadra

    Hi I got my G2 Ontario driver license 2 years ago, and I move to Alberta so am I getting 5 GDL or 5 full?

  • Carson Lamont

    Just got to Alberta from pei my license expires tomorrow can I renew it in Alberta or am I going to have to find another way to pei for that

  • gRmix1234

    Hi there! Im in alberta. Im 17 years old and I already passed my road test. My question is that , can I drive alone?

  • Laura

    my daughter is underage and has a probationary license in alberta. If she doesn’t pay a ticket or get her car out of the impound lot (eg)…does this affect me?

  • Nick

    I have passed my learners test and did not have the money to get the card right then and there is it a year from when I pass the learners test or a year from when I obtain the card ?

  • Tyler

    A year from when you obtain the card. I made the mistake of not getting the card and now I cannot get my license a year later. You cannot drive without the card.

  • Ali

    Yeah I don’t really understand Alberta’s regulations with regards to drivers licenses. The one year wait makes no sense.

    I’m 27 already had my learners but I unfortunately didn’t renew it, now I have to wait a year to be able to drive alone. Unless I buy a scooter or something which is what I may be forced to do just because of the wait time..

    I think a Class 7 learner should be able to take his road test, and if he/she passes then so be it, if they do not obviously they’re not eligible. But forcing the 1 year wait is not the best for those of us who need a way to transport. Especially in the winter time.. Buses here suck they take ages to come and get to their destination..

  • jayden

    I am 16 and I just got my learners is there any way to skip the 1 year qaiting period to get your license

  • Heidi

    It actually makes a lot of sense. I know numerous people who were able to get their licenses right away after their learners (before the rules changed) and it was downright scary to drive with them. Just because you can pass the test doesn’t mean you have enough experience to drive safely.

  • Cosette

    Can I go to Alberta and get my full lisence if I have already had my L in BC for a year?

  • eddie

    no you don’t but only if in a province where it is mandatory such as BC, but if u have alberta plates in BC then no you don’t… in alberta you do not need a sticker period.

  • Jordann Ashleey

    Was it no problem? I am in the same situation but mine was 6 weeks ago?

  • preston

    I’m in alberta and I got my learners before the gdl came into effect in 2003. I got my class 5 in 2007 and it says gdl on it. Isn’t there a grandfather clause to this if you started the process before this came into effect? And I have had my class 5 gdl now for 9 years and have to take an advanced course now to gain my full class 5. I know I’m able to take this road as its past 2 years..but I just wanted to see if anyone else has asked this question.

  • Lee

    Hope someone can assist me as to where to go or what I can do here? lol sooo…
    October 30 2012 my licence expired.
    A year later, three days after my baby arrived, October 30 2013 my Mom helped me clear up fines so i could renew my licence, register
    and insure my new van.
    A few months down the road, van breaks down I get a car, register and insure it.
    Move in with a boyfriend which turns into a bad situation, checking into the shelter in Edmonton. The second morning in the shelter they asked for my id to scan, I was in a hurry and the scanner room was being occupied so I just left my licence with them, and off go my lill one and I, Her to daycare and me to work, just four blocks away I get stopped, officer just decided to run my plate and says I am driving with a class 7 licence, I said no, I have a class 5, always had a licence, huh?
    Thankfully he let me drive away but that’s after issuing me about $800 in tickets. Get back after work and check my card, yup, class 5! What the?
    Next day, dropped lill one off went to work, made some calls to a couple local registry offices, they were no help, said I needed to come in face to face with id. So on my lunch break went to the closest office and they said I needed to talk to the office that issued the licence.
    Back at work, call the office where I got the licence from, explained my problem, they said it was because I renewed my licence over the three year period of expiry, I was confused because that didn’t sound right. I called back a week later after thinking about everything
    and said this wasn’t right, then was transferred to another lady and was told “they don’t make mistakes and was hung up on”
    Now I am moved and have got all my stuff out of storage, organized and gone through all my papers. I found all my receipts and scans of cards I have had in my life and yes the girl that issued my licence did make mistake, there was only a year over the expiry date not
    over three.
    I get that if it was over the three year expiry I am at fault and should have to take a written and driving test. It was only a year over! And being only three days after having a baby I was a little more focused on my little one then the woman behind the desk not being able to do her job right!
    If anyone has any advice as to what to do about this I would really be greatfull.
    Thank you

  • Jane

    My daughter passed her learners test but forgot to bring her glasses. She will be going back to take the eye exam, but do I need to be there for it?

  • Kendra

    Hi just wondering if I can register and insure my car with a class 7.

  • n1

    no, you need a class 5, class 7 is just for practice

  • Dwayne Mason

    Can I register a car and get insurance with my class 5gdl?

  • AB

    Yes. You can get your car insured at most insurance companies as a class 7.

  • Dastin Austria

    I took the drivers knowledge test in december of 2016 and i passed it, I turned 18 in april of 2017. Canada, Alberta. Can i take the driver’s road test immediately becuase im over 18? Or do i have to wait for a year even though im over 18?

  • InsuranceHotline

    All drivers regardless of age must go through the graduated program to gain driving experience before they receive a full licence.

  • Angela

    Is it possible to take a drive test without waiting for a year? It’s my 6th months of having learners license and I really want to drive on my own. Is there any possibilities or way to make that happen?

  • Niel John Layar Ledesma

    I took the learners’ exam and passed this month. She said I can have my test drive this coming September since I renewed my license September 2016. I’m from another country. I’ve been driving there for 4 years. They took all my documents(license,certifications). I left one thing here in my wallet that is my expired driver’s license for 3 years. I didn’t know it was in my wallet. Do I have to surrender it to them? Will I be able to take test drive and get a full Class 5 license as soon as possible? I’m from the Philippines.

  • InsuranceHotline

    You are best to check with the Ministry of Transportation in Alberta to see if they will acknowledge your Ontario experience.

  • InsuranceHotline

    You will probably have to re-do your G1 test again as the G1 is valid for 5 years.

  • Tony

    I am moving to alberta from bc and have never had a liscense, how long do I have to wait to start the process or can I do it as soon as I move

  • InsuranceHotline

    You can probably apply for your Alberta licence as soon as you want.