Immigrating to Alberta: How to Get Your Alberta Driver's Licence

Published on Jul 09, 2012

In order to legally drive in Alberta, you will need to obtain a drivers licence from the province when you arrive and establish residency. Getting your Alberta licence involves a certain set of steps which will differ depending on what country you are arriving from. You may have to take written tests or road tests if you aren't from a nation with a reciprocal agreement.

Nations With a Reciprocal Agreement.

The following nations have signed an agreement with the province of Alberta through which their licensed drivers can make a direct swap of their valid, full licence for an Alberta drivers licence of the equivalent class without having to take the tests. Only immigrants from these countries qualify to swap their licence:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • England
  • France
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Scotland
  • Switzerland
  • United States
  • Wales

Drivers from all other countries will need to go through the driver licensing process relevant to their current driving experience in order to obtain an Alberta licence.

Getting Your Alberta Licence: Graduated Licensing

Like most provinces in Canada, Alberta uses a graduated licence system that allows new drivers to improve their skills over time before being given a full licence. You may be exempt from the graduated licence program if you can prove that you have the required years of experience.

If you are over 25 and have at least two years of driving experience, you will be able to apply for the full Class 5 Alberta drivers licence. You will still be required to take a written test as well as a licence driving test on the road to prove your knowledge of Alberta's laws and your driving skill. If you can't prove your years of experience, you will be required to take a training course and then take the road test as well, after signing a declaration of experience.

Drivers under the age of 25 with more than two years experience can take a written test and a road test in order to receive a probationary Class 5 licence. Through these exemptions such drivers can skip the mandatory one-year term with a Class 7 licence.

If you do not have two years of experience, you will need to go through the graduated licence program. Full details on the graduated licensing system in Alberta are available here.

The Steps to an Alberta Licence

If you are able to satisfy the requirements to skip the graduated licence program and apply directly for a Class 5 Alberta licence, then you will need to go through the same steps as anyone applying for a drivers licence.

If you meet the experience requirements and can apply for a Class 5 licence, you will need to take the following steps:

  • Take and pass the written test
  • Take and pass the Advanced Road Test
  • Pass a vision screening

If you have less than 2 years experience, you can apply for a Class 7 licence with the following steps:

  • Take and pass a written knowledge test
  • Take and pass the Basic Road Test
  • Pass a vision screening

No matter which licence you are applying for, you will need to present valid identification as well as proof that you are a legal resident of the province of Alberta. A full list of acceptable documents proving your identity and residency is found here. Finally, in order to get your licence you will have to pay any applicable fees. Prepare ahead of time by determining your fee amount from this list.

Contact Alberta Transportation with questions regarding the process of getting your licence at 780-427-2731.

Other Important Considerations - Alberta Car Insurance

All cars on the road in Alberta must be covered by a car insurance policy meeting the standards set out by the government. In order to drive your car here you must have both a licence and the necessary insurance. Car insurance rates vary, but by providing proof of previous insurance with a claim-free status in your home country you can see better car insurance quotes from various companies. Request a letter of experience from your previous insurer to provide this proof.

Before you take your licence test, take the time to study the Alberta drivers manual and prepare by taking one of the free driving theory test samples available for you to practice online. This will ensure you are best prepared for the actual driving licence test when you take it.

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