Getting an Alberta Drivers License: Requirements and Things to Know
Are you ready to finally get your Alberta drivers license?
If you are just starting the licensing process you probably looking forward to the increased freedom and convenience. You should know that the licensing process will take time and that getting your Alberta license won’t be an easy process. This is largely due to the graduated licensing requirements that you will need to fulfill.
How To Proceed
Make Sure that You Qualify
One of the first steps to the licensing process is to do a little research and make sure that you meet the minimum licensing requirements. You can find a list of requirements in the Alberta driver’s handbook. Basically you have to be able to pass a vision test and that you be at least 16. There are additional age restrictions if you plan on driving any type of vehicle besides a simple passenger vehicle. For example you cannot learn to drive a bus until you are at least 18 years old. If you are under 18 you will need parental consent to start the licensing process. This consent is not needed for minors that are married or emancipated.
Learn About the Graduated Licensing Program
The licensing process in Alberta is highly based on the requirements for the graduated licensing program. Since all new drivers will have to participate in this program it is a good idea to spend some time studying the program so that you can understand it better. In each section of the program we will discuss various requirements and restrictions that you will face. Make sure that you do not take your road test until you have met all of the graduated licensing requirements. If you do not take this test after meeting the requirements, your test may be voided even if you pass the test.
Study for the Alberta Driver’s Test
Now you will want to start studying for your Alberta learners test. While there will be many study resources available, one of the best will be the Alberta drivers manual. This manual includes all of the information that you will need to pass an Alberta class 7 practice test easily. Read the manual from front to back and spend time studying the sections on traffic and road signs as well as traffic safety. When you finish reading this guide you should be able to easily pass an Alberta learners practice exam. You can download the guide online at the Services Alberta website.
Free Alberta Practice Test One
Free Alberta Practice Test Two
Consider Enrolling in Alberta Driving Schools
If you really want to get the practice that you need you should consider enrolling in an Alberta driving school. These schools will provide valuable classroom instruction and teach behind the wheel skills. This will allow you to really master your skills and to prepare for your Alberta road test. Many will give you an Alberta driver’s practice test so that you can really make sure that you are ready before your real driving test.
Take a Practice Test
You can take free practice tests for your test online at the Find-a-driving-school.ca – see the links in #3 above.
Take Your Written Test
Before you can start driving on the road you need to get your learners permit which is also known as a class 7 license. Schedule a written test in advance since walking in is not recommended. When you go in for your written test you will also fill out an application, verify your identity by providing documentation like a birth certificate, passport and proof of address. You will also pay a fee at this time. This test is a written, multiple choice test and is available in English and 9 other languages including Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, Hindi, Punjabi, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
Get Your Learner’s License
Once you pass the written test you will be able to receive a provisional license or learners permit. This will license you to drive, but only when you have another driver available to supervise. This driver must ride in the front seat with you. When you have a learner’s license you cannot have any alcohol in your blood when you drive. You can actually get a learners license at 14. You must have a class 7 license for at least 1 year.
Take Your Behind the Wheel Test
After getting plenty of practice with your supervisory driver you are ready to take your road test. There is no reason to be nervous or afraid. If you have been practicing and obeying traffic laws you should be able to pass this test. Basically the test will consist of an on the road course where you will show your test examiner that you are able to safely operate a vehicle. You will start and stop both on flat roads and hills, parallel park, reverse, change lanes, turn and obey traffic laws and signs. If you demonstrate your skill and safety, you will receive your license. If not you will receive helpful pointers from the examiner and additional time to practice before retesting.
Receive A Class 5 Provisional License
Once you have passed your road test you can receive your class 5 license. This license will allow you to drive on your own. This is a provisional license which means that there are still restrictions placed on you. During this time your license will be suspended much more easily that fully licensed drivers. All passengers must wear a seat belt. You cannot have a commercial license and you cannot supervise learning drivers. Also you must have a 0% blood alcohol content whenever you drive. After 2 years you can move up to a full class 5 license by passing an advanced road test and remaining suspension free for a 2 year period.
Getting an Alberta drivers license will take years, but throughout the process you will have many opportunities to learn and practice your skills. Plus you will receive driving privileges before the 3 year period is up and will be able to drive on your own with restrictions. This is a big achievement and you should be proud of your diligent efforts.
Andrei Zakhareuski is the founder of Find-a-driving-school.ca. He has been writing for beginner Canadian drivers for several years.
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