Alberta announces GDL changes in province effective immediately

Apr 1 2023, 9:03 pm

The Alberta government announced on Saturday afternoon that the changes to the GDL program came into effect today on April 1.

The province gave the details at a news conference in Calgary and will give approximately 500,000 drivers the eligibility to automatically exit the GDL program.

“Effective today, April 1, graduated drivers licenses are no longer needed to take an advanced road test to progress to get a full Class 5 license in Alberta,” said Devin Dreeshen, minister of transportation and economic corridors.

“Starting today, drivers who have an urgent need to exit the program right away, such as for employment, can go to their local registry office and do so today.”

Dreesehn added that on June 25 the province will also bring in technology that will automatically upgrade eligible GDL drivers to non-GDL drivers.

Those that meet the requirements to exit the program will receive a letter from the government confirming their exit. 

  • The criteria for exiting the GDL program is:
    • you must be 18 years of age
    • you must have completed your 24 months of probationary driving
      • if you have taken a Class 5 or Class 6 driver training program from a driver training school licensed by Transportation and Economic Corridors, you may be eligible to reduce the 24-month probationary period by up to six months
    • you must be suspension and demerit-free for the last 12 months

News of the announcement earlier this week sent many Albertans into a joyous frenzy, with some people mentioning how they have refused to do the advanced road test for nearly 20 years.

The province announced the move back in September that in the spring of 2023, drivers would automatically qualify for their full Class 5 or Class 6 driver’s licence.

That will remove the need to do a second road test and save $150 in the process.

The province says an additional road test will no longer be required to upgrade to a Class 4 licence.

In order to qualify for the changes, GDL drivers must have no suspensions or traffic violations within their last 12 months of probation, including zero tolerance for any alcohol and/or drug consumption.

The Graduated Driver’s Licence program was established in 2003.

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