Ing + McKee

Changes to Alberta’s GDL Program

May 17, 2023

At Ing & McKee, we understand the importance of keeping our clients and fellow Albertans informed of changes that impact their daily lives. As such, we want to draw attention to recent changes made to the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program in Alberta, which will have a significant impact on drivers across the province. These changes came into effect on April 1, 2023, and are aimed at streamlining the GDL program and making it easier for eligible drivers to exit. All drivers who meet certain criteria will be eligible to exit the GDL program.

To qualify for GDL exit, drivers must be at least 18 years old, have completed 24 months of probationary driving, and have been suspension and demerit free for the last 12 months. Those who have completed a Class 5 or Class 6 driver training program from a licensed driving school may be eligible to reduce their probationary period by up to 6 months.

Drivers needing to exit the GDL program can visit their local registry agent’s (or our friendly neighbour Red Deer Registries) office to confirm eligibility. If eligible, they can exchange their GDL license for a non-GDL license free of charge. However, those who are not yet eligible will remain in the GDL program until they meet the requirements.

On June 25, 2023, an IT system change will be implemented to review GDL driver files and automatically exit eligible drivers from the program. These drivers will receive a letter from the Government of Alberta in July 2023 indicating they have exited the GDL program.

While restrictions on GDL licenses will remain in place until drivers receive their Class 5 or Class 6 license or the Government of Alberta letter, the Class 5 and Class 6 road tests are also changing. Both tests will include elements from the advanced road test, and the Class 5 road test will increase from 30 minutes to 45 minutes to prioritize safety.

Overall, these changes aim to streamline the GDL program and make it easier for eligible drivers to exit. As always, it’s important for all drivers to prioritize safety on the road and follow traffic laws.

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