Service Alberta  Contact Us
 Search
Government of Alberta
Home About  
Drivers Government & Public Sector Consumers Charities Businesses Landlords & Tenants
MINISTRY PROGRAMS & INFORMATION
Businesses and Corporations
Charities, Societies & Non-Profit Organizations
Consumer Information
Drivers & Vehicles
Information, Access & Privacy
Landlords & Tenants
Land Titles
Personal Property Registry
Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service
Technology Initiatives
Vital Statistics (birth, death, marriage)
Print Version
Operator's (Driver's) Licence


What you need to know...
Alberta's driver's licence program has been redesigned -- the card, the process, even the delivery.

Basic Qualifications

  • When you apply for your operator’s licence or identification card, your registry agent must verify your identity through a strict identity confirmation process.
  • Anyone under 18 years of age that is not married or self-supporting must provide consent from a parent or guardian. A parent or guardian must provide consent for a first time licence application or ID card.
  • Individuals who have a vision impairment or a medical condition that may adversely affect their driving ability must discuss the matter with Driver Records by calling the toll-free RITE direct line at 310-0000 followed by (780) 427-8230. In some cases, a medical or vision report may be required for licencing.
  • Individuals must be legal residents of Alberta. To obtain an Alberta driver’s licence or identification card you must provide proof that you are lawfully entitled to live in Canada and that you live in Alberta. And if you are new to the province, you must apply for your Alberta driver’s licence within 90 days of moving here.

Licence Classes

Class 1 Licence permits an operator to drive:
  • any motor vehicle, or combination of vehicles, other than a motorcycle.
  • Class 6 type vehicles, for learning only.

The minimum learning or licencing age is 18.

Class 2 Licence permits an operator to drive:
  • any motor vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that the holder of a Class 3, 4 and 5 operator's licence may operate.
  • any bus.
  • Class 1 and 6 type vehicles, for learner only.
The minimum learning or licencing age is 18.

Requirements: vision screening, written and road test, and medical report, airbrake certificate for vehicle with airbrakes.

Vehicle for road test: a bus with a seating capacity exceeding 24 including the operator.

Class 3 Licence permits an operator to drive:

  • any motor vehicle, or combination of vehicles that the holder of a Class 5 operator's licence may operate.
  • a single motor vehicle with three or more axles.
  • a motor vehicle with three or more axles towing a trailer with one or more axles, if the trailer is not equipped with airbrakes.
  • Class 2 and 4 type vehicles without passengers.
  • all motor vehicles included under Class 1, 2 and 6, for learning only.

No holder of a Class 3 operator's licence shall operate a motor vehicle:

  • that has a seating capacity of more than 15, while that vehicle is transporting any person in addition to the operator.
  • to transport passengers for hire.
The minimum learning or licencing age is 18.

Requirements: vision screening, written and road test, airbrake certificate if the vehicle is equipped with airbrakes.

Vehicle for road test: Any single motor vehicle having three or more axles.

Class 4 Licence Permits an operator to drive:

  • a taxi, ambulance or bus (including school or kindergarten buses) where seating capacity is not over 24, excluding the operator.
  • all motor vehicles included under Class 5.
  • all motor vehicles included under Class 1, 2, 3 and 6, for learning only.

The minimum learning or licencing age is 18.

Requirements: vision screening, written test, medical report, road test required if operator does not hold a class 1, 2 or 3 licence.

Vehicle for road test: any two axle motor vehicle, excluding a motorcycle.

Class 5 Licence permits an operator to drive:

  • a two axle single motor vehicle, excluding a motorcycle.
  • a two axle motor vehicle towing a trailer with one or more axles, if the trailer is not equipped with airbrakes.
  • a recreational vehicle or any combination of a recreational vehicle and a trailer, if the trailer has not more than two axles and is not equipped with airbrakes.
  • a moped.
  • Class 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 type vehicles, for learning only.

No holder of a Class 5 operator's licence shall operate a motor vehicle:

  • that has a seating capacity of more than 15, while that vehicle is transporting any person in addition to the operator.
  • to transport for hire.

The minimum learning age is 14.
The minimum licencing age is 16.

Requirements: road test.

Vehicle for road test: any two axle motor vehicle excluding a motorcycle.

Class 6 Licence permits an operator to drive:

  • a motorcycle or a moped.
  • all motor vehicles under Class 5, for learning only.

The minimum learning or licencing age is 16.

Requirements: Written test and vision screening and a road test for applicants with a Class 7 or if no licence presented. Written test, vision screening and skill test for applicants with a Class 5 or better.

Vehicle for road test: motorcycle without sidecar.

Class 7 Licence permits an operator to drive:

  • a moped.
  • a motor vehicle referred to in the Class 5 category, as a learner only.
  • a motorcycle, as a learner only, if the operator is at least 16 years of age.

The minimum learning or licencing age is 14.

Requirements: written test and vision screening.

Renewing an Operator's Licence

Renewal forms for operator's licences are generally mailed to clients four to six weeks before the expiry of their licence. Renewals must be done in person at any registry agent office. Only residents of Alberta are eligible to renew. Anyone 75 years or older is required to submit a medical report and have their vision screening. Medical reports are also required for holders of Class 1, 2 and 4 licences and for all licences with a condition code "C".

What you need to know... Alberta's driver's licence program has been redesigned -- the card, the process, even the delivery.

Replacing a Lost or Stolen Operator's Licence

If your licence has been lost, stolen, or destroyed, you may apply for a replacement by visiting a registry agent in person. You will be required to prove to the agent you are who you say you are through a strict identity confirmation process. You will receive an interim licence, valid for 30 days. Your new card will arrive in the mail within two weeks of your application date.

Exchanging a non-Alberta Operator's Licence

A valid licence from another Canadian jurisdiction can be exchanged for an equivalent class (Classes 1 through 7). Testing is not normally required, but medical and vision requirements must be met. A medical and proof of vision screening is required for Class 1, 2 and 4 and may be required for all other classes if applicant has a medical condition that may affect their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.

A valid licence from the United States can be exchanged for a Class 5, 6, or 7 when the applicant is presenting a valid licence of equivalent class. All other classes requested would require testing and must provide applicable medical and vision screening. All applicants must present immigration and residency documentation and acceptable identification.

A valid licence from Austria, Belgium, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland and the United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland) can be exchanged for a Class 5 when the applicant is presenting a valid licence of equivalent class. A Class 6 operator's licence shall be issued to valid Swiss Class A, A1 licence and a Japanese International driver's licence which permits the holder to operate a motorcycle. All other classes requested would require testing and must provide applicable medical and vision screening. All applicants must present immigration and residency documentation and acceptable identification .

Anyone coming from outside Canada, United States, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland and the United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland) are required to meet the identification requirements, residency requirements and immigration qualifications. They must undergo complete testing for all classes of licence requested and must provide applicable medical and vision screening as required.

NOTE: Japanese licence exchanges must be completed at an approved registry agent. Parental consent for applicants under 18 is required.

Driver Testing

Registry agents provide knowledge and road testing, vision testing, review of medical documentation and licence issuing. Road testing must be provided by licensed driver examiners. The registry agent may make arrangements through an independent licensed examiner, or provide a staff member who is a licensed driver examiner, to perform these services. Further information on these requirements is available on request at any registry agent.

Before attempting a road test, an applicant must
  • purchase a test permit from any registry agent or licenced driver examiner. This permit must be presented to the driver examiner before the test is given.
  • schedule an appointment with the driver examiner or registry agent.

The applicant must provide the appropriate type of vehicle for a road test. During the road test, no pets or passengers, other than the driver examiner are allowed in the vehicle.

For further information on driver testing or to book an appointment, call your nearest registry agent , or look in the SuperPages directory for these services under License and Registry Services.

Identification Card

A photo identification card is available to an individual who does not hold a valid Alberta operator's licence. The card is clearly marked for identification purposes only and does not entitle the person to operate a motor vehicle under any circumstances. To obtain an identification card, the individual must provide acceptable identification,  The minimum age is 14, and applicants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to provide consent.

Residency Requirements for Operator’s Licence

On July 17, 2006, changes came into effect regarding residency requirements for Alberta driver’s licences and identification cards. In order to obtain an Alberta driver’s licence or identification card, you must provide proof that you are lawfully entitled to be in Canada and that you are an Alberta resident. A registry agent cannot issue your driver’s licence or identification card unless they are satisfied that you are a legal resident of Alberta.

Please note that it is a criminal offence to provide false information on a driver’s licence or identification card application. Alberta can cancel a driver’s licence or identification card if it is determined that the application contained misrepresentation, false information or inaccuracies.

  • If you are a new resident in Alberta, you must obtain an Alberta driver’s licence within 90 days of moving to the province, regardless of whether you travel outside Alberta during those 90 days.
  • If you are working in Alberta but have your residence outside the province, you may continue to use the valid licence from your home jurisdiction.
  • If you are visiting Alberta, you may use your valid licence from your home jurisdiction as long as you have a legitimate residence there and do not take up residency in Alberta.
  • If you are visiting Alberta from outside Canada and using an International Driving Permit (IDP), you may drive in Alberta for up to 12 months using the IDP.
  • If you are staying in Alberta as a full time student or you are working here as part of a co-op program of study, you may use your valid driver’s licence from your home jurisdiction.

Change of address for driver's licence and vehicle registration

If you change your address, you are required by law to update the address information on your driver’s licence and vehicle registration within 14 days. To do this, you may visit any registry agent.

To update your driver’s licence, you will be required to provide acceptable identification (in addition to the driver’s licence). There is a fee for the change of address service and for printing the new card; however, it may be possible for you to renew your licence at the same time, in which case you will pay only a renewal fee. For a list of fees, see the Registry Agent Product Catalogue (pdf).

The registry agent will retain your old licence and provide you with a temporary interim licence to use until your new licence arrives in the mail (five to 10 days). This interim licence will not have a photograph, so it is recommended that you carry some other form of photo ID (e.g., passport) if you anticipate requiring photo ID during these few days.

If you have not physically moved but your address has been changed by Canada Post or some other authority (for example, if Canada Post changes your postal code), your change of address and new driver’s licence will be provided free of charge.

There is no fee to update the address information on your vehicle registration. Your new registration certificate will be mailed to you free of charge, or it can be printed at the registry agent office for a service fee. For a list of fees, see the Registry Agent Product Catalogue (pdf).

Alberta Government Flight Manifests

Budget 2007 – Managing our Growth

International Travel Expenses