YOUTH & THE LAW | Hit the Gas! - LawNow Magazine

YOUTH & THE LAW | Hit the Gas!

You passed the test. You practiced driving in your parents’ car. You were set to take the road test to get your license. And then COVID-19 hit. And your road test was cancelled.

The good news: As of June 30th, you can now book a road test in Alberta! The bad news: Road tests are booking four to eight weeks in advance right now because of the backlog. To prevent further delay, are you ready?

Learner’s Licence (Class 7 License)

In Alberta, you must be at least 14 years old to get a Learner’s License or Class 7 License.

The Tests:

You must take a driver’s knowledge test and a vision test. You can take the tests at most registry offices in Alberta. Call ahead to see if there are extra rules you should know due to COVID. Your parent or guardian must go with you and consent to you writing the test, if you are under 18.

Your parent or guardian must go with you and consent, if you are under 18.The test is 30 multiple-choice questions and you must get at least 25 correct to pass. If you fail, you can go back the next day to try again. There are no limits to how many times you can take the test but you can only try once per day. To help you study up, study guides and practice tests are available online.

The test is available (writing only) in 25 languages. For $30, you can use an audio-assistant device that reads the questions and answers to you. The device only speaks English. In some circumstances, you can request a translator. See the Government of Alberta’s website for instructions on requesting a translator.

The test costs $17. Once you have passed the test and the registry agent validates the test permit, it is valid for one year from the date of the test. This means you must apply for your Class 7 License within this time. If you wait longer than one year, you will have to rewrite the test. You must pay a fee to get your license. A new license costs $93* and is valid for five years. You can choose to get a license for fewer years for a lower cost.

You will also need to take identification with you to prove who you are, where you live and you are allowed to be in Canada. Identification includes an ID card, valid passport, permanent resident card, driver’s license issued by any official government or nexus card. See the Government of Alberta website for ID requirements.

You do not have to take a road test to get your Learner’s License. But you will need to practice up with a licensed driver before you can get your next class of license.

Photo by Taras Makarenko from Pexels

The Rules:

  • You can drive a moped by yourself.
  • A Class 5 License holder who is 18 years or older must accompany you when driving. They must be in the seat next to you in the car.
  • You cannot drive between midnight and 5 AM.
  • You cannot have more passengers than the number of functioning seat belts in the vehicle.
  • You will have your license suspended at 8 demerit points. You get demerit points for traffic infractions. For example, if the police pull you over for speeding, they will give you one or more demerit points depending on how fast you were going.
  • You cannot have any alcohol, cannabis or illegal drugs in your blood when driving.
Probationary License (Class 5 Graduated Driver’s Licence (GDL))

You have had your Learner’s License for at least one year. You are at least 16 years old. You are ready to take the next step to becoming a fully licensed driver!

The Tests:

You must pass the basic Alberta road test. Book your road test online or in-person at a registry office. Your parent or guardian must go with you and consent, if you are under 18.

You start the road test with zero points. You get points if you do not practice safe driving (shoulder checking, etc.), fail to follow the rules of the road or complete a maneuver poorly (being too aggressive or hesitant, etc.). You fail if you get 75 points. You automatically fail if you endanger a pedestrian or another driver, drive unsafely, or break traffic laws.

Book your road test online or in-person at a registry office.The test costs $83. If you pass, you will also have to pay the fees to change your license. If your Learner’s License is still valid, you can pay $28* to reclass your license. If your license is almost expiring, you must renew your license.

You must also pass a vision screening. A registry agent conducts this test at the registry office.

The Rules:

  • You cannot have more passengers than the number of functioning seat belts in the vehicle.
  • You will have your license suspended at 8 demerit points.
  • You cannot have any alcohol, cannabis or illegal drugs in your blood when driving.
  • You cannot upgrade to a commercial driver’s license (Class 1, 2, 3 or 4).
  • You cannot be the accompanying driver to a learner.
Fully Licensed Driver (Class 5 License)

You have had your GDL for at least two years. Your license has not been suspended in the last 12 months. You are ready to become a fully licensed driver!

The Tests:

You do not have to take a road test to get your Learner’s License.You must pass an advanced road test. Book your test online or in-person at a registry office. Just like the basic road test, you start with zero points and fail if you get 75 points. The test costs $138. If you pass, you will also have to pay the fees to reclass or renew your license.

The Rules:

  • You must follow all of Alberta’s traffic laws.
  • You will now lose your license if you get 15 demerit points.
Ready to Hit the Gas?

Now you know what to expect. Study up and drive safe! And if you have any more questions, see the following resources:

*License fees may change slightly. The amount listed here is the maximum amount a registry agent can charge in Alberta.

Authors:

Jessica Steingard
Jessica Steingard
Jessica Steingard, BCom, JD, is a staff lawyer at the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta.
 


A Publication of CPLEA

Font Resize
Contrast