Alberta's GDL Road Testing Process

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Alberta's Graduated Licensing Program
The graduated licensing program, from beginning to end, takes typically 3 years to complete. The minimum age you can begin the gdl process is 14.

The GDL Program is changing

The provincial government recently announced that the GDL program in Alberta will change in 2023.

For more information on the coming changes, click here.

Class 7 knowledge test

Graduated driver's licensing in Alberta, also known as the GDL program, is a process in which new Alberta drivers must adhere to a knowledge test focused on concepts of basic driver safety, followed by two separate road tests.

The class 7 knowledge test is the first of the three steps to becoming a fully licensed driver without any restrictions attached to your class 5 licence.

You must hold a Class 7 learner's licence for at least one continuous year to be eligible to take the Class 5 road test. Any suspensions during this year will restart the process from the day your licence is reinstated from the suspension.

The Class 7 knowledge test can be taken at any local authorized Alberta Registry Agent.
The knowledge test consists of 30 multiple choice questions which will be performed from a computerized testing station. Out of these 30 multiple choice questions, you must get at least 25 correct in order to pass.
The test will end when you get a total of 6 questions wrong or 25 questions correct, regardless of what question you are on.

Some things to note for your Class 7 Knowledge Test
  • If you have any questions during the test, you can ask the registry agent clerk for help.
  • All electronic devices must be turned off.
  • You can take as long as you want to finish the test.
    Usually the only time restriction is when the registry closes, so be sure to arrive at the registry office at least an hour before they close.
  • Arriving early will give you extra time to ask any questions you may have.
  • A great time to take your class 7 knowledge test is the middle of the month, because there will be generally less people in the office, so there will be less noise, making it easier for you to concentrate.
If you fail, don't worry. Make sure you ask the registry agent clerk to go through the test with you to find out where you went wrong. Compare the questions you had difficulty with to the basic driver's handbook.

You are allowed 1 knowledge test per day.

Cheating and conversations (in any language) during the test will not be permitted.
Failure to comply could also result in a suspension from taking your class 7 knowledge test for 30 days.

Click here to practice for your class 7 knowledge test

Class 5

The Class 5 road test is step two of Alberta's GDL program, and will result in a Class 5 Basic (GDL) driver's licence.

This road test is designed to examine the basic driving skills you have obtained during the continuous 1 year that you held your class 7 GDL learner's licence. At least 60 hours of practice driving is recommended to prepare for this road test.

The Class 5 road test is approximately 45 minutes in length and will focus on basic driving skills such as:
  • Uncontrolled/controlled intersection management
  • Controls and switches of the vehicle you will be testing in
  • Parking (uphill | downhill | parallel)
  • Changing lanes properly & safely
  • Right & left turns
  • School/playground zones
  • Speed limits
The vehicle used to conduct the road test is your responsibility to provide. If you are unable to provide your own vehicle, you may be able to rent a vehicle for your class 5 road test.

Conditions for probationary GDL drivers after passing this test and obtaining your Class 5 GDL Licence:
  • You must be a probationary driver for a minimum of two years.
  • You must have no more passengers than seat belts.
  • You will be suspended if you accumulate 8 or more demerit points.
  • You must have a zero alcohol level when driving.
  • You are not able to re-class your licence to a commercial driver's licence (classes 1, 2, 3 or 4).
  • You cannot serve as an accompanying driver to a learner.
You may want to plan ahead as not all registry locations and road test availability will have a rental vehicle offered. The driver examiner will be conducting the road test from the passenger seat of the vehicle.

Click here for Class 5 road test eligibility requirements

Class 5 Advanced Licence (road test no longer required)

The Class 5 Advanced (GDL-Exit) licence no longer requires a road test. To exit the GDL program and become a fully licensed driver you must:
  • be free of driving suspensions for at least the past 12 months of probationary driving (class 5 basic)
  • have been suspension free for the last twelve months of the probationary stage
If you meet the requirements, your licence will automatically be re-classed the next time you renew your licence. Once you have exited the GDL program, you will:
  • move from a class 5-GDL to a full class 5 driver's licence
  • qualify to re-class to a class 1, 2, 3, or 4 driver's licence
  • increase the number of demerits you are allowed
  • remove the zero alcohol and drug tolerance condition
  • be able to be an accompanying driver to a learner
  • be able to be an accompanying driver to a learner