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driving in canada

As you are planning on coming to Canada, you will probably want to drive here.  For this reason, it is important to know what you need to do in order to drive here legally.  If you already have a licence in your home country then you can check if you can exchange that license for a Canadian driving licence. Or, you may need to take a driving test in Canada.  Each province in Canada has slightly different rules around how to do this.  Take a look below at the process of getting your driving licence in Alberta, Canada.

Exchange a driving licence from another country with a reciprocal licence exchange agreement

If you’re exchanging a valid driver’s licence from one of the countries in the list below, you can get your Alberta licence without taking a knowledge or road test:  Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Isle of Man, Japan, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States.  

To exchange your licence for an Alberta licence, you must:

  • hand in your valid licence to a registry agent
  • provide proof of two or more years of driving experience, if you want to be issued a full Class 5 licence.
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Exchange a licence with a country that doesn’t have a reciprocal licence exchange agreement

To exchange a licence from a country that doesn’t have an agreement, you’ll need to pass a knowledge and road test.

Step 1. Exchange your driver’s licence

Visit a registry agent and hand in your valid driver’s licence that is equivalent or higher to an Alberta Class 5 licence.

The registry agent will check to see if you can apply for the Graduated Driver’s Licence (GDL) exemption program and will give you an application to complete.

Step 2. Pass a Class 7 knowledge test

Visit a registry agent and take a knowledge test.

Your licence, application for GDL exemption and support documents will be sent to the Alberta Government for review.

Step 3. Get a full Class 5 licence

There are two ways you can get a full Class 5 licence:

  • If you can prove that you have more than 2  years of driving experience, you’ll need to pass an advanced road test
  • If you have less than two years of driving experience, you’ll need to pass a basic road test to get a Class 5 GDL licence.

When you have more than two years of driving experience, you’ll need to pass an advanced road test to get a full Class 5 driver’s licence

For more information, tools, and free webinars about living in Canada visit our Settling in Canada resource page. We’ll help you to settle in Canada successfully!