Don’t let your Alberta driver’s license expire!

Posted on: Sep 27, 2017

Mdchen betrachtet unglubig ihren FhrerscheinLast year, a friend messaged me in a panic. She is a travel writer and was on assignment in Newfoundland. When she provided her Alberta driver’s licence at the car rental place, the customer service representative noticed that it was expired. My friend wondered if there was anything I could do to help her out.

Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do. In the end, she had to reorganize her entire travel itinerary. Luckily, people in Newfoundland are famous for their hospitality and kindness toward strangers and she was able to do and see most of what she had planned, but it did throw a wrench into her plans and limited how much of the province she was able to visit.

Since Service Alberta discontinued the mailing out of renewal reminders for driver’s licences, we are noticing that many people are coming to our office to renew driver’s licences that are actually expired. You probably know that your license expires on your birthday (not the last day of your birthday month). However, most people couldn’t say offhand exactly which year it expires. It is an offense to drive a vehicle without a valid driver’s license and you can receive a fine of up to $200.

If your license has expired within the past six months, you will be able to renew your license in the same way as you would renew a license which has not expired yet. Just bring your license and be prepared to pay the $84.45 fee for five years. We do have to shred the license on the spot and you will leave with a paper interim license which cannot be used as photo ID.

If your license expired more than six months ago, you will need to provide your expired license (or other government issued photo ID if your license is expired) plus proof of residency and legal entitlement to be and remain in Canada. Unfortunately, we do have to see this every time even if you have lived in Alberta your whole life. It’s government policy based on legislation.

After a license has been expired for three years or more, you will have to re-test. The first step will be a Knowledge Test. Once you pass the knowledge test you can immediately go for the Basic Road Test. If you pass, you will be granted a driver’s license. If you you had a full Class 5 GDL license before the expiry, you will be eligible for that class again.

The long and the short is that it’s a good idea to check your licence every year before your birthday to make sure that this isn’t your year to renew. You can also sign up for an e-reminder to receive a text or email before your license or plates expire.