New driver road test system will improve access (video)
Provincial Press Release October 22, 2020 @ 12:18PM published at 12:24PM.
Driver exams for Class 4, 5, and 6 licences will be privatized, providing Albertans with quicker access to more road tests across the province.
Albertans will be able to book passenger vehicle road tests directly with local registry agents or through a new online system starting Dec. 1 for tests to be conducted after Jan. 5, 2021. Registry agents will be able to hire or contract driver examiners directly.
This will repair the damage done when road tests were nationalized in March 2019, a move that caused half of the province’s driver examiners to leave the system and increased wait times significantly.
“We know Albertans have been frustrated with long delays to get a road test. Returning to a privately run model will restore a system which Albertans used for years with confidence. I want to thank driver examiners and registry agents for their continued dedication as we transition to a new and better system.” Ric McIver, Minister of Transportation
“Albertans have been waiting for changes and it’s great to see this change so they can access road tests much more quickly and efficiently. This is one more service that can be done easier online in addition to in person, which is what Albertans want.” Nate Glubish, Minister of Service Alberta
“A road test is a major life experience for most Albertans. This new model will restore Albertans’ confidence that their neighbourhood registry can again provide road tests at the location and on the day Albertans want. More road test availability, especially in rural Alberta, will help people gain mobility and employment.” Craig Couillard, president, Alberta Association of Registry Agents
“Getting a driver’s licence is a significant milestone, critical to the lives and livelihoods of Albertans, and this shouldn’t be challenged by limited road test availability. We appreciate government’s commitment to improving access to road tests, while maintaining the integrity of the process. We look forward to playing a central role in this new model and delivering the road test experience that Albertans expect and deserve.” Michelle Chimko, chief operating officer, Alberta Motor Association
The new online booking system will connect drivers directly with their local registry agent and drivers will also be able to book tests at their local registry offices. Once fully implemented, the transition to a private delivery model will save taxpayers up to $12.1 million per year. More driver examiners will be available to conduct road tests outside of normal government hours.
Government has also strengthened oversight through electronic monitoring of each road test in order to ensure safety on Alberta’s roads.
Government driver examiners will continue to conduct Class 1 to 3 commercial truck and bus road tests to ensure a continued smooth transition to the high standards set through the new Mandatory Entry-Level Training program.
Albertans can start booking passenger roads tests online or at local registry agents starting
Dec. 1 for tests to be conducted after Jan. 5, 2021.
On March 1, 2019, only 77 examiners were operating when the government model launched, down from about 150 examiners operating in the province under the private model.
As of Oct. 22, there were 188 (132 government and 56 contract) examiners available to conduct tests.
The new system is based on public survey responses of more than 3,000 Albertans, consultations with industry stakeholders, and a review of road test models across Canada.
Road tests were suspended on March 19 to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Alberta became the first province to resume road tests for all licence classes on June 30.
Alberta Transportation has continued to take steps to reduce wait times by recruiting more driver examiners throughout the province, extending driver examiners’ working hours where registry hours of operations permit, and adding about 1,000 additional tests per week.