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

Posted on: May 04, 2022

woman looking at phone frustrated as her licence expiresA few years ago, 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 at that time. 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 licence 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 licence and you can receive a fine of up to $300.

If your licence has expired within the past six months, you will be able to renew your licence in the same way as you would renew a licence which has not expired yet. Just bring your licence and be prepared to pay the $93 fee for five years. We do have to shred the licence on the spot and you will leave with a paper interim licence which cannot be used as photo ID.

If your licence expired more than six months ago, you will need to provide your expired licence (or other government issued photo ID if your licence is expired) plus proof of residency and legal entitlement to be and remain in Canada. Proof of residence is typically a Passport, Canadian birth certificate or PR card. If you are on a work or student visa or have refugee status, please visit our office so we can advise you. Proof of Alberta residence can be provided with pay slips, bank statements, or bills that contain your name and address and are recent (within the past 90 days)/ 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 licence 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 licence. If you you had a full Class 5 GDL licence 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 licence or plates expire.

reminder to sign up for renewal service