Translated Knowledge Testing for Drivers

Posted on: Mar 13, 2018

East Calgary Registry has always been proud to be “the registry with all the languages.” While that has not changed, and will never change, some of the Government of Alberta’s policies have changed. Here is an update:

Translated Driver’s Guides

Guides are available in the following language and are available for purchase in our office:

These guides are translated by third party providers and are approved by Alberta Transportation. Whether you choose to study with one of these guides or with the free PDF version in English or French, we strongly urge you to study for the test before attempting it in our office.

Knowledge Tests

The Knowledge Test is available in our office, without appointment, in the following languages:

  • English (computer written, audio, or English assist* for people with difficulty in reading English)
  • Amharic
  • Arabic
  • Chinese (Simplified or Traditional)
  • Cree
  • Dutch
  • Farsi
  • French
  • German
  • Hindi
  • Italian
  • Korean
  • Oromo
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Punjabi
  • Russian
  • Somali
  • Spanish
  • Tagalog
  • Thai
  • Ukranian
  • Urdu
  • Vietnamese

The cost is $17.60 (including GST). You must bring your valid government-issued ID, proof of residence and proof of legal status in Canada each time you attempt the test. If you are under 18, you will also need consent from a parent or legal guardian.

  • for English-assist, please phone us at 403.272.5513 to make an appointment to take the test when a staff member will be available to read the questions to you.

Translated Knowledge Tests

Service Alberta’s position is that because they have expanded the list of languages in which the test is available, there should be little need for translated knowledge testing. Registries Plus has made the case that there are regional differences and literacy challenges which make it difficult for some newcomers to use these translated tests, but we do have to comply with policy.

Driver Programs and Licensing Standards (DPLS) is now restricting access to translated knowledge testing such that:

  • You must take the Class 7 Knowledge test at least three (3) times before you can request a translator.
  • After three (3) unsuccessful attempts, you may request permission to do the test with a translator.
  • To request permission to use a trnaslator, please email with:
    • Full legal name
    • Complete date of birth
    • Contact email address (if you provide the address of a third party due to language issues, please note that you are consenting and authorizing DPLS to disclose information to that third party via email).
  • Please note that DPLS may grant or refuse the use of a translator and will advise the client of the decision via email.
  • If DPLS approves your use of a translator, your motor vehicle file will be updated so that the Registry can see that you have permission. At this point, it is your responsibility to find and pay for a translator to come with you to the registry to take the knowledge test. The translator must be approved by Alberta Transportation and must bring with him/her a valid TIN letter and government-issued photo ID.
  • The cost to take the Knowledge Test with a translator is $31.25. This does not include the fee to be paid to the translator. You must negotiate your fee with your translator directly. We can provide you with a referral in our office if required.

We have had many people visit our office after attempting the knowledge test three times, assuming that they will be able to take the test with a translator. This is not the case. You must request permission from DPLS. We do not know the criteria DPLS is using to approve or deny requests.

Also, it is important to note that translators can only translate the question. They cannot explain concepts or provide direction. It is important to study for the Knowledge Test before you come in so as not waste time and money.