Alberta’s transportation minister announced Thursday that the province is going back to a privatized road test system for Class 4, 5 and 6 licences.
The change will take effect January 2021. It encompasses licence road tests for passenger vehicles (graduated and advanced), taxis and ambulances.
Exams for commercial licences will continue to be done by government examiners.
Ric McIver said this move will be “restoring a system that Albertans used for years with confidence.”
He said Alberta is increasing government oversight to prevent issues that plagued the old driver exam system, including fraud and under-trained examiners.
McIver said the switch back to private examiners through registries will expand access and reduce wait times for road tests.
The former NDP government changed Alberta’s driver test booking system from private to one that was under government control. Before that, certified examiners operated as private contractors. Drivers booked tests with a registry, which called in an examiner.
After the switch, some Albertans reported waiting more than six weeks to book a driving exam. Others said they were forced to drive to different parts of the province to do the test.
The NDP made the change after hearing many complaints about services that were delivered privately. It described it as a “wild west” system that needed reform and said the province received about seven complaints per day about examiners.
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