Province taking over driver testing

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Above: Minister Malkinson (L) and Minister Mason announce changes to Alberta’s road test model.

by Morinville News Staff

Government employees will begin conducting driver examinations starting Mar. 1, 2019, returning to the way things were before 1993 when government employees last administered driver exams.

Alberta is currently the only Canadian province that uses a wholly privatized road test framework. There are 153 privatized driver examiners currently operating in Alberta.

The government says the current system’s limited oversight makes it vulnerable to inconsistent fees, poor service, reduced access in rural areas, and an overall lack of integrity.

When the changes come into effect next spring, fees for road tests for all classes of driver’s licences will be standardized. Services will be available at Alberta’s registry agent locations.

“Albertans deserve a system for road tests that meets high standards for being fair, consistent, accessible and trustworthy,” said Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation, in an Oct. 2 release. “We are taking action to change the way road tests are conducted to restore public confidence in the program. A government-run road test system will ensure high standards for safe, consistent, reliable service across Alberta.”

The province sees a government-run road test model as beneficial by standardizing fees, and ramping up oversight to ensure fair, consistent and professional road tests.

The Association of Alberta Registry Agents (AARA) are pleased with the Oct. 2 announcement on the new model, having worked closely with senior government staff and the Minister of Service Alberta over the summer to share their concerns and propose solutions.

“We recognized that there were deficiencies in the current model and while our initial position was to strengthen the current model though education, monitoring and enforcement, we believe that repatriation is a viable alternative,” said AARA President Craig Couillard.

The province will immediately start recruiting and training driver examiners to do all road tests as government employees.

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