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Cochrane Driving Academy FAQs

IMPORTANT - If you require the use of the instructional vehicle for your road test please contact the office. We will check if the car is available at the given time and reserve it for you. A charge of $45 will then be added to your account. 

Please check in with the office first before booking your road test.


Out of Province/Country Licence

1. Reciprocal Licencing Jurisdictions If you possess a licence from any of the jurisdictions below, you will be able to by-pass the Alberta written test and road test, and simply exchange your licence for an Albertan licence. PLEASE NOTE:you will not be getting this licence back (ie: you will need to surrender your previous licence to obtain a new Alberta licence). If the licence is in a language other than English, the licence must be translated by a certified translator. Alberta has reciprocal licencing agreements with:

  • All Canadian Provinces
  • United States of America
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Republic of Korea
  • Switzerland
  • Japan
  • Germany
  • The United Kingdom
  • France

What will you need?

  • Your licence from your previous jurisdiction. This licence must have an "issue date" or "date first licenced" on it. If it is not on the licence, you will need your previous jurisdiction to fax a confirmation letter stating this information. The date must be more than two years ago or you will need to take part in the GDL programme (link).
  • Proof that you are entitled to be in Canada: We will require your passport and Permanent Residency Card, Citizenship or Work Visa. If you are a Canadian Citizen, we will require your birth certificate or Canadian Passport.
  • Secondary Identification: We will require one more piece of non-photo identification such as: Credit Card, Debit Card, SIN or Marriage Certificate.
  • Proof of Residency: We will require proof that you live in Alberta. This is something that has been mailed to you such as a bill, property tax statement, rental agreement, or bank statement. This must be in your name.

2. Non-Reciprocal Jurisdiction

If you have a licence from a country that is not on the "Reciprocal Jurisdictions" list above, you will need to go through a few more steps.

Step 1: Learners Exam

We know you have drivers experience in the country you have come from, however, you are required to take a written Learners Exam in order to get your drivers licence here in Alberta. See information about the Learners Exam and how to prepare here.

Step 2: Surrender your previous drivers licence

Once you have passed the Learners Exam, you will be asked to surrender your drivers licence from your previous country. PLEASE NOTE: you will not be getting this licence back. When you surrender your licence, you make an application to be exempted from the Graduated Drivers Licene Programme (GDL) so you are exempt from the GDL waiting time. You will have to wait 2-3 weeks for this application to be processed. Once you pass your class seven learners exam, you will receive your Class 7 learners licence (please note, with a class seven you are not able to drive by yourself). Once you have your Class 7 Licence and your out of country licence has been approved you can  book your road test here on line.

*Please remember to bring in all identification required when coming in to receive your Learners Licence.

Step 3: Advanced road test
You are now eligible to take the Advanced Class 5 Road Test

Step 4: Receive your Class 5 Advanced Licence

Once you have passed your Advanced Class 5 road test, you can return to Richmond Road Registry to exchange your Class 5 GDL to a full Class 5. Congratulations!


When can I begin the classroom portion of Driver Education?

You can start the classroom portion at any age. It is better that you take the classroom to either assist you pass your class 7 Learners test or do the classroom as part of the driving course in preperation to take your Class 5 basic driving test.

Do I have to do the classroom before I can do my behind the wheel sessions?

It is up to you. if it works better with your schedule, you can do your behind the wheel sessions before, with, or after your classroom dates.

What do I need to bring to the classroom?

You will need something to write with and your lunch. A student study book is provided and refreshents are available.

General Information

Does my course include road test preparation?

Yes, a test prep session is included in your course.

Are the driving courses only for people of school age?

The courses are designed for people of all ages to learn, refresh, or upgrade at any time in their life.

When do I get my insurance reduction certificate?

You are required to achieve a pass of 80% in the classroom and to be able to drive independently at least 75% of the time by the end of your 10 hours. This is achievable within the course, and once these levels are achieved, you will be presented with your Course Completion Certificate (Insurance Reduction Certificate) at the end of your last driving lesson.

Will I have the same instructor for every lesson?

Yes, we always make sure you have the same instructor for every lesson.

During my driving course do I just stay in Cochrane?

During your driving course you will experience all types of driving. Approximately half your hours will be in Cochrane, developing your driving skills while familiarizing yourself with the road system, practising all required manoeuvres, and ending with test prep. The remaining hours will be spent learning to drive in the city, downtown and on highway driving.

How long is the road test?

The road test is 30 mins in length. You will be driving for approximately 25 mins of that time. The other 5 minutes will be used for greeting and feedback.

Where do the driving tests take place?

There are many test centres in Calgary, but there is just one here in Cochrane.

Cochrane Registries, Paste link into your browser to view dates and book your test.

When can I get my Class 5 non-GDL?

You have to be at least 18 years of age and to have held your Class 5 GDL for a period of 24 months. The last 12 months must be suspension free before you are eligible to take your Advanced Road Test (Class 5 non GDL).

When can I get my Class 5 GDL?

You have to be at least 16 years of age and must have held a learners license for at least 12 months prior.

When can I get my learners?

To get your learners (Class 7) you have to be at least 14 years old. It can be taken at the registries.

Will I have other students in the car with me?

We do not encourage joint lessons or expect you to drive with another student in the car. We would like you to have our undivided attention and for you to have no distractions whilst learning to drive.

Do I have to come to the Academy for my lessons?

We generally pick students up from home, school, or work. If you live outside Cochrane, we will arrange a convenient meeting place. It may be at the Academy or at a half way point.

How do I register?

Please click on the register tab and fill in all the blanks. You will then have an account and be able to book your classroom and behind the wheel sessions.