photo: Furtaev/iStock

7 Reasons to Get Your Alberta Driver’s Licence Now

By Ali Bryan

Shift work, remote job sites and it’s your turn to close
From hairnets and pushing carts to grinding beans, first jobs aren’t just rites of passage—they develop transferable skills and put money in your pocket. But they can also mean awkward hours, split shifts and difficult-to-access job sites. You might be starting from the bottom, but an Alberta driver’s licence will help you get there.

Don’t be a commitment-phobe
In a world of instant gratification and Instagrams, it can be a challenge to think three years down the road, but that’s the minimum length of time it takes to complete both stages of graduated driver licensing. Start now and rack up the likes when you show off your newly minted licence. It’s better than a selfie on the back of a bus.

No car? No problem!
A lack of car ownership doesn’t spell roadblock. Car-sharing services, such as Pogo and Car2Go are wise options for budget-savvy youth who want the benefits of car transportation without the costly ownership fees. 

Go west, young man/woman/person
Whether you pick the road less travelled or the TransCanada Highway, having a licence gives you the freedom to choose your own adventure. Drive, explore, repeat.

For the love of independence
Put an end to “Mom’s Taxi.” The freedom to drive yourself, regardless of the destination, is an important milestone for both parents and young drivers alike. Bonus points if you return the seat back to it’s original position before you hand the keys back to mom.

Somebody call 9-1-1
You never know when the simple fact of having a licence can make the critical difference in an emergency situation. Being able to rush a friend’s cat to the vet or a give a teammate a lift to the ER after a rough game are feats not easily done on a skateboard.

It’s infrastructure, not insta-structure
Not all destinations are accessible by public transportation, and while gains are being made in cities and towns across the province, (think the Edmonton Valley LRT or Calgary’s Green Line North LRT) these projects often take years to complete. A licence can afford you access to all of your fave hangouts.

Got a teen who needs a bit more road education? Or maybe you want to brush up on your own driving skills? Or perhaps you know a newcomer unfamiliar with Alberta driving? AMA’s new Safe Performance Value Program could be the answer. Available to members for $399 ($479 for non-members), it focuses on learning the rules of the road, with less in-car instruction than other AMA offerings. Students benefit from 18 hours of classroom learning (or 15 hours online), plus four hours in-vehicle with an AMA driving instructor. You can learn at your own pace and receive customized one-on-one in-vehicle instruction to suit your driving goals.