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Alberta makes driver’s licence exchange program for Ukrainian refugees permanent

The Alberta government says it is making an initiative that allows for the exchange of driver’s licences for Ukrainian refugees permanent.

Last year, the province launched what was supposed to be a temporary one-year driver’s licence exchange program for all holders of a Ukrainian Category B or BE driver’s licence.

The goal of the program was to help refugees find and access employment and care for their families.

According to the province, between April 2023 and March 2024, a total of 14,315 driver’s licences from Ukraine were submitted for exchange at Alberta registries.

In a news release Thursday, the Alberta government said the program has been so successful, it’s now making the program permanent.

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Going forward, Alberta will allow the permanent unilateral exchange of Ukraine Class B (passenger vehicles) and BE (passenger vehicles with a trailer) driver’s licences for an Alberta Class 5 driver’s licence with no extra testing.

“Evacuees from Ukraine already have too much stress to deal with, and this will remove unnecessary barriers and ensure that these newcomers can drive to work and integrate into our communities,” said Devin Dreeshen, Alberta’s minister of transportation and economic corridors.

The Alberta government said Ukrainian driver’s licensing standards meet or exceed Alberta’s standards, and the move aligns with similar actions taken by many other provinces.

The  permanent licence exchange replaces the existing, temporary one-year exchange put in place last year and takes effect April 18.

The Alberta government said as of April 4, more than 60,000 Ukrainian evacuees have registered with Alberta Health in 210 communities across the province.

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