Important information for commercial driver training schools with air brake students

July 16 2021

The requirement for Class 1 commercial driver’s licence applicants to successfully complete B.C.’s Class 1 Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) course will start October 18, 2021 - about three months away.

To support the new requirement, we’ll be making changes to the Class 1 and air brake knowledge test process.

What this means for your Class 1 students:

Leading up to October 18, 2021, some students may have passed either the Class 1 knowledge test or the air brake knowledge test, but not both. Please inform students that starting October 18, 2021, if they have not passed both the Class 1 and air brake knowledge tests, they will be required to complete the new combined Class 1 and air brake knowledge test to be issued a Class 1 learner driver’s licence prior to enrolling in MELT.

Students previously issued a Class 1 learner driver’s licence with a complimentary air brake endorsement prior to passing an air brake knowledge test, will need to qualify on the new combined Class 1 and air brake knowledge test so that they may be re-issued a Class 1 learner driver’s licence. If the student is unsuccessful on the new combined knowledge test, they will be required to surrender the previously issued Class 1 learner driver’s licence.

If you are a driver training school that will begin to offer the Class 1 MELT course before October 18, 2021, you must continue to issue an air brake course card up to October 18, 2021 upon a student’s completion of the air brake training portion to allow them to attempt the existing air brake knowledge test.

What this means for your Class 2, 3, 4, 5/7 students applying for an air brake endorsement:

Starting October 18, 2021, those with a Class 2, 3, 4 or 5/7 driver’s licence who are applying for an air brake endorsement will be required to complete an air brake knowledge test specific to single-unit air brake equipped vehicles. This testing content better targets the vehicle configuration they will be operating.
The “single-unit” air brake knowledge test will remain a stand-alone knowledge test for this group of drivers and the fee will remain $15. There are no changes to the air brake course card requirement, limiting the applicant to 3 attempts per card.

If your student attempts the current air brake knowledge test on a course card issued prior to October 18, 2021 and is unsuccessful, they may use any remaining attempts on the card to take the new single-unit air brake knowledge test after October 18, 2021.

Additional information on air brake training and testing requirements will be provided in early Fall 2021.