Getting a British Columbia Drivers License: Requirements and Things to Know
If you want to have your British Columbia driver’s license in the next couple of years, you had better get started now.
You see, British Columbia has a graduated licensing program which will make the licensing process take a little longer. While this will delay your receiving a full license, it will help you to learn more about driving and to perfect your skills in a controlled environment.
How To Proceed
Find Out the Requirements for a BC Drivers License
Since getting a British Columbia drivers license will take time, it is important to make sure that you meet the qualifications before you invest a lot of time and money into the CBC licensing process. Some of the qualifications are that you be able to pass a vision test and various other tests. You can start driving as a teenager, but will need parental permission if you are under 18.
Get a Driver’s Handbook
As you go through the licensing process you will really want to rely on the information in your driver’s handbook. This guide has the most comprehensive source of quality information that you can find. You can pick up a guide of your own at a Ministry of Transportation office for a small fee, or you can view the official BC driver’s guide online. This is a great way to quickly and easily access information. As you read the guide, make sure that you make note of the important information to study later since much of this information will appear on your ICBC practice test and actual test. Be sure to acquaint yourself with British Columbia driving rules.
Study for Your Permit Test
Once you have your handbook you can really start studying for your permit test. The test will focus on questions concerning road safety, traffic signs and basic traffic laws so this is a good place to initially focus your studying. Make sure that you are very comfortable with the information before you schedule your test. It is a good idea to take our state of the art ICBC drivers practice test online to make sure that you understand the information in the written test before going in.
Contact ICBC Test Booking and Schedule a Written Test
When you are confident with your knowledge of the information in the British Columbia drivers handbook, you can contact the test booking center to schedule a test. If you don’t have the number you can find it on the ICBC website.
Take Your Written Test
There is no need to worry about your BC written test: if you have studied you will have plenty of knowledge to pass the test. When you go in for the test take along proof of your age, name, birth date and address. Commonly people use their passport, birth certificate or other similar documents. Make sure that you know what documents are required and that you bring them along. You will also take a vision test at this time.
Pay Your License Fees
You will need to pay licensing fees to take your tests or receive permits. Some fees that you can expect are a $15 fee for the knowledge test, $25 cancellation fee for the road test, $35 for a class 7 road test, $50 for a class 5 road test and $31 for a 2 year license.
Practice Your Skills
When you pass your knowledge test you will receive a BC learner’s permit which will enable you to drive as a learner. During this time you cannot use cell phones while driving. You must have a supervisory driver at all times that is 25 or older. You also can only carry 1 passenger besides your supervising driver. You cannot have any alcohol in your blood. Learner drivers are permitted to drive between 5 a.m. and midnight. While driving you must display a red letter L sign on your vehicle. These restrictions will apply for at least 1 year. You may wish to enroll in BC driving school during this time. If you attend driving school you can reduce your time spent in this stage by 6 months. Be sure to practice during a wide variety of BC road conditions.
Take Your BC Class 7 Road Test
During your road test you will demonstrate your knowledge of BC driving laws and your driving skills. If you pass you will receive your Novice license.
Receive Your Novice License
With your novice license you still have some restrictions, but will find that you also have more privileges and freedoms as well. For example you can now drive alone. You will be unable to drive with alcohol in your blood and cannot use cell phones. Instead of using your L sign you will now receive a green N sign that must be on your vehicle at all times. You can only carry 1 passenger other than immediate family members.
Wait 2 Years
You will hold your novice license for a period of at least 24 months. If you lose your license for any reason during this time the 24 month period must be restarted. If you complete an ICBC approved driving course you can receive a 6 month reduction during this period. High school students can also receive a 2 school credit bonus towards their graduation.
Take a Class 5 Road Test
The BC drivers license test is very complex. Once you have finished your time with your novice license you must contact the ICBC test booking to schedule an ICBC road test class 5. If you pass this BC drivers license test you will receive your license. It is a good idea to take an ICBC practice test class 5 to prepare.
Enjoy Your Restriction Free License
Once you have completed this process you can receive your class 5 license. This is a regular license with no special restrictions. It is awarded after you pass the class 5 BC drivers test. Congratulations on your achievement!
Andrei Zakhareuski is the founder of Find-a-driving-school.ca. He has been writing for beginner Canadian drivers for several years.
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