British Columbia Drivers License
Steps to get your Graduated Driver’s license (Class 7 & 5) in British Columbia (B.C)
British Columbia has a Graduated Driver Licensing program (or “GDL” for short). It consists of 2 stages.
British Columbia Learner’s license stage
- The first stage is the learner’s L stage (L) license with restrictions to help reduce the risks while learning to drive.
- After 12 months of prohibition-free driving, you qualify to take your first road test—the Class 7 road test. You can stay in the learner’s (L) stage as long as you need to. Your learner’s (L) license is valid for 2 years, but can be renewed by re-qualifying on the knowledge test in the learner’s (L) stage. Once you pass the road test, you will receive a novice (N) license.
- To obtain a BC driver’s license, you must be 16 years old. If under 19, bring your parent or legal guardian to sign for your application
Novice license stage
- For the novice (N) stage some of the learner’s (L) license stage restrictions are removed.
- You will be eligible to take the second Class 5 road test to exit the Graduated license program after 24 months of prohibition-free driving in the Novice (N) license stage. Once you pass this test, you will graduate to your full-privilege driver’s license.
- By successfully completing an ICBC approved driving course, you could get a) A six-month reduction in the novice stage of graduated licensing, and b) Two credits towards your high school graduation.
- The approved course must be taken while you are still in the learner’s (L) stage and you must a) Be prohibition free, b) Not get any violation tickets, or c) Have any at-fault crashes
- In Class 5 road test, you will perform manoeuvers that show you are now a safe, experienced driver with excellent vehicle control.
- Your See-Think-Do skills are assessed and you are expected to use the key driving skills. See-Think-Do is a driving strategy to help you scan for hazards, decide on safest solution and perform manoeuvers to road safety.
- At times during the test, you will be tested for hazard perceptions you see while driving. The class 5 road test and examiner feedback takes about 1 hour
What to bring to the test center:
- When applying for a BC driver’s license for the first time you must present proof of identity. If you are under 19 years of age you will need to provide a signed parental consent (proof of legal guardianship must be provided if a guardian signs), unless you are married and have proof
- All new BC license applicants must provide at least one original primary identification document showing your legal name and birthdate, and at least one original secondary identification document showing your signature.
Primary identification document
Photocopies are not acceptable
Issued by ICBC:
- BC driver’s license or learner’s license (must have your photo)
- BC Identification card (BCID) (Must not be expired for more than three years. Older cards without an expiry date are not acceptable.)
Issued by provincial or territorial government:
- Canadian Birth Certificate (sorry, a baptismal certificate or certificate of Live Birth is not acceptable)
Issued by Government of Canada:
- Canadian passport – must be valid and show your FULL legal name as shown on your Canadian Birth Certificate or Canadian Citizenship card OR as changed through a Vital Statistics Office (e.g., marriage)
- Canadian Citizenship Card
- Permanent Resident Card – confirmation of Permanent Resident IM5292 is not acceptable
- Canadian Record of Landing/Canadian Immigration Identification Record
- Study, work, visitor or temporary resident permit (formerly minister’s permit).
- Identity Card (Issued by Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to foreign representatives accredited to Canada and eligible members of their family)
- Secure Certificate of Indian Status (only cards with a new design are accepted
Secondary identification document
Photocopies are not acceptable
- BC Care Card (or a government-issued health card from another Canadian province or territory)
- School ID card (student card)
- Bank card (only if applicant’s name is on card)
- Credit card (only if applicant’s name is on card)
- Passport (Canadian or foreign. Must be valid)
- U.S. Passport card
- Foreign birth certificate (sorry, a baptismal certificate is not acceptable)
- Canadian or U.S. driver’s license
- Naturalization certificate
- Canadian Forces identification
- Police identification
- Foreign Affairs Canada or consular identification
- Vehicle registration (only if applicant’s signature is shown)
- Employee ID card with photo
- Firearms Acquisition Certificate
- Social Insurance Card (new style without signature strip not acceptable)
- Native Status Card
- Parole Certificate ID
- Correctional Service Conditional Release Card
- The applicant must be 16 years for learners license
- The applicant must pass Class-7 road test, Class-5 road test and written knowledge test
- The applicant is required to have an eye test before he gets BC driver’s license
Fees required for getting the license in British Columbia
- Written test fee is $15.00
- Class-7 Road test fee is $35.00
- Class-5 Road test fee is $50.00
- 5 year driver’s license is $75.00
BC driving practice test questions and driver handbook online
British Columbia Driving Test Center
Contact customer service at phone numbers:
- Greater Victoria: 250-978-8300
- Elsewhere in B.C.: 1-800-950-1498
- Other countries: 250-879-8300
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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