British Columbia Drivers License for Non-residents

It is unlawful to drive without a drivers license in British Columbia province. Therefore, learn how to apply a drivers license to gain authorization.

If you are a non-resident on a visit to BC, you may need to apply for a British Columbia drivers license if you do not have any country or province’s driver’s license.

Driving is helpful in exploring a place quickly. As a non-resident in British Columbia, you need a valid driver’s license to drive to various regions of the province.

Furthermore, you can use your home country or another Canadian province’s driver’s license to drive in BC for a limited period.

British Columbia drivers license

The Canadian province of British Columbia makes use of a Graduated License System, which limits risks for beginning drivers.

Moreover, you need to partake in a written exam and two (2) road tests to be fully licensed to drive in British Columbia.

Besides, the tests involve active participation and are compulsory if you want to drive without limitations in British Columbia.

If you need to get a driver’s license in BC, you need to get in touch with an Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) driver’s licensing office.

You also need to meet their criterion for getting a driver’s license in British Columbia. Among these criteria is that you must age not less than 16 years old.

Classes of British Columbia drivers license

It is greatly important that you get a driver’s license to drive or own a car in British Columbia.

As a non-resident, you need to know the three (3) British Columbia driver’s license classes.

They serve as the categories of drivers in the Canadian province of British Columbia.

The following are the three (3) British Columbia driver’s license classes.

  1. Learner’s driver’s license
  2. Novice drivers license (Class 7)
  3. Full drivers license (Class 5)

Learner’s driver’s license

Also known as Get your L, Learner’s driver’s license is issued to newcomers in British Columbia. Besides, it has a minimum age requirement of 16 years for its applicants.

If you are yet to reach 19 years old, your parent or guardian is required to sign your BC driver’s license application form.

Upon passing the multiple-choice knowledge test, you will get a learner’s driver’s license, which allows you to learn to drive on BC roads for a minimum of one (1) year.

Subsequently, you are required to pass through the road test in order to secure a Novice driver’s license.

However, Learner’s driver’s license has many limitations than other British Columbia driver’s license classes.

This is usually because you are an inexperienced driver who lacks knowledge of driving.

Limitations on Learners driver’s license

Below are the learners’ driver’s license limitations.

  • You must place a magnetic “L” red sign at your vehicle’s rear
  • More so, you must not hold any Portable Electronic Device (PED) while driving
  • You are restricted from driving in the middle of the night till 5 am
  • It is necessary that there is a supervising driver with you while driving. He/she must be aged at least 25 years old and should possess a valid full driver’s license.
  • Apart from the supervising driver, there must be at least one person inside the car as you drive
  • In addition, no level of harmful drug or alcohol must be detected in your body system

Novice drivers license (Class 7)

After holding a Learner’s driver’s license for a minimum of one year, you can proceed to apply for a Novice license.

Moreover, a Novice driver’s license requires you to pass the Class 7 road test, which lasts for 45 minutes. Class 7 road test examines if you can drive in a safe manner.

If you were successful in the Class 7 road test, you will be authorized to drive alone in BC via the next British Columbia driver’s license classes. Hence, you will be issued a Novice driver’s license.

For the most part, you need to learn to drive comprehensively using your Learner’s driver’s license in order to pass the Class 7 road test.

Limitations on Novice drivers license

The following are Novice driver’s license limitations.

  • Whenever you drive, a reflective N green sign must be stuck to your car’s rear
  • You must not consume harmful drugs and alcohol whenever you want to drive
  • You are restricted to carry just one person in your vehicle. However, you can be permitted to carry your immediate family or a supervising driver with a full drivers license
  • Another limitation of a Novice driver’s license in British Columbia is that you are disallowed from operating any Portable Electronic Device (PED) while driving.

You can only use them when there is an emergency and you need to place a call to 911.

Full drivers license (Class 5)

This is the most ultimate of all British Columbia driver’s license classes. You are allowed to apply for a full driver’s license based on some criterion.

Certainly, you must have held a Novice driver’s license for 24 months. You also need to pass the Class 5 road test.

If you have previously partaken in a driving training course accredited by ICBC and satisfied some other criterion, there is a possibility that you can undergo the Class 5 road test.

Furthermore, the Class 5 road test has a duration of 45 minutes. It focuses on assessing your driving and parking skills, vehicle control, and more.

Limitations on Full drivers license

Here are the limitations pertaining to a full driver’s license in BC.

  • A basic auto insurance policy must cover your car
  • More so, your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) must be less than 0.05%

How to get a British Columbia driver’s license

We recommend that you follow the steps below to get a driver’s license in British Columbia.

  • First, you need to study Learn to Drive Smart guide to know more about the Knowledge Test
  • Second, you are required to arrange for a meeting with any Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) driver licensing office
  • Third, make payment of the driver’s license fee.

If you are below 19 years old, you need to provide a signed consent form from your parent or guardian.

  • Fourth, you must provide an authentic primary and secondary means of identification. You also need to undergo an eye test during the meeting
  • Fifth, you need to partake in the multiple-choice Knowledge Test
  • Six, you will be issued a Learner’s driver’s license, which implies that you are a newbie driver in the province of British Columbia.
  • Above all, it is important that you wait for one (1) year before applying for a Novice driver’s license.

After successfully getting a Novice driver’s license, you are mandated to wait for 24 months before applying for the highest of British Columbia driver’s license classes, Full driver’s license.

British Columbia drivers license renewal

If you seek how to renew your BC driver’s license, this part of the article will guide you in the renewal process.

Here are how you can renew your BC drivers license

  • Firstly, you need to arrange an appointment in advance. You can do this online.
  • Secondly, visit any ICBC driver licensing office with two (2) means of identification within 180 days of its expiry

Undoubtedly, there are various British Columbia driver’s license renewal locations across the province.

You can visit any of the BC drivers licensing offices in Langley, Vancouver, Surrey, Victoria, Richmond, Burnaby, Gibsons, Nanaimo, Kelowna, Abbotsford, Kamloops, Port Coquitlam, Penticton, Chilliwack, among others.

British Columbia drivers license fees

Below are the fees relevant to a British Columbia driver’s license.

  • New license application – novice (5 years): $75 Canadian Dollars
  • Drivers license upgrade or replacement fee (if lost or damaged): $17 Canadian Dollars
  • 5-year license renewal for seniors (65+): $17 Canadian Dollars
  • 2-year license (ideal for non-learners drivers immigrating to BC): $31 Canadian Dollars
  • Drivers license renewal (5 years): $71 Canadian Dollars
  • License renewal (2 years): $31 Canadian Dollars
Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the British Columbia driver’s license age requirement?

Ans – Applicants of a new British Columbia drivers license must be at least 16 years old

Q. Who issues a British Columbia driver’s license?

Ans – Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) drivers licensing office

Q. What handheld electronic devices can I not use when driving with a Learner’s or Novice drivers license?

Ans – Examples of these handheld electronic devices are mobile phones, handheld navigation systems, Bluetooth, etc.

Q. Can I use another province or country driver’s license in British Columbia?

Ans – Yes, but only for a limited time. Thus, you can use an international license for 90 days upon your arrival in BC. In addition, you need to apply for your driver’s license before it expires.

Q. Can temporary foreign workers use another country or province driver’s license in BC?

Ans – Yes, but only for one year. However, you must possess a work permit, as well as a valid driver’s license from your place or country of origin.

Q. Can I renew my driver’s license online in BC?

Ans – Yes

Q. How do I identify my British Columbia driver’s license number?

Ans – You can identify your BC driver’s license number as a 7-digit number located upper right of your card. Besides, the number is directly above your DOB (Date of Birth)

Q. How do I initiate a British Columbia driver’s license address change?

Ans – You have ten (10) days to request your BC driver’s license address change. Such changes can be made online, via phone call, or by visiting the ICBC drivers licensing office.

Q. What payment methods are accepted by ICBC drivers licensing offices?

Ans – Cash payment, debit cards, Visa, American Express, MasterCard, as well as personal cheques