From the age of 16, British Columbians can get a learner’s license to drive. But a driver’s licence comes with significant responsibilities. Car accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers. All drivers – young and old – are responsible for the safe operation of their vehicle. This section describes the steps you need to take to get a driver’s licence.
In BC, new drivers must progress through the graduated licensing program in order to obtain a driver’s license. The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia provides licences drivers. New drivers go through a graduated licensing program that helps them learn the skills and attitudes that will help make them safe drivers. The process is different for drivers licensed from outside of Canada or outside of BC. See the ICBC website for more information.
The graduated licensing program consists of three steps and takes over 3 years to complete.
The first stage is a learner’s license, followed by your class 7 and then class 5 licences.
There is a multiple choice test, knowledge test (and vision test), plus two driving tests.
This illustration provides an overview of the three steps. For more information, see the ICBC website.
The Learner’s Licence knowledge test is about the driving rules in BC. To get ready to take the knowledge test, you should read “Learn to Drive Smart”. You can download it (17.5 MB), or pick up a copy at any ICBC driver licensing office. Learn to Drive Smart is now also available in an app that runs on Apple mobile devices: Get the app. ICBC’s online practice test will help to prepare you for the knowledge test.
After 12 months in the learner’s stage, you may take your Class 7 road test. The road test usually takes about an hour. An ICBC driver examiner will take you on city streets and on the highway to test how safely you drive. You have to do things like park, back up, change lanes, merge with traffic and obey speed limits, traffic lights and stop signs. This “What to Expect” video provides 7 tips to pass the ICBC road test.
Once you have driven safely for two years with your class 7 license, you can take your test for your class 5 license, this is your full license. You can book the test here.
Last reviewed: March 2016
IMPORTANT: This page provides legal information, not legal advice. If you need legal advice consult a lawyer.
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