Getting A Driver's License in BC - Basic Guide

Getting a License in BC

Getting a driver’s license is a must if you want to drive around and enjoy the beauty of British Columbia, Canada. First of all, BC does not have a standard license for driving all sort of vehicles such as cars, taxis, busses and bikes. You will need a different license if you want to drive a motorcycle, bus or a car.

If you are born in Canada, you can apply for a license at the age of 16. Although you will need a parent or guardian to be with you and sign the application if you are under 19. In order to get your full license, you will first have to pass the knowledge test, then get an L (learner’s license) and then getting your N (Novice license). After you pass the novice test, you’ll be eligible for the full license test which will get you your full driver’s license.

However, if you are not born in Canada and moving/moved to BC from another country, the process is different depending on your country of origin and your status in British Columbia. For example, if you are an international student in BC and you already have driver’s license from your original country, you are allowed to drive here in BC with your old license as long as you are full time student. However, you are advised to contact ICBC for confirmation or visit their website here.

If you are not a full time student and are on temporary Visa, you can use your old driver’s license for 90 days after moving to BC. But you will have to get a BC’s driver’s license after those 3 months.People from countries such as United States of America, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and South Korea do not require to take the knowledge test, they can directly apply for a road test and get the license if they pass it. Same goes for all other provinces in Canada.

People from all other countries are required to take the knowledge test prior to taking the road test as the basic rules of road could be totally different, for example driving on the opposite side. At the time of publishing this article, the knowledge test costs $15 one-time fee, while the road test cost is $50. Please check ICBC’s fee section on their website for up to date information.

Passing the Knowledge Test

Before you go out into the world and try your first drive, you should learn the rules and laws of the road. You should know what is the meaning of signs on the roads and cross sections so you can understand how drivers co-operate with each other and make the system work. Otherwise, you may end up jeopardizing the whole system.

Before you get any hands on experience of driving, you are required to take the basic knowledge test which assesses your knowledge about the signs and rules of the road. Knowledge test could be hard or easy depending on how much you already know and how easily you grab on to the new information. So we can’t say if its easy or hard. Thing is, if you want your driver license and agree to put some time and effort then it should be pretty easy.

In order to prepare yourself for the knowledge test, you will need to study ‘Learn to Drive Smart’ guide. It is available on all ICBC centers for free. So you can get one easily. But for most of you, it shouldn’t be necessary as the text is available on all smartphones, eReaders and Laptop computers, you can get the guide on your favorite device whether its an Android, iPhone, PC, Mac, Kindle or whichever device you prefer to use. Here is the download page where you can find a version for your device.

Its true that the guide may seem a little long to some of you. So you are most probably not going to complete it in 2 days and remember the important stuff. We will be utilizing a proper plan so that we learn and remember the important things without giving our brains a hard time.

You’ll probably know your learning habits so you can tune the plan according to your preference, we will recommend to read 2-5 pages per day, maybe up to 10 if you really want to be done with it. But be careful when you’re reading. Do not just skim through it. Our goal is not to complete the book but to get the knowledge and become a good driver. So only read as much as you can absorb. Highlighting is helpful as you can easily find what’s important and don’t have to go through the whole thing again. Whenever you feel something is important, highlight it. Another thing you can do is to take the free online practice test first, just to get an idea of the content in the test. Now it’ll be easier for you to spot necessary things as you’ll remember them from the test.

Once you finished the book, go through it again and this time just focus on important stuff and try to test yourself on certain things as long as you are not confident enough.Then try the online testing tool and see how you perform. If you still don’t get it, write the questions which you got wrong or didn’t know the answer of and go through the text again. Once you get above 95% scores in three consistent tests, you’re golden. You can try giving the actual test whenever you feel like, but if you will get above 95 in three consecutive tests, there is no one stopping you from passing the test without any trouble.