Learning To Drive In British Columbia

If you want to drive in British Columbia, you will need a valid driver’s license. If you are moving to British Columbia and taking up residency and you already have a driving license from the country or another province of Canada, you are able to use it for 90 days from the time that you arrived, but you must make sure that inside these 90 days you apply for a British Columbia driving license.

For visitors to British Columbia, it is possible to drive without legal problems for up to six months carrying your valid driving license on you while you drive. Should you have an International Driving Permit, you may carry this, but you must remember to keep your foreign driving license with you as it may be called for inspection.

Key points for driving in British Columbia


Driving in Canada, unlike the United Kingdom, requires that cars must be driven on the right hand side of the road. As mentioned, you can only drive if you have a valid driving license and your vehicle is insured. British Columbia places great importance on drivers respecting the safety of cyclists and pedestrians, so make sure when driving, you should take great care to avoid accidents involving them.

Exceptions to the road test or knowledge test

It may not be necessary to take the road test or the knowledge test if you come from another province of Canada. Having a driving license from countries that are recognized by British Columbia mean that you can apply for a B.C. license immediately, these countries include:

• The United States

• Germany

• Austria

• Switzerland

• Japan

• South Korea

• United Kingdom

• Australia

• South Africa

Other driving license procedures

Driving license holders from other countries than those listed above will need to take a knowledge test and a road test. Preparing for the knowledge test is made easier if you visit the offices of the ICBC (Insurance Corporation of British Columbia) where you will be able to receive a selection of free books that will help you study for the knowledge test. This material is only available in English.

The different driving licenses you can apply for

Apart from the standard car driver’s license, you can alternatively apply for a taxi license, one for a motorcycle, a large truck or a bus. You cannot drive in B.C. until you are aged 16 years old. People aged less than 19 years old will need their driving license application to be signed by a parent or a guardian for it to be accepted for processing. You will be required to produce some accepted ID documents for example a learner driving license with a photo or a birth certificate and a couple of relevant documents.

Preparing for the knowledge test

It is essential that you have a good knowledge about the driving laws in British Columbia. The guide you should be asking for is called the Roadsense for Drivers guide. You will find that this small book contains all you need to know about learning to drive correctly in British Columbia having understood the rules or the road and how to drive your car safely. The booklet can be obtained from the ICBC website or any ICBC driver licensing office.

Once you are done studying, it is time to sit the knowledge test on a computer. A pass is gained when you answer 40 or more questions correctly out of the 50 you will need to respond to. A useful help that allows you to get comfortable with the knowledge test is that practice questions are available before the exam in English. Make sure that you take time out to study for the practice questions.

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