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British Columbia Driver’s License for Non-resident’

A non-resident of British Columbia (BC) who intends to drive during his or her stay in the Province, requires a valid driver’s license. This article provides a step-by-step procedure on how you can apply and be issued a driver’s license in British Columbia.

British Columbia Driver’s License can be issued to non-residents of the Province. If you intend to drive around British Columbia during your stay, It is important for you to know that you cannot do so without a valid driver’s license.

It is a criminal offense punishable with a $500 fine and up to six months in jail.

Fortunately, non-residents may be allowed to use the driver’s license issued by their home country or another Canadian province to drive in BC for a limited period of 90 days upon their arrival. After 90 days, you’re required to switch to a BC driver’s license.

BC Driver’s License Classes

Before we look at how you can get a British Columbia driver’s license, let’s take a look at the different classes of BC driver’s license. 

In British Columbia, driver’s licenses are issued using a Graduated License System (GLS). This system controls the risk for beginner drivers in BC.

The GLS in British Columbia is classified into 3. They include,

Learners Driver’s License

The learners driver’s license is issued to newcomers in British Columbia. You’re required to pass the multiple-choice knowledge test, before you will be issued a learner’s driver’s license. With this driver’s license, you are permitted to learn how to drive on BC roads for at least a year.

Who is Eligible for the Learner’s Driver’s License?

To be eligible for the learner’s driver’s license, you must meet the following requirements

  • You must be 16 years and above
  • If you are below 19 years, your BC driver’s license application form must be signed by your parents or guardians.
  • You must pass the multiple-choice knowledge test which permits you to drive.

Learners Driver’s License Limitations

Here are the limitations of the Learners driver’s license

  • An “L” red sign must be placed at your vehicle’s rear.
  • You must not hold any Portable Electronic Device (mobile phone, bluetooth, etc.) while driving.
  • You cannot drive in the middle of the night. 
  • You’re required to have a supervising driver beside you while driving.The supervising driver must be aged 25 years old or more. He or she must have a valid full driver’s license.
  • In addition to the supervising driver, another person is required to be in the vehicle.
  • Your body system must be free from drugs or alcohol.

Novice Driver’s License (Class 7)

Also known as Class 7, the Novice drivers license can be issued to the holders of learner’s driver’s license after driving without issues for at least a year.

Who is Eligible for the Novice Driver’s License

Here are the eligibility requirements for the Novice drivers license

  • You must have held a  Learner’s driver’s license for a minimum of one year.
  • You must pass the Class 7 road test. This test lasts for 45 minutes and it examines if you can drive in a safe manner.

Novice Driver’s License Limitations

Here are the Novice driver’s license limitations.

  • An “N” green sign must be placed on your car’s rear
  • Your body system must be free from harmful drugs and alcohol while you’re driving.
  • You can only carry one person in your vehicle. you’re only permitted to carry your immediate family members or a supervising driver with a full driver’s license.
  • You’re restricted from using a Portable Electronic Device (phone, bluetooth, etc) unless for an emergency.

Full Driver’s License (Class 5)

The Class 5 is the highest class of the BC driver’s license. 

Who is Eligible for the Full Driver’s License

Here are the eligibility requirements for the Full driver’s license

  • You must have held a Novice’s driver’s license for a minimum of 2 years.
  • You must pass the Class 5 road test. This test lasts for 45 minutes and it examines your driving skills.

Full Driver’s License Limitations

Here are the Full driver’s license limitations.

  • Your vehicle must be covered by a basic auto insurance policy.
  • Your Blood Alcohol Level must be lower than 0.05%

How to Get a British Columbia Driver’s License for Non-resident

As a non-resident of British Columbia, you can get a British Columbia driver’s license following these steps:

Study the ‘Learn to Drive Smart’ guide

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The ‘Learn to Drive Smart’ guide is mostly used by new drivers to study for the knowledge test. Experienced drivers or new residents can also use this guide to brush up on their driving safely. This guide is downloaded in IOS app and android app formats.

Schedule a Meeting with ICBC

You’re required to schedule a meeting with any Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) driver’s license office close to you.

Pay for your BC Driver’s License

You’re required to pay for your driver’s license. If you keep reading this article, you will find out all the costs associated with the BC driver’s license

In addition to these application procedures, applicants below 19 years old must:

  • Present a signed consent form from their parents or guardians.
  • Present an authentic primary and secondary means of identification. 
  • Undergo an eye test
  • Take the multiple-choice Knowledge Test

Lastly, you can only be issued a Learner’s driver’s license because you’re a newbie driver in British Columbia. You can only apply for a Novice driver’s license after a year.

If you intend to get the Full driver’s license, you can apply after 2 years of successfully driving with a novice driver’s license.

How much is the British Columbia Driver’s License

Here are the fees associated with a British Columbia driver’s license:

  • New novice driver’s license application for 5 years costs $75 
  • Upgrading or replacing your British Columbia driver’s license costs $17
  • 5-year license renewal for seniors (65+) costs  $17
  • 2-year license for non-learners drivers immigrating to BC costs $31 
  • Driver’s license renewal (2 years) costs $31 
  • Drivers license renewal (5 years) costs $71 

British Columbia Driver’s License Renewal

You can renew the British Culombia driver’s license when it expires.

To renew your license you must:

  • Schedule an appointment with any ICBC driver licensing office.
  • Go for your appointment with 2 means of identification within 180 days the license expired.

If you have questions about the British Columbia driver’s license for non-resident, let us know in the comments section below.

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