Driver licensing

Proving your driving experience

When applying for your B.C. licence, you'll need to provide proof of your previous driving experience.*

Your years of driving experience also helps to determine your insurance premiums.

*New B.C. residents only need to provide their driver’s licence history for insurance purposes — proof of insurance is no longer required.

Accepted documents

To prove your previous driving experience for a new B.C. licence, you need to book an appointment to visit an ICBC Driver Licensing office and bring proof of how l​ong you’ve had a full driver’s licence. This can be:

  • A current driver's licence (if the issue date shown is the date of your first licence).

  • An original driver's abstract or driver licence history document (which is our Ontario requirement for example).

  • A letter of experience from the licensing authority that issued your first licence (not a learner’s licence).

  • For experience in Canada and the U.S. only, electronic records emailed or downloaded from the issuing province or state. Your jurisdiction can also fax your driving record directly to your local driver licensing office. 

If your document is not in English, you'll need to get it translated from an ICBC-approved translator pdf. All documents must be translated from original documents or from a copy of the original that has been approved and stamped by a driver licensing office. The original or stamped and approved copy of the original must also be presented when submitting a translated document to a driver licensing office.

Fees and services vary for each translator; please contact them for more information.


Full-privilege B.C. driver's licence requirement

To get your full-privilege driver’s licence, you need to have held a driver’s licence (not a learner’s) for at least two years.

If you don't meet this requirement or can't prove it, you will enter the Graduated Licensing Program, which means you’ll start off with a Novice (N) licence that has some restrictions.

If possible, before you move to B.C., contact the issuer of your driver's licence to get an accepted document that shows the date you received your first non-learner driver's licence.

This document must:

  • Be signed by the licensing authority that issued the licence

  • Include the licensing authority's name, address and phone number

  • Include your name, birth date, driver's licence number (or other unique identifier) and class of licence(s) held

  • Indicate either the date your licence was originally issued or the amount of time you have held a licence

Driving experience credit for insurance

ICBC will credit you with up to 15 years of driving experience upon receipt of proof showing the original date that you received your licence. Find out more about Insurance for new and returning B.C. residents.

After being issued your B.C. driver's licence, you may need to submit additional documentation to prove more driving experience. 

For your convenience, the document can be submitted by email or fax if it is from a reciprocal jurisdiction (a country where B.C. has a licence exchange agreement). The letter or fax must be sent directly from the licensing authority and not through you.

Please note, it can take up to 30 days for experience to be entered in our system if sent via email or fax.

If your letter or abstract is from a non-reciprocal jurisdiction, you must present it in person to any driver licensing office.

Find out more about reciprocal and non-reciprocal jurisdictions.