Driver licensing

Moving from outside Canada

Welcome to B.C.! After moving here, you have 90 days to switch your valid licence to a B.C. driver’s licence.

The 90-day rule does not apply and you may continue to drive on your current licence if you:

  • are visiting as a tourist for up to six months

  • have a valid student exemption due to full-time enrollment at a designated educational institution in B.C.

  • are ordinarily resident outside of B.C.

  • are a temporary foreign worker with a federal work permit designating that you are in the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP). Workers in the SAWP may drive for up to 12 months on a valid licence from their home jurisdiction. If you’re staying longer than 12 months under SAWP and want to continue driving then you will need to get a B.C. driver’s licence.

Welcoming new arrivals from Ukraine to B.C.

If you're a new arrival from Ukraine, we'll help you at any of our driver licensing offices.

Things to know:

  • You can drive in B.C. using your Ukraine driver's licence for up to 90 days.

    • ​If you wish to exchange your Ukraine driver's licence for a B.C. driver’s licence, you will need to complete a knowledge test and a road test.

  • You can use most immigration documents issued by the Government of Canada as your primary identification to obtain a B.C. driver's licence and/or BC Services Card. For information on secondary identification options, learn more about ​​

    Accepted ID.

  • Our driver licensing employees will be able to assist you if you cannot obtain your driving experience documents.​

  • Class 5, 6, 7 and 8 knowledge tests are available in Ukrainian. 

  • We offer free, over-the-phone interpretation services in 170 languages (including Ukrainian). Find out more about our language services.

Requirements for new B.C. residents

New B.C. residents are required to provide their driver licence history — proof of insurance is not required.

Each year you remain crash-free, your insurance discount increases. ICBC will credit you with up to 15 years of driving experience upon receipt of an acceptable driving record showing the original date that you received your licence. Your premiums will be adjusted for the first three years of driving in B.C. due to the increased risks associated with driving in a new area.

If you've previously held a B.C. driver's licence and are returning to the province, your insurance will be calculated based on the date of your first B.C. driver's licence.

If you've never held a licence in B.C. before, your out of province licence is expired over three years and you cannot provide proof you have been driving on a valid licence anywhere in the last three years, you will be required to take a knowledge test and a road test.


Driving experience requirement

Proof of at least two years driving experience is needed to be exempt from B.C.’s Graduated Licensing Program. If you don't have two years' driving experience (with a full-privilege, non-learner licence) or can't prove it, you can still get a Class 7 or Class 8 licence with graduated licensing restrictions.

You need to be a B.C. resident to apply for or hold a B.C. driver’s licence.

Driver licensing requirements are based on where your current licence is from.

In addition to having reciprocal arrangements with every Canadian province and territory as well as every US state, B.C. has reciprocal licence exchange agreements with many jurisdictions:

  • Austria

  • Australia

  • Belgium

  • France

  • Germany

  • Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey

  • Ireland

  • Japan

  • Netherlands

    • Except former territories in Antilles: Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, St. Eustatius, and St. Maarten.

  • New Zealand

  • South Korea (not motorcycles)

  • Switzerland

  • Taiwan (not motorcycles)

    • If you're from Taiwan you will be able to exchange your licence for a passenger vehicle licence only. You must provide the following documents:

      • Taiwanese driver's licence card,

      • Verification certificate of driver's licence with red seal stamp (available in Taiwan only), and a translation of your driver's licence by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Vancouver. You can get an ICBC translation form at any driver licensing office.

  • United Kingdom (includes England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland)

  • United States (includes Washington DC and Puerto Rico)

Exchanging your licence

If you’re from one of the countries listed above then follow these steps to exchange your licence.

Steps for passenger vehicle licences (class 5) or motorcycles (class 6).

Book an appointment to visit an ICBC driver licensing office and bring the following to apply for your licence:

Commercial licences

​Please note that subject to review of your driving record(s), B.C. testing may be required before you can be issued a B.C. Class 1 driver’s licence. This may include mandatory entry-level training (MELT).​

For a commercial licence from outside of Canada, you will need to qualify on applicable knowledge and road tests. You may also need to complete the Class 1 MELT course​​ if you are applying to be a Class 1 commercial driver. Otherwise, you can exchange your licence for a passenger vehicle licence.

New to B.C.?

Get information in Punjabi or Chinese

Getting documents translated

If your licence or driving record is in a language other than English, an ICBC-approved translator pdf located in B.C. will need to translate your documents.