Graduated Licensing Program Reference Information:
In August of 1998 the Province of British Columbia and ICBC implemented our Graduated Licensing Program. It is aimed at easing New Drivers onto our roadways through a two stage licensing program. There are some very specific components of it that may or may not apply to you as a new driver in British Columbia.
If you are a new driver and have not held a license in another jurisdiction you will probably be licensed under the Graduated Licensing Program. If you have arrived from another jurisdiction inside Canada, the United States or Japan and hold a full license from that jurisdiction you should contact ICBC Driver Services to find out what you have to do to change your license to a BC Driver License. In Kelowna you can call them at 1-800-950-1498 (drivers licensing inquiries) for more information. Licensed drivers from other countries will have to take both a Class 5 knowledge test, visual screening test and a road test to obtain a full BC License. There are time limits upon you for completion of these requirements. Check with ICBC about these.
Anyone applying for a first driver’s licence, whether as a teen or an adult, enters the Graduated Licensing Program. This program is part of ICBC’s and the BC government’s commitments to save lives, reduce injuries, and keep insurance rates affordable.
Graduated Licensing Program Intro:
In Graduated Licensing, you need to pass two stages before you get your full privilege driver’s licence: the Learner stage and the Intermediate stage. During both stages, there are driving restrictions. Some of these conditions are in force for the entire length of the program, but others are lifted once you reach the Intermediate stage. You spend at least 36 months in the program before you obtain your full privilege driver’s licence (or 30 months if you successfully complete a driver education course approved by ICBC).
Why Graduated Licensing?
New drivers, regardless of age, are almost twice as likely to cause a collision as experienced motorists. In fact, one in five drivers is involved in a crash within the first two years on the road. In Graduated Licensing, you gain driving experience more gradually, under conditions that expose you to less risk. By the time you’ve finished the program, you’ll have had the chance to drive in different seasons and conditions and on different roads. And that means you’ll become a safer, more skilled driver.
L Stage Restrictions (New Drivers)
Once you have a learner’s licence (Class 7L) you may begin to practise driving under certain conditions. New drivers must follow these conditions in the Learner stage:
During the Learner stage, a fully licensed adult must accompany you whenever you drive. Your co-pilot must hold either a full privilege British Columbia driver’s licence (Class 5) or a British Columbia commercial driver’s licence (Class 1, 2, 3 or 4) and be 25 years of age or older.
Zero Blood Alcohol Content
During both the Learner and Intermediate stages, your blood alcohol content must be zero when you’re driving.
“L” New Driver Sign
When you get your learner’s licence, you will receive a magnetic “L” which is your new driver sign. You must display this sign when driving, either in the rear windshield or attached to the rear exterior of your vehicle. The sign must be clearly visible to other drivers from behind your vehicle, unmodified or damaged and must be facing the correct direction.
Passenger Restriction for Class “L”
You may carry a maximum of two passengers: your licensed adult supervisor and one additional passenger.
You may drive only between five a.m. and midnight.
An ICBC “Approved” driver education course will award two High School credits toward graduation in B.C. public schools. The credits, which count toward the 52 needed for high school graduation will be granted for approved driver education courses passed after August 1, 1998. That’s when BC’s Graduated Licensing Program to reduce new-driver crashes came into effect. Take your copy of the ICBC Declaration of Completion into your high school office to obtain this credit if you qualify and have taken an “Approved” GLP course with All Weather Driving School.
The Level 1 Road Test
Once you’ve spent at least 12 months in the Learner stage, you may take the Level 1 road test(Class 7N). If you pass the Level 1 road test (Class 7N), you receive a Class 7 Novice driver’s licence and move into the Intermediate stage of Graduated Licensing. All new drivers are required to have completed a minimum of 60 hours of driving before taking this test. Students who have taken an “Approved” Graduated Licensing Program Defensive Driving Course and have completed a minimum of 60 hours as well as the required In-Class training will receive a 6 month time reduction off of their Novice licensing stage, reducing the waiting time to 18 months from 24 months before the driver is eligible to take their Class 5 road test.
The Intermediate Stage (Novice Licence)
The Intermediate stage lasts a minimum of 24 months but you may reduce this period by six months if you successfully complete a driver education course that’s approved by ICBC. In this stage, you may drive a passenger vehicle unaccompanied. You will also need to display the “N” new driver sign and follow the zero blood alcohol content condition.
Passenger Restriction for Class “N”
You are limited to one passenger unless you have a supervisor 25 years or older with a valid Class 1 – 5 driver’s licence. This restriction does not apply to immediate family members: mother, father, sister, brother, child, spouse or grandparent; including step and foster relationships.
The Level 2 Road Test (Class 5)
Once you’ve spent at least 24 months in the Intermediate stage or 18 months if you have completed an ICBC “Approved” Graduated Licensing Program course, you may take the Level 2 test (Class 5) . If you pass this road test you will obtain your full Class 5 driver’s license. This test has been refined to reflect the necessary qualities that ICBC and the Province of British Columbia hope to see drivers display in the future. This test will not simply be a repeat of your first road test, but will look to your abilities to share the road safely and courteously with others. As well you will probably be given the task of Hazard Recognition while on the test. This test is more extensive in the testing process than the previous Class 7N road test. Brush up courses and additional information are available from All Weather Driving School prior to taking the Class 5 road test.
ICBC Graduated Licensing-Related Fees:
Knowledge test, Vision test, road signs test $15
Class 7L photo learner driver’s license $10
Level 1 Road Test (Class 7N) $35
5-year Class 7 photo novice driver’s license* $75
Level 2 Test Price (Class 5) $50
Class 5 upgrade of novice license when expiration is > 6 months* $17
Class 5 upgrade of novice license when expiration is < 6 months* $75
Tuning up manual (replacement) “L” or “N” new drive signs $5
*Licencing fees only apply when a road test is succesfully completed
**Note: If you fail a road test, you must pay the fees again when you retake the test.
You must also wait 24 hours before attempting to rebook a road test with ICBC after failing to qualify.