Getting a Learner’s Licence
To begin to practise driving, you’ll need a learner’s licence. You must be at least 16 years old to apply.
The Knowledge and Road Signs Tests
When you apply for your learner driver’s licence, you’ll need to produce acceptable identification. You’ll also have to take a knowledge test, a road signs test and qualify on a check of your vision, physical and medical condition. If you’re under 19, one of your parents or a legal guardian should attend with you to sign your application. If you are not living with your parents or legal guardian, you may be eligible to apply to by-pass this requirement. There are nominal fees for the knowledge test and for the picture learner driver’s licence. All the questions on the tests are taken from the “Learn to Drive Smart” study guide (formerly RoadSense for Drivers,) which is available at any Driver Services Centre. The passing mark for the knowledge and road signs test is 80%. If you fail one of the tests you may return another day to take it again. If you have to redo the test, you must pay the fee again.
The Vision Screening
Before you get a learner’s licence, you’ll need to pass a vision screening. In the screening, they test for vision sharpness, colour vision, depth perception and field of vision. If you need glasses or contact lenses to drive, please wear them when you go in. You don’t need to book an appointment to take the written tests or the vision screening. Just go to any Driver Services Centre, Government Agent or Appointed Agent during business hours.
If there is any question about your physical ability to drive,you may also be required to go to a doctor for a medical examination. If you have any questions about this, please contact your nearest Driver Services Centre.
The Tuning Up Manual
ICBC’s Tuning Up manual presents simple and practical suggestions for dealing with the most common situations encountered by new drivers. It’s a colourful, easy-to-read, 126-Sub-Page workbook written for new drivers and their co-pilots. It’s designed to be used at home and in the car during practice sessions. Broken into 20 practice sessions, Tuning Up starts right from the basics and gradually progresses to more complex skills such as passing. It also challenges new drivers to examine their attitudes and motives, which are important factors in safe driving. Tuning Up will be given to you, free of charge, when you get your learner’s licence. Others may pick up a copy for $5 (plus GST) at any Driver Services Centre.
Over the years, driver’s licences and B.C. identification cards have become an important way to prove your identity. For your protection, you must now bring in two pieces of identification, one primary and one secondary, when applying for or renewing a B.C. driver’s licence or B.C. identification card. This protects you against fraud by preventing someone from obtaining a driver’s licence in your name, which could enable them to get a credit card or a bank card in your name. Examples of primary and secondary identification are listed below. Please note that your existing B.C. driver’s licence may be substituted for either a primary or secondary identification document as listed above.
Photocopies of documents are not acceptable unless certified by the issuing government agency as true copies of the original.
If your legal name is different from that on either of your identification documents, you must also present a legal name change certificate or marriage certificate.
Immigrants Without Primary Identification:
If you were born outside Canada and do not have any of the required primary identification documents, please contact Citizenship and Immigration Canada at 1-888-242-2100.
B.C. driver’s licence*, Birth Certificate, certain documents issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, including: Student or Work Visa; Record of Landing; Minister’s, Visitor’s, Refugee’s or Returning Resident Permit.
*An existing B.C. photo driver’s licence or learner’s licence may be used for either (but not both) primary or secondary identification.
Canadian or U.S. driver’s licence, Passport, Change of Name certificate, British Columbia identification card (new digital style only,) Naturalization certificate Canadian Forces identification, Police identification (except for auxiliary identification), Foreign Affairs Canada or consular identification, other (certain additional documented proof of identify may be accepted if you don’t have other secondary identification).
If you will be learning to drive in the Okanagan and need further information about these or any other local driving-related issues please give us a call at 250-763-6562. We’d be happy to help!