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For parents of teen drivers

For parents

Having a teen who’s learning to drive can be an exciting and stressful time. It’s that balance of giving them some independence, keeping them safe, and having the confidence to lend them your car in the process.

Here’s some helpful info to support you and your teen through the steps of graduated licensing.

Learn about the graduated licensing program

GLP step

The graduated licensing program is a phased approach to learning. It allows your teen to adjust to driving in a safer, more gradual way, so they’re better prepared for what they might face on the road.

As a parent, you can help your teen through the program by encouraging them to use our study guides. We also have resources that provide sample driving sessions to help you cover off key driving skills with your teen.

Resources to help you and your teen

We have online driving guides and quizzes available for your teen to help them study for their tests.

The guides are especially important, as they contain the complete information that your teen will need to know. The quizzes are fun, useful study aids, but they should be used as a complement to reading the full study guides.

Study guides:

Online practice tests:

Video tips:

Driver training and practice

Some parents prefer teaching their teen, while some prefer professional driver training—or a mix of both.

Training your teen

If you’d like to train your teen on your own, we have driving guides that can help you through the process.

Professional driver training

Driving schools can be a great option to help your teen learn to drive safely and prepare him or her for their road tests. When you’re choosing a driving school, make sure it’s licensed by ICBC.

GLP-approved training courses

Taking a GLP-approved training course could reduce your teen’s time in the graduated licensing program by six months. It could also give them two high school credits.

Whether taking a few lessons to help you on the road or taking an ICBC-approved (GLP) driver training course, professional training could help ensure the success of your teen.

Find a driver training school

Insuring your teen

If your teen will be driving your vehicle, you may need to adjust your Autoplan insurance. The best thing to do is to discuss your options with an ICBC Autoplan broker.

Insurance tips to consider

  • Extra coverage: Consider getting more Extended Third-Party Liability coverage, or adding Collision coverage if you don’t have it already.
  • Adjust your discounts: If you have a discount based on everyone in your household having 10 years’ experience, you’ll need to adjust that to reflect your new teen driver.
  • Your vehicle is insured, not the driver: This means that all crashes could affect your discount, even if you weren’t driving at the time of a crash.

Naming the principal operator

When buying or renewing insurance, you might need to make your teen the principal operator (PDF). Generally speaking, the principal operator is the person who drives your vehicle most often.

For more information, talk to your Autoplan broker.

 

Parental consent

Giving consent for your teen's licence application

We encourage you to come in with your teen on their first visit to a driver licensing office. It’s an opportunity for you to learn the steps your teen will go through in B.C.'s Graduated Licensing Program (GLP). 

Parental or guardian consent is required for anyone under 19 who is applying for a driver's, motorcycle or commercial licence. To speed things up, bring a completed Parent/Guardian Consent form to the driver licensing office.

The form is a fillable PDF. You can complete the form on your computer, print it, then bring it with you.

Download the Parent/Guardian Consent form (fillable PDF)

Not able to come in with your teen?

We understand parents are busy. If you’re not able to come to a driver licensing office with your teen, you can

  • sign and date the form, and
  • have an adult non-family member witness your signature by completing the witness section of the form.

Your teen can then bring it in to one of our driver licensing offices.

Important: Make sure all the required information on the form is complete. If not, your teen may not be able to start the driver’s licence application process, resulting in another trip to the office.

When your teen goes to the driver licensing office, make sure they bring

Why is parental consent required for applicants under 19?

This B.C. law is designed to ensure you agree your teen is ready for the responsibility of driving before they’re allowed to apply for a licence. Your consent also confirms your commitment to ensure your teen receives sufficient safe driving practice. 

Why does ICBC need a parent or guardian’s signed consent?

Requiring all forms completed away from a driver licensing office to be witnessed by an adult non-family member, along with requiring witness contact information, discourages fraudulent parental consent applications.

B.C.’s anti-fraud laws also discourage fraudulent applications. There are consequences for making a false application.

What if a teen does not live with their parent or guardian?

If a teen isn’t dependent upon their custodial parent/guardian and is not under the care of the Ministry of Child, Family and Community Services, they may complete an Application to Dispense with Parental Consent (fillable PDF).

In most cases, a guarantor, who meets the criteria to witness the teen’s signature, will need to complete the guarantor section of the form.

Keeping your teen safe on the road

We know that a parent’s #1 concern is their teen’s safety. Here’s how to keep them as safe as possible while they’re learning how to drive.

Tips for helping your teen learn to drive safely

If you’ll be helping your teen learn to drive, here are some great tips on how to get the most out of your practice time.

Beyond just going over the basics, it’s important that they’re aware of other risks they might face, like vehicle problems, peer pressure, and distractions.

Keeping your teen in low-risk driving environments:

  • Quiet streets: Take your teen out on quiet streets and in daylight hours for as long as you feel necessary.
  • Minimal risk: Ensure your teen’s first challenging drive has minimal risk. If it’s their first time on a highway, take them out in daylight with lower traffic levels.
  • Avoid rush hour: Try driving during less busy hours until your teen feels more confident.

After your teen gains experience:

  • Practice with variety: When your teen is more confident, ensure they get practice in different weather, times of day, and locations.

Questions to ask your teen:

  • Car maintenance: Do they know how to get gas, check oil and other fluids, tire air pressure and what to do if they get a flat tire?
  • Route planning: Have they planned their route in advance?
  • Emotional awareness: Could their emotional state or energy level affect their driving ability?

What to do in a crash:

  • Collecting information in a crash: Leave a crash card (PDF) in your vehicle. You might even show them this video.

Graduted licensing restrictions:

  • Know the rules: Remind your teen about the restrictions in graduated licensing. Breaking the rules can cost them financially and add time to their time spent as a learner.
  • No electronic devices: Remind your teen about the dangers of distracted driving. Electronic devices aren’t allowed while they’re in the graduated licensing program, even if hands-free.