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Moving from another country

Welcome to B.C.! After moving here, you have 90 days to switch over your licence. You can drive with an existing, valid licence in the meantime.

What country are you from?

There are different licensing requirements depending on where you’re from. B.C. has reciprocal agreements with certain countries, including the U.S. If you’re from one of the following countries and have enough driving experience, you can usually get your licence right away:

Reciprocal countries

Austria Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man South Korea (not motorcycles)
Australia Japan Switzerland
France Netherlands* United Kingdom**
Germany New Zealand United States***

*Netherlands does not include former territories in Antilles: Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, St. Eustatius, and St. Maarten.

**U.K. Includes England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

***U.S. Includes Washington DC and Puerto Rico

If you're not from a country listed above, see all other countries

 

Getting a licence from reciprocal countries

To exchange your reciprocal licence for a B.C. driver's licence, go to any driver licensing office in B.C.

Bring the following to apply for your licence:

Don’t have two years of driving experience?

If you don’t have two years’ driving experience with a non-learner licence or can’t prove it, you can still get a B.C. licence by going through the graduated licensing program. You will receive credit for any time you have driven.

Commercial licences

If you have a commercial licence and want to drive a commercial vehicle in Canada, you'll need to take a knowledge test and a road test. If you won't be driving a commercial vehicle, you can exchange your commercial licence for a regular passenger vehicle (Class 5) driver's licence.

 

All other countries

If you’re from any other country not listed as “reciprocal”, you can still apply for a B.C. licence. But in addition to the application, you’ll need to take a knowledge and road test.

You have up to 90 days to apply, but we recommend doing it as early as you can—you’ll need to book a road test and may have to wait for an available appointment.

Applying for a B.C. licence

Bring the following to apply for your licence:

Steps for getting your licence

If you have two years of non-learner driving experience:

Step 1:

The knowledge test is a multiple choice quiz that tests your knowledge of road signs and the rules of the road. You’ll need to get 40 out of 50 questions right to pass.

Step 2:

If you don’t have two years’ of non-learner driving experience:

You’ll need to go through the graduated licensing program. You’ll get credit for any non-learner driving experience you can provide.

Learn more about proving your driving experience »

 

Additional information

The following applies to all applicants:

Non-English documents

If your licence or driving record is in a language other than English, they must be translated by an ICBC-approved translator (PDF) or Consulate located in B.C.

The fees and services vary for each translator. Please contact them for more information.

A International Driving permit may be used as a translation of the licence it represents. Our staff will determine if it is acceptable.

Note

Not all translators are able to translate in both directions (for example, English to Arabic, and Arabic to English). Please confirm the translator you choose is approved to translate in the direction required.

Giving up your previous licence

Please note that when you qualify for your new B.C. licence, you’ll need to surrender your previous licence to ICBC. B.C. law requires that you only have one driver's licence.

Questions

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. It could save you an extra trip to the driver licensing office.