Driver licensing

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Getting your commercial driver's licence

If you want to drive a taxi, bus or other commercial vehicle, here's how to get licenced.

Commercial licence requirements

How to get a commercial licence

Before applying for a commercial licence, make sure that you meet the requirements.

Requirements for getting a commercial licence

 

Age

  • 19 for a Class 1, 2 or 4 licence

  • 18 for a Class 3 licence or heavy trailer endorsement

Driving experience

  • A full-privilege B.C. driver's licence (Class 5 or 6) or an out-of-province equivalent.

  • If you're new to Canada, see moving to B.C.

Commercial driving record

  • A commercial driving record with less than four penalty point incidents in the past two years, plus

  • no driving-related criminal convictions within the past three years.

Fines and debts

  • All fines and debts owing to ICBC must be paid.

Medical conditions

Some medical conditions may prevent you from getting a commercial licence. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Certain types of epilepsy

  • Certain psychiatric conditions

  • Certain neurological conditions

  • Certain heart conditions

  • Certain diabetic conditions

  • Certain sleep disorders

The existence of a medical condition does not necessarily mean you will be ineligible to obtain a commercial licence. It is important that you disclose your conditions during your application process so that an individual determination can be made early in the process. To facilitate this, additional information about any relevant condition that you have may then be provided by your doctor when completing a Drivers Medical Examination Report.  

Physical disabilities

If you're an amputee or have another physical disability that may affect your driving ability, you might need a prosthetic device or specific vehicle modification to help you qualify.

Steps to get a commercial driver's licence

To get your licence, you'll need to get a learner's licence before taking your road test for a full-privilege licence.

Get your learner's licence

To get your learner's licence you'll need to pass a:

  • knowledge test
  • road signs test and
  • meet medical standards.

If you'll be driving with air brakes, you'll also have to take the air brake knowledge test.

Get your learner's licence

Get your full licence

To get your full licence, you'll need to pass a commercial road test, which includes a:

  • pre-trip inspection test (including air brakes if applicable)
  • road test, and
  • driver's medical exam

Get your full licence

Commercial learner's licence

Get your commercial learner's licence

To get your learner's licence you'll need to study and pass a knowledge test. You might also need to pass an air brake knowledge test if applicable.

Once you get your learner's licence, it's valid for one year, and can be renewed by taking and re-passing the knowledge test.

Step 1: Study

The beginning of the guide explains which chapters to study for your licence type.

Step 2: Take your test(s)

*Tests not available at Cloverdale and Surrey Guildford.

Please note we may not be able to accommodate all tests near the end of the day.

Bring with you:

Moved less than three years ago from another province or country?

Money saving tip

If you take your knowledge test for a commercial licence and air brake at the same time, you'll only be charged a single fee.

About the commercial knowledge test

The commercial knowledge test is multiple choice. To pass, you'll need to get 28 out of 35 questions correct. The test is offered in English. Translators are not allowed.

Commercial air brake knowledge test

Before taking the air brake knowledge test:

You can attempt the air brake knowledge test three times. If you're not successful, you'll need to re-do part of the air brake course.

What to expect at the driver licensing office

First, staff at the driver licensing office will check that you meet all licensing requirements.

Then, they'll check your vision and ask you questions about your medical health. You'll need to disclose any known medical conditions that may affect your driving. This may also need to be reviewed by RoadSafetyBC before receiving your learner's licence.

After these checks, you'll take your knowledge test(s).

Full-privilege commercial licence

Get your full-privilege commercial licence

To get your full-privilege commercial licence, you'll need to pass a road test and driver medical exam. There's no rush to take the test-make sure you've practiced with learner's licence and take it when you feel ready.

Step 1: Practice driving

To get ready for your road test:

Step 2: Book your road test

To book your commercial road test in the Lower Mainland, Kelowna and Prince George, call our road test booking call centre. For all other locations call your local driver licensing office.

You can't book your test online.

What to bring to your road test:

Step 3: Take your road test

When you arrive for your road test, you'll first complete an application form. The road test will consist of:

  • a pre-trip inspection test
  • a pre-trip air brake test, if applicable, and
  • the road test.

Bring an appropriate vehicle for your road test, and any items necessary for the pre-trip test. If your vehicle has air brakes, bring the tools and equipment required for an air brake adjustment.

For more information, see Driving Commercial Vehicles.

After passing the tests, you'll need to:

You'll also receive a driver medical examination form to have completed by a doctor.

Learn more about the commercial driver road test

Commercial driver road test

Prepare for your road test

The commercial driver road test is broken up into two pieces—the pre-trip inspection test and the actual road test. The tests are taken on the same day.

Pre-trip inspection test

For this portion of the test, your driver examiner will ask you demonstrate a typical pre-inspection. During the pre-trip you'll explain to your driver examiner in detail what you're checking and testing in each part of the vehicle. You'll be asked when you'd typically conduct these tests as a commercial driver.

If you are applying for a Class 1, 2, 3 or 4 unrestricted commercial licence, you must also complete and submit a written trip-inspection report.

Need to retake the pre-trip inspection?

If you're not successful on the pre-trip inspection test but pass the road test, you only have to re-take the pre-trip inspection. (You will need to pay the pre-trip test fee again.)

Commercial driver road test

Your driver examiner will be looking for how well you demonstrate your commercial driving skills.

Your examiner will ask you to:

  • start and stop
  • shift gears
  • turn, steer, back up and park
  • merge with highway traffic and exit from highways, and
  • drive in traffic.

Class 1 only: You'll also need to couple and uncouple a tractor unit from a trailer.