Proving your driving experience
When applying for your B.C. licence, you'll need to provide proof of your previous driving experience.*
Your years of driving experience also helps to determine your insurance premiums.
September 1, 2019, new B.C. residents only need to provide their driver’s licence history — proof of insurance is no longer required.
To prove your previous driving experience for a new B.C. licence, you need to book an appointment to visit an ICBC Driver Licensing office and bring proof of how long you’ve had a full driver’s licence. This can be:
- a current driver's licence (if the issue date shown is the date of your first licence)
- an international driving permit (not expired more than five years) and its corresponding driver's licence (this permit is required if your current licence is not in English)
- an original driver's abstract
- a letter of experience from the licensing authority that issued your first licence (not a learner’s licence).
If your document is not in English, you'll need to get it translated from an
ICBC approved translator.
Full-privilege B.C. driver's licence requirement
To get your full-privilege driver’s licence, you need to have held a driver’s licence (not a learner’s) for at least two years.
If you don't meet this requirement or can't prove it, you will enter the
Graduated Licensing Program, which means you’ll start off with a Novice (N) licence that has some restrictions.
If possible, before you move to B.C, contact the issuer of your driver's licence to get an accepted document that shows the date you received your first non-learner driver's licence.
This document must:
- be signed by the licensing authority that issued the licence
- include the licensing authority's name, address and phone number
- include your name, birth date, driver's licence number (or other unique identifier) and class of licence(s) held
- indicate either the date your licence was originally issued or the amount of time you have held a licence
Submit your documents
After being issued your B.C. driver's licence, you may need to submit additional documentation to prove more driving experience.
For your convenience, the document can be submitted by email or fax if it is from a reciprocal jurisdiction (a country where B.C. has a licence exchange agreement). The letter or fax must be sent directly from the licensing authority and not through you.
Please note, it can take up to 30 days for experience to be entered in our system if sent via email or fax.
If your letter or abstract is from a non-reciprocal jurisdiction, you must present it in person to any Driver Licensing Office.
Find out more about
reciprocal and non-reciprocal jurisdictions.
Driving experience credit for insurance
ICBC will credit you with up to 15 years of driving experience upon receipt of proof showing the original date that you received your licence. Find out more about
Insurance for new and returning B.C. residents.