It takes a huge amount of responsibility, not to mention hard work, to obtain a driver’s license. But this becomes even more difficult when this person happens to be a foreigner, and is planning to get a trucking job in a different country.
After moving to British Columbia, a driver has around 90 days to switch over his license. In the meantime, he can still drive around using his valid existing license. Difference in license requirements depends on where the person is from. BC has reciprocal contract when it comes to certain countries, including the US.
It is required by BC law that the driver only needs one license.
If the driver wants to obtain a reciprocal license for a BC driver’s license, then he needs to visit any driver’s licensing office in BC. These driver’s licensing offices are available throughout BC.
To help protect the identity and privacy of the driver, he needs to show his ID at driver’s licensing offices. The ID should be double checked first to see if he is carrying the right ID, before coming in. This can save an extra trip, or other types of delays.
Two types of ID are accepted: A primary ID, and a secondary ID. Primary IDs cannot expire. However, an expired BC driver’s license ID with the driver’s photo can be used as an ID for up to three years. Second IDs will expire after one year. Passports also cannot be expired. If an immigration form is used when the driver got his license, then he must bring it with him under two conditions. First is renewing or replacing the license or BCID. Second is when taking a road knowledge test.
Each identification document must be original, or a true copy of the original. It also must be certified by the issuing government agency. If the driver’s name has changed, then he must bring proof. These include marriage certificates, a divorce certificate, or even a legal change of name certificate. He will also need to get a new license, or a BCID card. Updating the driver’s license is a legal requirement in BC when the driver has changed his name. If the name has been changed more than once, then the driver needs to give the entire name change documents, for every instance that his name got changed. These are also called linking documents. Acceptable linking documents include marriage certificates, legal name change certificates, court orders that were stamped by the court registry, and divorce certificates. Passports can’t be used to change names. Name changing should only be done once.
If the driver was born outside of Canada and doesn’t have his required primary ID, then he needs to contact Citizen and Immigration Canada.
All licenses that expire within 180 days are considered renewals. This new license will be valid for five years, from the driver’s upcoming birthday. Licenses, driving records, and IDs that are in a non-English language will need to be translated. These can be used for help with transactions, such as getting or renewing a license. These translation services are not available for road tests. Fees and services also vary for each translator. Approved translators can translate documents such as licenses, or driving records.
If the driver doesn’t have two years of driving experience and owns a non-learner license, then he can still get a BC license by going through its graduated license program. For each time he drives, he will receive credit.
The driver has to prove his previous driving experience before applying for a BC license. He needs to bring an official driving record, or a letter of experience. This document must be original, and not printed or photocopied. The driver also needs to bring his current driver’s license, or an international driving permit, along with its corresponding driver’s license. To get an official driving record or a letter of experience, he needs to contact the issuer of the driver’s license. This is strongly recommended before the driver moves to BC.
If the driver already has a commercial license and wants to drive a commercial vehicle in Canada, then it is required that he take a road test, and a knowledge test. He can exchange his commercial license for a regular passenger vehicle driver’s license if he is not planning on driving a commercial vehicle.
Driver medical exams are requested by the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles.
If the driver has been asked to take an ICBC road test, then he only has 30 days to book his examination road test appointment. Each year, around 5,000 drivers in BC take an ICBC examination road test. Some of the most common reasons for taking an exam include: A medical condition that affects the ability to drive safely, a crash report indicating that he may be unable to handle a driving situation, or an expired, cancelled, or suspended license. The road test takes around 90 minutes. The driver will also be asked to complete a quick traffic sign/road signal test. It is helpful to review or refresh driving skills and knowledge, in order to pass this exam.
The driver needs to bring the following documents before taking the road test: An accepted ID, and vehicle insurance and registration papers. If the driver cancels his appointment for the road test exam, then he should re-book right away so the license won’t get cancelled. After booking, he needs to contact the driver’s licensing information line to make sure that he hasn’t gone over the deadline for taking the road test exam. The vehicle also needs to be in good condition.
If the driver fails his exam, the next set of steps will depend on the reasons for his test: First reason is that the re-exam road test was requested by the OSMV. Those who get informed for a re-exam road test only have up to three attempts to pass. The examiner will discuss the results with the driver if he doesn’t qualify. The second reason is having an expired or cancelled license. If the re-exam road test was due to having an expired or cancelled license, the driver can book another appointment and take his exam for the second time whenever he feels ready.