People from these countries don’t have to re-take a road test when moving to BC

An international move often involves piles of bureaucracy, but people from certain countries have one less hurdle when they land in BC — they don’t have to re-take a test to get a local driver’s licence.

That’s thanks to reciprocal licence exchange agreements BC has with several jurisdictions abroad. People from the select group of countries can apply with their home driver’s licence for a BC one, with no need for a knowledge or road test.

All of Canada’s other provinces and territories have reciprocal agreements with BC, and so does every state and territory in the US, according to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia.

People from these countries can also skip testing when they arrive:

  • Austria
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • France
  • Germany
  • Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • Netherlands (excluding former territories)
  • New Zealand
  • South Korea (except motorcycle licences)
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan (no motorcycle licences and translation needed)
  • United Kingdon
  • United States

The top four countries where new permanent residents come from (India, China, Philippines, and Nigeria, according to Statistics Canada), aren’t on the list.

Drivers from countries without reciprocal agreements must apply for a BC licence and take a knowledge test and road test to get their BC driver’s licence.

Everyone has 90 days during which they’re allowed to drive with their home licence after arriving in BC. Some people are allowed to drive with a foreign licence for longer. These include tourists (up to six months), full-time students, and seasonal agricultural workers (up to 12 months).

ICBC has detailed instructions on how to apply for a BC driver’s licence on its website.