Driving in BC

If you're new to BC or Canada and intend to drive to campus, learn more about how to get a drivers license, tips for bringing your car to the province and road etiquette in Vancouver.

Getting a BC Drivers Licence

If you have a valid driver's licence from another country or Canadian province and are registered as a student attending one of the specified educational institutions in BC, your licence will allow you to drive in BC for as long as you are a full-time student. Other new residents who plan to drive have 90 days after they move to British Columbia to get a BC driver's licence.

Getting a BC driver's licence (BC Services Card) if you're not a full-time student

Applications for BC driver's licences are available at all driver licensing offices. To locate the one nearest you, visit the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC).

If you come from certain countries (including Japan and South Korea), you do not need to take a driver’s test in BC. You will need to bring your current driver’s licence, two pieces of ID and the licence fee to a driver licensing office. If your driver's licence and ID are in a language other than English or French, you must also carry a certified translation of it. You must switch to a BC driver’s licence within 90 days of moving here. You will need to prove that you have at least 2 years of driving experience.

Citizens of other countries need to take a driving test in BC. Driving tests can also be scheduled at driver licensing offices or booked online.

Please note than when you qualify for your new BC licence, you will need to surrender your previous licence to ICBC. BC law requires that you only have one driver's licence.

BC Services Card

When you apply for a BC driver’s licence, you will be eligible for a BC Services Card (which combines your driver’s licence, MSP card and BCID). You must register for MSP before getting your BC Services Card. New residents with temporary immigration status will be issued a non-photo BC Services Card.

bc services card

Driving etiquette in Vancouver

Speed Limit

The speed limit on all Vancouver roads is 50 kilometres per hour (km/h), unless you see a sign for a different speed. The speed limit on lanes behind houses and buildings is 20 km/h. Park and school areas usually have a speed limit of 30 km/h. Vancouver police give out tickets with heavy fines for people who exceed speed limits.

Street Parking

Never block a fire hydrant, bus stop, sidewalk, crosswalk, road, alley, or driveway when you park. Parking meters are usually in effect from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm, seven days a week. Always check the meter for parking restrictions to avoid getting a ticket. Don't park where you see a "Resident Parking Only" sign; the street parking is reserved for people who live on that block or in that area.

Pedestrians

People who are walking have the right of way on campus roads and city streets, and you need to watch out for them at all times. Most pedestrians cross the street at intersections or designated crosswalks and obey traffic signals. Please yield to pedestrians at all times.

Emergency Vehicles

When a police car, fire truck, or ambulance has its lights or siren on, you must get out of the way as quickly and safely as you can. Signal and move your car into the right-hand lane or to the roadside and stop until the emergency vehicle has passed you.

Bringing your car to Canada from abroad?

For information about importing a vehicle into British Columbia, please see ICBC's website and contact them directly for more information.