Get a Canadian Driving Licence

 In Study in Canada

Get a Canadian Driving Licence in Canada as an International Student

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The convenience of public transportation may be different for each province in Canada depending on province and territory. So, having a Canadian driver’s license is a must if you would like to travel all across the country as you wish!

In Vancouver, you can make your decision between the SkyTrain (metro), bus, and even the SeaBus; a ferry that will take you across the water to North Vancouver.

Most people choose public transport because it is convenient and affordable. You simply load your Compass Card with money and tap it when you enter the station or bus.

Cycling is also a great option. It is free, good for the environment, and good for your health!

There are many cycle paths around the city, which means it is pretty safe and easy to get around.

how to get driver s licence in canada

Can international students drive in Canada?

Absolutely! Depending on the provinces’ regulations, international students can drive a car in Canada with a valid driving license. As long as you meet with requirements in the province where you are studying, are no restrictions for you to start driving in Canada.

Let’s have a quick look at the regulations for some of the provinces in Canada.

Driving in British Columbia as a Student

British Columbia welcomes the vast majority of international students coming to Canada. In general, there are 90 days to switch your valid license to a BC driver’s license.

If you are enrolled at a designated educational institute like Cornerstone College, students are not required to have a BC license until they become permanent residents.

So, you are lucky as an international student driving in BC!!

Check out this link for information about the driving regulations in BC!

Driving School Lists in British Columbia

In case you would like to get a Canadian driving licence, you may need to take the road test to be able to get the license. Here is the driving school list that may be located near you.

  • A Dream Driving Academy | Head Office, Maple Ridge BC Training Location Vancouver BC V2X 5E2
  • A&A Driving School | 6968 Main St Vancouver BC V5X 3H7
  • Ability Driving School | 5816 Ross St Vancouver BC V5W 3L4
  • Abutus Driving School | 200-1892 West Broadway Vancouver BC V6J 1Y9
  • Access Driver Rehab | 3405 West 31st Ave Vancouver BC V6S 1X6
  • Alf-2000 Driving School | 7155 Elmburst Dr Vancouver BC V5S 2X3
  • All Right Driving School | 1612 East 64th Ave Vancouver BC V5P 2M6
  • All Season Driving School | 210-6415 Fraser St Vancouver BC V5W 3A6
  • All Star Driving School | 5023 Payne St Vancouver BC V5R 4J5
  • American Driving School | 6031 Argyle St Vancouver BC V5P 3J9
  • Amigos Driving School | 628 East 46th Ave Vancouver BC V5W 2A3
  • Atlas Driving School Inc. | 201-863 West 16th Ave Vancouver BC V5Z 1S9
  • Beautiful BC Driving School | 8378 Hudson St Vancouver BC V6P 4M4

You can also find all driver training schools and its location in British Columbia on ICBC’s website.

Driving in Ontario as a Student

The other province that has many international students is Ontario. Students will have an opportunity to drive in Ontario as they can exchange their driving license or apply for the new one.

Please refer to the following link to get more details about driving in Ontario.

Driving in Quebec as a Student

Quebec is one of the most convenient provinces in terms of driving license regulations for international students. All you need is to have a driving license from your home country.

Type of Driving Licences in Canada

There are many varieties for each type of vehicle to be authorized to drive in Canada. For example, if you would like to drive a truck or motorcycle, you make sure to have the right license to be on the road. Otherwise, you may get fined or banned from the traffic.

Classification of driver’s licenses in entire Canada is slightly different between Ontario and other provinces. Please follow this link to check what type of driving license for Ontario province you may need.

Here is the list of driving license type below:

  • Driver’s licenses: Class 5 or class 7
  • Motorcycle licenses: Class 6 or class 8
  • Motorcycle licences: Class 1, class 2, class 3, class 4 (restricted) and class 4 (unrestricted)
  • Heavy tailor endorsement: Class 4 or class 5


Driving in Vancouver

Vancouver has awesome car-share options such as Evo, Car2Go and Modo. These car-sharing initiatives allow you to rent a car whenever you want.

car share companies in vancouverCar insurance in BC is expensive, so these options offer much cheaper alternatives when you want to spend the day in Whistler or take a trip to Vancouver Island.

You can register easily online and use an app to rent the car for up to 1 day. You need:

  • A valid, full driving licence
  • A credit card
  • Your driving record

If you plan to stay in Vancouver for more than 6 months, you may wish to get a Canadian driving license. For Vancouver, you would receive a BC (British Columbia) driving license.

How can I get a BC Driving Licence?

Some countries have a ‘reciprocal license exchange’, which means that you can simply exchange your license from your own country, for a Canadian license.

You do not need to take a test, but you will need:

To find out if your country is on this list, visit ICBC Online

driving licence in vancouver, canadaIf your country is not on the list, here is what you need to do:

If you’re from any other country not listed as “reciprocal”, you can still apply for a B.C. license.

  • You also need to take a knowledge test and road test.
  • You have up to 90 days to complete the process of exchanging your license, but you should do it as early as possible.
  • You will need to book a road test and may have to wait for the next available appointment.

To book a knowledge test and a road test, you must visit a local ICBC office. There are many around the city and you can search online to find the nearest one to you.

To book a road test, you can do it here. The current road test fee is 50CAD for class 5 and class 6 types of driving licence in BC.

Written by Kayley Harding

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