The BC government has announced legislation that it says opens the door for ride-hailing companies to enter the market in the province.
But within the legislation is a host of conditions and requirements, notably the fact that those driving for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft will be required to have a Class 4 driving license – the same one required of taxi drivers – instead of the standard-issue Class 5.
So what exactly does it take to get your Class 4 license in this province?
Before you can upgrade to any commercial driver’s licence (including Class 4), you need to meet some conditions. These include:
- Having a minimum of two years of non-learner driving experience;
- Provide your driving record(s) from each jurisdiction in which you have driven within the past three years.
The combination of your out-of-province and BC driving records must:
- Have fewer than four offences that resulted in penalty points (or the equivalent if your records are from outside BC), and have no motor vehicle-related Criminal Code convictions (or the equivalent if your records are from outside Canada);
- Your driving record(s) must also be dated within 90 days of submitting it, and be original. Photocopies, scanned copies, downloaded records, or third party faxed records are not acceptable.
Okay, so you’ve cleared the first hurdle, what’s next?
Commercial learner’s license
To get your licence, you’ll need to get a learner’s licence before taking your road test for a full-privilege licence. To do this, you will need to pass a knowledge test, a road signs test, and meet medical standards.
Once you get your learner’s licence, it’s valid for one year, and can be renewed by taking and re-passing the knowledge test. To take your test, visit any driver licensing office (except for Cloverdale and Surrey Guildford) to do so.
Bring with you:
- Accepted ID
- Any glasses or contacts you need for the vision test
- Payment for the test and licence
If you have moved to BC from another province or country, you’ll also need to bring a three-year driving record.
Full-privilege commercial licence
To get your full-privilege commercial licence, you’ll need to pass a road test and driver medical exam.
To book your commercial road test in the Lower Mainland, Kelowna and Prince George, call ICBC’s road test booking call centre. For all other locations call your local driver licensing office. You can’t book your test online.
What to bring to your road test:
- Accepted ID
- Any glasses or contacts you need
- Payment for the test(s)
- Your learner’s licence
- A vehicle suited to the Class of licence you’re testing for
When you arrive for your road test, you’ll first complete an application form. The road test will consist of a pre-trip inspection test and a road test. Bring an appropriate vehicle for your road test, and any items necessary for the pre-trip test.
After passing the tests, you’ll need to pay the test and licence fee, and a medical processing fee. You’ll also receive a driver medical examination form to have completed by a doctor.
BC Transportation Minister Claire Trevena has spoken in the past about the requirement for drivers to have the Class 4, citing the need for safety.
“If you’re going to be earning money through driving people from place-to-place, you need to make that investment so that you can show you are safe,” she said.
- BC transportation minister would 'love' rideshare rollout to be faster
- It’s official: BC government unveils rideshare legislation
- Advocates: BC rideshare legislation means nothing until it's a reality
- Share your Vancouver taxi horror stories with us