Driving without a valid licence is an offence under the Motor Vehicle Act. Penalties for unlicenced driving are serious.
First offence: Police will issue you a violation ticket the first time they find you driving unlicenced. They will not permit you to continue driving.
Second offence: With a second offence police will: Impound the car you were driving for 7 days, whether or not you own it.
Prohibit you from driving until you have a valid B.C. licence, met all licensing requirements and paid your fines.
Future offences: Police will charge you with ‘driving while prohibited’ if you continue driving. It’s an offence punishable by a $500 fine and up to six months in jail for a first offence. Drivers licensed outside of B.C. Visitors.
If you are a visitor to B.C. you can drive for up to six months if you hold a valid foreign or out-of-province licence.
Any restrictions on your licence apply in B.C. Visiting students If you are a foreign or out-of-province student, you can drive with a valid foreign or out-of-province driver’s licence for longer than six months. You must be a registered, full-time student at a recognized institution. You must also carry your student ID to show police you’re a student. New residents If you hold a valid driver’s licence from outside B.C., you can continue to use it for 90 days.
After 90 days, your out-of-province licence is not valid in B.C.It’s best to apply for a B.C. licence as soon as you move here. If you have a valid licence from elsewhere, you must produce it when police ask or they’ll give you a Notice of Driving Prohibition.If you produce a valid licence, police will allow you to continue unless they have evidence you should hold a B.C. licence.