Moving countries is pretty stressful, right? Sure you have to plan everything like a military mission. And it is frustrating that so many things are out of your control. You can’t get your home sold by willpower alone. You can’t make the dollar exchange rate what you want it to be, even though FX brokers like TTT Moneycorp do help. You can’t make Canadian employers take your excellent non-Canadian experience seriously.
With all these frustrations, it is still the stupid requirement to re-take your driving test that gets people annoyed. Yes, unless you are coming from one of the few countries (U.S., Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea) that allows a straight swap of your driving licence then you are going to have to go through the whole thing again.
That means hitting the books before hitting the road. Well at least studying the Knowledge Test. You can take the practice tests online. Then you get to do the test at one of the ICBC test centres. Tip for this is to skip questions if you are not sure of the answer. With luck you will hit your pass mark before having to go back and answer them.
Once you’ve done the knowledge test you can book your road test. The wait list can be quite long. As you only have 90 days from the date you become resident in BC to get your new licence, this can be another frustrating thing. If time is running out for you then you can apply for a cancellation. Best time to look for this is at 7pm (online) when their database is updated (so we were told).
If you fail your road test you will get a Learner’s permit – this means you can only drive with a fully licensed driver in the vehicle. And they will have taken away your overseas driving licence so you can’t cheat. Many people argue about this and unfortunately most fail – ICBC rules.
Get a lesson or two so that you are familiar with the test area and the tricky spots (school zones particularly) that seem to be where the examiners like to take you. With these lessons and a calm attitude you will be OK.