Graduated Licensing in BC

Teenage driving statistics

We are all too aware of the teenage driving statistics. And while Graduated Licensing in BC was successful in reducing the new driver crash rate by around 25% during its first two years, there is still more work to be done. Driving is especially risky for those who are inexperienced: 

  • Car crashes are the #1 cause of death among young people ages 13 to 25.
  • Drivers in the Novice stage are almost 45% more likely to be involved in a crash than more experienced drivers. (Source: ICBC)
  • Crashes involving Novice drivers tend to be more severe; one in four crashes involving Learner or Novice drivers results in an injury or fatality. (Source: ICBC)

Graduated licensing – What is it?

Graduated licensing is designed to change these teenage driving statistics. It takes time to learn the skills and gain the experience necessary to be a safe driver. In graduated licensing, restrictions are placed on your licence in order to reduce your risk when you begin the learning process. As you gain more experience, those restrictions are gradually removed.

Does it work?

Graduated licensing programs appear to be working. Research studies in various Canadian and American jurisdictions have shown reductions in fatalities and injuries. Find out more by checking out our Links and Resources.

BC’s Graduated Licensing Program (GLP)

In BC, GLP divides the learning process into two stages. Download a chart showing the steps to becoming a driver [PDF]

  • Learner stage – Lasts at least 12 months. License restrictions require that a learner sign be displayed and a qualified supervisor be in the car.  There is a passenger limit, as well as a zero blood alcohol requirement and driving hours are restricted.
  • Novice stage – Lasts at least 24 months. License restrictions require that a novice sign be displayed. There is a non-family passenger limit as well as a zero blood alcohol requirement.

In both stages, drivers can be prohibited from driving under certain circumstances. Read a full explanation of the Learner and Novice stage restrictions and requirements.

Find out more about BC’s Graduated Licensing Program.