Q&A - Student from Alberta

New Driver Signs 2011Hi there, I currently have an Alberta L, that is going to expire soon. I just moved to B.C and am planning on staying here for some schooling, and am wondering if I am allowed to take a British Columbia N drivers test without retaking my L? Or do I have to take my Alberta license and transfer it over?



Are you currently a BC resident or an Alberta resident? If you are now a genuine BC resident (hold employment, vote, have BC health insurance, declared the home you own here in BC as your principle residence for tax purposes) you will need to look into getting a BC driver's licence.

If you are an Alberta resident here in BC for just the purpose of attending school, you may keep and use your Alberta licence during the time you are in school here. This forum article on visitors from another country actually contains the law that permits this. What it doesn't list are the educational institutions that this applies to. They are:

(i) a university, as defined in the University Act;

(ii) an institution, as defined in the College and Institute Act;

"institution" means a college, Provincial institute or BCIT

(iii) [Repealed 2004-33-21.]

(iv) the University of Northern British Columbia;

(v) [Repealed 2002-35-9.]

(v.1) the Thompson Rivers University;

(vi) Royal Roads University;

(vii) the Open Learning Agency;

(viii) any other educational institution in the Province that is authorized under an enactment to grant degrees or is designated under section 3 (1) (a) of the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act,

"an appropriate authority, which authority may designate as designated educational institutions any institutions of learning in Canada that offer courses at a post-secondary school level, or any class of such institutions"

This would not include being in BC to take high school by the look of it.

Questions about driver licensing are best directed to ICBC, who are the provincial licensing authority. They would be able to tell you if you could take the BC N test after spending a period of time as an Alberta L driver.

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