ICBC’s Learner and New Driver Restrictions – Get the Facts

Share

Table Of Contents show

BC Restrictions for New & Learner Drivers

ICBC gives the gift of a lot of new driver restrictions. These are in place for both ‘learner drivers‘ and ‘new drivers,’ each with their own set of rules and restrictions.

We will go through it all soon, so don’t worry.

These restrictions are in place to keep inexperienced drivers as safe as possible.

To do this, ICBC had to try and reduce the amount of distractions for the driver.

Multiple studies have found that new drivers crash much more when their friends are in the vehicle with them.

new driver car crash

That’s why you’ll notice that kind of thing in the passenger restriction sections.

So, let’s go through this. First we will discuss the ‘L’ or Learner rules. Then we will move onto the ‘N’ rules.

Class 7L Learner Restrictions 

A Learner is a new driver who has either never driven before, or has driven a small amount, or infrequently enough to be needing another Learner’s license.

These are the most inexperienced drivers, who have maybe just passed their knowledge test with ICBC.

New Driver ‘L’ Restrictions :Your Required Supervisor

When you have your ‘L’, you must have a Supervisor who is 25 years or older with class 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 license and they must be sitting in the front passenger seat.

Hopefully your supervisor is not quite as serious as this guy… —>

No offense to ‘the guy,’ whoever you are. That’s some next level smouldering intensity sh%# right there.

ICBC Definition of a Supervisor

Definition of a “Supervisor” (a) is at least 25 years of age or is a licensed driver training instructor engaged in providing practical driver training in accordance with Division 27,

(b) holds a valid and subsisting driver’s licence, other than a learner’s licence or a Class 7 licence, of a class that permits him or her to operate a motor vehicle of that category, and

(c) occupies

(i) the seat beside the operator, or
(ii) the seat or area immediately behind and to the right of the operator, in the case of a motor vehicle of the category designated for the class of licence issued in which there is no seat beside the operator.Maximum 2 passengers in total

New Driver ‘L’ Restrictions: Permitted Driving Hours

ICBC permitted driving hours

ICBC permits you to drive between 5 am and midnight only with the L.

You must Prominently Display the official ‘L’ sign

ICBC Learner Stage

New driver sign condition for Class 7L, 8L, 7 and 8 licences

(2) Subject to the exception set out in subsection (3), a person to whom a Class 7L or 8L licence is issued must not operate a motor vehicle of a category designated in section 30.01 (2) for that class of driver’s licence unless a new driver sign depicting the letter “L” is clearly visible and prominently displayed from the rear of the motor vehicle or trailer, as the case may be.

(3) The new driver sign condition under subsection (2) does not apply in the course of the person receiving practical driver training conducted in accordance with Division 27 by a licensed driver training instructor, unless the practical driver training is being conducted in a private vehicle under section 27.09 (7).

 

zeRO  (0) hands-free and hand-held cell phone use, and other electronic devices

Zero Alcohol.

Pretty self explanatory.

No-alcohol restriction for Class 7L, 8L, 7 and 8 licences

30.11(1) A person who holds a Class 7L, 8L, 7 or 8 licence must not operate a motor vehicle while having alcohol in his or her body.

Length of ‘L’ Phase

This stage lasts for at least 12 months, after which time you can take your ‘N’ Road Test.

ICBC has set the ‘L’ License stage to be valid for 2 years. You can renew it by re-taking the knowledge test, if it does expire.

Driving On The Highway/Freeway

driving on the highway

Yes, you can drive on the highway/freeway. Unless it says you can’t on the back of your license. Why the hell not?

Maximum 3 People in the Car in Total Including the Driver

new driver restrictions

Learner drivers can only have 2 passengers in the car MAX.

The only people allowed in the car are the driver, the supervisor, and the optional other passenger. 

passenger restrictions

Class 7N New Driver Restrictions

What is this, you ask? A new driver is a human who has passed their very first road test. Not necessarily on the first try. See what I did there?

So, they will have driven with somebody for at least a little while. That somebody may have been a family member, friend, or a driving instructor.

As soon as they get their ‘N’, they may drive alone for the first time in their life. Ah, freedom. But this also means, the real learning begins.

New Driver Restrictions: Must Prominently Display the official ‘N’ sign

ICBC N New Driver Sign

New driver sign condition for Class 7L, 8L, 7 and 8 licences

(2) Subject to the exception set out in subsection (3), a person to whom a Class 7L or 8L licence is issued must not operate a motor vehicle of a category designated in section 30.01 (2) for that class of driver’s licence unless a new driver sign depicting the letter “N” is clearly visible and prominently displayed from the rear of the motor vehicle or trailer, as the case may be.

(3) The new driver sign condition under subsection (2) does not apply in the course of the person receiving practical driver training conducted in accordance with Division 27 by a licensed driver training instructor, unless the practical driver training is being conducted in a private vehicle under section 27.09 (7).

 

No cell phone use, no hands-free or hand-held devices of any kind while driving.

New Driver Restrictions: ZERO (0)  alcohol

No-alcohol restriction for Class 7L, 8L, 7 and 8 licences

30.11(1) A person who holds a Class 7L, 8L, 7 or 8 licence must not operate a motor vehicle while having alcohol in his or her body.

Passenger Restrictions

Passenger Restrictions for New Driver Restrictions

You can only take 1 passenger in this stage, unless they are your immediate family members.

If you so desire, you can fill up your vehicle with family members, as long as they all have a seat belt.

driving with family members

Additionally, you may also drive with as many people as you have seat-belts for if you have a supervisor with you.

The supervisor must be 25 or older with a valid class 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 driver’s licence.

Immediate Family Members Definition

“Immediate Family” means your parents, children, spouse, brothers, sisters and grandparents, including step and foster relationships),

Supervisor Definition

Hopefully your supervisor isn’t this serious.

Definition of a “Supervisor” (a) is at least 25 years of age or is a licensed driver training instructor engaged in providing practical driver training in accordance with Division 27,
(b) holds a valid and subsisting driver’s licence, other than a learner’s licence or a Class 7 licence, of a class that permits him or her to operate a motor vehicle of that category, and
(c) occupies
(i) the seat beside the operator, or
(ii) the seat or area immediately behind and to the right of the operator, in the case of a motor vehicle of the category designated for the class of licence issued in which there is no seat beside the operator.”Immediate Family Member” means a spouse, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sibling, step-parent, step-grandparent, step-child, step-grandchild, step-brother, step-sister, foster parent, foster grandparent, foster child, foster grandchild, foster brother or foster sister;

Spouse Definition for ICBC Restrictions

The definition under section 30.01 of the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations defines a spouse as a person who was married to another person at the relevant time or who was living for at least 2 years immediately before the relevant time in a marriage-like relationship, including a marriage-like relationship between persons of the same gender.

Length of Time in N stage

length of time in N stage
Do young people even know what this is now a days?

The N stage must last for at least 24 months unless you have successfully completed a GLP driver education program.

In that case, your 24 months can be reduced to 18 months.

If your licence is suspended, cancelled, expired, or surrendered, you must wait longer to qualify for a full privileged driver’s licence.

Once your licence is reinstated, your 24 months will start over from the beginning.

Time of day ICBC ‘N’ Restrictions?

There are no time restrictions – you may drive whenever you like,  as long as you’re following all of your restrictions.

Just be careful if you are driving at 3 A.M. or some other hour when you aren’t sure if it’s very late or very early.

The other people driving may or may not show you some questionable driving behaviors.

Driving On The Highway/Freeway With Your ‘N’

driving on the highway with your N ICBC

Yes, you can drive on the freeway/highway. Unless it says you can’t on the back of your license. Why the hell not? For real.

Driving In the USA and Across Canada

new driver restrictions USA driving Canadians

Both “N” and “L” Drivers are allowed to drive across Canada & in the US.

Just Make Sure To adhere to the same restrictions displayed on the back of Your license

When in Rome…. I mean, when in the USA, do as the Canadians do. Yes that’s it.

What Are Your Particular new driver Restrictions?

FYI: Your customized restrictions are printed on the back of your drivers license. You may or may not need a magnifying glass in order to read them.

If you do need a magnifying glass, head over to Amazon. I am not even kidding.

new driver restrictions license

Read about the graduated licensing program on the ICBC website.

ICBC FAQ’s (Can I drive outside of BC with my L or N)


‘N’ Novice Driver Passenger Restrictions 

New drivers can only have ONE passenger as per their new driver restrictions…

new driver passenger restrictions

…Immediate family members are exempt from the rule

These new driver restrictions may be annoying and inconvenient and uncool. But, they aren’t forever.

ICBC l and N rules for driving restrictions

That means you can fill up your car with immediate family members and you can still have ONE friend (or non-immediate family member)

new driver restrictions for car family members

You can also fill up your car with any kind of people you want IF you have a qualified supervisor with a full license class 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5

zero alcohol

You are not allowed to drive with TWO friends.

Sorry… You can only have ONE friend. Friends are nice but have been proven to be very distracting for new drivers.

ICBC has found that new drivers who drive around with friends in their vehicle are much more likely to crash. And unfortunately, some people’s friends have been lost this way.

must display the official L sign

You can not drive with one friend plus another person who is NOT an immediate family as defined by ICBC above 

allowed to drive on the freeway

From the ICBC DriveSmart Manual

ICBC learn to drive smart manual

 

Remember the reason that these restrictions are in place are to keep people safe. New drivers are more likely to have a crash when compared with experienced drivers, even without distractions. 

Reference

Electronic Device Use Class 7 & 7L Drivers: Drive Smart BC




Share

709 thoughts on “ICBC’s Learner and New Driver Restrictions – Get the Facts”

    • indivin what? If your N expires you can just renew it again and keep doing that for the rest of your life, if that’s what you mean.

  1. Is it legal for somebody 25 and older to be in the front seat with a learner while they still have their N?

    • NO!! Learner drivers can not be supervised by ‘New’ drivers. The supervisor must have a Class 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5; the ‘N’ is a Class 7.

  2. Do out of province/country full licenses count as that “over 25 with a valid class #”? I have my N and I am currently shuttling around 1 person out of a group of 50 around the city. It would be nice to drive more instead of driving back and forth constantly to pick up one person. This group is from New Zealand.

    • The MVA regulations don’t say anything about where the licence is from, only that it allows them to drive whatever vehicle you’re in.

      30.071 (1) Subject to subsection (2), a person to whom a Class 7 licence is issued on or after October 6, 2003 must not carry more than one passenger while operating a motor vehicle of a category designated in section 30.01 (2) for that class of driver’s licence unless the person is accompanied by another person who
      (a) is at least 25 years of age or is a licensed driver training instructor engaged in providing practical driver training to the person in accordance with Division 27,
      (b) holds a valid and subsisting driver’s licence, other than a learner’s licence or a Class 7 licence, of a class that permits him or her to operate a motor vehicle of that category, and
      (c) occupies
      (i) the seat beside the operator, or
      (ii) the seat or area immediately behind and to the right of the operator, in the case of a motor vehicle of the category designated for the class of licence issued in which there is no seat beside the operator.
      (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a passenger who is an immediate family member of the person.

    • No unfortunately cousins aren’t included in the list of what constitutes an ‘immediate’ family member.

  3. Is it legal if I take my friend (non-family) and my brother in my car whilst I’m still in my N stage? It’s 2 passengers but it does state family members are exempt

    • Yes that’s fine, it’s a good idea to always have ID for all the people in the car every time, just in case you need to prove he’s actually your brother!

  4. I only have my L. I also have a baby. I have my fully licensed driver with me .. does my baby count as my one and only “1 passenger?’

  5. Question with the whole Supervisor and and Passenger restrictions. If u have a person with their N driving her (2) Parents ( 1 being the supervisor) who are intoxicated and 2 family friends who are intoxicated, Is that legal to have a intoxicated supervisor?

    • This seems like a grey area as it does not indicate the rules regarding this in any ICBC information. According to the superintendent of Motor vehicles :“That said, whenever someone is the qualified supervisor of an ‘L’ or ‘N’ driver, it is expected that this person not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs to help ensure they can provide any necessary assistance or advice to the relatively new driver,” he wrote.

      Read more here: http://drivesmartbc.ca/impaired-driving/new-bc-impaired-driving-legislation/care-control-while-supervising-learner

      • Yes, that is where I got the quote from the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles from. Maybe it’s one of those things where there is nothing written but it’s supposed to be common sense. Like the whole reason to have a supervisor is that there is somebody responsible in the car who is able and whose job is to supervise (duh?) So if the supervisor is asleep, or drunk, or in the back seat watching a movie with their headphones on, can they still be a good ‘supervisor’ and say something to the driver if the driver is about to make a fatal error!? NO! NO They can’t!!!

  6. The process takes too long I think it’s past ridiculous. Learner permit no longer then 6 months is appropriate and 1 year with n it’s so stupid you don’t have a valid license when you are old enough to move out and go on with your adult life. What a joke.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: