ICBC L & N Driver Restrictions Summary & Bottomless FAQ [2022]

ICBC L and N Restrictions

ICBC L & N Driver Restrictions British Columbia

Welcome to L/N Restrictions BC

If you were wondering things like…

Do N drivers have a curfew?

What are the rules for N drivers in BC?

Can you drive after midnight with an N?

Are N drivers allowed to use GPS?

Can new drivers listen to music?

How many passengers can L and N drivers take?

This article will answer all these questions, plus so many more that you didn’t even know you had.

Also, check out my new article for co-pilots and how to reduce stress.

N Driver Restrictions

Contents:

Is Class 7 Your N?

Class 7 in beautiful British Columbia is your L and N. Learners have their Class 7L, and new drivers that have passed the first road test have their 7N. Once they pass, they will have a Class 5 BC.

ICBC gives the gift of a lot of L & N driver restrictions. These are in place for both class 7L ‘learner drivers’ and class 7N ‘new drivers.’

Both new and learner drivers have their own set of rules and regulations. Some of them overlap. This is all part of ICBC’s graduated licensing programOpens in a new tab. (ICBC website). Turns out, learning how to drive gradually seems to be the safest method.

Class 7 License

No more 9-month “graduation”

Back when I was teaching driving lessons in North Vancouver, it was a thing that if a student driver took the approved GLP (Graduated Licensing Program) driver education course, complete with theory classes and the instructor’s stamp of approval, they could get their “N” three months earlier than other learners… after only driving for nine months.

Crammed learning crashed more

But this quickly backfired. It was seemingly so exciting for these young people to be getting their licenses, and understandably so. I get it. However, it turned out that this group of new drivers simply put, crashed more.

Now, that isn’t a thing anymore. Take your time learning how to drive if you can. I know most people don’t want to do that, but I thought I’d throw my $0.02 out there anyway.

ICBC new driver restrictions - dog sitting in the driver's seat

Class 7 License – Why are there so many L/N restrictions?

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

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

Multiple studies have found that new drivers crash much more when their friends are in the vehicle with themOpens in a new tab. (LA Times news article).

new driver car crash ICBC

That’s why you’ll notice some pretty stringent requirements in the passenger restriction sections.

So, let’s go through this. We will discuss the ‘L’ or Learner rules.

Then we will move on to the ‘N’ New driver rules.

But first, let’s go through a few of the similarities between both the 7L and the 7N licenses.

1. L & N Driver Restrictions – Class 7 License BC – Electronic Devices

For Both ‘L’ & ‘N’ :

  • No hand-held cell phones or other electronic devices
  • No hands-free cell phones or other electronic devices
  • Do not touch, operate, hold or adjust your phone
  • Bluetooth with the wireless headset is not allowed
  • Using a speakerphone that can be operated with one touch or voice commands is not allowed
  • Do not program a GPS system
  • You can not select music from your cellphone
  • Do not wear earbuds
  • Connecting your cellphone or hand-held device to play music on your in-vehicle audio system is not allowed

While you are driving…

*Keep in mind, these N driver restrictions laws are for when you are driving.

It’s okay if you want to safely pull over and park, and then connect your music for example. Just do not even think about touching any of the above while driving.

These laws are in effect even when you’re stopped at a red light, or stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic not moving at all because technically you are still “in control of the vehicle” at that time.

L N Electronic Devices Laws BC Driving Blog

2. BC N Driver Restrictions – Can N & L Drivers Listen to Music?

Yes, you can listen to music while driving if you have your Class 7L or 7N. But, you can’t use electronic devices while driving. In other words, set up your music before you drive.

Then, put it away. Do not touch any electronic device whatsoever while driving. Or, just use the radio or CD player if those are options in your vehicle.

3. BC Distracted Driving Fines & Penalty Points

The fines for distracted driving are not cheap these days. One ticket costs $368 and 4 points; for a total of $620.

If you aren’t familiar, check out my article about ICBC driver penalty points, they are a bad thing and add an additional charge on top of your fine.

​Motor Vehicle Act sectionDescriptionFinePoint level
214.2 (1)Using an electronic device while driving$3684
214.2 (2)Emailing or texting while driving$3684
  • Four points cost $252
  • 50 points will cost you $34,560 (It’s funny until you realize I’m not even kidding)

4. Class 7 License BC – You Must Prominently Display The Official ‘L’ Or ‘N’ Sign

display L and N sign ICBC BC Driving Blog
  • Your ‘L’ or ‘N’ sign needs to be clearly visible. Do not hide it half behind your license plate
  • It is supposed to let drivers around you know to be a little more patient
  • If you’re driving a trailer, put the ‘L’ or ‘N’ sign on the back of the trailer where people will be able to see it; not on the back of the vehicle
N sign on trailer ICBC BC Driving Blog
Place your N where people can see it.

Remember the whole point of it is for other people to actually see it.

Driving lessons and the L or N sign

If you’re going for driving lessons with a driving school, you don’t need to put the L or N sign on the car.

That’s because driving school cars are required to have big signs. These signs say ‘student driver’ attached to the back of the car for people to see. You can always add the sign if you like.

5. L & N Driver Restrictions Zero Drugs & Alcohol

For both L and N drivers, there is a strict zero alcohol & drug tolerance law. It is task enough to be an inexperienced driver in this world nowadays. There is no way that any amount of drugs or alcohol will help anyone.

Can a New Driver Transport Alcohol?

Question: My blood alcohol level would be zero as I would NEVER drink and drive, but some of my family members said that with an N you can get a ticket for even having liquor in your car? I am of legal drinking age.

Basically, you’re allowed to transport alcohol as long as it’s sealed (read: not open at all) and out of reach of the driver and/or passenger compartment, just like drivers of other license classes. 

Have it located as far away from the driver/passenger area as possible i.e. the trunk, box of the pickup truck, under the rear seats, or in the very rear of the hatch… depending on the type of vehicle.  

And yes, any driver of any license class could get a ticket if the alcohol is opened or if it’s located right beside or near to the driver.

If you read this ICBC N Driver Restrictions PageOpens in a new tab. it clearly states “You must not drive with any alcohol in your blood.” It does not say “In your vehicle.”

Liquor in Motor Vehicles

44  (1) In this section:

“motor home” has the same meaning as in the Motor Vehicle ActOpens in a new tab.;

“motor vehicle” has the same meaning as in the Motor Vehicle ActOpens in a new tab., and includes an off-road vehicle as defined in the Off-Road Vehicle ActOpens in a new tab..

(2) Subject to subsection (3), a person must not drive or otherwise exercise control over the operation of a motor vehicle, whether or not it is in motion, while there is liquor in the person’s possession or in the motor vehicle.

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply

(a) if the liquor is in a container that is unopened and has an unbroken seal,

(b) if the liquor is being transported or used in accordance with a licence issued under this Act, or

(c) in any other case, if the motor vehicle

(i)   is a motor home and the liquor is kept in a cabinet away from the driver’s area,

(ii)   is a station wagon or hatchback and the liquor is behind the rear seat, whether or not that seat is in an upright position,

(iii)   is a pickup truck and the liquor is in an exterior compartment, a space designed for the carriage of baggage or parcels or any other location that is not readily accessible to any person in the motor vehicle,

(iv)   is a motorcycle and the liquor is not readily accessible to the operator, or

(v)   is not one referred to in subparagraphs (i) to (iv) and the liquor is in the trunk or space designed for the carriage of baggage or parcels.

6. Can Your Supervisor be Drunk?

So, in addition to zero blood alcohol for the new driver, the supervisor needs to have a BAC under 50 mg% (.05). Ideally, the supervisor should have a zero blood alcohol requirement too.

Alcohol and the Learner Driver Supervisor – DriveSmart BC

Get creative with ways to get home

You may need to get creative sometimes. Remember that there are always alternatives, such as UberOpens in a new tab., public transportation, staying overnight, calling someone for a ride, etc.

Class 7 zero alcohol L&N Driver Restrictions British Columbia ICBC

7. Can New & Learner Drivers Drive In the U.S. & Across Canada?

Yes, the N driver restrictions allow for both N and L to drive across Canada & in the U.S. (check out our article). Just make sure to follow the same restrictions displayed on the back of your license. You might need a magnifying glass to read it, but it’s there.

Check and see if you can change your car speedometer to American (miles). 50 km/hr is roughly equal to 31 mph. 80 km/hr is about 50 mph.

Can Class 7 L and N drivers drive in USA and Canada

When in Rome… I mean, when in the USA, do as the Canadians do. If you do get pulled over, authorities will look at your license. They will be able to see your L and N driver restrictions. And, they’ll expect you’re following them.

8. Driving On the Highway/Freeway with Class 7

L and New driver on freeway ICBC BC Driving Blog

Can Class 7 Drive On Highway In BC?

Yes, you can drive on the highway & freeway with your Learner’s license and New driver’s license (Class 7L & 7N). The only exception is if it indicates you aren’t allowed on the back of your license. This is rare.

Highway/Freeway not that dangerous

The only way to get better and more experienced at driving is to actually drive. That’s why brand new learner drivers with their Class 7 are allowed to drive on the freeway and highway. The highway/freeway – ironically – isn’t the most dangerous place for new drivers.

The most dangerous place to drive…

The most dangerous place (for all drivers) is intersectionsOpens in a new tab. (BC crash statistics site) that are close to your home. Always pay full attention close to home. Do not go on autopilot just because you know where all the stop signs are, etc. The second most common place where crashes happen is in parking lots.

Just be sure to keep your eyes up far ahead when on the freeway, this will help keep your car control smooth. And stay in the right lane; check out my article about how the left lane is for faster traffic (BC Driving Blog).

9. What Vehicles Can New Drivers Operate BC?

Class 7 L & N Driver Restrictions

Class 5 or 7 (novice L & N) license holders are allowed to operate passenger vehicles that have 2 axles (read about what an axle is on Car & Driver)Opens in a new tab., such as:

  • Cars & vans
  • Construction & utility vehicles (2 axle max)
  • Light trucks
  • Limited-speed motorcycles or ATVs (all-terrain vehicles)
  • Any motor home (may exceed 2 axles) not equipped with air brakesOpens in a new tab. (How Stuff Works)
  • 3-wheeled vehicles; does not include 3-wheeled motorcycles (trikes) or motorcycle/sidecar combinations

10. Can A New Driver Tow A Trailer?

Can a new driver tow a trailer in BC? ICBC

New drivers and learner drivers in BC (Class 7 L & N) are allowed to tow a trailer that weighs up to a maximum of 4,600 kg GVW (gross vehicle weight CVSE Ministry of Transportation website).Opens in a new tab.

GVW is the combined weight of your trailer and its load.

Say a trailer weighs 4,000 kg when empty. You can tow the trailer with a Class 4, 5, or 7 (novice) driver’s license.

Watch your weight


Just be careful, because after you load the trailer with loot, the GVW might exceed 4,600 kg. So do ‘watch your weight’ especially if you’re packing your collection of designer marble countertops or something like that.

11. Can A New Driver Rent A U-Haul in BC?

Can a Class 7 new driver drive a U-Haul in British Columbia

U-Haul requires that renters be at least 16 years old to rent a trailer, and 18 years old to rent trucks. You do not need a special driver’s license to rent a U-Haul, since they are not classified as commercial vehicles.

According to U-Haul, learner drivers are not able to drive. However, new drivers are able to rent and drive U-Hauls.

Any license which grants the ability to drive without supervision will work. Learners’ permits are not acceptable.

U-HAULOpens in a new tab.

Be sure to follow all of your N driver restrictions when driving U-Haul.

12. 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. Passing the knowledge test with ICBC. – which includes a road signs test – is required to ‘get the L.’ Check out my knowledge test blog for all the details.

13. Class 7 Learner Driver Restrictions: Your Required Supervisor

When you have your Class 7 ‘L’

  • Your supervisor must be at least 25 years or older (or any age if they are a licensed driving instructor)
  • The supervisor must hold a valid driver’s license, other than a learner’s license or Class 7, of a class that permits the operation of the motor vehicle category
  • ‘N’ New drivers can not supervise ‘L’ drivers
  • Must sit in the front seat beside the driver

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

Supervisor for ICBC L and New Driver

No offense to ‘the guy,’ whoever you are. Loving that smoldering intensity sh%# (it’s from Jumanji) right there. Check out my new article Tips for Co-Pilots of Learners – Reducing Stress.

Can an L driver drive with an N driver?

No, supervisors must be at least 25 years old with a Class 5, 4, 3, 2, or 1 license.

14. New Driver ‘L’ Restrictions: Permitted Driving Hours

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

ICBC L driving hours 5 AM till Midnight

15. Length of ‘L’ Phase BC

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

If drivers don’t behave, their L phase can last much longer.

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

16. How Many Passengers With ‘L’?

Maximum 3 People In The Car In Total Including The Driver

How many passengers with the L, ICBC
*NEW* Online course I created for LEARNERS who are excited to get going in the car. May be helpful for parents and co-pilots too. Reduce stress and enjoy the process by learning the basics of a first driving lesson, and start driving towards FREEDOM!!

Learner drivers can only have 2 passengers in the car, maximum.

The only people allowed in the car are:

  1. The driver
  2. The supervisor
  3. The optional passenger
BC L Passenger restrictions Class 7 ICBC, BC Driving Blog

Can a Learner Driver Carry Child Passengers?

Class 7 Learners in BC may only carry one, optional, child passenger in addition to the required supervisor. So, there are only ever three people maximum in the car, in total; the driver, the supervisor, and one additional passenger (this can be any size, shape, or type of human bean).

17. Class 7 – N Driver Restrictions

Rules For ‘N’ Drivers In BC

A new driver is a human who has passed their very first road test. Not necessarily on the first try. I did not pass my first road test because I never took driving lessons. So, I never did enough right shoulder checks before my right turns. In fact, I don’t think I did any at all. Whoops.

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

As soon as they get their ‘N’, they may drive alone for the first time in their life. Ah, freedom.

There is no road signs test to get your ‘N’ per se, but don’t be fooled… The examiner will be able to tell if you see and know your road signs while you are driving. It will be pretty obvious.

18. ‘N’ Passenger Restrictions

You can only take 1 passenger in this stage, unless they are your immediate family members, or if you have a supervisor with you.

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

N Passenger Restrictions BC ICBC

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

The supervisor must be the usual supervisor: aged 25 years or older, with a valid class 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 driver’s license. They need to sit beside you in the front seat.

19. ICBC Immediate Family Members Definition

What counts as immediate family members? Immediate family means

  • Parents
  • Children
  • Spouse
  • Brothers
  • Sisters
  • Grandparents
  • Step-parent
  • Step-grandparent
  • Step-child
  • Step-brother
  • Step-sister
  • Foster-parent
  • Foster-grandparent
  • Foster-child
  • Foster-grandchild
  • Foster-brother
  • Foster-sister

… but not cousins. Cousins are not considered immediate family.

Think of cousins as ‘friends.’

20. Spouse Definition For ICBC Restrictions

ICBC spouse definition ICBC New driver Restrictions

What counts as a spouse?

A spouse is defined as someone who was married to another person at ‘the relevant time’ or who was living for a minimum of 2 years or longer immediately before the ‘relevant time’ in a marriage-like relationship.

This includes marriage-like relationships between people of the same gender identity.

21. Length Of Time In ‘N’ Stage

N stage time ICBC Length of time

Part of the N driver restrictions includes the amount of time in this stage. This stage must last for at least 24 months (2 years) unless you have successfully completed a GLP driver education program. However, your N license won’t expire for 5 years.

In the case you’ve completed an approved driver’s education program, your 24 months can be reduced to 18 months.

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

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

22. Can You Renew Your N License BC?

How long do you have your N for in BC?

Even though you can take your second road test after two years, your 7N Novice license won’t expire for five years.

After five years, if you’re still not ready for the second road test, you can simply renew your driver’s license, just like anyone else. You’ll just need to go to ICBC, pay a fee, and get a new photo taken.

The only thing to be aware of is the amount of time your ‘N’ license has expired. If it’s expired for a long time (don’t quote me but I believe it is 2 or 3 years), then you won’t be able to simply renew it.

At that point you’ll need to do another road test, or, you can also just get a BC-ID card which is a non-drivers photo ID if you’re not into driving anymore.

Time Of Day Restrictions

23. Can N Drivers Drive At Night In BC?

Yes, Class 7N new drivers can drive at night or anytime 24/7/365. There are no time restrictions – you may drive whenever you like, as long as you’re following all of the restrictions printed on the back of your license.

The only time restriction in the graduated licensing program is for Learner – 7L – drivers, who are restricted from 5 a.m. till midnight.

can n drivers drive at night in bc ICBC

24. What Are Your Particular New Driver Restrictions?

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

new driver license bc N Driver Restrictions

Read about the graduated licensing program on the ICBC website.Opens in a new tab.

ICBC FAQs (Can I drive outside of BC with my L or N)Opens in a new tab.

25. Does ICBC Check The 60-Hour Log?

It’s highly recommended that new drivers drive for at least 60 hours before attempting their first road test.

But no, ICBC does not check your ’60 hour log;’ Which is/was a paper form to keep track of your on-road practicing hours.

I actually used this when I was learning how to drive. It’s a simple piece of paper to keep track of your practicing hours. I was proud of every chunk of 20 minutes that I added to that sheet and had my parent officially sign.

You may not be stopped from attempting a road test with not enough experience, but you likely won’t pass.

26. Can I Buy A Car With L License In BC?

Yes yes, you can, you can buy and insure a car with a learner’s license in BC, why not? Just follow the restrictions on your license as usual. Make sure you have a supervisor when you are driving it, display your L sign, etc.

When beginning to drive and own a car, make sure you know about car insurance premiums, and how liability and comprehensive insurance work, as you’ll need to make some decisions around those.

27. ‘N’ Novice Driver Passenger Restrictions 

How Many Passengers With ‘N’?

How Many Passengers Can an N Driver Have in BC?

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

n driver restrictions ICBC

…Immediate family members are exempt from the rule

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

ICBC passenger 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)

Class 7 new driver passenger restrictions immediate family

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

N supervisor N driver restrictions qualified supervisor

N Driver Restrictions: 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.

ICBC L N Passengers N driver restrictions

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

ICBC N driver restrictions

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

can I buy a car with my L

There Is a Pulse In Your Thumb

Okay, this is just slightly random, but I thought I’d throw it in here for good luck. Avoid checking someone’s pulse with your thumb. Your thumb has its own.Opens in a new tab.

28. Can a New Driver Drive With a Baby in British Columbia?

Yes, you can of course drive with a baby. The real question is, why are you thinking of a baby as something like an alien, rather than simply a son or daughter?

Just be sure to follow your passenger restrictions. Immediate family members are exempt from the one-passenger restriction in the ‘N’ stage. In other words, daughters and sons – even tiny, fresh, sleeping, squirmy, squiggly, snuggly, screaming, cute, fragile, joyful, terrifying, and exciting ones – are allowed. Drive safely! LOL

The safest place for a car seatOpens in a new tab. is in the rear, or middle seat, as it is farthest away from potential airbags and impact.

Read more: Car Seat Regulations BC – The Basic Guide

can a new driver drive with a baby BC
Oh Dear

29. Lost Your L or N Sign?

ICBC N & L Signs

If you lost your L or N sign, you have a few options. You could:

Make sure to attach it to your vehicle so that it’s clearly visible. Unfortunately, making your own sign is not permitted.

Otherwise, you will need to visit ICBC. Opens in a new tab.Check ahead of time as many locations are only allowing appointments.

Question: Is It Illegal To Keep An “N” Or “L” On The Back Of A Vehicle All The Time Even If The Driver Is Not In The Learners Or New Category?

Answer From The VPD (Vancouver Police Department) Via Email:

                The simple answer is “ no “it is not illegal, but keep in mind that you may be stopped if you are the lone occupant of the vehicle driving while displaying an “L” sign. The “L” sign requires the driver to be accompanied by a qualified supervisor. If an officer sees a vehicle operated by a lone individual while displaying an “L” sign the officer will more than likely stop the vehicle to ascertain if he/she is contravening the licence restrictions.

30. Penalty For Driving Alone With Learners Permit In BC

If a learner driver drives alone, without supervision, it’s hard to say exactly what the consequences will be. Police can use their discretion. Some of the possibilities include:

  • Getting a ticket for “driving contrary to restrictions”
  • Your vehicle may be towed at your expense
  • Your case may be sent to the superintendent (supervisor of the motor vehicles department) for review
  • Your driver’s license may be suspended for 3 to 6 months (once suspended, you’ll need to restart the graduated licensing program time frame)
  • At-fault collisions that have the potential to haunt you forever (not trying to be dramatic, it’s just kind of true)
Penalty for Learner driver driving alone or with too many passengers BC

31. Can An N Driver Drive My Car?

​Since September 2019, ICBC has changed its insurance model. They’re moving to a more driverbased system. Yes, new and learner drivers can drive your car, but ICBC asks you to list who drives your car. Examples are family members and employees – including learner driversOpens in a new tab. and new drivers.

You can add a learner or a new driver to your listed drivers at an Autoplan broker office. You will need their driver’s license number and birthday. You can add or remove listed drivers anytime. Consider a dash cameraOpens in a new tab. (Amazon) to capture hard evidence.

If an unlisted driver crashes your car, you could face a financial consequences unless you have Unlisted Driver ProtectionOpens in a new tab..

Driver-based model: Under the new model, at-fault crashes will follow the driver, not the vehicle.

However, crashes caused by learners won’t go on their driving record. The learner stage will also not count towards their driving experience.

ICBC – For parents of teen drivers

32. Common ICBC Restriction Codes

BC Drivers License Restrictions Examples

Wondering what those numbers on your license mean? Here are some common ICBC restriction codes. Opens in a new tab.

  • Restriction 14 – Restriction 14 may be applied to a license as a result of a road test. Drivers with this restriction are not permitted to operate a vehicle on highway 99 south of Vancouver, highway 1 east of Vancouver, or west of highway 9.
  • Restriction 21 – Corrective lenses required
  • Restriction 39 – Qualified supervisor required age 25+, 1 passenger
  • Restriction 43 – 5 am to midnight only L
  • Restriction 45 – 1 passenger unless supervisor aged 25+, family exempt
  • Restriction 46 – 0 BAC/BDC (blood alcohol/drug content), must display L sign, no electronic device
  • Restriction 47 – 0 BAC/BDC (blood alcohol/drug content), must display N sign, no electronic device

Driving Without Consideration

Random Question : Hi there. I recently got in a bad collision and was given a ticket for “driving without consideration”. This is the only ticket I got – does it affect my N permit?

It looks to be a $196 Ticket worth 6 points.Opens in a new tab. Normally the new driver’s record will be automatically reviewed by the superintendent after 3 or more points. So, it does seem like you may be headed toward a prohibition of 1-6 months.

Question on Overloading With N:

Does driving with more than one passenger on an N license void your insurance?

Answer: No it does not void your insurance.

ICBC FAQ:
{Say my son drives with an N and violates the “one passenger rule,” would he still be covered if he had an accident and the passengers were injured? What about the cost of damage to vehicles involved?
Unfortunately, young drivers are inexperienced and more likely to crash—which is why the “one passenger rule” is in place.

If this situation were to happen though, your son will still be covered by insurance. However, he’d likely get a ticket or have his licence suspended for breaking the rules of the graduated licensing program. The rules of the program are in place to keep young drivers as safe as possible while they’re inexperienced.}

33. Conclusion

These new driver restrictions can seem downright annoying. But of course, they are there to try and keep people safe. New drivers are simply at increased risk of crashing and causing injuries. This is due to many factors; two of the most important being driver inexperience, and driver distraction, and sometimes you can throw raging hormones and some other stuff into the mix there, too.

Apparently, The brain does not fully develop until the age of 25.Opens in a new tab. That’s probably not what you want me to tell you. The part of the brain that doesn’t develop until age 25 is called the prefrontal cortex. Impulsive behaviors may be much more tempting up until the age of 25. This is why it’s not a coincidence that many car rental companies charge a “youthful surcharge” or have an additional fee for those under 25. They aren’t simply hating on your age; those under 25 statistically crash automobiles more, take more risks, and get into accidents in general.

No one says you have to learn how to drive at any certain age (I mean, maybe they do..), but just learn when you feel ready.

My recommendation would be to follow the rules and avoid getting any tickets. Get through the graduated licensing program as efficiently as you can. Even though it may not seem like it, there is a full privilege driver’s license waiting at the end of it all. And I think the marvelous newfound freedom that comes with that will all be worth it.

If you have problems saying ‘no’ to your friends, it may be helpful to drive a car that only has 2 seats such as the following… not that this is necessarily an affordable or desirable option, but still maybe something to think about. I can’t tell you what kind of 2-seater car I had when I was a teenager; then you may be able to deduce my age.

  • Honda CR-ZOpens in a new tab.
  • Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • Nissan 370Z
  • Smart Fortwo
  • BMW Z4
  • TT Roadster

Is anyone still reading this? Questions, comments, or thoughts? Let me know in the comments section below, I respond to all comments.

Related:

Road Test Fail

A truly insightful analysis of several different learners’ ICBC road test FAILS. In this guide, we really get into the nitty-gritty to find out exactly what fails a road test, and what you need to succeed. Hopefully, it can help anyone preparing for a road test anywhere.

Road Test FAIL Tales

Carmen

Carmen became a driving instructor at the age of 22 in North Vancouver, Canada and is an experienced writer, blogger, photographer, artist, philosopher, certified day dreamer and generally complicated human.

719 thoughts on “ICBC L & N Driver Restrictions Summary & Bottomless FAQ [2022]

  1. Can a novice driver drive with full passenger (not immediate family) with a supervisor that has international license equivalent to class 5?

    1. You can drive on any road that everyone else is allowed to drive on unless it has a restriction on the back of your license

  2. Can a novice driver drive with adults, over 25 years of age, not related, with valid BCDL, if the passengers have consumed alchohol?

  3. If i have had my N for more than 24 month, but a clean driving record, how long can i keep my N without taking the class 5 road test before it expires?

    1. If you’re not ready for the class 5 road test you can simply go to ICBC and renew your N license ..

      if you leave the N expired for a while then it gets more complicated, I forget but I’ll look it up

    2. Hi again, Your license will let you know the date of expiry on the license itself. After that, you can simply renew the N at ICBC. If you do not renew it, I’m not sure how long you can keep it around before you would have to do another road test. Hope that made sense!

  4. My son has had his N for over 24 mouths in those 24 mouths he had a good driving recorded. he’s got crapy luck got two speeding tickets one 5 over passed his 24 mouths but still had N. paid one ticket booked his class 5 test When to do test had to pay the other ticket before he could write test payed then took test passed got his class 5. July 3 gets a letter in mail on July 18 notice of intent to prohibit. For 4 mouths and cancel his license. That he will have to replay for.

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