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Driver's license exchange BC

Discussion in 'Settlement Issues' started by Scryden, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. Hi all,

    I know this has probably been asked a lot of times, but this still confuses me as every government official in Canada keeps telling me different information.

    My situation:
    I'm a Dutch citizen from the Netherlands and I am currently in Canada on a working holiday visa. The CBSA officer only issued me a 1 year work permit, because the Netherlands is a visa exempt country. I explicitely asked him if he was 100% sure he doesn't have to issue me a visa, since I will be staying here for 1 whole year. The answer was yes, 100% sure. I also asked him whether the work permit qualifies me as a visitor or temporary resident. The answer was temporary resident.
    I have a Dutch driver's license for 8 years now. If I were a visitor it would've been valid for the entire 12 months in combination with an international drivers permit. However, since I am a temporary resident right now, I have been told my license is only valid for 90 days.
    I am now travelling throughout BC for the next couple of months and I have no "permanent" address here. I stay wherever I can and feel comfortable.
    Since BC has a reciprocal agreement with the Netherlands, and I have had my license for 8 years, I should be able to exchange it for a Class 5 BC license on the spot according to ICBC's website.
    However, just to be sure I gave them a phonecall today and I have been told by the lady on the phone that I will need a permanent residence card in order to get a driver's license. I explained my situation of being on a working holiday visa with a 1 year work permit and she told me you are fine with an international drivers permit.

    So yeah, this confuses me alot. I just want this this out of the way and apply for a Class 5 license, just to be sure. My questions are:

    1. Given my 8 years experience and being from the Netherlands in BC, will I be able to exchange my license on a Working Holiday visa (even though they only gave me a work permit since Holland is visa exempt)?
    2. Do I need proof of residency in BC in order to apply for my license? Like I mentioned above, I travel throughout the entire province and have no "permanent" address. So no proof either. BUT, I do have family living in BC whose address I may use. Does that suffice?

    I just want to be sure before I waste time, gas and money on driving down to a registry office.

    Thanks in advance for the replies.
  2. Hi

    1. You are a visitor with permission to work , which is a temporary resident. So in BC you can drive for up to 6 months on it. All you would have to do to get another 6 months is leave Canada and re-enter to trigger another 6 months. Or if you wish, you go to an ICBC office and exchange your Netherlands DL for a BCDL and when you return the Netherlands you do the reverse. You need proof of 2 years driving to get a full license.
  3. ICBC is terrible at giving consistent and reliable information. Their own staff often has no idea. I got the best answers when I called their complaints contact person. She knew everything.
    Rohit raheja likes this.
  4. I spoke to someone of ICBC on the phone again. This time they told me that I do need to change my license within 6 months and because they have an agreement with my home country I can swap it on the spot and don't even require a BC address. I asked the guy on the phone to please send this answer to my e-mail address, which I do have now. I will print it out and take it with me to an ICBC office. In case someone there has different thoughts about it again, I can show them the email.
    harishp likes this.
  5. Hi,
    My name is Rohit. I am on a student visa in Canada. I wanted to apply for a BC driving license, so I gave up my Indian driving license to appear for an online test. The officials of law court in kamloops took my Indian driving license for a verification , they wanted to check wether the license was original or not so they sent it to place for verification. After fews days I received a letter from ICBC saying that the license is not genuine.

    I would like to tell that my license is 100% genuine and can be found on Indian goverment website as well. All the information present on the goverment official sites are authentic.

    I would request me to help me by suggesting the best I can do now.
  6. #6 Buletruck, Jan 13, 2018 at 12:25 AM
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
    Not sure there is much you can do. I know in Alberta foreign licenses that are exchanged from countries without a reciprocal agreement are sent to a special division of the RCMP to be verified by them and the home country. Chances are BC uses the same process. If it’s come back as fake, that has probably come from the government of India. You should go back to ICBC and ask to see the investigation report. You may be able to appeal the decision, but if it has come from the Indian authorities that it’s fake, you probably don’t have much of a chance. Or try this they can’t prevent you from having access to your personal i formation.
  7. Thanks for the help.
    This did not come from indian authorities as when icbc said the license is fake and kept it.
    My father in India went to the Indian authorities to check with them if IcBC contacted them for any info. And there was no verification done by Icbc, said Indian officials.
    After that the Indian goverment officials issued a written statement that the license is original with the attestment and their stamp on it and can be seen online on their official website as well.

    I am really confused if I should hire a lawyer to take this to supreme court.
    I want ICBC to show me that they did a verification in India to check my license but they dont want to show any reports, coz i know they didnt do that.
  8. #8 Buletruck, Jan 13, 2018 at 6:17 AM
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
    Take them the document from India and have them re-open the file with the document. You don’t take issues with your drivers license to the Supreme Court. You start with Provincial court first, if that is even necessary. Keep in mind, by the time it goes through the courts, you would probably have your license through normal channels (even if you start from scratch). The only advantage to that would be making your lawyer more money. Go and have them review the file first with your new documents. ICBC can’t stop you from reviewing your personal information. Try this:

  9. Hi Rohit ...We had faced the same issue. we recently moved to canada on PR, submitted indian license & driving extract but they had not considered them as relevant & sent letter to us that apply for class 5 license your documents are fraud not valid...
    Please confirm what action you have taken so far for the solution
  10. I went to ICBC and wanted to file a formal complaint About it. They didnt allow me to do that. The ICB is not cooperating in any way.
  11. You need to do it online.
  12. I had an Ontario G license one year old in 2016, icbc told me to enter glp program and offered to give 7 road test then after two years 5 road Test, since I had no plans to buy a car I dropped the idea but now my lic is more than 2 years old, what in your opinion can icbc issue me class 5 License or will my status be the same as it was in 2016
  13. Same as it was in 2016.
  14. Ok so if I leave bc for few years and come back will it change or still I will be at same as in 2016
  15. Hi everyone,

    I also have some driver's license related issues. I have a Swiss license (eligible for a direct swap with Canadian license) but the problem is I've had it for less than 2 years required for direct exchange (it will be two years in September, 2018) and intend to land in May (4 months shy). My questions are:
    1. After landing, can I just run down the clock till September since I don't anticipate much driving anyways?
    2. Ontario (my prospective province) has a two months rule on exchange. Does that mean if I don't exchange within the 2 months timeframe, I'd have to go through the whole process again?
    3. If I can't just run down the clock as in 2, can I leave and re-enter Canada just to start the 2 months countdown afresh?
    4. Regarding the 2 months rule, when are you deemed to have established permanent residency for licensing rules?

    My apologies for the long questions and thanks for your answers.

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