Ultimate Guide to Getting Your Class 4 Unrestricted Licence in BC

It can be challenging to get your class 4 unrestricted licence in Canada, especially if you are originally from another country. So we produced this guide to getting your class 4 licence in BC to help you.

What is a Class 4 Unrestricted Licence?

A class 4 unrestricted licence is a commercial driving licence. It is the licence you need to legally work in a wide variety of different jobs in BC that involve carrying passengers.

A class 4 unrestricted licence permits you to drive:

  • Buses with a maximum seating capacity of 25 persons (including the driver), including school buses, special activity buses and special vehicles used to transport people with disabilities.
  • Taxis and limousines.
  • For a ride-hailing service such as Whistle, Uber or Lyft.
  • Ambulances.
  • Any class 5 vehicle.

Information on all of the other licence types in British Columbia can be found here on the ICBC website.

Jump straight in and get started on your unrestricted class 4 licence.

Book your pre-trip inspection lesson here.

What Are the Benefits of Getting a Class 4 Unrestricted Licence in Whistler?

Whistler is a resort municipality in British Columbia. It is about 2-3 hours away from Vancouver Airport in British Columbia and is home to the Whistler Blackcomb ski resort plus a long list of other tourism businesses.

Many of these tourism businesses offer jobs that require you to have a class 4 unrestricted licence and often pay more for having it.

These businesses include:

  • Airport transfer companies like Whistler Connection.
  • Hotels that have their own local shuttle service.
  • Activity operators like ziplines, snowmobile tours and rafting.
  • Heliskiing and aviation.

We spoke to a range of different people in Whistler about the benefits of getting a class 4 unrestricted licence. The most common responses were:

  • You get paid more. Many businesses have pay structures based on qualifications and a class 4 unrestricted license often results in a higher wage.
  • You get interviewed first. HR managers told us they are always looking for people with this qualification.
  • You get tips. Most class 4 drivers report receiving gratuities from their guests in Whistler.
  • You get a choice. There are a wide range of different employers looking for your skills as a class 4 unrestricted driver. Find the job that suits you.

Are you interested in diversifying your skills, getting paid more and having options for full time, part time or casual driving jobs in Whistler? You can start by making sure you are eligible for a class 4 unrestricted licence.

How do I begin the process of getting a Class 4?

In order to begin the process, one must already possess a Class 5 drivers licence in BC. For many international countries and provinces within Canada, this is a rather painless endeavour.

Most people will be able to take their driver's licence from their home driving authority into ICBC and will be able to switch to a BC Class 5.

B.C. has reciprocal licence exchange agreements with many countries, including:

  • Austria
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • France
  • Germany
  • Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • Netherlands
  • Except former territories in Antilles: Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, St. Eustatius, and St. Maarten.
  • New Zealand
  • South Korea (not motorcycles)
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan (not motorcycles)
  • If you're from Taiwan you will be able to exchange your licence for a passenger vehicle licence only. (see ICBC website for further details) 
  • United Kingdom (includes England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland)
  • United States (includes Washington DC and Puerto Rico)

Click here to begin the process of getting your class 4 unrestricted licence in Whistler by booking a pre-trip inspection lesson.

Do I Qualify? 

Eligibility Requirements for Class 4 Unrestricted:

  1. Be at least 19 years of age
  2. Possess a full-privilege BC drivers licence (Class 5 or 6)
  3. Must have a minimum of 2 years of non-learner driving experience
  4. Provide all driving records from each jurisdiction (licensing authorities) in which you have driven within the past three years, and submit this for review by an ICBC approved translator

 The combination of your out-of-province and B.C. driving records must: 

  • Have less than four offences that resulted in penalty points  
  • Have no motor vehicle-related Criminal Code convictions (or the equivalent if your records are from outside Canada) within the last 3 years 
  • Be dated within 90 days of submitting it 

Driving records must be original! Photocopies, scanned copies, downloaded records, or third party faxed records are not acceptable.

International Driving Records

The largest delays in the Class 4 process are generally related to obtaining driving records from overseas.

It is very important to make sure that your home driving authority is including all necessary information on the records to avoid further delay. 

  • Your driving record(s) must be dated within 90 days of submitting it
  • Your driving record(s) must be original documents, which are signed by the relevant driving authority and sealed in an envelope. Photocopies, scanned copies, downloaded records, or third party faxed records are not acceptable

Driving records must include:

  • a list of any penalty points in your jurisdiction (to pass the pre screening you must have fewer than four offences that resulted in penalty points, this includes any penalty points incurred on your BC driving record
  • confirm whether the driver has any motor vehicle-related Criminal Code convictions (or the equivalent if your records are from outside Canada, in order to pass pre screening you must have no motor vehicle-related Criminal Code convictions)

Once the original driving record(s) have been submitted to the head ICBC branch in Victoria, it can take anywhere from 30-60 days for the records to be approved. 

Get Your Class 4 Learners Licence

The Class 4 theory test can be taken at any ICBC branch that offers drivers licensing services.

The 3 locations available in the sea to sky are:

Whistler: 4370 Lorimer Rd #232, Whistler BC
Squamish: 1325 Pemberton Ave, Squamish BC
Pemberton: 1385 Birch Road, Pemberton BC

Bring with you:

  • 2 pieces of accepted ID.
  • Any glasses or contacts needed for the vision test.
  • $15 fee for the theory test.

It is important to prepare for the theory test, especially if you are coming from another country as some road rules are different here in BC. 

ICBC provides practices tests here that are great tools for studying the rules of the road and road signs. 

The main resource for preparing is the "Driving Commercial Vehicles" Manual that can be found here.

Once you've successfully passed your theory test, remember to book a day for your road test so you have a date to work towards. Book several weeks into the future to provide ample time to prepare. 

How to Prepare for Your Class 4 Unrestricted Road Test

The unrestricted class 4 road test is broken up into two portions:

  1. Pre-trip vehicle inspection.
  2. The actual road test.

It is very important that candidates put in the necessary time and effort into preparing for both of these. The best way to prepare is by enrolling with a certified driving school.

Whistler Driving School will clean up any old driving habits and open your eyes to a world of safe driving and smooth operating. We’ll also get candidates comfortable with the ins and outs of the pre-trip inspection and get you road test ready. 

  • One-on-one training with an experienced Class 4 trainer
  • Pre-Trip demonstration with sheets to follow along
  • Time for student to go through the pre trip several times and highlight any difficulties or unknown sections of the vehicle 
  • Drive time to figure out where students need to focus attention
  • Main areas of focus:
    • Observation skills at intersections and high volume areas
    • Road marking and sign identification 
    • Parking and reversing procedures
    • Space margins
    • General knowledge of road rules 
    • Hazard identification 
    • Smooth handling of vehicle

Pass Your Road Test 

Ready for your road test? Bring your approved class 4 vehicle to your road test location and pass that test!

Make sure you remember to bring:

  • Class 4 learners permit
  • Government issued photo ID
  • Any eyeglasses/contacts required for driving
  • Payment for fees associated with road test and licensing 

If you are unsuccessful on the first attempt, you must complete a 14 day waiting period from the first attempt. Every test afterwards requires a 30 day waiting period between attempts.

How Much Does a Class 4 Unrestricted Licence Cost?

In addition to the costs of training, you'll likely need to pay for:

  • Knowledge test fee: $15
  • Class 4 road test fee: $40
  • Medical exam fee: $28
  • License upgrade: $17

Both knowledge and road test fees are per attempt. If only the driving portion of the road test is successful. The pre-trip can be retested for $20.

All licences expiring within 180 days are considered renewals. A $75 fee is required for a 5-year licence renewal. 

The medical examination will have to be completed by a physician. Fees for this are different per practitioner and generally range from $80-$125.

To get started on your journey to more employment opportunities, book your pre-trip inspection training with Whistler Driving School so you can learn from local professionals.