Congratulations! Now that you’ve begun preparing for your N or full license, you’re scouting locations to take your ICBC road test. Your buddies might have already filled your head with horror stories about mean instructors, maniacs driving other cars, and other daunting barriers, but you need not fret. Knowing the area where you’ll be taking your test can help with any pre-test nerves.

If you’ve passed your knowledge test and received your L license, the best way to prepare for your first road test is simply to get as much driving experience under your (seat) belt as you possibly can. Just remember: A supervising driver must be in the passenger’s seat. In British Columbia, that’s someone with a full license who is at least 25 years old. Choose wisely!

You have to sit with your L license for at least a year before you can move on to your first of two road tests: the Class 7 road test, which usually lasts around 45 minutes. After that? You get to practice for at least two MORE years (or just 1.5 years if you take a Graduated Licensing Program (GLP) training course approved by the ICBC) before moving on to the Class 5, full license road test. Oh, and it helps if you don’t cause any accidents as an N license holder.

Get to Know the ICBC Road Test

Both ICBC road tests, Class 7 and 5, test drivers on basic rules of the road. The Class 7 test for your N license, naturally, does not touch on as many aspects of driving as the Class 5 test. Before getting your N license, instructors generally assess your comfort level while driving and your ability to fulfill the basic rules of the road. Two hints: red lights are not suggestions, and slowly rolling through stop signs is not good enough.

The Class 5 road test is designed to put aspiring full licensees in a variety of situations. You’ll have to turn, merge into heavy traffic, change lanes, parallel park, perform two- and three-point turns, back into a parking stall, and a few more things experienced drivers have in their repertoire.

What to Expect on Test Day

The ICBC makes booking a road test relatively easy, as most people can do so in a few minutes online. You’ll need to bring your current license, a qualified supervisor, a method for paying pertinent fees, proof of insurance, registration, and, if necessary, a certificate of inspection.

Your vehicle must also be in satisfactory shape. Make sure your brakes, horn, headlights (including high beams), and windshield wipers work. Replace any missing mirrors. Double-check the pressure on all tires.

Best Locations to Take Your ICBC Road Test

Drivers in British Columbia have dozens of locations to choose from when booking a road test, with more than two dozen in the immediate Vancouver area alone. Some people will tell you to go to an ICBC location instead of a Service BC office or one operated by an insurance agent; ICBC instructors are rumored to be kinder and more forgiving.

While we can neither confirm nor deny these rumors, we can recommend a few ICBC offices known to give drivers a fair shake. Keep reading for a quick rundown of a few of our favorite places. 

Vancouver Driver Licensing Office — Point Grey 

Difficulty Level: Easy

These roads could be the key to your freedom!

This Vancouver ICBC location receives high marks for its share of friendly and helpful driving instructors. Much of the test route takes place on residential streets, sparing test takers the stress of busy highways. The facility itself is also known for being relatively spacious and clean, which can’t hurt, right?

Richmond Driver Licensing Office 

Difficulty Level: Medium

These roads could be the key to your freedom!

As you can partially see from the screenshot above, many roads you’ll go down for your Class 7 or 5 driving test at the Richmond location are remarkably straight and wide. Past reviews indicate the staff is pleasant and gives clear directions to drivers well in advance while administering the test. However, traffic is often heavy—especially near the airport.

Surrey Driver Licensing Office — 78th Street 

Difficulty Level: Medium

These roads could be the key to your freedom!

You may have plenty of traffic to contend with at this location in Surrey, but it generally receives high ratings from test takers. Reviewers have remarked that test routes are generally easy, but instructors can be relatively strict.

Burnaby Driver Licensing Office — Metrotown location

 Difficulty Level: Medium

These roads could be the key to your freedom!

Another convenient location for many Vancouver residents, the Burnaby Metrotown office is known for its amicable testers and general efficiency. The testing area, which often includes roads adjacent to the hospital, features wide streets. However, traffic can get heavy at times. Yes, unfortunately, you have to share the road with other drivers AND share your car with an instructor. Party time. 

Service BC Locations

Some drivers in British Columbia might find it more convenient to take a driving test at a Service BC office. There’s little difference between Service BC and ICBC locations. Here are a couple of offices that might be in your neighborhood!

Duncan Service BC Centre 

Difficulty Level: Easy

These roads could be the key to your freedom!

Vancouver residents need to cross English Bay to get to this Service BC centre. Applicants for L and full licenses enjoy this relatively low-traffic area. There aren’t many tricky spots, and merging onto major highways isn’t too stress-inducing.

Maple Ridge Service BC Centre 

Difficulty Level: Hard

These roads could be the key to your freedom!

Drivers who have taken driving tests at the Maple Ridge location note the calm, pleasant demeanor of their instructors. This doesn’t take away from the relatively challenging route you’ll take at this spot; be prepared for school zones, plenty of hills, and the stop sign at the facility’s parking lot. If you’re weird and want a challenge, Maple Ridge is the place to go.

Driver Licensing Agent-Owned Locations

The third type of location for Class 7 and 5 test takers is an insurance agency office. Agencies that fulfill certain criteria may partner with British Columbia to offer several types of driving tests. There aren’t many of these offices near Vancouver, but there’s nothing wrong with taking the scenic route for your ICBC road test!

The Bottom Line

You have plenty of high-quality locations to choose from when preparing for your Class 7 or 5 driving test. The truth is that there are nice—and not-so-nice—instructors almost anywhere you go. Try not to take it personally if you draw the short straw at your appointment. If you are diligent about following the rules, we promise you will pass your test sooner rather than later. Ask around—I’m sure at least one person you know failed their driving test at least once.

Need someone trusted and reliable to train you up? Kruzee has you covered. We make it easy to schedule appointments with our caring instructors, whose mission is to see you succeed. We offer a variety of packages depending on which driving test you have your eyes on. Let’s talk soon!