Getting your licence...what an ordeal
Getting your licence now-a-days is a long ordeal that Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) has drawn out as long as they can. There is now a system called Graduated Licensing Program (GLP).
How the GLP works is you must first complete a written test in order to get a learner licence (“L”). Once you have your “L” you can only drive with someone over the age of 25 with a valid licence that will supervise. There are also restrictions for “L” drivers such as you may not have any alcohol in your system, you may only have one person other than your supervisor in the car, and you can only drive between 5:00 AM to midnight. You must stay in this stage for a minimum of 1 year.
When the year is over you are eligeble to register for you road test. If you pass your road test on your first go then you are now the new owner of a novice licence (“N”). With this licence you still have some of the same restrictions such as you may not have any alcohol in your system, and you still can`t carry more than one passenger. You must stay in this stage for 2 years (unless you successfully complete a GLP-approved driver education course in which case you get 6 months taken off you “N” time).
In total it takes 3 years to get your full-fledged licence. Why would it possible take 3 years to get a licence when just one generation ago our parents could go to ICBC on their 16th birthday and walk on the same day with their licence.
I do not disagree with the whole system, just parts of it. I agree with the idea of having the GLP. I disagree with the length of time that we must have our “L”s and “N”s. The fastest you can get you licence is 1½ years, you would be 18½ years old. That is if you pass all the tests and take the GLP aproved driving coarse and pass. If you don’t strat right when you turn 16 and maybe fail some of the tests then the time keeps adding up.
I agree with all of ICBC’s GLP restrictions but one. When you have your “N” for at least a year it starts to become an major inconvenience to only be able to have one person in your car. It practically rules out any chance of carpooling. I personally have had my “N” for a little over 2 years and just haven’t had time to take the test and I hate not being allowed to carry more than one person.
Overall I would like to see ICBC lower the time required to finish the GLP and once your get your “N” you should be able to carry more than one person in the vehicle.
ICBC (2008), Getting a passenger vehicle licence, Learner Stage. Retrieved: <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Mar 9, 2009 From: http://www.icbc.com/licensing/lic_getlic_passenger_learner.asp
ICBC (2008), Getting a passenger vehicle licence, Novice Stage. Retrieved: Mar 9, 2009 From: http://www.icbc.com/licensing/lic_getlic_passenger_novice.asp
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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada