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A novice driver taking lessons

Novice driver violations

A novice driver in BC must comply with a number of restrictions before they obtain a full driver’s licence. These restrictions cover things like when and where they can drive and who with as well as things like using electronic devices and alcohol consumption. Committing any of these novice driver violations may result in penalties and even the loss of their driver’s licence.

Who is a novice driver?

A novice driver is anyone who has passed a road test and holds a Class 7 licence. Anyone over the age of 16 can obtain a learner (L) licence if they pass a written test, after which they can learn to drive from an instructor or supervisor. Following one year of practice, learner drivers can take the Class 7 road test to become a novice (N) driver.

Drivers must hold a Class 7 N licence for at least two years, after which they can take a second road test to earn their Class 5.

Novice driver restrictions

Novice drivers must adhere to a number of additional restrictions. Failure to comply with the restrictions may prolong the amount of time it takes to obtain a full licence. 

They must prominently display an “N” sign on the back of their vehicle. Novice drivers may only have one passenger in their vehicle at a time unless they are immediate family or there is a fully-licensed supervisor over the age of 25. You can drive with as many immediate family members (siblings, parents, children) as will fit in the vehicle. You can also drive with as many non-family members as will fit in the vehicle provided one of them is the supervisor.

There is a zero tolerance for alcohol or drugs for novice drivers. Class 5 licence holders can have a blood alcohol content of up to .079 before they reach the legal limit of alcohol. Not so for Class 7s. If they register any drug or alcohol reading on an approved screening device they commit a violation.

Novice drivers are also not permitted to use any electronic devices. Whereas full licence holders are permitted to drive with a securely-fixed electronic device that requires only one touch to receive calls, Class 7 drivers must not have any electronic devices within sight.

Fewer violations permitted

If a novice driver is convicted of a violation that carries two or more driver penalty points, it can trigger an automatic suspension of the novice driver’s licence. Full licence holders, on the other hand, can accumulate up to 15 penalty points before RoadSafetyBC will even consider a licence suspension.

There are instances where novice drivers received a driving suspension following a single violation. So-called high-risk offences such as impaired driving or excessive speeding could lead to a Class 7 licence suspension and the driver having to restart the Graduated Licensing Program all over again.

BC Driving Lawyers

We all make mistakes when we are learning to drive. The BC Driving Lawyers understand the stress of obtaining your license. We deal with novice driver violations every day and we will do everything in our power to ensure there are as few delays as possible before you get your Class 5.

You have nothing else to lose if you challenge a novice driver violation but a lot to lose if you accept guilt. A violation can lead to a significant delay in gaining full driving status and even being prohibited from driving altogether. Challenging a violation is not only time-effective but also cost-effective. The financial consequences of entering a guilty plea are not immediately clear but if you successfully overturn the offence, you won’t have to pay a penny and you can get on with your life.  

Call the BC Driving Lawyers for a free consultation on 604-608-1200.