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ICBC requirements for driver's licences, marriage certificates, driving experience/history letters and driver abstracts

I often receive questions about translating driver's licences, marriage certificates or driver history letters and abstracts for ICBC (the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia). This page therefore deals solely with ICBC requirements.

1. I have a licence from the European Union. Can you translate it for me?

It depends on whether it is the old style or the new style of licence.

The old style is on pink cardboard, is folded into three in such a way that the top, when folded, will look like something like this. It does require translation.

Old style of EU licence Belgium Old style of EU licence France
The new style is a two-sided credit-card size laminated card. If it is a regular driving licence for cars and is equivalent to a B.C. class 5 licence, it does not require translation. This rule refers to cards in the EU format from European Union member countries that are part of B.C.'s reciprocal licence exchange agreement (France and Belgium are both covered by the agreement but Spain is not) containing no special endorsements or restrictions. The EU symbol (initial(s) of country with 12 yellow stars around it on a dark blue background), photo and signature of the driver are on the front and the driving classes indicated by pictograms are on the back. If there are no pictograms on the back or if there is additional information, then translation will be required.

2. What do you need me to send you when I ask you to translate my driver's licence?

If you could send me legible jpegs of the front and back of your licence in colour on a white background with no fingers or thumbs or other distractions showing, I will combine them into a one page Word document and provide a colour copy as part of your ICBC translation package.

3. What do you mean by my ICBC translation package?

ICBC requires its approved translators to fill out a form (which I have on my computer) with specific information found in your licence. This is one page of your package. A copy of your original licence as mentioned above is another page and my own certified translator's statement containing my seal, my signature and my STIBC or ATA ID card (as applicable) completes the package. If you are applying from outside the Vancouver lower mainland - see question 5 below - the approved ICBC photocopy will be an additional page of your package.

4. How long does it take you to translate a driver's licence?

Not very long so if you are in a hurry let me know and I will prioritize your request so that you can pick it up the same day at my home office in Kitsilano (usually within regular working hours but if you wish to pick it up after your work day, for instance, arrangements can be made to accomodate, within reason). Don't forget to bring your original licence with you when you come, otherwise I cannot sign the ICBC form...and please wear a mask!

5. What if I don't live in the Vancouver area and can't pick up the translation package in person?

If you are not located in the lower mainland of Vancouver but rather in a different part of BC, then it is a bit more complicated and timing and cost are also affected.

As a first step, you will need to go to your local ICBC office (or Autoplan office) and ask the supervisor there to take a photocopy of your driver's licence front and back and put the following stamp on the photocopy.

ICBC approval copy stamp

Then please scan and e-mail me this copy along with the colour jpegs of your licence back and front. The photocopy will invariably be in black and white and it is harder to see the elements I need to fill in the ICBC form from a black and white copy. After I have filled in the form, printed it out, and signed it, ICBC still needs to see my original signature. Consequently I will send the translation package in the mail to you. I can send it via regular mail for the cost of the envelope and stamp or I can send it via Canada Post Xpresspost with tracking, which costs more but is quicker service. Regular mail could take a week to 10 days to get to you while Canada Post Xpresspost should get to you within two to three working days. Kindly let me know which option you prefer when you ask me to quote.

6. ICBC is asking for an English translation of my driving history letter (aka driver's abstract). Do you offer that service as well?

Absolutely. In this case, please e-mail me a legible pdf colour copy of your driving history letter or abstract. I will count up the number of words and send you a quotation for the translation, which will include the cost of filling in this same form required by ICBC. Once again, in order to sign the ICBC form, I am required to see either the original letter - which you would bring with you when you come to pick up the translation package from my home office in person - or - if you are not in the Vancouver lower mainland and cannot come to my home office with your original - the ICBC approved copy as mentioned above. This means going to your nearest ICBC or Autoplan office with your original and asking the supervisor to take photocopies of all pages of the abstract or history letter and stamp them with the ICBC approval stamp as shown above. Kindly e-mail me that copy to translate from. I will then send you the full hard copy package to your home address either via regular mail or Canada Post Xpresspost, according to your choice.

7. ICBC is asking for a translation of my marriage licence to prove change of name when I married. Can you translate it for me?

Of course. Please see the information I provided for driving history letters and abstracts in my answer to question 6. The instructions are also valid for marriage certificates whether you are located inside or outside of the Vancouver lower mainland. Additionally, please note that some marriage certificates have notarizations or signature authentications on the back, so if there is anything on the back kindly remember to copy both sides of the certificate before you e-mail me the pdf copy to make sure no information has been left out.

If you still have a question that I have not included here, please feel free to send me an e-mail.

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This page was last modified on 4 January 2022.
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