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ICBC Road Test Tips For Drivers


How to automatically fail your ICBC road test

  • Speed - 10km/h over the speed limit.
  • Changing lanes over a solid white line.
  • 31km/hr or above in a playground or school zone.
  • Stop sign or right turn at red light- Not bringing the car to a complete stop or missing the stop sign.
  • Driving the wrong way down a one-way street.
  • Reversing into an intersection.
  • Driving over the curb and onto the sidewalk.
  • Not seeing a pedestrian and the pedestrian must move out of the way for you.
  • Driving through a red light.
  • Examiner must take verbal or physical control.
  • Not using two-way left-turn lanes where they are available.
  • Not knowing what is on the road test.
  • Palming or hooking the steering and driving with one hand.


Worrying about being perfect on your ICBC road test or perfect with the maneuvers required by ICBC on your road test? Don’t sweat the small stuff and don’t overthink it!

  • You don’t have to do everything with perfection to pass your ICBC road test. Just like any test in school, you don’t need to get a 100% score to pass and you don’t need that for your road test either. No one drives perfectly all the time, and that goes for driving instructors and driving examiners as well. You're allowed to make some mistakes, but it shouldn’t be something that’s consistent.
  • You shouldn’t be more worried about your parking than other things. Parking along with other maneuvers are things you will be required to perform on your road test, and you should know how to complete these maneuvers, but you don’t need to be a professional or nail it on the first try.
  • We don’t live in a perfect world and no one can always be perfect. Therefore, for your ICBC road test, you’re allowed to make corrections, fix and readjust if it doesn’t work on the first attempt or second attempt.
  • Keep in mind that the examiners are not timing you on the road test. They’re not looking for you to park your car centre of the parking stall and be perfectly straight, if you're crooked, don’t worry about it. If your back tire or front tire is on the stall line don’t sweat it.


As a driver on the road, you should be more worried about being safe on the road than being perfect. This goes for your ICBC road test as well.

  • When your parking, make sure you’re looking around and looking in the correct direction when reversing. When you're reversing, you must look out the rear window and not your rear-view mirror. Turn yourself around and look mostly out the back window, glance at the side mirrors and you can look over your shoulders if needed.
  • Don’t worry about being right up against the curb or not being perfectly straight when you’re done. You just shouldn’t have your car impeding traffic on the road.
  • ICBC examiners know that you’re a new driver and becoming a pro at parking can take a couple of years. You shouldn’t be a hazard for yourself or others on that road when you go for your test, be safe and legal and don’t overthink it.


Know how to drive at all intersections properly to pass your ICBC road test

  • Know how to turn left, right and go straight at intersections. You must know how two-way and four-way stops work and who has the right of way at these intersections.
  • Turning left - Make sure you're inside the intersection when you're making an unprotected left turn and waiting with wheels straight until the gap is identified.
  • Turning right - If the light is green you have the right of way to take the right turn and if the light is red, make sure you make a full stop before the stop line and inch forward to find a safe gap before you turn.
  • Two-way stops - Know that through traffic on the street without the stop signs has the right of way. If two vehicles are stopped at a two-way stop, the driver turning left must yield the right-of-way to the vehicle going straight or right.
  • Four-way stops- The first vehicle to arrive at the intersection and come to a complete stop should go first. If two vehicles arrive at the same time, the one on the right should go first. If two vehicles are facing each other and arrived at the same time, the one turning left must yield to the one going straight or right.


Common mistakes people make on the ICBC road test and some tips

  • Not coming to a complete stop at the stop sign.
  • You don’t have to stop and pause for a couple of seconds to prove that you’ve stopped. Just make sure that you have completely stopped moving, always feel the stop and don’t just slow down and do the touch and go stop.
  • Not making a complete stop for a red light right turn. Most drivers are aware that you can make a right turn at a red light but don’t know that you must come to a complete stop before you make the right turn. If you slow down and turn without making a stop, it will be considered an automatic fail for your road test, it’s illegal.
  • If you're at a red light, it means the traffic on the opposite side of the road has a green light. You must yield to this traffic and find the gap before you make a right turn.


Speeding on your ICBC road test. You must watch your speed when you’re on your ICBC road test.

  • Technically, speeding is driving 51 km/hr in a 50 zone.
  • If the speed on the road is 60 km/hr, drive 60. If the speed on the road is 50 km/hr, drive 50. If the speed is 30km/hr, drive 30.
  • Let’s say you go 1 km or more over the speed limit, the examiner can mark you for it. Here’s how it works, if you go over the speed limit the examiners will give you a small window to fix your speed and if you don’t fix it, they will mark you for it.
  • Keep in mind 10 km over the speed limit is an automatic fail.
  • Don’t follow the speed of others on the road. Keep to the posted speed limit. Unless a sign tells you otherwise, it's 50km/h within cities and towns and 20km/h in a lane or alleyway.
  • If you haven’t seen a posted speed limit sign, never assume the speed, stay at 50km/h and remember at the ICBC office the speed is 20km/h. You don’t want to fail your test in the ICBC parking lot.
  • Watch out for school and playground zones on your road test. ICBC has no tolerance for speeding in these zones. If you do 31 km/h in any of these zones, you will fail your road test. 28 km/hr is a great speed and 31 km/h you're done. Ensure you are at the posted speed prior to entering the zone and have exited the zone fully before you increase your speed.


Missing shoulders checks on your ICBC road test

  • You can fail your road test if you aren’t doing enough shoulder check on your road test.
  • You're required to do a shoulder check before your lane change, before you pull over/pull into traffic, before you merge, move over (lane position change), and before your turn.
  • Don’t assume ICBC will be okay with you not making a shoulder check if you 100% sure nothings there. You must still show the ICBC examiner that you’ve checked your blind spot.
  • Even if your mirrors are adjusted properly, there are areas to the sides of your car (blind spots) that just can’t be seen in your rear-view or side mirrors.
  • You must turn your head 90° and look to see if there are any pedestrians, vehicles, motorcycles, cyclists, or any other road users that could be in your blind spot before turning.
  • Make sure your shoulder checks are done before you turn. If you do a shoulder check with or after the turn, it won't count. The purpose of the shoulder check is to check there’s nothing there before you move over or turn, if you check with the turn, then you have defeated the purpose of the shoulder check.


Unnecessary stops on your ICBC road test

  • Do not stop for no reason the test. You should stop for pedestrians, stops signs, red lights.
  • If you're approaching a two-way stop intersection and your through traffic taking a right turn with no stop, then you shouldn’t stop here unless there’s a pedestrian crossing.
  • If your turning right at a green light you have the right-of-way and shouldn’t have to stop before you turn.
  • Don’t make unnecessary stops at a yield. You don’t need to stop at a yield if there’s a safe gap or no traffic on the through road.


Using your parking brake for your ICBC road test

  • Make sure you put on the parking brake every time you complete your parking maneuver.
  • It's common to see people don’t use the parking brake. You should always use your parking brake because there is always the potential that mechanical failure can occur.
  • It's also not good for your transmission to hold the thousands of pounds your vehicle weighs. Your parking brake will hold all this weight so your transmission doesn’t have to do the work for it.
  • Don’t forget to apply the parking brake when the examiner pulls you over to the curb and asks you to park the car.
  • When you park on the hill, you don’t have to touch the curb with your tires. You should turn the wheels according to the hill you're parked on and turn the wheels all the way.
  • Downhill- turn the wheels to the right.
  • Uphill with curb- turn the wheels to the left.
  • Uphill with no curb- turn the wheel to the right.


Being too cautious for your ICBC road test

  • You can fail your road test for being overly cautious on your ICBC road test.
  • Don’t be driving 15-20 km/h below the speed limit and be slowing down unnecessarily.
  • Most drivers are nervous for the test and ICBC examiners are aware that you're nervous. Just don’t drive super slowly and stop where you're not required.
  • Breathe, don’t overthink and remember the examiners aren’t there to fail you on the road test. They want to make sure you’re a safe and competent driver.


Drive for the conditions on your ICBC road test

  • Slow down if the conditions are not ideal. For example, snow and icy conditions.
  • ICBC examiners can fail you for driving at the speed limit and not reducing your speed for the conditions.
  • You want to use your common sense and decide what the safe speed is for the conditions. I wouldn’t recommend driving 30km/h in a 50km/h zone. This would most likely fail you for the test.
  • Don’t rush it, think about it and decide what would be safest.
  • You always want to show the examiners that you can See-think-do without the need of a supervisor to assist you. Show them you're competent and have the skills to adjust for the conditions.
  • Maintain a good following distance from the vehicles ahead of you. Stay 4-5 seconds behind them.
  • When you're slowing down in slippery conditions, you want to brake early and creep up to where you want to actually stop. This way when you come up to the intersection your not going to nail the brakes and slide into the intersection.


Steering and hand positions for your ICBC road test

  • You're not allowed to hook, palm, or drive with one hand.
  • ICBC doesn’t care if you use dry steering.
  • You can either use hand over hand or shuffle steering for your ICBC road test. However, hand over hand is the best way to steer but shuffle is fine as well.
  • Both hands must be always on the steering wheel. Unless you're reversing in a straight line.
  • You're never allowed to take both hands off the steering when you're driving but you can take one hand off if you have a good reason for it. For example, you need to scratch something, adjust the heat. Remember to put your hand back on the steering after this and never rest your elbow or arms anywhere.
  • There are 3 acceptable hand positions. If we regard the steering wheel as an analog clock, we can have our hands at 10 & 2, 9 & 3 or 4 & 8.


Observation issues on your ICBC road test

  • Not seeing playground/school zones, not seeing pedestrians, not seeing yellow lights, not seeing the lower speeding sign ahead, and not seeing the red light and taking a right turn without stopping first.


Turning problems on your ICBC road test. Turning wide, cutting the corner, and going over solid white lines, etc.

  • Turning wide on right turns and going into another lane or cutting the corner and crossing over solid white lines. Turning left and cutting corners.
  • To fix this, you will need to get more practice and/or training.


Lacking knowledge for who has the right of way on your ICBC road test

  • Not knowing when you have the right of way (stopping for someone when you have the right of way) and not knowing which car you must yield the right of way to.
  • You must know that straight through & right-turning cars have the right of way over left-turning cars.
  • If you’re approaching a green light and wanting to go straight or right, you have the right of way over the car making the left turn.
  • If you’re approaching a two-way stop and you're on the through road wanting to make a right turn or go straight and you're not facing a stop sign, then you have the right of way here. If there’s a left-turning vehicle ahead of you wanting to make a left turn, they must wait until you’ve completed the turn and if there’s anyone waiting at the stop signs, they must wait until both of you have cleared the intersection.
  • You may not pass your ICBC road test if you're confused about the basic road rules.


Scanning intersections and scanning side streets on your ICBC road test

  • You should be scanning left, center, and right before passing side streets and scanning intersections before you go through them. This is a must at all two-way stops, four-way stops, traffic lights, yields, and roundabout.
  • Don’t have tunnel vision and be looking straight and straight only when going through intersections.
  • When you're stopped at a red light and it changes to green, make sure you look left, center, and right to make sure no-one's running a red light before you proceed.
  • Make sure the examiner sees you looking. Turn your head and look in all directions.
  • Don’t just look with your eyes, because to the examiner it might seem like you aren’t looking.


Lane changing on your ICBC road test. Is it legal or illegal?

  • It's illegal to lane change over a solid white line. Solid white lines are always near intersections and crosswalks.
  • When the examiner asks you to make a lane change, look ahead and see if your nearing the intersection and make the lane change before the solid white line or wait until you’ve passed the intersection.
  • It's not practical to make a lane change over a crosswalk, between side streets, inside an intersection and in a curve.


Merging and exiting the freeway for your ICBC road test

  • Don’t confuse a merge with a yield and stop and wait for traffic to pass before you merge onto the freeway
  • You want to use the full acceleration lane to match the speed of traffic on the roadway you are about to join. Be careful not to go over the speed limit.
  • Don’t merge at 30 km/h in a 60 zone unless you have a very good reason for it.
  • When you leave the freeway, you don’t slow down while you’re still on it. If you do this, you will be slowing down the flow of traffic and defeating the purpose of the exit ramp.
  • Wait until your car is completely off the freeway before you slow down.
  • The yellow exit speed sign on the ramp is a recommended speed. You do eventually want to get down this speed, but you don’t have to slow down to this speed before the sign.

** If you're going for your N test you won't be required to merge onto the highway/freeway. However, when you go for your Class 5 you may have to.


Emergency vehicles on your ICBC road test

  • If you encounter an emergency vehicle on your road test you must know how to deal with it.
  • If you don’t know how to yield to an emergency vehicle for your test, this will be considered a violation and you will automatically fail your ICBC road test.
  • It's common for new drivers not to know how to deal with emergency vehicles and it's not common to expect it on your test but it does happen.
  • They won’t forgive you because you're a new driver.
  • I have seen drivers fail perfect road test because they didn’t take the right steps for the emergency vehicle.


360-degree checks for your ICBC road test

  • This is a vital all-around check that’s required on your road test anytime you change gear, leave and re-enter traffic or change directions.


Maneuvers and things, you will be asked to demonstrate on your ICBC road test

  • Park downhill/uphill- Adjust your wheels based on whether you have a curb or no curb.
  • Reversing along the curb in a straight line- Look out the back window and do a 360-degree check before reversing.
  • Parallel Parking- You should be within 30 cms (1 foot) of the curb when you’ve completed your parallel.
  • 3-point turn- Find a safe and legal location before you perform this maneuver.
  • Reverse stall park- Look out the back window mostly when backing up and do a 360-degree check before reversing.
  • Hand signals- Know your left, right, and stop hand signals.
  • Hazard perception-Identify potential hazard’s around your vehicle.
  • Exit vehicle- Check your mirrors and shoulder check left before you open the door.



  • You can’t get better and confident without practice.
  • Don’t practice on the same roads all the time.
  • Drive downtown, busier, and more complex areas.
  • Don’t just drive in the same areas. Drive everywhere and drive-in unfamiliar areas.
  • Don’t just drive on the highway/freeway all the time.

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