Getting a BC Motorcycle Novice License or Class 8N

Your BC motorcycle novice license (or Class 8N motorcycle license) is step 2 in the BC graduated motorcycle licensing process for new or BC learner driver (L) or BC novice driver (N) stages. The requirements to get your Class 8N licence includes passing both a motorcycle skills tests and passing a Class 8 motorcycle road test. To ensure you learn all the skills necessary to move to a class 8N or BC motorcycle novice license, we have concisely put together all of the steps and skills you need to master to become a qualified BC motorcycle novice licence holder.

Motorcycle Skills test + Motorcycle Road Test → Class 8N Licence

How to Get Your BC Motorcycle Novice Licence - Simplified

At this point, you already have your 8L licence (learners) and know the basics of how to safely operate a motorcycle in British Columbia. The next step of your journey, which is the Class 8N license, involves more practice and really learning to drive a motorcycle in real world scenarios. This stage of your journey doesn't need to be stressful and if you follow our step by step guide with everything you need to learn and do, you will successfully get your BC motorcycle novice license in the shortest possible time frame. Click the tabs below for more information.

STEP 1 - Motorcycle Skills Test

8L Licence Holder

In order to attempt the motorcycle skills test, you must have held a valid Class 8L license for a minimum of 30 days.

STEP 2: Class 8 Motorcycle Road Test

12 month waiting period

After passing the motorcycle skills test and holding a valid Class 8L licence for a minimum of 12 months, you can attempt the Class 8 motorcycle road test and get your Class 8N (BC motorcycle novice license).

STEP 1: Passing The Motorcycle Skills Test:

Study The BC Tuning Up For Riders Guide

The first step to getting your BC motorcycle novice licence is passing the motorcycle skills test, which will assess your basic motorcycle riding skills. For example: signaling, handling the clutch, braking and turning. The BC Tuning Up for Riders guide is a great resource to brush up on these skills and confirm that you are correctly practicing all required motorcycle maneuvers.

Review The Learn To Ride Smart Guide

The BC Learn to Ride Smart Guide was a great resource to pass the motorcycle knowledge test and will continue to be a good resource to brush up on your motorcycle signs and rules knowledge.

Practice Motorcycle Driving

This test will be structured to assess your posture on a motorcycle, your ability to navigate around traffic cones, how confidently you change gears and other basic motorcycle driving skills. It's not a bad idea to refresh your riding knowledge with our BC motorcycle knowledge test practice, and make sure you practice all of the following skills with a supervising driver:

  • Turning (three-point turns, u-turns, right turns) and demonstrating hand signals
  • Being able to identify all the controls on your motorcycle
  • Steadily push a motorcycle (non-powered)
  • Ride your motorcycle in a straight line while using the clutch
  • Braking, stopping and using the motorcycle stand
  • Accelerating, decelerating and stopping

Book Your Motorcycle Skills Test

Once you are ready, you need to book your motorcycle skills test at your local ICBC driver examination center.

STEP 2: Passing The Class 8 Motorcycle Road Test:

After successfully passing the motorcycle skills test and holding an 8L licence for a minimum of 12 months, you can attempt the class 8 motorcycle road test. Similar to the motorcycle skills test, the best way to prepare yourself is to brush up on the knowledge contained in the BC Tuning up for Riders Guide and the BC Learn To Ride Smart Guide.

Practice Motorcycle Driving For The Class 8 Road Test

The motorcycle skills test you would have previously taken was structured to assess basic motorcycle driving skills on a paved lot. The Class 8 motorcycle road test is much harder and you need to practice additional driving skills prior to attempting the actual road test:

  • Navigating through intersections (riding through and turning)
  • Entering and exiting traffic
  • Entering and exiting a highway
  • Signaling and changing lanes
  • Parking/reverse parking/parking on the side of a road
  • U-turns, three-point turns

Book Your Class 8 Motorcycle Road Test

Once you feel confident that you've mastered the necessary motorbike driving skills, you need to pre-book your Class 8 motorcycle road test at your preferred ICBC examination center.

Pre-trip Check

For both the motorcycle skills test and the class 8 motorcycle road test, you will potentially be required to go through a vehicle safety check. This is to ensure that the bike you bring for the test is safe to ride and has the appropriate BC motorcycle insurance and other required documentation.

Motorcycle Skills Test

For the motorcycle skills test, you will be required to drive in a paved lot and be tested on basic motorcycle driving skills you would have practiced prior to attempting the test. While you are demonstrating the specific maneuvers and skills, the examiner will be assessing some key indicators:

  • Motorcycle handling: how you handle the clutch, throttle and brake controls
  • Gear Shifting: how efficiently you shift gears
  • Balance and Posture: whether you keep your feet on the pegs, and
  • Navigation: whether you miss any turns or hit any traffic cones.

Class 8 Motorcycle Road Test

The class 8 motorcycle road test will be approximately an hour in duration including the post-test debrief. For this test, the examiner will drive behind you in another vehicle and communicate via a two-way radio as you drive through various driving environments (city streets, busy commercial areas and highways). Some of the key skills that are being assessed are:

  • Motorcycle See-Think-Do skills: observation, speed control, steering, space margins and communication.
  • Hazard Awareness: You must at all times be aware of potential road hazards and make a good judgement on how to deal with them. During the test, you will be asked to pull over and identify hazards in the immediate area.

Post-test Debrief

After both the motorcycle skills test and the class 8 road test, you will be given a chance to speak with the examiner and go over your test results. You will be told right after the test whether you passed or failed.

In order to ensure that the actual test day goes well, we've included a list of everything you need to do and know and take with you, so you can focus on being calm and doing your best.

Arrive Early

Both the motorcycle skills test and class 8 motorcycle road test have to be pre-booked appointments. You should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your appointment time to get settled, register and relax before the test starts.

Cancelling or Rescheduling

If you can't make it, make sure you cancel your motorcycle test at least 48 hours in advance to avoid losing any money on your booked appointment.

Bring the Right Vehicle

You can take the motorcycle tests on a scooter or motorcycle of any size over 50 cc but keep in mind, your licence will be restricted (if applicable) to that type of vehicle. For example if you test on a limited speed motorcycle, your eventual licence will carry a restriction preventing you from riding a regular motorcycle. In order to get a license without any restrictions, bring a motorcycle with an engine over 200 cc.

Vehicle Safety Check

Prior to either test the examiner will determine if the motorcycle you have brought to the test is "test-worthy" so make sure you check your motorcycle against the ministry vehicle safety checklist prior to arriving at the ICBC examination center.

In addition to ensuring the safety of your vehicle, you also need to bring proof of valid BC motorcycle insurance and registration documents.

Ministry Approved Helmet

You need to bring along a ministry approved motorcycle helmet in order to take the driving test.

Vision Aids

If you wear contacts or glasses, make sure to bring them along to the BC motorcycle novice test.

Applicable Fees

There are specific fees for each BC motorcycle licensing level. Make sure you bring along the correct licence fee:

Required Identification

You need to bring with you one primary piece of identification and one secondary ID.

Minimum Licence Holding Period

You must remain at the BC motorcycle novice level for a minimum of 24 months before you can progress to the next BC motorcycle licensing level.

Single Driver

You cannot carry any passengers with you.

Restricted Night Driving

You can only drive a motorcycle during daylight hours (sunrise to sunset).

Looking to Get a Different BC Motorcycle Licence?

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British Columbia Class 8L/6L Licence

The class 8L and class 6L learner licenses are the first step to learning how to ride a motorcycle in British Columbia.

British Columbia Class 6 Licence

The BC Class 6 licence is the final, full-privilege BC motorcycle licence for qualified BC motorcycle drivers.

Looking For a Different BC Driving Licence Type?

Choose the type of vehicle you need to get a British Columbia licence for

Regardless of which BC licence you need to apply for, we have you covered. We have put together information on most kinds of BC drivers license types. While some aspiring British Columbia drivers are looking for a BC car license or a BC motorcycle license, others are in need of more specific types of licenses such as the BC truck license, or a BC bus license, a BC air brake license or a BC boat license. Click for more.