Getting Your Class 4 (Unrestricted) Commercial Driver’s License in British Columbia?

31 03 2012

This would fall into the “how to” category of my blog. So if you are looking for something inspiring…this isn’t the post 🙂 Also…read the comments, some readers have added notes from their own test experience which are helpful!

Recently I found myself needing to upgrade my driver’s license to a (British Columbia) Class 4 Unrestricted Commercial License (for 15 passenger vans, small school buses, ambulances) and went through the 3 stage process:

  • Knowledge test
  • Pre-Trip
  • Road Test.

I had heard that a lot of people fail the test and I really needed my license for work, so I couldn’t afford to fail. At each stage, I felt like a nervous 16 year old once again; I wanted to get it over with, but I also wanted to know that I could be a safe driver. Thanks to the guidance of a few good people (thank youuuu!), and a nice Examiner, I passed first try; whew!

Rather than just move on, I thought I would take the time to write down what I did and hopefully it will help someone else. I am sure there are a lot of men/women who are more “up” on vehicle terminology, but I am not, so consider this the “Class 4 For Dummies.” Keep in mind, this doesn’t come with any guarantees; just because I didn’t have to parallel park, for example, doesn’t mean you won’t have to (I did learn how to do this, by the way). I am just sharing my own experience with it.


First, a note about the knowledge test: besides reading the manual, I also used the site to help test myself. This online test has questions that don’t apply to the Class 4 unrestricted mixed in, but generally I found it helpful. Be warned: The actual test at ICBC doesn’t just cover the obvious things about driving/parking/turning, so if you are like me and “not a natural” when it comes to questions about vehicles and rules of the road, you are going to want to study. I was focused on how to drive a 15 passenger van with children onboard, so there were some questions that surprised me (like how often you have to submit your log to your carrier, how to increase your fuel efficiency, shifting gears).


* Make sure you bring two pieces of ID (check ICBC’s site for approved I.D.) and make sure you are 15 minutes early.

On to the pre-trip, which is the trickiest part. I will just walk through what I did and I will include the pieces I missed so that you won’t:

I parked the vehicle in the “truck inspection” area, about a foot away from the curb to give room for the pre-trip. I made sure my PARKING BRAKE was on. I UNLOCKED all the van doors. I kept the keys in my pocket and not in the van.

I made sure I had PAPER TOWEL ready to use (for checking the fluids) and I also brought a thin YOGA MAT (so I didn’t have to lie on the dirty pavement).

The Examiner arrived and told me that I had approximately 20 minutes to complete my pre-trip and that following the pre-trip I would have a form to fill out and then continue with my road test.

I said, “I am going to begin with the UPPER PART of the vehicle.” As you do your pretrip you are going to want to TOUCH as many parts of the vehicle as you can, and TALK about everything you are observing. Use words like “it looks normal” or “in good condition” and words like that which describe what you are seeing.

I began at the front of my van and checked my driver-side MIRROR for any damage. I opened and shut the DRIVER’S DOOR. I commented on the WINDOWS, that the windows were in good condition with no visible cracks. I commented that there did not appear to be any BODY DAMAGE anywhere. I opened the fuel door and checked the FUEL CAP to make sure it was on properly and tightly.

Rounding the corner to the back of the van I noted that the LENS COVERS on the back of the van brake lights were in good condition. I noted that the LICENSE PLATE could be clearly seen and that my INSURANCE STICKER was up-to-date. Using my foot I noted that the BACK BUMPER was firm. I opened the back doors to show that they could be opened properly. I pointed out the EXTRA SUPPLIES OF FLUIDS (oil, washer fluid, etc) that I had stocked. I pointed out that I had a SAFETY KIT with my reflective triangles and flares. I pointed out that I had a FIRST AID KIT in the back. I pointed out that I had the TOOLS to release the spare tire, check lug nuts, jack etc. in the back.

Continuing around the passenger side of the vehicle I was again looking for BODY DAMAGE, and did not see any. Using my foot I tapped the exhaust pipe and commented that it was firm and not hanging. I opened and closed the SLIDING DOOR to the van to show that it could open easily. I noted that all the WINDOWS were in good condition. I opened and closed the PASSENGER DOOR. I checked the PASSENGER MIRROR for any damage and to make sure it was clean. I checked the INSPECTION STICKER on the front windshield to show that it was current and noted when our next inspection was due.  I checked the PASSENGER SIDE windshield wiper to make sure it was in good condition.

As I moved around the front of the van I noted that the HEADLIGHTS were in good condition, the lenses were not cracked. I noted that the front LICENSE PLATE was clean. Noted that everything looked NORMAL on the front of the van. I checked my other WINDSHIELD WIPER.

Then I opened the driver door and removed my yoga mat and I said, “I am now going to check the UNDERSIDE of my vehicle as well as my TIRES.”

I began at the driver’s side tire and commented on the tread that there was PLENTY OF TREAD and no UNUSUAL WEAR. I commented that there were NO VISIBLE CRACKS in the tire and the tire appeared to be INFLATED ADEQUATELY (I used my hand to press into the tire as best as I could). Our tires have a plastic hub cap and plastic bolt covers that cover the LUG NUTS. I commented that our tires are TORQUED by a LICENSED MECHANIC but I was looking to see if any of the plastic lug-nut covers were lifting and all appeared to be normal. If you didn’t have covers you would quickly check each lug nut with your hand to check for tightness.

Then I lay down on my stomach with my head under the van slightly and I commented that I was looking at the van’s SPRINGS which appeared to look normal. I was looking at my BRAKE LINES to make sure there were no leaks and to make sure that they appeared to be on tight. I was looking at the FRAME of the vehicle for anything concerning and everything looked good. I was looking at our EXHAUST SYSTEM to make sure there was nothing hanging down low from the vehicle and all looked fine. I was looking for any detached WIRES or anything else that might be hanging down, and all looked fine.

I then moved to the back tire and did the same inspection on the back tire. Then, on my stomach I touched the U-BOLTS to make sure they were tight. I looked at the AXLES and commented that all looked normal. I commented once more on the BRAKE LINES (do this for each wheel). I also commented on the LEAF SPRINGS at the back of the vehicle which were also fine.

I moved around the back and to the other side and repeated what I did on the driver’s side (checking tires, checking the underside of the vehicle).

Moving around the front I also looked under the vehicle and commented on what I could see of the STEERING MECHANISM, commenting that all looked normal.

These are the things you need to specifically mention for the outside part of your vehicle check. These are the things they will check off on their sheet (*the sheet that is used in 2014)

Tire condition

Lug nuts


Body frame, structural supports


Drive shaft/differential/axle

Exhaust system

Fuel cap

Inspection decals

License plates front and rear


I said, “Now I am going to check under the hood of the vehicle.”

I put my yoga mat away inside the vehicle and grabbed the paper towel.  I reached in and pulled the hood release handle to pop the hood. I opened the hood and propped it up with the bar.

I began at the right hand side of the engine compartment and opened up the BRAKE FLUID. I commented that it was filled properly and that the fluid looked clear not cloudy and it smelled fine (it did not have a burned smell). I checked the POWER STEERING fluid, commented that it was clear and reddish which was how it should look. I looked at the WINDSHIELD WASHER fluid and noted that it was full (I made sure all fluids were topped up before my pre-trip).

I said, “Because I am short, I am going to climb up on the bumper so I can see everything clearly” (which is what I did). I touched everything I could touch and as I did I said, “I am looking for anything loose or cracked or abnormal. I am looking down as far as I can to see as much of the steering mechanism as I can, again looking for abnormalities. I am looking for tight connections on all wires and hoses.” I touched the main BELT and said that I was looking for unusual wear, nicks and gouges or fraying. All looked well.

Still touching everything I commented on the three other fluids that would need to be checked: the ENGINE OIL (“I will check that in a moment”) and the TRANSMISSION FLUID (“I will check that when the van is running” – the Examiner said that I would not need to check that today) and the ENGINE COOLANT. I noted that the coolant would be yellow or green and should be at least an inch deep in the container.

On the left side I checked the BATTERY LEADS to make sure that everything was tight, attached properly.

Getting down from the bumper I pulled out the OIL DIPSTICK, wiped it using the paper towel and then put it back in, pulled it out again and checked the level.

I then CLOSED THE HOOD of the van.

These are the things you need to specifically mention for the “under the hood part of your vehicle check.” These are the things they will check off on their sheet (*the sheet that is used in 2014)


Engine oil


Other fluids



Steering Components

Then I said, “I am now going to check all of my lights.”

I took my keys and put them in the ignition to the “on” position (not starting the vehicle, just power on), noting that when I did, all the INDICATOR LIGHTS came on on the dash.

First I checked my INTERIOR LIGHTS to make sure they were working, and turned them off again.

I TURNED ON MY HEADLIGHTS AND MY LEFT BLINKER. I took the brush/scraper we have in the van and I propped it on the brake pedal on the one end and against the steering wheel on the other. I commented that if I was driving with a partner they could help me check my lights, including my high-beams, and my “backing up” lights. I noted that another way I could check my high-beams if I was alone would be to shine them against a wall to ensure they are working.

I walked around the back of the vehicle and noted that my BRAKE LIGHTS were working, my LEFT BLINKER was working, and the LITTLE LIGHT OVER THE LICENSE PLATE was working.  I continued around the van to the front and noted that my HEADLIGHTS were working as well as my left blinker light.

I then REMOVED THE BRUSH/SCRAPER, turned off my HEADLIGHTS, and turned on my RIGHT BLINKER. I walked to the back and noted that it was working. I kept walking to the front and noted it was working.

I then turned on my HAZARD LIGHTS and circled the van (around the back and then to the front) and noted they were working. Also mention that you can see the Hazard indicator light blinking on the inside of the van as well.

These are the things you need to specifically mention regarding lights inside and outside the vehicle. These are the things they will check off on their sheet (*the sheet that is used in 2014)

Low/High beam headlights

4 way emergency flashers in cab

Turn signals

Clearance markers/reflectors/tail lights

Brake lights

License plate lights

Instrument lights

Interior lights

I removed the keys and put them in my pocket and said, “I am now going to check the inside of the vehicle.” I walked to the back and then to the passenger side and stepped inside the vehicle through the big sliding door.

I said the first thing I would do is check all the SEATBELTS to make sure they were all working. I started with the front bench and asked, “Would you like me to check them all during this test?” (The Examiner did not have me check them all). I checked all the WINDOWS to make sure they would open and close. I checked the SEATS to make sure they were all “clicked in” properly.

One thing I missed that you should do is to close the sliding door and make sure you can open the BACK DOORS OF THE VAN as well as the SIDE DOOR OF THE VAN to make sure it can open from the inside.

Then I closed the side door and moved to the passenger door. I made sure I could LOWER THAT WINDOW (ours has a hand crank).

I then invited the examiner to join me in the vehicle. I checked my DRIVER’S WINDOW to make sure it would lower and raise. I asked the Examiner to check the passenger door to make sure it opens from the inside.

I noted that I had a FIRE EXTINGUISHER in the vehicle by the passenger seat (ours did not have a tag indicating its INSPECTION DATE so I said that would need to be noted on the report). I noted that I had my proper INSURANCE PAPERS in the vehicle as well as my PRE-TRIP LOG BOOK.

I put my SEATBELT on and STARTED THE VEHICLE. I said, “I AM LISTENING FOR ANYTHING ABNORMAL when I start the vehicle. It sounds fine.” * Put your seatbelt on first.

I checked to make sure my DEFROST FAN and HEATER worked. I pointed out all the gauges on my dash commenting that I had ADEQUATE FUEL, that my OIL PRESSURE looked normal, that the WATER TEMPERATURE looked normal. That my BATTERY had a normal charge.

I forgot this, but you need to also check your WINDSHIELD WIPERS and WASHER FLUID that it works.

I checked my MIRRORS and noted that they were all in the correct position for driving.

I CHECKED MY HORN (don’t forget this!!)

I said, “When we begin to drive I will test my brakes and my steering wheel.”

These are the things you need to specifically mention for the inside of the vehicle. These are the things they will check off on their sheet (*the sheet that is used in 2014)

Charge rate indicator


Emergency equipment

Fuel Guage



Oil pressure indicator

Drivers seat/Seatbelt

Window/Windshield condition

Windshield wiper/washer

The Examiner had me shut off the vehicle and had me fill out the form (make sure you have A PEN). Make sure you know your license plate and the make of the vehicle. Make sure you know your own driver’s license number. Make sure you know where the Odometer is because you will need to write down the Odometer reading. I noted on the form that all was fine but also noted the missing date on the fire extinguisher. Read the form carefully – on the form I had, if all was normal you only had to check off the top box. If there was a concern you would check off whatever boxes applied below that section. (I have included a PDF in this post of a similar form so you know what to expect: ICBC Trip Inspection report)


The Examiner told me we would be taking a 20 minute road test including a hill park (make sure you turn your tires the correct way) and would demonstrate backing up. So there were lots of turns – make sure you BRAKE SMOOTHLY and TURN SMOOTHLY so that nothing in the van slides. They want to know that you can make it a comfortable ride for your passengers. Don’t forget ALL YOUR SHOULDER CHECKS. Don’t forget SCHOOL ZONES!

Before you start your vehicle make sure you and your passengers are wearing their seatbelts. If you are working with children, mention that you or your partner will be checking each seatbelt to make sure they are fastened properly. When you are ready to pull out PUT YOUR BLINKER ON in the direction you will be turning. Ensure that your passenger is wearing their SEATBELT.

Say, “I am just going to check to make sure my PARKING BRAKE holds well.” Leave the parking brake on and put your vehicle in gear and just lightly put some pressure on the gas pedal to demonstrate that the brake will hold. Release the parking brake and say, “I am also going to test my regular brakes.”

Drive forward slightly, test the brakes.

As you pull out say, “I am being mindful of how the STEERING as I am beginning to drive, to make sure it feels normal, and it does.”

For the backing up exercise, we came back to the ICBC lot and the Examiner said that I was to demonstrate backing up in a straight line.  I said, “Normally I will have someone driving with me and so they can help guide me back, but since I don’t have that, I will be HONKING MY HORN EVERY VEHICLE LENGTH when I am ready to back up. Before I back up, I am going to WALK AROUND MY VEHICLE TO MAKE SURE NO ONE IS BEHIND MY VEHICLE.”

Turn OFF your vehicle, WALK BEHIND YOUR VEHICLE to make sure it is clear.

  • Go back into your vehicle.
  • Put your seatbelt on.
  • Start the vehicle.
  • Honk.
  • Back up in a straight line.
  • Honk every vehicle length.

When the examiner tells you to stop, stop and turn off the vehicle.

In 2014 you were able to have up to 7 errors on the pre-trip.

Hopefully you will hear those wonderful words, “You did an excellent job, you pass!” At the end of it all you will also be given a medical form. You will need to go to a doctor and have it filled out as a part of getting your license.

— Teresa Klassen

P.S. Once you take the test, post something back here if you have helpful things to add to this article.

P.P.S. Recently someone took the test and the examiner said they only had 15 minutes to do the pre-trip. When they asked, “Do you want me to check all the seatbelts” (or fluids, or whatever) the examiner said “Do what you think you need to do.”  In this case, he said “Normally I would check all the seatbelts, but for sake of time, I will just check one at this point.” He was able to do this for the fluids as well, “Normally I would check all the fluids but as this has already been done this morning, for sake of time I won’t check them” (but he still mentioned everything he would have checked). He passed just fine. So I thought this would be worth mentioning.



107 responses

23 07 2012

This was the most helpful resource ever! I basically followed your instructions exactly and the examiner told me that he’s never given anyone a better grade before! Thank you so much for creating this blog!

23 07 2012

Wow that is so awesome, thanks for letting me know!! I am glad it helped you out, that’s great!

24 07 2012
Kora Walker

Sweet, thank you for your time!

20 08 2012
Lana Hart (@ArtattheTate)

Thanks Teresa – wish me luck today………

20 08 2012

Hope it goes well for you!

25 10 2012

Awesome guide. Thanks so much

1 11 2012

Awesome!!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with those of us who are about to embark on getting the class 4!

3 01 2013

can you use your regular van?
I have a seven passenger Mazda MPV?

3 01 2013

I assume you mean can you use your regular van for the test…I went on ICBC’s site and it doesn’t specify. I would call your local ICBC office and ask that question.

15 02 2017

7 passenger vans can be used for the restricted class 4 road test but if you want to take the unrestricted it has to be 11 or more passengers including the driver. In the Fraser valley that is.

3 01 2013

thank you, love the guide!

3 01 2013

I am thinking of getting my class 4 but don’t have a vehicle to train in. What options are available to me?

3 01 2013

I would call your local ICBC office and ask that question as I don’t know the answer. My experience was training and taking the test in a 15 passenger van that I had access to. Good luck!

26 03 2013

If you use a regular van or car for the road test you will get a restricted class 4 and will only be able to drive a regular vehicle not a 15 pass or ambulance

14 03 2013

I am looking into this for the “unrestricted Class 4” and inquired of Valley Driving School. They have a 5 hours training course which includes 1 hour use of the van for the test. The price is almost $400 but I consider it well-spent, if you come away confident and well-prepared to pass. You’ll make it back in your first week on the job. They are booked up about a month ahead, so you’ll have lots of time to become familiar with the Commercial Drivers Guide. If you only need an “restricted” Class 4, you can use your own car. Safe Driving!

22 03 2013

do you have any tips on the written test

8 04 2013

Sorry for my late response…I hope you found the online test reviews, they helped me a lot (I think I mention this in the beginning of my post).

2 07 2013
2 05 2013
humana insurance card policy number

Great article. I am going through a few of these issues as

5 05 2013

Excellent advice. Passed first time through, and tester said it was the best pre-trip he’d seen in years. Thank you!!

9 05 2013

Great to hear!!

10 05 2013
Brian Ellis

I had heard, many years ago now, that if one is trying for their Class 4 Unrestricted Driver’s License, the van must have properly installed seating with seat-belts.
Good luck with your tests, and congratulations to everyone who passes. Passing is the easy part. Getting ready is the hard part.
Great post Teresa Klassen.

15 05 2013

thanks for posting this it was a great help. now lets hope I pass.

16 05 2013

Hi, I’m a 3rd year diamond driller looking to pursue law enforcement and I need to get my class 4 unrestricted to apply. do you know of any resources that would help facilitate a van to use for the test. I reside in Prince George B.C. and the only place I have found is National car rental but they require a full class 4 to rent the van lol. I have contacted various driving schools in this area that provide a class 4 training course, all of which require you to provide your own vehicle. Any help or advise would be much appreciated.
Thanks in advance!

17 05 2013

That’s interesting that they require a class 4 license. A person can drive a van without class 4, you just can’t drive it with passengers. In any case, if you know someone with a class 4 maybe you could have them rent it and accompany you to the test. You might also try some local churches in the area who often have vans to transport students on youth functions. If you explain your situation and invite their youth pastor to come with you and pay for the gas (?) — try Westwood church ( and see. Showing up in person at the office might help…

23 07 2015

Shane, (and others) for future reference, approach various Native organizations or youth clubs lik Boys & Girls Club for vehicle. They be more than happy to help out & hav all adequate safety/tools/extra supplies stored in vehicle for trips/own safety policies. It be good repertoire to offer being driver on few trips or last minute fill-in…driving for elders/children are very fulfilling & rewarding feeling 🙂

14 06 2013
life insurance 101 powerpoint

Good day! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

20 06 2013

Thanks for your post. I just passed my Class 4 road test. Yipee! I did a package deal which was a lesson, immediately followed by road test. If you do this (and have little knowledge of a car’s mechanics) PREPARE more than I did BEFORE the lesson. Physically, get under a truck with someone who can point out items like “leaf springs” and “transmission.” Although, I passed, it was an extremely hectic 5 hours today. I barely had time to eat a sandwich before my test.

20 06 2013

This list is great, and of course driving teacher’s differ. BUT… my teacher had me learn lots of vocab that was not on this list. Just heads up

9 07 2013
Chris bur

awesome!!! thank you so much! I aced mine as a result of using this guide.

24 07 2013

Up to today i was thinking about going for class 4 Unrestr, but now after reading this… i WILL go for it!

Thank you for making it look easy. I am sure it was a lot of work!

31 08 2013

great explanation.

lot of thanks.

28 09 2013

I just passes my test first try! Thanks for this detailed resource. It helped a lot

27 11 2013

This is great. Have a test in a week and this has been the most detailed and complete review of what to expect and some great do’s and don’t’s that I’ve found so far. Thank you for sharing this and I’ll continue to rehearse all these steps. I’ll post the results in a week.

6 12 2013

Thank you very much I had my class#1 but lost it threw illness.
And today thanks to you I received my Class 4 unrestricted. Everything went well and the examiner told me I did a good job and passed my pre trip. O.K. now lets do a burn and get this over with and the van wouldn’t start I ‘m freeked out and she said I will have to re schedule you and walked inside well I got a jump, ran inside and said it was running and she said in that case lets do the road trip PHEW. And I passed after not driving a commercial vehicle for 10 years and not seeing the van till a couple hrs earlier. Thank you again for writing this blog. Ed

6 12 2013

How stressful!! Glad it all worked out in the end!

7 12 2013

Stressful ?? I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Ha Ha
To funny but not at the time. Ed

13 01 2014

In regards to the knowledge test. A tip that helped me was to skip the questions I did not know and leave them to the end. You only need to get 28 right and there are 30 something question.

14 01 2014

Thanks for the comment, that’s helpful.

13 01 2014

I used the description from your blog as my class 4 pre-trip study guide for the past two months, and found it incredible helpful. Thanks so much! I passed my test today (barely, thanks to some sketchy instruction from a local driving school…another story). There are parts you mentioned in your blog that didn’t seem to apply to the vehicle I used. For example, I wasn’t required to check the brake lines, or the frame even though it’s mentioned in the ICBC guide. I was also required to check the seals on all the doors, which also isn’t mentioned in the ICBC guide. I also found that you can ask the ICBC examiner to help you check your rear brake lights and backing up lights (saves you having to use an ice-scraper to hold the brake down).
Again, thank you for your comprehensive description. VERY helpful!


14 01 2014

Thanks for the added info!

17 01 2014

Thank god, that i find your blog. Thank you so much! I passed the first time 😀 It was very helpful!!!

25 05 2014

this is soooo helpfull!! how much did it cost after you passed??

29 05 2014

That’s a good question…I don’t quite remember all the costs but in addition to the licensing cost there is a fee for the form the doctor fills out. If you have your family doctor do it, he/she may charge you less than a doctor at a walk-in clinic though.

29 05 2014

Thanks so much for writing this blog, super helpful. I passed first time today and was told I did a very thorough pre-trip inspection. Hannah

29 05 2014

Great to hear!!

18 06 2014
Jen Riggs

This has been my bible in prep for my class 4.2/2 of my friends have attempted without this – heres to wishful thinking when i go today at 1630!!

8 07 2014

Hey thanks for doing this! I am taking my test in about a months time and have been using this as one of my main resources to prepare. I will be sure to post my results on here after the test is complete…..Just one question. I am taking my test on a Van similar to the one shown in the picture above. For the procedure while backing up should i be looking over my shoulder or using the side mirror? i cant seem to find that anywhere online.

11 07 2014

For an official answer you should check ICBC’s site. But I was taught to always do a “360 check” as you back up and that involves shoulder checking, mirrors etc.

27 10 2014

THANK YOU so much for this blog…i stumbled on it last nite and TODAY at 9 a.m. was my class 4 pre trip and road test…and THANKS TO THIS BLOG i picked up on some pointers…and when i was done and Chris, was writing away, and i was anxiously waiting…he said…well, lets go and get your NEW LICENSE…i had tears in my eyes…
YOUR blog reinforced somethings for me, and gave me some pointers that i couldn’t grasp…he didn’t make me get down and do the under carriage inspection, he made me TELL HIM what i WOULD DO, as he knew i had just done all that before i brought the bus to icbc for my test…
The RELIEF i felt afterwards was 55 years of age and having had a class 5 license for 40 years, it was HARD to retain all the info for that pre trip…but i guess in the end…it was all there
thanks Teresa and i DO look forward to the first bus outing when i can take up to 25 seniors out to enjoy a drive

30 10 2014

Yay!!! So glad to hear! And I know what you mean by the relief!

11 04 2017

Hello Marianne, I am planning to take my class 4 unrestricted road test soon in BC. Where can I get access to a 25 or so passenger bus for the test? I saw that car rental companies have the larger cargo vans but I have not seen any buses there.

11 04 2017

Have you phoned ICBC to see if you actually need a bus or whether you can take the test in a 15 passenger van?

25 11 2014
Darcy Bell

Your column was a huge help for me. Especially the very detailed checklist for the pre trip inspection. A tricky school zone sunk me on the first road test, and I never knew – or forgot – about shoulder checks for every right turn. Thank you for posting this very helpful column.

19 12 2014

Thank you for taking the time to write this. It is really amazing how clear, concise and informative that you have written it. I am going to take a road test in about ten days, and I know for certain the information you provided here will help me a lot. I will actually print your comments or the PDF so that I can read it more than once. You have done an enormous service for anyone interested in getting class 4 drivers’ license. Well done, absolutely!

13 01 2015

Thank you for posting this! I am taking my driving test on Thursday and am very nervous. Over half of the employees at my place of work have failed the pre trip inspection portion. I want to be as prepared as possible so this really helps!!

13 01 2015

Good luck! I hope you do well!

23 01 2015

Hi Teresa,
I am only 4’9 is that possible that I can bring a cushion to make my sit higher?

14 03 2015
Sharon J.

Hi Teresa, Thanks for this really great information. Did the pre-trip and road trip for Class 4 (unrestricted) last week and passed with 100% on the pre-trip and only 2 demerits on the road trip. Only been driving for 44 years so maybe that was the problem. Hahahaha. Your information was just excellent. Followed it to a TEE. Thank you again.

24 03 2015
Aspen Gainer

this is a great instructional how-to. Now I know what to study and what to practice. You were so thorough! no wonder you passed!

11 04 2015

WOW – thank you so much for taking the time to help others. I am hoping to start the process this week by studying, this has helped me so much, again, thank you !!!!!
Wish me luck !

12 04 2015

Good luck!!

19 05 2015

How different is the restricted class 4 than this, the unrestricted?

23 07 2015

Sorry I missed this comment, I am not sure how different it is but if you go on ICBC’s site it will give you the comparison.

5 08 2015
Cynthia Bradley

Thank you for taking the time to do this, it really helped me pass my class 4 unrestricted!

5 08 2015

Glad to hear!

8 09 2015
Gene Wirchenko

I just got my Class 4 (Unrestricted) Interim licence today. Your article was very helpful.

A very slight nit: You do not have checking the high beams. How I did it was to set high beams when I was checking the right turn signal lights.

I picked a slightly different order to minimise the number of times I was going around the 12-seater van I was tested on. On my first pass, when I got to the side door, I checked the back interior (seatbelts, doors, lights, etc.).

For me, twenty minutes was barely enough. I admit to being rather nervous, but I just plowed on.

I had not driven the van in rain, and it was quite rainy today. I think that worked to my advantage as I could take it a bit easier.

9 09 2015
gaylin haslam

Thank you so much for taking the time to post this Teresa!!! I only wish I had found it sooner. I am taking my test in the AM and am a little nervous. I will let you know how it goes. Again Thank you, Gaylin/ Qualicum Beach

13 10 2015

One thing to make sure of is that you don’t drive too slow! I failed for this…

1 11 2015

Oh no! Thanks for noting that. Yes, they do want to see that you are confident.

13 10 2015

Hi tere, thanks for the great job! If I used this type of the van in your page will it be unrestricted or restricted?

1 11 2015

Unrestricted is the test I took

24 10 2015


Are you able to drive a 15 passenger vehicle to your road test? If you have your learners permit? To my understanding, as long as you do not have passengers, it is not a ‘commercial’ vehicle and you can drive unaccompanied. Can you verify this?

Thanks! Your blog has been super helpful in studying!


1 11 2015

We called and they said yes, you can drive the van yourself.

26 10 2015

Step 1 took the knowledge test. I also found doing the practice tests on the ICBC app handy. as soon as I passed 5 tests in a row, I went for it and took the advice of skipping questions I wasn’t 100% sure of, got my required 28 correct answers with 30 questions and wasn’t required to finish the last 5 questions. I am now studying the pre test as I am not booked for the Road test until Nov 26. Thank you for your blog!!!

22 12 2015

Thank you so much, Teresa. I passed the test with flying colours this morning thanks to you. The only thing he told me I should do on the pre-trip inspection is to have a hammer and tap the inside tire (my bus has two wheels side by side). He told me that would tell me if the pressure was good in the tire I could not see well. As for the road test, he told me I should start slowing down well before the stop signs and brake more slowly than I was doing.

8 01 2016
Alex L

Cramming for my road test in two hours – this blog is a godsend! Wish me luck!

8 01 2016

Good luck and be calm 🙂 Most of it is logical…so just go step by step!

8 01 2016
Lucie Jackson

Thank you so much for this awesome blog. With your advice I studied and passed my class 4 first try!! What I did was take a hammer to bang on each tire to show adequate air but other than that did same as u!

9 01 2016

Great to hear!!

20 01 2016

Superbly written. I now feel more confident about taking this test thanks to you Teresa.

27 01 2016

Awesome info.
really excellent details and like the conversational points.

Thank you once again.

2 03 2016

Wow thanks for this blog! I passed my Class 4 restricted road test this week 🙂

Pre-trip inspection is very similar to the one you mentioned except there is no need to inspect the undercarriage of the vehicle, other than looking for any leaks on the ground. Also, the examiner can help check brake and reverse lights. I had to open/close the trunk but there was no need to check the spare tire/jack. When I checked the exterior of the vehicle, I opened/closed each door but while checking the interior its enough to just open/close the driver’s door and check driver’s window and seatbelt. For each tire, I mentioned six things: even wear, deep tread, no bulges/cracks in the sidewall, good seal around the wheel rim, check each lug nut and good inflation. Just tap your fist to the tire to check for air pressure. Also, you need to check your parking/service brakes as part of the pre-trip. My entire pre-trip took 10 minutes. It’s all about the sequence so with good practice it’s a piece of cake! Surprisingly there was no pre-trip inspection form that I needed to fill out. So, once I checked the vehicle papers and finished my pre-trip, we moved right into the road test.

Honk once before reversing in a straight line and do a full 360 check before you start backing up. Depending on the examiner, you may or may not have to do a parallel park and reverse stall park so be prepared. Its important to adjust speeds to school zones but to also get your speed back up to at least 45 kmph soon after so don’t drive too slow. Keep it as close to 50 kmph as you can and drive smooth. Practice lane changes, mirror and shoulder checks, highway merges, left/right turns. Know how to park on a hill and adjust your tires accordingly. At stop signs, come to a complete hault (no rolling stops!) just before the sign or when the front of your vehicle just covers the painted line. Same goes for all traffic light stops. At left turn lanes you might have to stop even a little further ahead so that the advanced left turn signal sensors can get activated. During my test, the examiner asked me to drive ahead by 6 inches in a left turn lane. I finished my road test with a reverse stall park at ICBC and then got some great news!! Yayyy 🙂

9 03 2016

Thank you so much for this wonderful guide! I took my test today and passed on the first try. Using your post to study from was most helpful!

14 03 2016
Don M

Thank you for your thorough and excellent blog. It reinforces the many important areas and the pre-trip is definitely key (for experienced commercial drivers). I’m taking the Valley Driving course this Thursday with road test same day.

2 05 2016

I just wanted to leave a note for other people because I think it might help them. I had my class 4 test today and I passed the road test but not the Pre-Trip. It is good to know if you fail the Pre-Trip you will still be allowed to take the Road Test but you will need to return in a week to redo the Pre-Trip Inspection. It is $20 to do just the Inspection test. The demerits I got were for: not checking the operation of the Windows (up and down), failing to check the emergency exits from the inside (she wanted me to close myself in the van and demonstrate that they would open from the inside for both the side and rear doors), not testing the windshield wiper fluid by spraying the windshield, license plate light, forgot to mention that my seat was properly adjusted, and I forgot to mention that the axle & suspension looked normal.

25 05 2016
Katherin Edwards

OH my goodness. You have No idea how helpful this is going to be. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!

26 05 2016

You’re welcome and good luck!

22 06 2016

Thank you so much for the blog, I have failed the driving portion of my class 4 once and trying again tomorrow. Your blog was very helpful in prepping me for the pretrip. I added a really helpful video link of a pre trip lesson in ontario for anyone who would like to see how it all looks.

22 06 2016

Thank you for a very helpful and informative blog. I have failed the driving portion of my class 4 once but am trying again tomorrow. I am so nervous. I included a helpful link for anyone who would like to watch what the pretrip looks like.. Good luck to all.

20 07 2016

Thanks for all the practical tips. I wonder if there is any for the Knowledge Test? I am studying for the Class 4 (unrestricted) with the Guidebook, ICBC app, and Richmond (BC) library practice questions. Thanks/ will.

21 07 2016

I think the library practice test is the best resource…just be prepared for some unusual questions that may not have to do with your particular situation — for example, if you are planning on driving a van…be aware of what the rules are for school buses as well, because there were questions like that too. My experience is that my test differed from other people’s tests…so there is a lot of variety in what they can end up asking.

21 07 2016

Thanks Teresa. I did write the Knowledge Test today and passed!
You were right about using the Richmond public library practice.
The wordings in the real exam might be different but the subject/contents/situations were similar.
When one started the Knowledge Test and picked an answer to a question, one would know immediately if it was a correct or wrong answer. In fact the screen would keep a count of how many correct and wrong responses as one moved along the test. This could create some stress if you happened to make a few mistakes at the beginning of the test. Just bear in mind that you have unlimited time. So take the time to read and pick your answer. Once you have hit 28 correct answers, the test will stop. You can always skip a question and decide to return to the question, if needed.

Now I can move on and plan for pre trip inspection and road test. The tips above from the blog would be very valuable! Thanks again.

I wonder if any reader takes a class 4 course in the Lower Mainland? If so, any particular positive comments from the course provider?


7 08 2016

Hey, I’m taking my test tomorrow morning, great blog, and then you for all the efforts you put into it. I hope everything will go well.

12 09 2016
Thompson Lin

Very helpful, appreciated

27 10 2016
Shelley O'Rourke

Thank you for taking the time to write this. Just studying for my class 4 now, this was very useful.

5 12 2016

Very very helpful resource ever!!!!!!!!!!!! I am preparing for Alberta Class 4 licence. Do you have any practice resource for Alberta written test? May God bless you!

4 01 2017

I don’t have any resources for Alberta, but a quick Google turned up this:

22 03 2017
Deianeira Kupchanko-Tropf

Do you need to wait a certain period of time between taking the written test and the driving test?

23 03 2017

I went on ICBC’s site and it does not indicate a waiting period. However I know they are often quite booked for road tests so it would be a matter of coordinating the two tests. If you fail the written test and need to cancel your road test — if it was scheduled the same day — there would be a penalty fee for this. Best to call your city’s ICBC office to verify this info

17 04 2017

I also found this site to be helpful for testing:

9 05 2017

Thanks for this wonderful resource, I need the license for work, 6 month window, one gone already!! Helen

9 05 2017

Good luck!! 🙂

5 07 2017

Detailed and very helpful I am going for my class 4 soon. Thank you for this!

23 01 2018

🙂 Hope you passed!!! Teresa

8 02 2018

Thank you so very much this is an excellen effort and an excellent resource I really appreciate you took the time to tell us your experince
Thank you very much again and again

25 02 2018

THANK YOU! There’s not much out there, this is really sweet to see.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: