BC Mandatory Entry-Level Training

BC will require MELT training for Class 1 driver’s licenses

British Columbia has released its Mandatory Entry-Level Training requirements for new drivers to obtain their Class 1 driver’s license. As of October 18, 2021 any new driver’s looking to get their Class 1 will have to complete the 140-hours of training, air brake training, and six hours of mandatory flexible practical training.

BC’s MELT program joins Canada’s other western provinces, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, in releasing a new MELT program. This joins Ontario and Quebec who have had a MELT program for several years.

The 140-hour training requirements will exceed what is required from the National Safety Code Standard to help train and prepare drivers for driving in BC’s varied climate and geography.

Like other provinces, BC hopes to improve road safety for everyone on the road. BC’s MELT training will take into account the winding, narrow mountain passes, and often icy road conditions.

The Insurance Corp. of BC (ICBC) will oversee the MELT program.

Now for the training details:

When does BC’s Mandatory Entry-Level Training Start?

While the regulations begin October 18, 2021, approved driver training schools will be listed on dtcbc.com by mid-June 2021. These driving schools are authorized by ICBC.

Who is required to take the MELT course?

Well, this part depends on what your current license status is.

  • If you are looking to obtain a Class 1 license you will need to successfully complete the MELT course before taking a Class 1 road test.
  • If you have a Class 1 learner driver’s license issued before March 31, 2021 and have attempted at least one road test between March 31 and October 18, you will be able to take up to two more Class 1 road tests between October 18 and January 18 without having to take the full MELT. But if you fail to qualify during that time frame then you will be required to enroll in the training.
  • If you have a learners Class 1 license obtained after March 31, 2021 and pass your road test before October 18, then you will not need to take the MELT program. If you fail to complete the road test successfully in that time frame, then you will need to complete the MELT program.
  • If you have a valid BC Class 1 license, then you do not need to take the MELT program.
  • If you had a valid BC Class 1 license, but it expired. If is has only been expired for 3 years or less, then no you will not need to enroll in MELT. If it has been longer than that, then you will need to enroll in the MELT program.

If you need to enroll in BC’s Mandatory Entry-Level Training, then don’t delay! The ICBC will not be adding any additional Class 1 road test appointments as they feel they have given the public enough lee time to prepare and book your testing appointments.

As well, you don’t have to wait until the October 18 start date to enroll in the MELT program. The ICBC is working to get driving schools and instructors ready to start teaching prior to the mandatory start date. You can check out their website at dtcbc.com to see when and which schools are ready to go.

I have completed a MELT program from another province. Will BC recognize this?

There are a couple of exceptions but, yes. BC will recognize courses from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario.

If you completed Alberta’s program you will need to show which program you took. If you completed Alberta’s “experience and equivalency” course, then you will still need to take BC’s MELT. If you took Alberta’s 121.5-hour MELT course then no, you will not need to enroll in BC’s MELT program.

If you have completed your MELT program in Ontario, you will be required to take a BC air brake course and pass an air brake pre-trip test.

I have not completed a MELT program from another province, but I hold (or have held) a Canadian Class 1 license. Do I need to complete British Columbia’s MELT program?

The answer to this question really depends on the amount of time that you have had your Class 1 license.

If you have held your Class 1 license for at least 24 consecutive months and has been valid within the past 3 years, then you do not have to complete BC’s MELT program.

If your Class 1 license has been valid sometime within the past three years, but you only held it between 12 and 24 months (less a day), then you will not need to complete the full MELT training. You will however, still need to pass a BC Class 1 road test within 12 months of applying for your BC license, and you must do it within two attempts.

If you have held your Class 1 license for less than 12 months, or your license was issued outside of Canada then you must complete the MELT program.

You can see a full listing of British Columbia’s MELT program requirements here.