Uber and Lyft have announced plans to operate in Metro Vancouver, and will be looking to put drivers on the road by the end of the year.

But the process is a bit more complicated in B.C. than in other provinces that launched the service earlier.

B.C. spent years consulting with industry experts, and came up with regulations including that drivers must have a commercial licence.

Thinking of signing up? Here's what you need to know.
 

What licence do I need?

B.C. has several different types of driver's licences, the most common of which is the Class 5. While the passenger licence is fine for driving friends around, free of charge, those hoping to use their vehicle as a business need a different class.

The required licence is a restricted Class 4. It's a commercial licence previously reserved for those who drive taxis, limousines, ambulances and other vehicles that can seat up to 10 people including the driver.

ICBC also has an unrestricted Class 4, which allows the holder to drive buses that can seat up to 25.

Now, the class also includes all ride-hail drivers in B.C.
 

What are the requirements?

As with other types of driver's licences, those looking to obtain a Class 4 must pass a knowledge test and a road test. All tests must be completed in English without help from a translator.

The driver must be at least 19, and have at least two years of non-learner driver experience. They also need to already have a valid Class 1, 2, 3, 5 or 6 licence, or the equivalent.

They have to be able to "demonstrate an acceptable driving record," the province says, meaning they have no more than four penalty points in the last two years, and no serious driving offences in the last three. 

Vehicles must pass a pre-trip safety inspection test, and drivers must pass a fitness medical examination.

The exam makes sure the driver doesn't have any medical conditions that could impact their driving.
 

How much will it cost?

According to ICBC, the knowledge test costs $15.

The road test costs another $40, and the medical exam processing fee costs $28 for classes 1 to 4. 
 

What insurance do I need?

Starting Sept. 16, B.C.'s auto insurer will provide a blanket insurance certificate option to ride-hailing companies, not to individual drivers.

Drivers will be covered through the company when using their vehicle to provide ride-hailing services.

At all other times, they must have their own insurance.
 

Anything else?

All taxi and ride-hail operators are required to obtain a criminal record check, the province says.

To obtain the record check, would-be drivers should visit their local police station or RCMP detachment, and bring two pieces of government-issued ID. One of the IDs must have a photo.

Once approved for a licence, holders must have a record check every year to maintain it, the province says.

If a driver fails the check, they can appeal in writing to the Passenger Transportation Branch.

Also, the province requires all vehicles used for ride-hailing purposes to be less than 10 years old.

Cars must pass an inspection annually or semi-annually, and every driver must inspect their vehicle each day, before starting any trips.