• In Canada, people drive on the right side of the road.
  • You must have a driver’s license to drive a car, whether owned or rented.
  • If you own a car, you need vehicle registration, a license plate and insurance.
  • You must respect the rights of cyclists and pedestrians, and stop for pedestrians crossing the street.
  • All passengers must wear a seatbelt.  Infants and Children must be carried an infant car seat, child car seat, or a booster seat.  It is the law.
  • You must not leave young children alone in a car.
Getting a Driver’s License

All drivers in British Columbia must have a valid (legal) driver’s license. If you are a new BC resident, and have a valid driver’s license from your country or from another province of Canada, you can drive in BC for 90 days.

You must apply for a BC license within 90 days. If you hold an International Driving Permit, you must also carry the foreign license.

For individuals from some countries you may not need to take the knowledge or road test. You can apply for a BC license right away. Check with Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) to see if you need to take the test, or can exchange your driver’s license.

Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) driver licensing offices have free books you can study for the knowledge test (English only). If you have never had a driver’s license before, you will have to go through BC’s Graduated Licensing Program.

If you are getting a new BC license, or are renewing your license, you will have a combined single card for both your BC driver’s license and BC Medical Services Plan health card.  For more information, see:    BC Drivers License and Services Card

Winter driving

Whistler and Pemberton are in a mountain climate, and you must be prepared for winter conditions on the roads.  You must have the proper tires for the conditions.  From October 31 to March 31 you must have snow tires, or chains.  You can be fined if you are driving without proper tires.

Winter driving can be dangerous but Transport Canada has a Winter Driving brochure, with great safety tips. It explains how to get your vehicle ready for winter, like adding snow tires, getting an emergency kit and checking your lights, brakes and battery.   

Drinking, smoking marijuana and driving

In BC, the law means driving after having only one drink (.05) can be enough for the police to take your license. Also, drinking in public is not allowed.  If a driver is found to have a blood-alcohol level below 0.05, the so-called “warning” range, there will be an immediate three-day driving ban, possible vehicle confiscating, and fine of $200.

It is illegal to smoke any amount of marijuana while you are driving. If caught, you could be fined up to $1000, be sent to jail and risk losing your permanent residency status, or be refused permanent residence.

Parking in Whistler

Here is information on parking locations, rates, regulations, and a parking map.

Many people bike to work and for leisure and there are great trails to use on both Whistler and Pemberton. Here is a map of biking trails in Whistler.

The Whistler Transit System is a handy way to get around town. Buses connect all of Whistler’s neighbourhoods, and within the village there is the free shuttle. Buses run every day of the year.  To find out route times call 604.932.4020. Here is information on schedule, routes and maps

Download the Transit app to track buses and departure times near you in real time.

Each local trip is $2.50, and $4.50 for the commuter bus to Pemberton.  There are discounts if you are a senior or a student.  You will need exact money as no change is given. You can save money by buying a sheet of 10 tickets.  For frequent bus users, monthly, 6-month and 12-month Passes will save you money.  If you need to connect from one bus to another, ask for a transfer and show it to the driver as you get on the next bus.  Transfers are only valid until the time printed on the ticket.

Buying bus tickets in Whistler

  • RMOW Office
  • Meadow Park Sports Centre
  • Nesters Market
  • The Grocery Store
  • Whistler Visitor Info Centre
  • HI-Whistler, in Cheakamus Crossing

Getting out of town is not so easy, and, if there’s no bus at the right time, you can consider carpooling (sharing a car/ride with someone else). Be aware that hitchhiking is illegal in BC, although you will see many people doing it.

In Whistler a quick hop from here to there, like the 8-minute drive from Creekside to the Village, will cost you around $15. Taxis are expensive in Canada.

Whistler Resort Cabs  604-262-3895

Whistler Taxi 604-932-3333 

For those who like to walk and hike, Whistler and Pemberton has a great trail system. Here is a map of walking/hiking trails in Whistler.