Q&A - Notice and Order #2 and Alberta Vehicles

Q&A ImageQuestion: I'm an Alberta driver visiting BC. I went through a check stop where I was told to pull over and they were going to write me a notice and order for my windshield. One of the other cops walked over while she was in the middle of writing that ticket and told her to make it a number two. Now is this even enforceable on an Alberta vehicle?

Since the consequence for it is ICBC seizing the vehicle? I'm not insured with them I'm insured in Alberta so there's no reason why they should be able to take my car. That is theft.

My vehicle is in great operating condition probably still won't pass an inspection because it's an out of province inspection.

I'm in Victoria where you can get the crappiest truck out of some farmers field and insure it without an inspection so why does an unqualified cop get to tell me you go get an inspection in the first place?

Seems like overreach to me.

image of top of notice and order document

Notice and Order 2 Requirements

You have been issued a notice and order by police which is a legal document under the Motor Vehicle Act. The notice and order requires that you do the following:

The vehicle described on the Notice and Order must be inspected promptly at a Designated Inspection Facility. Should it not comply with the Motor Vehicle Act and Regulations it must be repaired immediately and, within 30 days of this Notice, a passed inspection report completed by an Authorized Inspector must be submitted to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia.

Consequences for Non-Compliance

As with all legal documents issued by police, there are consequences for non-compliance. In this case it could be a fine, seizure of the vehicle licence and number plates and a tow truck if the vehicle is found on a highway in B.C. It does not matter that the vehicle is not registered or licensed in B.C.

Removal - Not an Impound or Seizure

The vehicle is not impounded, it is simply removed from the highway. You could choose to have it towed to your residence if you wished to.

Denial of Vehicle Licence Transactions

In addition, ICBC records the information and will not allow licence transactions until the notice and order has been complied with. That may be a moot point for you as your vehicle might have to undergo inspection and have any necessary repairs completed if you moved to B.C. and try to import it from Alberta.

Pollice do Receive Training

Like any other professional, police officers are trained. I received CVSA inspection training in addition to what essentially amounted to on the job training working along side more experienced officers, CVSE Area Vehicle Inspectors and what I learned from working on my own vehicles. Some people that I worked with were licensed mechanics before they became police officers.

Rules Are Similar Across the Provinces

A defect is a defect regardless of the province. If you compared regulations from B.C. against the equivalent in Alberta I suspect that you would find they are pretty much the same.

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This is an interesting case. Typically, the requirement that a vehicle from another jurisdiction pass a CVSA Inspection arises when the owner needs to register and insure it with ICBC.

As it happens, I have some practical experience of this; back in 1996 I imported a five-year-old Honda Accord purchased from my brother-in-law in Edmonton. The car had a crack in the windshield, of which I was aware, but I didn't know until it was too late that I could have had the windshield replaced quite a bit cheaper in Alberta than in BC!

Anyway, once the vehicle being imported has passed inspection, this is a one-time requirement, unless it's a commercial vehicle.

My vehicle is in great operating condition probably still won't pass an inspection because it's an out of province inspection.

This doesn't make a whole lot of sense, frankly. The fundamental safety requirements should be the same across Canada. Only if it was being imported from somewhere like the US would additional updating (i.e. activation of DRL's, speedometer/odometer switched to metric) be needed. But this wouldn't be an issue for a vehicle that is just visiting BC, as is claimed

I went through a check stop where I was told to pull over and they were going to write me a notice and order for my windshield.

Frankly, this seems remarkable, in my experience. We are absolutely surrounded by vehicles with defective lights, for instance - just yesterday some jackass in an Uber car cut me off, then hit the brakes - showing that only one brake light bulb actually worked (despite his supposed daily pretrip inspection) - and so I'm amazed that for once, the cops actually did something about a defective vehicle!

I can only guess that your windshield has some big, obvious defect, such as a stone chip or crack in the driver's line of sight, in order for them to bother with this notice and order on an Alberta vehicle being written.

I'm in Victoria where you can get the crappiest truck out of some farmers field and insure it without an inspection so why does an unqualified cop get to tell me you go get an inspection in the first place?

Nonsense. The inspection requirements for commercial vehicles are much more stringent than for regular vehicles. And in case you haven't noticed this while touring our province, the fact is that farmers everywhere typically park their vehicles on their own land, often as not in the corner of some field. Only makes sense. Barns are for animals, and hay, and stuff. Oftentimes, if they're running a lot of livestock, they will have a big pile of dung somewhere, and that statement belongs on top of this fermenting fertilizer.

The requirements for commercial inspections to be successfully completed as a condition of being able to operate and insure a vehicle are stringent. Let me give you another example.

These days, I own and operate a 14-Passenger Ford E-350 LWB bus. When it was imported in 2013 (twelve months old, with 30k on it) from the US by the local Ford dealer (or their broker), it had to pass a fundamental inspection to ensure it had been converted to Canadian use. After that, it had to pass a further commercial inspection, in order to be able operate as a commercial vehicle.

Since then, passing a CVSA inspection has been an annual requirement (except when I used to hold a PTA license for it, which requires twice a year inspections) in order to be insured. The requirements could not be more stringent - and it doesn't make a damn bit of difference, whether I park it in my own driveway - or in some farmer's field.

My thoughts on this topic was the person was pulled over in a check stop which as of December 1st. are frequent. I don't think he intends to insure his vehicle in B.C. and is only questioning the order he was given.

As one from the interior where windshields are replaced when they are either sandblasted to the point ones vision is impaired or a crack is affecting ones view. I know that dealing with cops in the SW corner of the province lack common sense when it comes to windshields. I too have been stopped in Vancouver and told to replace my windshield when it was perfectly fine for other areas in the province. One time just took the slip in and had the old windshield approved by the local detachment.

Comment about insuring an old farm truck. Taken out of context by competentDrivingBC. And I believe the terminology not understood. I grew up in the interior where a truck refers to something with at least dual wheels and did not come equip with a box. Today many people refer to pickups and SUV's as trucks. They aren't. They are pickups and SUV's totally different. And yes ICBC will register any pickup/SUV from within province without an inspection. Now you may get pulled over by the cops or if really bad CVSE but the chances of that happening are almost nil unless you are using a cell phone or don't have a seatbelt on. And even then probably would not write you up for mechanical defects as they are not important.

My vehicle is in great operating condition but probably still won't pass an inspection. Believe there is a little sarcasm here:) For any other area the vehicle probably is in good condition with the exception of the windshield blemish. Cops can't stand criticism. He probably was a little vocal to the one writing the ticket for a perfectly good windshield and her sidekick decided lets make him suffer a bit more. Remember he is dealing with a segment of society that God has to answer to.

The comment about the farmers field was just me saying that on Vancouver Island it doesn't matter how old the vehicle is you don't have to get it inspected in order to insure that ICBC. I was saying nothing about actual farmers and their commercial vehicles.

I once heard ICBC being described as both BC's approved licensing authority, and the largest auto-insurer in north america.

So they do hold considerable power; which is why they're now subject to the 'control' of the BC Utilities Commision.

In my opinion, as everybody's auto insurer, they've been a bit of disaster, resulting in a billion dollars' debt, most of it going to the lawyers rather than the victims. Thankfully, that era seems to have concluded.

But as a licensing authority, they've been a world leader in terms of setting reasonable standards. They were the first jurisdiction in north america to introduce complete classification of license, plus the requirement to hold an airbrake endorsement, swift to embrace the concept of graduated licensing back in 1998, and a north american leader in the way they have implemented the Class 1 MELT program.

Frankly, I know little about vehicle registration and insurance. But I would expect that every province will cheerfully register (and thus make insurable) any new car that's been manufactured here or imported, in the certainty that it already meets all the federal standards. And unless that vehicle has been involved in a serious crash (which ICBC would be notified of) then sure, it could sit in a field, or a driveway, or a barn) then probably it could be re-insured every year ad infinitum. We haven't demanded annual mechanical vehicle inspections in BC since they were discontinued back in 1984 (many of these testing stations got converted to emissions measurement facilities, go figure). In either case, if the vehicle didn't pass the mimimum standard, it was not insurable - and in some extreme cases, no longer driveable - I'll never forget the look on the face of an inspector, when he pulled the front wheel right off a VW Beetle (bearing failure); the owner was outraged at the 'damage' that had just been caused, seriously!

And, of course, while most old vehicles get sold on or traded as used (in which case, I think the ICBC transfer papers will require some certification of mechanical safety) or simply succumb to the wrecking yard, those that are maintained/restored to the standards in place when they were manufactured can actually get ICBC 'Collector' plates, and enjoy a reduction in their insurance.

So, from the point of view of ICBC as an Auto Registrant, it's only reasonable that any used vehicle, from any jurisdiction, undergo a one-time vehicle safety inspection as a condition of being insurable. After that, unless it's involved in a big crash, it's presumed to be safely maintained.


Shift of subject. Typically, the cops turn a blind eye to all sorts of infractions around them. Defective vehicles, defective drivers, it's endless. You wouldn't be able to go a couple of blocks without somebody in your vision breaking some law. So a certain amount of discretion is needed, even for a traffic cop.

For me, this triggers a couple of questions.

Firstly, why did they pick your car out of a lineup, and issue this ticket? License plate recognition, maybe? Obviously trashed windshield (which could affect airbag operation, or vehicle integrity in a crash)? 

Secondly, why are you so concerned with this 'insurance' question? Apparently, you're just a tourist here, from Alberta. So this doesn't seem to make sense. Why do you, apparently, wish to insure your car in BC, if you're only visiting?

I don't plan on ensuring my vehicle in BC but they plan on seizing my vehicle because if I don't take it in for an inspection and pass or have everything that needs fixed fixed and pass then they will seize my vehicle not sure why ICBC can do that when they're not even my insurance broker and I'm not even from this province. And no the windshield isn't trashed It has one crack across it and it's not in my line of sight and there was no lineup It was just me

In reply to by Kells82

ICBC plays no part in this beyond administration of the information. Your insurance has nothing to do with this.

Police may remove your vehicle from the road if you fail to follow the order. They don't keep it, they remove it from the road.

Being in the province is what matters, not whether you are from (or your vehicle is licensed in) BC or not.

It says right on the ticket that ICBC will seize the vehicle for non-compliance I don't know what it has to do with them I don't have insurance with them so

In reply to by Kells82

Thanks for the update/clarification.

Inasmuch as you have no intention of becoming resident in BC, and you still have possession of your vehicle (with valid Alberta license plate and insurance) then what's the big deal? (Though for the safety or yourself, other road users, or your passengers, you may want to focus on ensuring that your vehicle is indeed in a safe operating condition. And don't be surprised if that crack across your windshield gets way worse as the temperatures drop - I speak from experience, honestly!)

But you're a tourist here, no doubt returning soon to Alberta. At which point, all becomes moot. They're sure as hell not going to send a tow truck after you!

I wouldn't want to suggest that anybody dodge around the specifics of the laws in this country, but typically, it's possible to seek a delay in the adjudication of these things. A chance for you to get your 'deadline' extended, in case your tourist trip here seems to be going on a while longer.

Which should hopefully provide you with the solution you need, in order to avoid having your car towed (which would surely be subsequent to the 'Notice & Order' date requirement not having been met).

There's nothing wrong with the vehicle that makes it unsafe. Just because I have a crack that's not in my line of sight does not make the vehicle unsafe windshields are meant to get cracks and chips etc I've driven vehicles back when I was younger with like massive rock chips and never got forced to change a windshield in Alberta. And there's no recourse for this there's no way to go to court The only thing that you can do is abide by their draconian rule even though my vehicles perfectly safe and I've asked hundreds of people now if they think my vehicle's safe and they certainly do even people that have a mechanical background and I also have a mechanical background so I just don't understand what the problem is.

In reply to by Kells82

Unibody vehicles rely on the windshield for structural integrity. That is why they are carefully glued in place again upon replacement.

A broken windshield on a unibody vehicle means a compromise of structural integrity and that is why they need to be replaced.

What if the vehicle is from the US? Would a notice and order be issued? I personally find this to be rather dumb as vehicles in North America have to abide by a certain standard, but each province/state has its own laws regarding vehicles. For example, if a car from Washington State came to BC, could it be given a ticket for front window tint (as the law allows up to 24% VLT on the front) and a notice and order?

The notice & order can be issued to and enforced on any vehicle.

If you choose to drive on BC highways you are subject to BC rules.

But is this something that is commonly done to out of province vehicles? I feel that it is not. If this were to be the case, I feel as if there would be more awareness to this, and it would make out of province drivers to just not travel to BC.

... that in general, the police in BC would hold off on ticketing out of province vehicles for infractions, unless they're clearly in a dangerous mechanical condition. 

I feel as if there would be more awareness to this, and it would make out of province drivers to just not travel to BC.

Y'know, somehow I just don't think that this issue will ever have any meaningful impact on whether people come to visit here. Most drivers and vehicle owners would appreciate it if they realized that their vehicle had defects that should be fixed.

And only a fool would black out lights, or windows. In my opinion.

Who said anything about blacking out windows or lights and it's perfectly legal to limousine tint your back windows so that nobody can see in that's 100% legal all the way across the country. However mine are not blacked out nor are my lights blacked out I just don't understand what you got that from

In reply to by Kells82

... from 'DuckingCops'. This will provide the context for my remarks.

Nor did I suggest that it isn't legal for windows behind the B pillar (heck my own van was manufactured that way).

Well it all depends on your perspective of "blacked out front windows". A cop once told me my 35% here in BC on the front was limo tint.. Unless you have 5% on the front, your perspective has some validity to it. I drive with 10% on my front windows and I have zero issues seeing out. IF I ever do need to communicate with a pedestrian which is extremely rare, I can communicate with them through my windshield most of the time, if not, window down. I'm on you with the 5 to 0% tint on the rear taillights.

I had kind of the same thing happening to me. My car is alberta registared. Never got pulled over in Alberta because I try to maintain road and safety laws. Still I got pulled over here for nothing, The officer came to me, I told him sir my drivers side window is not working and if I could open the door. My driver side window stopped workin right after -47C weather in calgary. He said okay and took my license. He was rude with me at first but then came back with my license and explained that the last pull over before me was a little hectic for him. 

There was no problem with my history. Didn't issue me a ticket. But gave me a #2 Notice and Order. I am here in BC for a week. I don't want to spen 300 dollars just to get an inspection for a not rolling down window. I would have fixed it anyways. I was doing some research on vehicle inspections thinking I would just do it. But the reviews are no good too. I have a 2005 car. Its very old. There might be some problems that might fail the Inspection which I am not aware of right now. If I fail, I gotta fix those and do the inspection again. I don't want to spend that much money. I am thinking just to go back to Alberta and sell the car. Get a new one. But I don't know if that will be a good idea too. So, looking to get some advice from here.