Q&A - Blacking Out the Address

Q&A ImageI have heard a vehicle owner can carry a photocopy of his Owners Certificate of Insurance and Vehicle Licence with the address obliterated so that anyone breaking into the vehicle cannot determine the owner's address. Is this true?


It Might be Difficult

Photocopies of the vehicle licence may be carried in place of the original:

Carrying of licence

11 The licence issued for a motor vehicle or trailer, or a photocopy of it, must be carried in the motor vehicle, or in the case of a trailer, in the motor vehicle towing the trailer, at all times while the motor vehicle or trailer is on a highway.

If part of the information on it is obliterated, it is not a photocopy of the original, so would not qualify.

Our ICBC documents are a single page, with the top portion being the Owner's Certificate of Insurance and Vehicle Licence and the bottom portion being the Vehicle Registration. The Motor Vehicle Act says that you must produce the original certificate of insurance if required by the police at roadside:

Production of licence and liability card, duplicates

33 (1) Every person, except

(a) a person driving or operating a motor vehicle exempted under section 2 (5) or section 8 or 10, or

(b) a person driving or operating a motor vehicle of a fire department of a municipality,

must have his or her driver's licence and driver's certificate and a motor vehicle liability insurance card or financial responsibility card, issued for the motor vehicle he or she is driving or operating, in his or her possession at all times while driving or operating that motor vehicle on a highway, and must produce the licence, certificate and card for inspection on demand of a peace officer.

Section 2(5) covers farm vehicles, section 8 farm tractors and section 10 industrial machines.

Since the licence is such a small part of the whole document and the rest must be produced in original, it is not worthwhile to bother with a photocopy.

If you are truly worried, don't leave the documents in your vehicle. Not being able to produce documents will make it that much harder of the thief if they steal the vehicle, both in terms of your address and with the police should they be stopped.

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