Driving Without a Licence
A reader has asked "What would happen to me if I was caught driving without a drivers licence?" It is a question that will expose serious consequences for you and the owner of the vehicle you are driving if it is not your own. I will confine my answer to the situation where you don't have a driver's licence either because you did not get one, it was expired or you did not have it properly reinstated after a suspension or prohibition.
Generally an unlicensed driver comes to my attention because they have done something to attract it. I will usually write the ticket for that infraction and query ICBC on your status as a driver. If you are unlicensed and this is the first time you have been caught, you will also receive a ticket for driving without a valid driver's licence. It will be the end of the trip as you will be prevented from driving further.
If you have had a previous conviction for driving without a driver's licence, your ICBC licence record will be flagged for a vehicle impoundment. If the flag is present when I check I am forced by the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act to impound the vehicle that you are driving, regardless of the fact that it might not be your vehicle. If this is your first impoundment, the vehicle will be held for 30 days. If not, the impoundment will be for 60 days and responsibility for the payment of towing and storage fees is yours. Imagine having to tell the boss that his business vehicle is not going to be available for a while.
In addition to the impoundment, I will be writing another ticket for not having a valid driver's licence.
A condition of your insurance contract is that the vehicle driver must be properly licensed. If not, the contract can be considered void and coverage in the event of a collision may be refused. This can be a complicated situation and if you are interested, you should discuss if with your insurer to determine what the outcome would be. Driving without a valid driver's licence has many pitfalls regardless of whether you do so accidentally by missing a renewal, or deliberately through personal choice.
If you allow others to use your vehicle for any reason it is wise to insure that the person who will be driving it has a valid driver's licence.