NEWS - Who is a BC Resident Under the Motor Vehicle Act
Effective January 1, 2022 the provisions establishing British Columbia residency requirements for holding a driver's licence have changed. Section 24.1 MVA has been amended to redefine who is a resident of the province.
24.1 (1) In this section and sections 25, 26.1 (2.3) and 34 (1.1) (b), "resident of British Columbia" means a person
(a) who is ordinarily resident in British Columbia, or
(b) who is in a prescribed class of persons.
(2) A person is not eligible to hold a driver's licence issued under this Act unless the person is a resident of British Columbia.
(3) The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia may, at any time, request evidence that a person is a resident of British Columbia for the purposes of this Act or the regulations.
An addition to Division 30 of the MVAR (Drivers Licences) has also been brought into force:
Resident of British Columbia
30.15 For the purposes of paragraph (b) of the definition of "resident of British Columbia" in section 24.1 (I) of the Act, the following classes of persons are prescribed:
(a) persons who ceased to be ordinarily resident in British Columbia within the immediately preceding 90 days;
(b) persons in British Columbia who are required under a contract to be in British Columbia for a period of more than 6 months for the purposes of temporary work;
(c) persons in British Columbia who
(i) are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada as defined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada), and
(ii) are foreign representatives, or the spouses or dependents of foreign representatives, who have been granted privileges, immunities or benefits under the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act (Canada) that have not been withdrawn.
For more information on how the courts apply these laws, see the case of R v Shafer where a person who moved to BC failed to obtain a BC driver's licence and was caught speeding.