Your Driver's Licence Isn't Yours

Enhanced BC Driver's LicenceRegardless of the fact that I paid $75 to renew my driver's license, it isn't mine. In fact, it states on the back of the license that "This card remains the property of the issuing agency and must be surrendered upon request."

If that request is made or the law requires its return there is no refund of fees and you must give it back immediately.

Back Side of BC Driver's Licence

There are three circumstances where ICBC may request that the license be returned to them.

Motor Vehicle Related Debts

The first is where a person owes a motor vehicle related debt to ICBC, was dishonest in supplying information to obtain the license or owes certain fines or monetary penalties to the Government of B.C.

This situation will result in the cancellation of the license and a demand for its return.

Duplicate Driver's Licence Obtained

The second is where a person cannot find their driver's license and has obtained a duplicate copy of the original license.

If the original is subsequently found, the original must be returned to ICBC immediately. Once found, it is also an offence to use the original license in place of the duplicate.

Prohibited and Suspended Drivers

Finally, when a driver is prohibited or suspended from driving, they must immediately surrender the license when notified of the prohibition or suspension.

Fail to Surrender Driver's Licence

In all cases, failing to surrender the license is an offence.

A person found in possession of a license that was not surrendered when required faces a traffic ticket with a ticketed amount of $109.

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Years ago, when you wanted a Driver's Licence, you went to the Provincial Motor Vehicle Branch.  Now, you go to ICBC.  Does anybody else have a problem with the fact that we now go to an insurance corporation to get a driver's licence.  I guess this is what happens when our provincial government gets in bed with our provincial insurance company.  ICBC should not be in charge of issuing or revoking driver's licences.  They should get back to being the "Insurance Corporation of BC". 

... and it's my opinion that on a global scale, ICBC should never have been given insurance as their purview. It's put us a billion dollars in debt (which isn't obvious) and had to be changed recently, and is nothing to be proud of; only the lawyers got the most out of it.

However, compared to jurisdictions around the world, ICBC has done a tremendous job with licencing. From separation of classes, to GLP, it's been a win-win situation for the most part. It doesn't make money, and often loses it on transactions; but other jurisdictions are looking at it as a model of licensing that best accommodates everyone.