I Live in Two Provinces.

I live about an hour from Alberta and Work in B.C.
​I do have a place of residence in both provinces and spend about 5 months in B.C and 6 months in Alberta with the remaining month or so either out of both or out of Canada.

​At present, I run Alberta plates and insurance and am renting an apartment in Northern B.C.
My wife, her family and all our friends live in Southern Alberta. We stay at the family farm when we are down there. Niether of our names appear on any lease or mortgage in Alberta.

​B.C medical assures me that carrying Alberta health care is perfectly acceptable as we leave the province (B.C.) at least for seven days per month and spend the bulk of our time in Alberta.

​My accountant assures me that I can file my taxes in either/any province and for 2018, I filed in B.C.

​My question is,
Am I concidered an "ordinary citizen" of B.C or Alberta and am I taking any unnecessary risks by running Alberta plates and insurance?

​This is a very grey area and I need it to be black and white.

​I would hate to change over to B.C plates and insurance only to be caught in the very same crossfire that I am trying to avoid.


I think you answered your own question.....

You start out by saying: "I live about an hour from Alberta".  Indicating in this sentence you do not live IN Alberta.

You filed your taxes declaring you live in BC.  You rent an apartment in BC.  When in Alberta you stay with family, you don't lease or owe on property in Alberta.  You haven't said where you work or which province your driver's licence was issued.

You haven't actually stated if your concern is regarding getting a traffic violation or learning your vehicle is not properly registered and insured, but it seems your concern is vehicle registration/insurance, and that is very wise.

Far too many people who do mis-register and mis-insure their vehicles wrongly worry they might get a ticket, when the real danger is they are involved in a very serious collision and discover they are not insured.

To be absolutely confident I would account for all you activities in each province IN DETAIL (and document), that alone may help you decide.  If that doesn't convince you, I would then submit the full details to your Alberta Registry and your Alberta insurance company and have them make a determination.  If they say you should be registered and insured in BC, I'd do the same in BC by submitting the documentation.  I'd ask them to keep a copy of the documentation.

This way, whichever jurisdiction says they will insure you, you have documentation proving that, in the event they, as you say catch you in the "cross fire" later you have your details in the form of a statement on file.

You don't want to be in a situation where you've been in a serious collision and the insurance company is  investigating your living situtation.  They will check EVERYTHING, where you buy your gas, groceries, province of cell phone etc etc.

Where your medical insurance has been accepted is a good indicator, but there likely no detailed record of what was said to the employee that caused them to give you AB Medical, so later it could be said "oh well you must have told them something different".


This has always been difficult for me at the roadside. On one hand, my job was to insure that the driver was properly licensed according to the requirements of the law and on the other was often a person who was intentionally misleading me in order to either save money or escape licence sanctions.

This had the unintended consequence of making it more difficult for people who were honest.

On my part, I looked for things like a local library card, BC medical insurance, being on the voter's list or claiming the homeowner grant for their property. All of these things required that the driver I was investigating had told someone that they were a BC resident. If I found them without a BC driver's licence I usually took enforcement action.

No doubt in some cases residency is hard to pin down. Better minds than mine have examined the question, and here is case law on the subject. Ultimately, I would have to satisfy the courts that my ticket for not having a BC driver's licence was a good one and case law explains how the courts view the situation.

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