Moving to British Columbia

BC FlagQ: I would like to know about people who move to B.C. from other provinces but still maintain their license plates and driver's licence from their previous address. How much time does one have to get their new B.C. licences after they become a resident? What if the car they are driving is not theirs and belongs to their family in the other province?

A: The average motorcycle or car is exempt from having to display B.C. licence plates for 6 months if the vehicle is being used for tourist purposes, or 30 days if used for other purposes. Students and members of the military may be exempt while attending specific post secondary institutions or while on an active duty posting.

Light trucks are more complicated because they are registered under the Commercial Transport Act in B.C. If they are being used for pleasure they are treated like a car. On inter-provincial business transport they may be exempt, but if they are being used for intra-provincial business they may have to be licenced immediately on entry to B.C.

It is best to check with a weigh scale or Autoplan Agent for advice.

A person who becomes a resident of B.C. has 90 days to obtain a B.C. driver's licence. Any other person is exempt for a period of 6 months from the time they last entered B.C. if they carry the valid licence from another jurisdiction with them and produce it if required by the police. Again, an exemption exists for students at specified post secondary education institutions.

I am not qualified to comment on what might happen if a driver who disobeys these rules is involved in a collision with you. Again, an Autoplan Agent may be a better source of information in this regard.

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