Firstly, Welcome to BC! There are a few important pieces of info to be aware of when entering our province. If you are a new resident or could be one in the future, you have 30 days upon entry to register and insure your out of province vehicle with ICBC, and you have 90 days to get a BC drivers licence. Due to the changes to the discount system starting September 1, 2019, you should make getting your BC drivers licence a priority. In order to be credited with discounts associated with driver experience, new residents will have to submit drivers abstracts to ICBC from their previous driving jurisdictions when they get a BC drivers licence. For more information about drivers licences see: www.icbc.com/driver-licensing
There are certain situations where you may be exempt from BC Insurance and getting a BC Drivers License. If you are strictly visiting and not working you may use your out of province insurance and drivers license up to 6 months as long as you have no intention of working or becoming a resident. You may also be exempt if you are a student or member of the armed forces, however you will require an exemption permit from ICBC, more info here: www.icbc.com/autoplan/moving-insurance
The registration process can take up to an hour to complete, so please call ahead and we will make sure we have agents ready to assist you.
Unless your vehicle is exempt, all vehicles must pass a BC Provincial Safety Inspection. When you register the vehicle with us bring a copy of the passed vehicle inspection report, it is required.
Exempt vehicles are:
under the New West Partnership Trade Agreement, qualified private vehicles imported from Alberta or Saskatchewan
vehicles with a net weight of 3501 kg or more (trucks with a GVW of 5000kg or more must have a commercial vehicle inspection instead).
low speed electric vehicles.
We recommend you first google "provincial vehicle inspection" to find an inspection garage and phone ahead to make an appointment. If you have gone past the 30 day grace period or if your out of province insurance has expired, we can sell you a restricted permit that will allow you to take the vehicle directly to an inspection facility and then back to our office to be registered. Please call us for more info.
When you are ready to register and get ICBC insurance, bring the vehicle and park out front or near our office. We will need to sight the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and note any pre-existing vehicle damage.
You will be surrendering your vehicles current registration and any plates sighted on the vehicle. We can fill out a MV1405 form as proof of the surrender of any registration or plates if your previous province requires it in order to process a refund for license fees.
In review, the documents required for an out of province registration are:
The original registration in the name of the person registering the vehicle.
The vehicles plates (if there are any plates on the vehicle at the time we sight the VIN).
A passed vehicle inspection report (if not exempt).
If you are not the registered owner on the vehicles current registration, additional paperwork like bills of sale proving continuity of ownership will be required, please call us for more info.
In addition to the required documents and provincial vehicle inspection noted above in the From Canada section, vehicles coming to BC from the USA also require:
A Form 1 Import Form with 2 stamps.
A Casual Goods Accounting Document (B15), Canada Customs Coding Document (B3) or B4.
An Original Title in the name of the person registering the vehicle. IMPORTANT - You may have to give the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency 72 Hours notice before taking the vehicle across the border to export. More info here: www.riv.ca/USCustoms
If you are not the registered owner on the vehicles current title, additional paperwork like bills of sale proving continuity of ownership will be required, please call us for more info.
The Form 1 Import Form is obtained from the Canada Border Services Agency. 2 stamps on the form are required for registration in BC. The first stamp is always given at the border and its section identifies any duties paid and/or restrictions on the sale of the vehicle depending on your situation. The second stamp is can be given at the border if the vehicle being imported is exempt from the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) program. Most vehicles are not exempt from the RIV program and the second stamp is usually obtained at designated Canadian Tire locations. Once the vehicle has been modified to meet Canadian safety regulations (daytime running lights, child safety harness anchor, etc.) and has been cleared of any manufacturer recalls the inspection facility will stamp the Form 1 Import Form confirming compliance. For more information regarding which vehicles are admissible from the United States (some vehicles can not be imported), RIV inspection facilities, and compliance information, visit www.riv.ca (Registrar of Imported Vehicles) and https://www.canada.ca/en/services/transport/road/importing-vehicle.html (Transport Canada).
Depending on your situation you will be issued a Casual Goods Accounting Document (B15), Canada Customs Coding Document (B3) or B4 at the border from the Canada Border Services Agency. They describe the vehicles value, the duty paid, and/ or taxes paid to the government. More information regarding these forms and the importation process at the border can be found at: www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca
An Original Title is required for registration. There are cases where the original title is being held by a financial institution because of a loan or lease, if this is the case please phone us as additional paperwork may be required. The title being stamped "OK the export" by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is not directly a requirement for us, but is usually required by the Canadian Border Services Agency in order to receive a Form 1 Import Form. More info here: www.riv.ca/USCustoms
If you are a BC resident purchasing a vehicle from out of province you may purchase a Binder for Owner's Interim Certificate of Insurance which will insure your vehicle on its way to BC for registration. You will still need a permit for each state or province you drive through however, call us for more info.
Vehicles being brought into BC as part of your settlers effects may qualify for a PST tax exemption. If not you will have to pay 12% PST on the market value of the vehicle.
Vehicles purchased outside of the province by BC residents may have to pay 12% or 7% BC PST depending on the situation.
There is a PST FAQ that covers most tax situations here: PST on Vehicles pdf.
For the BC Gift of a Vehicle (FIN319) form for for vehicles gifted from a immediate family member who has already paid a qualifying tax: BC Gift of a Vehicle (FIN319) pdf.
The largest discount that affects the final premium on an ICBC insurance policy is the Individual Driver Factor. New residents applying for a BC drivers licence will get credit for their years of driving experience on their Individual Driver Factor if they submit drivers abstracts from their previous driving jurisdictions to ICBC. Even though the regulations state you have 90 days to obtain a BC drivers licence upon entry into the province, you should make getting a BC drivers your top priority. For more information on what you need to get a BC drivers licence you can call 1-800-950-1498, walk into a drivers licensing office (closest to our office is at 4126 MacDonald Street, Vancouver), or go to the ICBC website: https://www.icbc.com/driver-licensing
The new Low Kilometer Discount applies a 10% discount to the basic insurance rate on a vehicle driven in an eligible rate class if the vehicle is driven less than 5000km per year. At registration and any subsequent renewal we can physically sight the odometer if you park out front of the office, or you can submit a photo of the odometer that has been taken within the last 7 days.
There is a also a new Advanced Safety Technology Discount for vehicles that are equipped with an Autonomous Emergency Braking System. You should contact the vehicle manufacturer to determine whether or not your vehicle came with one if you are unsure.
If your vehicle currently has a passive immobilizer you may also qualify for another discount. Passive immobilizers use a method, usually between the key and ignition, of electronically preventing preventing the vehicle from starting if the key is not present. ICBC has more information on passive immobilizers here: ICBC Discounts.
There is also a disability discount providing a 25% reduction in the base rate if you qualify for the B.C. government Fuel Tax Refund. More information on the Fuel Tax Refund Program can be found here: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/sales-taxes/motor-fuel-carbon-tax/fuel-tax-refund
You must bring with you your BC Drivers License. If you do not have a BC Drivers License yet you will need to bring Accepted Primary and Secondary ID. You should also bring the BC drivers licence number and birth date for any additional listed drivers. If a listed driver does not have a BC drivers licence then the name and birth date will be required, however they will not have any driver experience discounts. For this reason we strongly recommend they obtain a BC drivers licence and submit drivers abstracts first.
If you wish to pay monthly for your insurance bring with you a void cheque or authorization form with your name and checking account details printed on them. We must have something physical to keep with our records. Starter cheques with no name or address on them are not acceptable by ICBC.
There are 2 license plates for the front and back of the vehicle in BC. If your vehicle is from a state or province that does not require a front plate we recommend you get a front plate bracket installed prior to registering your vehicle. Not displaying or incorrectly displaying a license plate in BC could get you a $109 fine.
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