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 license. We do recommend you start with the BC drivers license as it helps speed up the registration process, gives you under insured motorist protection, and can help get you the maximum discount available. For more information about drivers licenses: 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:
- new vehicles.
- 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 registration" and phone ahead to make an appointment to have your vehicle inspected. 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 that is stamped "OK to Export" from the American Border Services. 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 safetly 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 Claims Rated Scale (CRS). The maximum discount available to new BC residents is 40% which represents 5% discount for every year of continuous claims free insurance history up to a maximum of 8 years. You will need to bring letters from your previous insurance companies showing your detailed insurance history. Acceptable letters must include:
- Printed on Insurance company letterhead - not from your previous broker or agent.
- Insurance company contact information
- Date of issue.
- Name of the principal operator and insured persons of the vehicle being insured with ICBC.
- Policy number.
- Exact dates of coverage (day/month/year - day/month/year)
- Details of any claims under the policy, or state clearly that there were no at-fault claims.
- Signature or digital signature of the company representative.
If this was a parents or relatives policy it MUST state the exact dates when you were listed as an additional driver on the policy and not just the effective dates of the policy. If this is unclear please give us a call, we want to make sure this doesn't become an issue for you in the future.
Letters not in English must be accompanied by a translated copy by a ICBC approved translator.
If you have been driving a company owned vehicle, you will need to provide an extra letter from your employer confirming the dates when the vehicle was assigned to you for business and pleasure use, or from yourself or a company representative confirming that you were an owner of the company who had use of the vehicle for business and personal use.
To get the CRS discount at the time you register and insure your vehicle you must provide the letters to us at that time. If for any reason the letters are incorrect or missing information you will have up to six months to mail ICBC an Application for Claims Rated Scale Discount form along with the letters to receive a backdated refund.
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.
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.
If you need to get an approximate cost of insurance before registering your vehicle we can provide you with a quote here: Autoplan Quote.
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