Moving to BC? Here is How to Switch Over Your Out-Of-Province Vehicle
When you first arrive in Victoria, your to-do list is probably quite intimidating. You have to check out downtown, find all the great restaurants, and explore a few local beaches. And what about a hike along the coast? Or a weekend in the Gulf Islands? Or maybe a surf trip to Tofino? Or…
Hold on. Before you explore every inch of this incredible place, you have to take care of a few things. Like your car. If you and your vehicle are planning to make BC your new home, here’s what you need to know:
You have to get your vehicle inspected
British Columbia has strict standards when it comes to what’s driving around on our roads. So if you’re bringing in a vehicle from outside BC, you’ll need to get it safety checked.
All out-of-province vehicles must pass a standardized safety inspection from a designated inspection facility. Without a passing grade, you won’t be able to register, license and insure your vehicle.
This is where Searle’s Auto Repair comes in. As an ICBC Designated Inspection Facility, we’ll look over your vehicle from bumper to bumper to ensure it meets BC’s safety requirements. From brakes and electrical to driver’s controls and body integrity, we’ll let you know of any issues and exactly what it’ll cost to fix them. Our authorized mechanics will take care of the problems, re-inspect your car, and give you the official paperwork you need to legally hit the road.
Good news: The inspection rules will become a little more relaxed starting April 1st, 2015. When the changes take effect, the inspection requirement won’t apply to a vehicle that has not been rebuilt and is either less than four years old or was inspected within the last 90 days. But until then, all vehicles (including motorcycles) must undergo an inspection.
You have 30 days to register, license, and insure your vehicle
Once your vehicle is deemed roadworthy, it’s time to register, license and insure it. This can be done at any Autoplan broker. You’ll just need to gather a few documents first, such as your vehicle’s current registration, two pieces of ID, and a passed vehicle inspection report. The ICBC website has more information on exactly what you’ll need to bring.
You have 90 days to get a BC license
After moving to BC, you can drive for up to 90 days with your existing, valid license. Before the time period’s up, you must head to any driver licensing office in BC to apply for your new license. All you need are two pieces of ID, your current driver’s license, the fee for your license, and proof of two years’ driving experience (as a non-learner).
If you don’t have enough driving experience, or don’t have proof, you can still get your BC license by going through the graduated licensing program. You’ll get credit for however long you’ve been driving.
The exception: If you’re just visiting for an extended period or are moving to BC to be a full-time student, you might not have to switch over your license. Get in touch with ICBC for the most up-to-date details on this or check out their FAQ.