Licensing required for off-road vehicles

The provincial government’s expanded rules for off-road vehicle operators are set to take effect next month.

The provincial government’s expanded rules for off-road vehicle operators are set to take effect next month, and failing to register could cost owners.

Owners of golf carts, dirt bikes, quads, side-by-sides or snowmobiles will be required by law to plate and insure vehicles as of Nov. 1.

Failure to comply with Bill 13, the Off-Road Vehicle Act, could result in a fine of up to $5,000 and seizure of your vehicle.

“We’re seeing a multitude of people coming into the branch to get their plates and insurance decals,” said Linda Thompson, manager of insurance services at First West Credit Union’s Valley First division. “Most families have more than one unit, so it’s better to do it now before the crunch at the end of the month.”

The new system announced by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Resources in 2009 is aimed at catching rogue operators and joyriders who put others in danger. Registration will also cut down on the theft and the selling of stolen units.

There is an exemption for people who operate their all-terrain vehicles on private land only. Any crossing at a designated crossing, riding on Crown land or loading and unloading units in a parking lot will fall under the new rules.

The combined cost of registration, plates and an insurance decal is $96 plus taxes. Owners who purchased their vehicles prior to 2010 are exempt from taxes.

In order to obtain registration owners will need to provide their insurance broker a new vehicle information statement or a certificate of origin, a bill of sale and a transfer/tax form signed by the seller. Pre-owned units will also require a statutory declaration to determine the continuity of ownership, which needs to be notarized by Service BC.

“While it may seem like a lot of red tape right now, the members we see in the branches are ultimately relieved that there will be stricter regulations to improve safety of both riders and property,” Thompson said.

For more information on unit registration visit www.for.gov.bc.ca/mof/orv or speak with a  qualified insurance professional at any Valley First Insurance location.