Registration required for all off-road vehicles

The new regulations promote safe and responsible use of B.C.’s backcountry

All off-road vehicles must now be registered

Off-road vehicle registration and liability insurance are mandatory on Crown land on Nov. 1.

That means that if you haven’t got your paperwork for your ATV or trail bike done yet, you’ve got to get moving.

The new regulations promote safe and responsible use of B.C.’s backcountry, and include provisions on number plate placement, rules for child operators and safety equipment requirements.

But that’s not all, according to Mike Lees of the Cowichan Valley ATV Club.

ATV owners were urged to get licenced starting last year.

“It was available last fall. I did it as soon as it came out,” he said.

“If you are riding on Crown land, which includes forest service roads, then you must have liability insurance. However, if you are only riding on your own private property, you still have to have it registered but you’re not required to have the licensing.”

The Crown land aspect is pretty simple to figure out, he said.

“In order to cross the road at a stop sign, you must have insurance. If you cross the highway, if you’re out trespassing on TimberWest or Island Timberlands or whatever, you still have to get there and in order to travel on a gazetted forest service road you need insurance.”

Have ATV owners been calling for this registration?

“Well, one of the things that’s been happening is that there have been huge thefts of unregistered ATVs and dirt bikes throughout the province. So there have been calls for licensing from Quad Riders ATV Association of BC. The only bad thing about it is that now the government, in their wisdom, has decided that if you bought it from somebody else they’re going to hit you for tax if you bought it anytime after 2010.”

It’s about proof of ownership.

“If you didn’t buy it [your ATV] from a dealership, you have to go to a notary public and swear an affidavit that you bought it legally and you own it. That establishes ownership. The thing that’s going to happen in some cases is that ATVs may have been through two or three hands and it could have been stolen years back. Now, after [the ATV] goes through the affidavit process and gets registered and it’s in the system, it could still pop up later as having been a stolen unit.

“The registration thing is going to make the trading in stolen ATVs a lot harder to do, though,” he said.

The move to registration allows B.C. to catch up with its neighbouring provinces.

“They are even registered in Alberta and Saskatchewan. B.C. is the only province, from what I understand, that didn’t have registration,” Lees said.

So hunters who want to take their ATV from here to the prairies, for instance, will have to prove their registration.

“We’re comfortable with it, we knew we had to do it. We have always preached that you must carry liability insurance. You have to have it to travel on forest service roads anyway,” he said.

Most ATV owners in his experience go to ICBC first for the registration and the minimum insurance and then go to one of a couple of private insurance companies for liability, theft and collision — wherever they can get their best deal.

“Those companies are affiliated with the organizations like Quad Riders ATV BC, they offer us a discount,” Lees said.

Nov. 1 is the deadline this time.

“If you are caught without being registered and insured, you’re going to get an $840 fine, just the same as driving your car without insurance,” he said.

According to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, the operating standards call for helmets, seatbelts (if a manufacturer has installed seatbelts, then the seatbelt must be worn), lights (off-road vehicles must use lights during low visibility conditions when riding on Crown land 30 minutes after sunset or 30 minutes before sunrise), and supervision of children.

The off-road vehicle registration is integrated within ICBC so it’s straightforward to register.

The regulations also offer a sticker option for those vehicles which are unable to house metal plates. Owners who already secured an ORV number plate during voluntary registration can, between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, 2015, bring their registration and metal plate to any ICBC broker and exchange their metal plate for a sticker for no charge.

As well, snowmobile owners who have already registered their vehicles under the Motor Vehicle (All Terrain) Act will be eligible for a refund, up until Nov. 16, when they register under the ORV Act.

Voluntary registration has been in place since Nov. 17, 2014.

As of Nov. 1, 2015, registration will be mandatory. The combined cost of the number plate and registration fee remains $48.

The regulations govern a wide range of ORVs, including snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles or “quads”, dirt bikes and side-by-sides (e.g. Rhinos and Argos).

For more information about the new regulations go to www.for.gov.bc.ca/mof/orv/

Just Posted

Duncan Christian Chargers third at Islands

The Duncan Christian School Chargers senior boys volleyball team wrapped up their… Continue reading

Lake Flashback: Tragedy strikes the Lake, RCMP call in Sikorsky chopper, and thieves leave their tools behind

Three accidental deaths in one grim week, and air crane required to save fish from wrecked truck

VIDEO: Lake Cowichan fire department celebrates long service

The annual event sees several earn awards as well as the retirement of Ray Bourassa after 30 years

Hal Kerbes back in Chemainus for a favourite holiday blockbuster

Veteran actor comes out of retirement to play Kris Kringle and make us believe in Santa Claus

’Tis the season for holiday cheer with a Ken Lavigne Christmas

Enjoy the magic of the season with the region’s largest indoor snowball fight

VIDEO: B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

Seguin lifts surging Stars to 4-2 win over Canucks

Dallas is 6-0-1 in last seven outings

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

Batten down the hatches: Wet and windy weekend on the way for coastal B.C.

Environment Canada issues special weather warning for Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

Tolko shuts B.C. divisions for two weeks over holidays

Head office to close from Dec. 23-27; two weeks’ downtime runs Dec. 21-Jan. 6

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

Port Moody mayor says stayed sex assault charge related to ‘awkward date’

Rob Vagramov said charge was related to a string of dates in 2015

UBC conference draws fire over speaker from Chinese tech company blacklisted in U.S.

The company that has been blacklisted by the U.S. over links to the repression of China’s Muslim minority

Most Read