Vehicle registration

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Off-road vehicles

Register all off-road vehicles (ORV) or complete transfer of ownership transactions at any ICBC Autoplan broker.


ORV registration with number plate display is mandatory on Crown land, including resource roads. An off-road vehicle is designed for off-highway use and does not meet safety standards for on-highway use. In the event that you want to operate your off-road vehicle on a highway, you will need to register, get a plate, a licence and insurance.

Types of off-road vehicles

The following are the eligible ORV vehicle types:

  • Golf carts
  • Snow vehicles
  • Snowmobiles
  • All-terrain vehicles (ATV)
  • Trucksters, and
  • Restricted use motorcycles (RUMs)

Contact your Autoplan broker

For more information on the requirements for registering, displaying a number plate, licensing and insuring an ORV, contact your Autoplan broker.

ORV registration requirements

Full continuity of ownership

The "paper trail" showing the sale or gifting of a vehicle to each successive owner in chronological order, from the first owner in the previous (or current) jurisdiction through to the current individual requesting the initial registration in B.C.  The paper trail should consist of an unaltered and fully completed bill of sale or gift letter for each vehicle transfer of ownership.


Example

You want to register an out-of-province vehicle in B.C.

The vehicle had been sold five times prior to bringing it to B.C. to request an initial registration. The five prior sale transactions and transfers of ownership were never registered in the previous jurisdiction(s).  To show continuity of ownership as the current owner, you must provide five fully completed bills of sale or gift letters.

If you present fewer than five bills of sale or gift letters, there is a gap in the continuity of ownership. You must contact the previous owner(s) to obtain the missing bills of sale, gift letters, and/or previous vehicle registrations to bridge the gap, and to demonstrate that you are the legal owner of the vehicle. 

In the absence of being able to bridge the continuity, a notarized Missing Signature Declaration form (MV1484) is required.

Tax rates and payment information

Unless a specific exemption applies, tax must be paid on ORVs purchased or acquired after July 1, 2010. The Provincial sales tax notice explains how the PST applies to off-road vehicles (ORVs), including snowmobiles, ATVs and dirt bikes purchased or received as a gift in BC or acquired outside B.C. and brought into B.C.

Insurance requirements

If you operate an ORV on or across highways, you're required to obtain ICBC’s Basic Insurance. If you operate an ORV on forest service roads, you'll need $200,000 in third party liability insurance. This may be obtained from ICBC or other insurers.

On all other Crown land, liability insurance is voluntary but recommended.   

Sticker Option

A sticker option will be available for customers beginning Nov. 1, 2015 as an alternative to a metal licence plate. Customers who have already registered their off-road vehicle and received a metal plate can substitute it for a number sticker plate at no charge at a broker’s office from Nov. 1, 2015 until Dec. 31, 2015. After Dec. 31, 2015, an $18 fee will apply to exchange a metal plate for a sticker or vice versa.

The metal number plate or sticker must be clearly visible on the front, back or left exterior of the vehicle and securely fastened in a horizontal position. In the case of off-road motorcycles, a sticker may be attached in a vertical position on the left front fork with the first number/letter at the bottom of the fork.


The ORV number sticker plate and the ORV metal number plate are required to be securely fastened to the ORV. However, the ORV number sticker plate has strong adhesive properties. Customers returning the ORV number sticker plate to process ICBC-related transactions may have difficulty removing them. Customers may affix it to any other material rather than being stuck directly to the ORV. The alternate material may then be securely fastened to the ORV.

Driver's licence requirements

You'll need a valid driver's licence to operate an ORV on public roads, highways and on forest service road.

Police-issued operation permit

Police may issue an operation permit (free of charge) as a condition of highway operation. Operation permits are not required for highway crossings controlled by a stop sign or traffic light or when loading and unloading an ORV from another vehicle in a parking lot.

In all other circumstances, an operation permit is required for on-highway operation. Operation permits must be obtained from the police department/detachment nearest where an ORV will be operated (or from any RCMP detachment along the Gold Rush Snowmobile Trail for operation on the Trail). For more information, contact the police department/ detachment nearest to the location you plan to operate your ORV.

Registration fee

The combined number plate and registration fee will be a one-time fee of $48. You are only required to register your ORV once. The registration and number plate or sticker will be valid as long as the same person owns the vehicle.   

You're required to register with ICBC when an ORV is transferred to a new owner and a $28 transfer fee will apply at the time.

Snowmobile refund program

The eligibility period to receive a refund if you registered your snowmobile under the previous Motor Vehicle (all terrain) Act has now expired. Please note that all snowmobiles must now be registered under the current ORV act.

More information