Registration required for off-road vehicles June 1

If you intend to operate your off-road vehicle (ORV) anywhere on public lands after June 1, 2015 you have just three weeks left to register it through ICBC.

When the vehicle is registered, an off-road vehicle licence plate will be issued and must be displayed. The changes replaced outdated legislation governing British Columbia’s growing off-road sector, and helps ensure these vehicles are driven in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.

An ORV includes snowmobiles, all terrain vehicles (or "quads"), off-road motorcycles, side-by-sides (i.e. Rhino, Argo, Razors) and dual-purpose on highway vehicles such as jeeps, trucks, and SUVs.

The one-time fee of $48 for the registration and number plate will be valid as long as the same person owns the vehicle. If the ORV is sold or disposed of, the owner keeps the number plate to transfer onto a replacement. Snowmobile owners who have registered their machines under the old Motor Vehicle (All Terrain) Act will receive a refund of the amount they have already paid when they register under the new rules.

The requirement to register and licence an ORV applies to out of province users who bring their machines into B.C. for use. That may be fulfilled if their home province has an identical program (eg: Alberta) and they are registered there. Otherwise, the ORV must be registered and licenced in B.C. before use. Similarly, jeeps, trucks and SUVs already licensed and insured for on-highway use will be exempt.

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. To comment or learn more, please visit drivesmartbc.ca