Expanded rules are coming for off-road vehicle operators next month.
Owners of golf carts, dirt bikes, quads, side-by-side or snowmobiles are going to be required by law to plate and insure those vehicles as of Nov. 1.
The deadline was originally June 1, but was deferred to provide additional time for off-road users to prepare for the mandatory registration, while the regulatory details are finalized on both registration and safety.
Failing to comply with Bill 13 Off-Road Vehicle Act could lead to a $5,000 fine and seizure of the 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 Valley First, in a press release. “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 registration system introduced by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Resources last November is aimed at catching rogue operators and joyriders who put others in danger. Registration hopes to cut down on they and the selling of stolen units as well.
There is an exemption for those who operate their vehicles on private land only, however, any operator crossing the highway, riding on Crown land (such as the Kettle Valley Rail Trail) or loading and unloading units in a parking lot will be subject to the new guidelines.
An ICBC-issued numbered sticker will be available in early fall when registering an off-road vehicle (ORV) for those users who would prefer a sticker instead of a registration number plate. The addition of a sticker addresses a key request from off-road motorcycle and snowmobile groups. The sticker will be a similar size as the number plate, and combined cost for registration and sticker will be the same as with the plate option — $48. ORV owners that choose the sticker will be responsible for removing the sticker if the vehicle is resold.
In early fall, ORV owners who have already taken advantage of the voluntary registration period and have a received a plate may exchange their plate for a sticker, if they want, at any ICBC broker at no additional cost for a limited time.
The combined cost of registration, plates and insurance decals is $96 plus taxes. Owners who purchased their vehicles prior to 2010 will be exempt from paying any taxes.
Owners will need to provide to their insurance broker with a new vehicle information statement or certificate of origin, a bill of sale and a transfer/tax form signed by the seller to obtain registration.
Pre-owned units 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 registering visit www.for.gov.bc.ca/mof/orv.