British Columbia Vehicle Registration Process

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British Columbia Vehicle Registration Process

British Columbia Vehicle Registration Process & Procedures

Known as the westernmost province in Canada, British Columbia has much to offer in the way of travel and destination cities. So importing your car here will give you a lot to drive to.

But before you drive, there is the registration process. Here are the steps to take to register a vehicle in British Columbia.

First Things First

The province has a number of procedures in place for various types of vehicles. Vehicles coming from Alberta or Saskatchewan have a set of guidelines to follow, such as:

  • Vehicle owners must be residents of B.C.
  • Must have been registered in Alberta or Saskatchewan prior to registering in B.C.
  • Passenger, commercial and motorhome vehicles must weigh less than 3,500 kg
  • Vehicles five years or older than the current date must have a passing vehicle safety inspection test from the previous province

Vehicles from other provinces have to meet the following standards:

  • Provide the vehicle registration
  • Provide the certificate of title if coming from Nova Scotia
  • Pass a B.C. vehicle inspection report
  • Show a bill of sale

Vehicles coming from outside of Canada have a relatively simple process after clearing the import standards on the vehicle.

According to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, owners can simply register, license and insure the vehicle at an Autoplan broker after importing it.

Have questions about shipping a vehicle to British Columbia? Our international shipping page has more information, including expected costs, taxes, and what documents are required.


A-1 Auto Transport ships vehicles worldwide. Click here or call 1-800-518-8708 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote to ship your car.


Ruling the Road and Other Laws

Drivers in Canada (and by extension British Columbia) drive on the right-hand side of the road. Auto insurance is mandatory in the province. The minimum driving age in B.C. is 16 years of age.

As far as laws governing the road, Canada has strict rules governing driving. For example, the country bars drivers from using hand-held cellphones. Motorcycles can’t share lanes and some roads require drivers to use their headlights for visibility to other drivers.

For drivers coming from the U.S., the U.S. license is valid to drive but not U.S. insurance. In those cases, drivers will need to contact their own insurance agencies for a Canadian insurance card.

Weather and Road

The weather in Canada is unpredictable and road closures are common because of heavy snowfall and ice. In British Columbia, snow tires are required while driving on specific highways. The government of British Columbia created a map with designated highways where the snow tires are required.

British Columbia Driving & Registration Resources

Winter Tire & Chain Routes – A government portal for British Columbia that maps out which roads require snow tires during the harsh winter months.

Registrar Of Imported Vehicles – A portal from the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia that details car registration tips, driving tips and how to obtain insurance.

Joe Webster

Written by Joe Webster

Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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