Vehicle Registration and Insurance

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You must register your car and get licence plates and vehicle insurance. You can do this at any Autoplan office. For office locations and more information, go to Select “Autoplan Insurance.”

Vehicle insurance

You must have Basic Autoplan insurance

When you drive a vehicle in BC, you must buy Basic Autoplan insurance from ICBC. Basic Autoplan covers you if you are in a traffic accident:

  • When you are in an accident, Basic Autoplan can pay you some money if you cannot work. ICBC can also pay up to $150,000 for medical costs for each injured person.
  • When you are at fault and another driver makes a claim against you, Basic Autoplan can pay them up to $200,000.
  • When another driver is at fault and does not have enough insurance, Basic Autoplan can pay you up to $1 million.
  • If the accident is a “hit-and-run” (the driver who caused the accident leaves and nobody knows who caused the accident), Basic Autoplan can pay up to $200,000. Anyone who is hurt in the hit-and-run can make a claim, not just the person who has the insurance.

You can buy extra insurance

You can buy extra insurance from ICBC or from a private insurance company. Many people buy extra insurance to cover them if they cause a traffic accident. It could cost you much more than $200,000 if you caused an accident and someone was seriously injured.

You can also buy extra insurance in case you damage your own car, or if another person damages your parked car or breaks into it.

To decide what extra insurance to buy, think about the price of your car, and how much of your own money you could afford to pay for costs.

Cost of insurance

Many things affect the cost of your car insurance. They include these things:

  • where you live,
  • your age,
  • the type of car you have,
  • your driving record,
  • your insurance claim record,
  • the number of years you have had a driving licence, and
  • if you drive your vehicle to work.

For all the ways you can save on what you pay for insurance, visit Select “Autoplan Insurance.”

Safe driving record

Were you a safe driver in your country? If so, you may be able to get a discount on the cost of your insurance. Ask your insurance company in the country you came from to write a letter that describes your insurance record. This must be a notarized letter in English.

Tell the insurance company that the letter must include:

  • the name of the policy holder,
  • the names of any listed drivers on the policy,
  • the policy number, and
  • the period of time during which you had coverage, and the dates of any claims.

Take the letter with you when you buy your insurance. The letter may help you to get insurance at a reduced rate.

This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by People's Law School, 2011.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence Driving in BC © People's Law School is, except for the images, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence.
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