Failing to register off-road vehicles could be costly

Deadline is June 1 to plate and insure golf carts, dirt bikes, quads, side-by-side or snowmobiles.

The province’s expanded rules for off-road vehicle operators will take effect next month. If you own a golf cart, dirt bike, quad, side-by-side or snowmobile, you will be required by law to plate and insure your vehicle as of June. 1. Failure to comply with Bill 13 Off-Road Vehicle Act could result in fine of up to $5,000 and seizure of your 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, a division of First West Credit Union.

“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, which was introduced by the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands & Resources last November, is aimed at catching rogue operators and joyriders who put others in danger. Registration will also cut down on theft and the selling of stolen units.

“While there is an exemption for people who operate their vehicles on private land only, any operator crossing the highway, riding on crown land—such as crossing the Kettle Valley Rail Trail—or loading and unloading their units in a parking lot will fall under the new rules,” said Thompson.

The combined cost of registration, plates and insurance decal is $96 plus taxes. Owners who purchased their vehicles prior to 2010 won’t have to pay the taxes.

To get the registration, owners will need to provide to their insurance broker a new vehicle information statement or a certificate of origin, a bill of sale and a transfer/tax form signed by the seller. In addition, pre-owned units will also 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 unit registration, visit or speak with a qualified insurance professional at any Valley First insurance location.

Kelowna Capital News