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Chinese Drivers Licenses - RCMP Changes Policy

Jeffrey S. Witten, B.A., LL.B.
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Personal Injury Lawyer at McComb Witten Marcoux

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A couple of weeks ago  I wrote about the mess the authorities had got themselves into over Chinese driver’s licenses.

The question was simple – is it legal to drive in BC with a license issued by the People’s Republic of China?

ICBC said yes.

The RCMP said no.

Innocent drivers from China got caught in the crossfire.

And had to pay a $276 fine. Despite having followed ICBC’s instructions to the letter.

Now, fortunately, the problem has been fixed.

Today the RCMP today announced they were going to stop ticketing drivers with Chinese licenses.

It’s about time.

How can newcomers from China (and other parts of the world) put any trust in the Canadian authorities who’re supposed to be safeguarding our streets when there’s a turf war going on between different branches of government?

And what about those drivers who have already been affected ?

Will they be seeing a refund any time soon?

I doubt it.

Ok. Let’s tackle the next big question here.

What does this all mean for motorists who are currently relying on rivers’ licenses issued by the People’s Republic of China?

ICBC advises that a license can be used by a "visitor" for up to six months.

New residents can use an out-of-province license for 90 days before needing to apply for a BC license.

And if you’re a student enrolled in an accredited educational institution in BC, you can use your out-of-province license for the period that you’re a full-time student.

Hopefully we can finally put this sorry saga behind us.

But this whole affair should serve as a lesson to our government agencies. They need to be on the same page before instituting polices that impact BC’s drivers.


Jeff Witten

McComb Witten Personal Injury Lawyers


Category: Car Accidents

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