Not having a valid driver’s licence in British Columbia is more than just an administrative inconvenience if you get caught. It can also lead to serious penalties. Understanding the potential consequences for driving without a valid driver’s licence could help you to avoid serious problems. Many individuals who are unlicenced are still driving on the roads.
Most of these individuals have lost their licence due to prohibition associated with any high risk driving behavior or have had their licence taken away as a result of outstanding fines. The consequences of driving without a valid driver’s licence are quite severe in British Columbia. The consequences increase for those individuals who may continue to drive illegally.
Penalties Levied Against Those Driving without a Valid Licence
If you are caught driving without a valid driver’s licence in British Columbia for the first time, you’ll receive a violation ticket and you will not be permitted to drive a vehicle any further on that day. If you are caught a second time, however, the consequences increase. The notice on your driving record with tell police that you have a previous conviction for no driver’s licence and state that they will impound the vehicle immediately on the scene for a period of seven days. This is true whether or not you own the vehicle.
You might assume that you’re not at risk for being caught without a licence if you avoid other traffic violations, but this does not necessarily mean you are safe. If you are stopped for any reason and the officer asks to see your materials, you could be facing consequences. Simply put, any time that you get inside a vehicle to drive without the appropriate licence to do so, you are risking further penalties. It’s best to comply with the terms of any licence suspension or revocation.
Get Your Licence Updated Quickly If New to the Area
You will be prohibited from driving and this prohibition period remains indefinite until you are eligible to receive a valid British Columbia driver’s licence, pay off any traffic fines and handle any other administrative consequences. Many people who are visiting British Columbia do not realize that they have a certain period of time in which to obtain a valid driver’s licence.
You can drive for up to six months in British Columbia if you have a valid out of province or a foreign driver’s licence. Any restrictions that are currently on your home licence also apply in British Columbia. Visiting students, however, can drive for longer than six months, but need to remain registered full time at an academic institution.
A new resident in British Columbia may continue to use their licence from a previous province for up to 90 days. It is a good idea for anyone who has recently moved to the area to apply for the driver’s licence right away. If you believe that you are improperly identified as an unlicenced driver or believe that you should be exempted from any mandates to hold a British Columbia valid driver’s licence, you need to submit these reasons to the Superintendent for the motor vehicles. Driving without a licence can carry significant consequences and can make it more difficult for you to get to work or other locations if you are caught.