Driver Licence Suspensions Are Not All Driving Related

Posted on Thu, 2011-03-17 09:34

A poor driving record isn’t the only reason a driver’s licence can be cancelled, as one BCTA member recently discovered.

In order to prevent a similar inconvenience for other BCTA members, this article outlines a variety of reasons the Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC) may refuse to issue or renew a driver’s licence, or cancel a driver’s licence in BC under the BC Motor Vehicle Act for issues not directly tied to poor driving performance.

ICBC may refuse to issue or renew a driver’s licence for such reasons as:

  • outstanding debt owed to ICBC, such as outstanding Autoplan premiums, Driver Penalty Point Premiums and/or Driver Risk Premiums;
  • outstanding debt owed to the BC Government for failure to pay an immediate roadside prohibition penalty fee, or a fine, or a victim’s surcharge levy, including fines for offences under the Motor Vehicle Act, the Commercial Transport Act, the Motor Fuel Tax Act, the Highway Act or the Transportation Act, the Liquor Control and Licensing Act, the Motor Carrier Act, the Passenger Transportation Act or the Motor Vehicle (All Terrain) Act;

  • outstanding tolls, such as outstanding Golden Ears Bridge tolls in excess of $25 and overdue by 150 days; or
  • outstanding debt owed under the Family Maintenance Enforcement Act where the Ministry of Attorney General has directed ICBC to refuse to issue a driver’s licence.

ICBC may also cancel a driver’s licence for such reasons as:

  • outstanding debt owed to the BC Government or to ICBC;
  • making false or misleading statements or using a fraudulent record in order to obtain a driver’s licence; or
  • failure to surrender a driver’s licence after being notified to do so. For example, if a driver fails to submit a driver’s medical report and fails to acknowledge the subsequent letter notifying them that they must surrender their licence, the licence is cancelled.

Notification of cancellation of a driver’s licence can occur by mail or personal service by a peace officer, sheriff or another authorized person. Regardless of the notification method, the individual is required to surrender his/her driver’s licence to ICBC.

As long as the employer has taken all reasonable measures to ensure their drivers have a valid driver’s licence, insurance coverage for a commercial vehicle is generally not affected if an employer unknowingly dispatches a driver with a driver’s licence that is suspended. In addition, if an employer has reason to suspect that a driver may have his/her driver’s licence cancelled in the future (e.g., excessive points on a regular abstract check) there is a higher standard expected of the employer to closely monitor the driver’s record to ensure that he/she is still allowed to legally drive in order to ensure there is insurance coverage for the vehicle.

BCTA will continue to remind both ICBC and the provincial government that employers need access to accurate and timely information on drivers’ records so that they can diligently carry out their National Safety Code responsibility to ensure that they are dispatching qualified and legally licensed drivers.