BC Canadian plates

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#1 Tue, 04/14/2015 - 14:00

BC Canadian plates

Hey everyone, just wondering if anyone has experience dealing with Canadian plates. I have my registration and insurance in BC and it expires in July, however I'm not sure if that is just the insurance or if I need to re-register the car and get different plates as I will be in Mexico or Central somewhere. I have called around with little luck, I am basically just trying to work out whether the car is legal to drive down into South America for the rest of the year or if I need new plates. Any help would be much appreciated, cheers.

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 20:34

Mexico liability insurance

Mexico liability insurance can only be provided via Mexican companies. Canadian comprehensive insurance is probably not valid in Mexico.

As for registration, can it be renewed on-line or is there a safety inspection required.


Technically, to drive a vehicle in another country requires that the vehicle be properly registered in its home country. Any insurance obtained in another country will also require it be legally registered. 

Whether any other country worries too much about it, or whether an insurance company will deny you coverage in case of an accident is somethiong you will not know until crunch time comes.

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 13:00

Don't worry too much, it's

Don't worry too much, it's just the insurance that expires. As it covers only Canada and the US, you're fine from Mexico onwards. I'm driving around in Central America for half a year now with an expired insurance. However, there might be some discussions about that expired date on your title at the borders. Just tell them it's the insurance. 

Keep in mind that once your insurance is expired, it requires some effort to renew it outside of Canada!


Sun, 04/19/2015 - 23:15

Not legal to drive a vehicle

Not legal to drive a vehicle ANYWHERE (other than on your own private property) with expired registration. End of story. If registration back home is contingent on the vehicle having a certain type or scope of insurance cover back home, then that must be kept up to date as well

Then of course if you do manage to get any sort of third party liability insurance - which is mandatory in many countries (most countries in C and S America) - you may be refused cover or in other ways committing a criminal offence unless the vehicle is legal in the country of origin.


Lots of cowboys running around Central and South America with fake papers and expired documents, but just because they get away with it for a while doesn't make it sensible thing to do.

Wed, 04/22/2015 - 20:29

ICBC Answer


My first post and I have the answers to not all but at least this one of your problems

We have kept a BC Plated motorcycle in Europe for 3 years now so go through the process I describe below.


ICBC has a special policy (I think it is called section 919) that allows you to renew your plate and registration annually. You will havea BC Plate with a current valid sticker, It costs us $28.00 / year for the motorcycle. You will need to talk to ICBC head Office to get the information I describe below. There is a very small chance that any regular autoplan agent will know all of the information below.


Note this does not provide you with any  insurance but it does provide you with a valid sticker and proof of current vechicle registration.


If you are out of Canada  you can give someone a power of attorney in BC to renew your coverage  on this basis. ICBC has  power of attorney form that they need completed.

Here is what you will need. I got this from ICBC earlier this year (2015)  Even with this form the autoplan agent didn't want to accept it. I had the Agent call ICBC and speak to a a Supervisor and then a Senior Supervisor - it was a  long process.

Here is what ICBC wants as a PA. I  had to get a Supervisor to send me this PA requirement as a junior told me it was for internal use only and could not be shared outside of ICBC. See the humour and take deep breaths, you will be fine.

8.9 Notarized Power of Attorney

Revised February 2004


This module contains information about the notarized power of attorney.

Requirements of the Notarized Power of Attorney

Personal signatures of other than the registered owner of a vehicle, if not acting as an officer of a corporation, partnership, or society may only be accepted if a notarized power of attorney is produced.

The notarized power of attorney must:
be an original
give the name and address of the person to whom the power of attorney is granted
specify what the power of attorney is given for, that is:
vehicle registration/licensing/insurance  for a vehicle or vehicles identified by vehicle identification number, or
be signed by the person giving the power of attorney before a witness and the signatures attested to by a notary public or commission for taking affidavits be in effect, since a power of attorney expires upon the death of the grantor

The original power of attorney must be produced and a photocopy attached to the transaction. If a subsequent transaction is to be processed for the applicant in another submission, then an additional photocopy of the notarized power of attorney is required at that time.

 In my experience it would help that the preson you are granting the power of attorney to has more than just name, adrress and DOB on the PA. I have when acting in this capacity hade my BCDL included in the PA

I would also send your PA a copy of your current registration 

A notarized power of attorney is not transferable and only the person named has the authority to use the power granted. Ensure that the person making the application is the person to whom power of attorney was given. There is no particular form of power of attorney required in BC, but it must specifically provide the authority to sign for the transaction.

Note: If the person who granted the notarized power of attorney dies, the power of attorney is null and void

Now the bad news, most ICBC  agents will not know how to issue insurance under the 919 endorsement, and recently when I sold a friend from the UK's motorcycle for him, the ICBC  agent tried to tell me that it wasn't a valid PA. In these cases whoever is your PA needs to get a ICBC Supervisor oon the phone.


Have your PA call ICBC in advance to make sure nothing has changed since I did the PA in February.




Mon, 12/25/2017 - 07:13

We have BC Plates!

We have BC Plates and have been travelling from Colombia to Patagonia without any problems so far. 
If the car is properly and legally yours then you should have no problems. We couldn't legally purchase the car as that meant we would have to physically go to a notary in British Colombia so we have been getting around with the Power of Attorney. Most security checks are confused by any foriegn paperwork but eventually let you pass. In terms of insurance, you usually have to get that country's insurance when you cross into their border. Its usually a desk next to migration and is easy. This is usually around $20 in the poorer countries but we had to get a bulk insurance for Argentina, Chile, Uraguay and Paraguay for $100. 
This is only South America of course. Most paperwork the police ask for is the original official ownership papers, liscence and vehicle documents. 
Good Luck!