Access Committee

Access / Land Use Sub-Committee Chair:

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The Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Victoria has created an interesting document outlining the growing challenges faced by British Columbians seeking access to privately owned lands. Created with the help of the BCWF and its members, “Enhancing Public Access to Privately Owned Wild Lands” looks at ways other jurisdictions manage the delicate balance of respecting private property while enabling anglers and others to enjoy the outdoors.

As BCWF members understand, people who know nature will defend it. That means that increasing public access will help support social engagement with the environment. As our wild areas continue to shrink, the UVIC paper suggests it’s time the B.C. government develop laws, or at least incentives, to help both property owners and outdoor enthusiasts know more specifically what their rights and responsibilities are.

Read and download “Enhancing Public Access to Privately Owned Wild Lands” here.

ORV Registration and Regulations Update

Pleased be advised that the Order-in-Council (OIC) has approved the Nov 1st mandatory registration and safety requirements under the ORV Act, along with some consequential amendments to other enactments (e.g. update to violation tickets).

Also note: the Motor Vehicle Act Regulation was also amended to allow the display of a registration plate or sticker issued under the ORV Act to be OK for incidental highway access (please note that the word “plate” under the MVA includes “plastic stickers” for the purposes of the ORV Act stickers).

Please check out the web sites listed below.

Off-Road Vehicle Management Framework, Updated October 15, 2015

News Release Oct. 15, 2015 Off-road vehicle registration mandatory on Nov. 1

Approved October 15, 2015

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS for Off-Road Vehicle Act and Regulations, Updated October 15, 2015

Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations - Provincial Trail Advisory Body
The Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations' Provincial Trails Advisory Body (PTAB) - which was established this year and met for the first time in March - recently held its second-ever meeting in early June.

Both meetings were attended by BCWF Access Chair David Oliver, who is a member of PTAB representing the BCWF.
The PTAB was established to provide advice on the implementation of the Trails Strategy and the BC Trail Program. The functions of the PTAB (for more infomation, see PTAB Backgrounder) are:
  • Assist government in ensuring that implementation is consistent with the intent of the Trails Strategy;
  • Advise government of any recommended improvements to the Trails Strategy such as through a formal review every two years; and
  • Provide a collaborative forum for the many trails organizations and interests to help ensure that the Trails Strategy continues to meet the needs of all trail users.

Update - July 21, 2015: Meeting Minues and Memo Regarding Liability Issues

The Meeting Minutes from the June 18th meeting of the PTAB are now available for download here: 

PTAB Conference Call - June 18th, 2015 

The Outdoor Recreation Council also issued a Memo to Tennessee Trent and Recreation Sites and Trails BC regarding Liability issues affecting non-profit groups entering into partnership agreements for work on trails. The memo can be downloaded here:

Memo - RE Liability issues affecting non-profit groups entering into partnership agreements for work on trails\

PTAB Resources

For more information, on the PTAB, see the following resources:

PTAB Backgrounder 

PTAB Terms of Reference

Inaugral Meeting Minutes - March 2015 

Meeting Minutes - June 18th, 2015

For more information please visit the website:

Cariboo River Bridge
The bridge over the Cariboo River  26 km east of Likely is scheduled to be replaced  between September 1, 2015 and  December 1, 2015 leaving no public access for the duration of the project.  
This road accesses Barkerville via Likely. Other affected roads include:
  • Cariboo River Forest Service Road (8400 road) in the Cariboo-Chilcotin Forest District. The bridge is located 26 km north east of Likely.       
  • The Cunningham Pass Forest Service Road (3100 road) in the Quesnel Forest District . The bridge is located 125 km south of Barkerville. 
Please contact Jamie Moe at 250 398- 4782 for more information. 

Province of BC Extends ORV Registration Deadline to November 1st, 2015

The deadline for BC residents to register their ORV (Outdoor Recreational Vehicle) has been extended to November 1st, 2015, giving ORV owners an additional five months to complete the required process.
The Province of BC issued a news release on May 20th, 2015 announcing the extension, which can be read in its entirety below.
Registration Sticker
ORV owners are now able to choose a registration sticker instead of a plate for their ORV if they wish at the time of registration. Individuals that registered their ORV early are able to exchange their registration plate for a sticker at no additional charge.
Owners that choose registration stickers instead of a plate should be aware that in the event that they wish to transfer their registration to a new vehicle, an additional $18 fee will apply if a new sticker is required. 
For More Information
For more information on the extension period, click here.

Voluntary ORV registration extended to Nov. 1, 2015

VICTORIA - Mandatory off-road vehicle registration is being deferred from June 1 to Nov. 1, 2015.

The extra time provides additional time for off-road users to prepare for the mandatory registration, while the regulatory details are finalized on both registration and safety.

As well an ICBC-issued numbered sticker will be available in early fall when registering an off-road vehicle (ORV) for those users who would prefer a sticker instead of a registration number plate. The addition of a sticker addresses a key request from off-road motorcycle and snowmobile groups. The sticker will be a similar size as the number plate, and combined cost for registration and sticker will be the same as with the plate option - $48. ORV owners that choose the sticker will be responsible for removing the sticker if the vehicle is resold.

In early fall, ORV owners who have already taken advantage of the voluntary registration period and have a received a plate may exchange their plate for a sticker, if they want, at any ICBC broker at no additional cost for a limited time.

Full details are anticipated to be announced by early fall, with implementation for both mandatory registration and safety provisions to begin Nov. 1, 2015. In the interim, voluntary one-time registration for operating an ORV on Crown land will continue with the combined cost of the registration certificate and ORV number plate remaining at $48.

This registration is integrated within the pre-existing structure of ICBC’s motor vehicle registry, reducing implementation costs and allowing ORV owners to register at any of the 900+ ICBC insurance brokers in the province.

The Off-Road Vehicle Act is a key element of the Province’s Off Road Vehicle Management Framework. The framework will help British Columbians get out and enjoy the beauty of the province’s backcountry and ensure off-road vehicles are driven in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.

For more information on the extension period, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Registering Your ORV

Please see below for answers on some of the most common questions BCWF Members have had about our province's new ORV regulations and the process of registering a vehicle with ICBC. It is important for everyone going through the registration process to be clear on what is and is not required as part of the new policy.

Links to additional information and resources have also been provided below.

Q:     I understand I am legally required to register my ORV - is this a one-time process?

A:      Yes.

ORV owners are only required by law to register their vehicle once. The registration process can be completed at any ICBC dealer, and consists of a $48 fee that includes a plate for the vehicle. Please note that issuing a plate does not mean that insurance is required for the ORV (see next question). ORVs operated solely on private property are not required to be registered.

Q:     Am I required to purchase yearly ICBC insurance for my ORV?

A:     No, as long as you are not accessing public roads. Please note that you are still required to have third-party liability insurance.

Annual vehicle licenses and insurance, which fall under the Motor Vehicle Act and are unchanged with the new ORV regulations, are only required for ORV riders who choose to access designated public roads / highway crossings or portions of the right-of-way. A yearly vehicle license is NOT required to operate an ORV on Forest Service Roads, which are not considered public roads.


Q:     Have any of the vehicle insurance or third-party liability insurance requirements changed under the new regulations?

A:     No.

The insurance requirements for operation of an ORV in B.C. have not changed with the new regulations. Third-party liability insurance is required for travel on Forest Service Roads, and is recommended for those operating an ATV on Crown land (your BCWF Membership includes this type of insurance coverage while you are engaged in hunting and fishing activities).


Q:     Am I required to pay Provincial Sales Tax (PST) on my ORV if I have not done so already?

A:     If you purchased your ORV on or after July 1, 2010 and did not pay tax, the answer is yes.

If you purchased the ORV in B.C., brought it into B.C., or received an ORV as a gift, on or after July 1, 2010 and did not pay tax, you will be required to pay the applicable sales tax at the time of registration, unless a specific exemption applies. If the ORV was purchased prior to July 1, 2010, the ORV can be registered under the ORV Act without sales tax documentation.

The Province of B.C. recently distributed a “Provincial Sales Tax Notice” that includes all of the guidelines and details for paying the tax – the document is available by clicking here.


Q:     What documentation will I need to provide when registering my ORV?

A:     In order to register your ORV, you will need to prove ownership of the vehicle. At least one of the following documents will need to be provided to ICBC at the time of registration:

  • A New Vehicle Information Statement or a Certificate of Origin if purchased new, but never registered previously;
  • A Bill of Sale;
  • A Transfer Tax Form (APV9T) signed by seller – Transfer Tax forms are widely available from any Autoplan broker;
  • A completed B. C. Consumer Taxation Branch Gift of Vehicle Form (FIN 319);
  • For ORV’s imported into B.C. from another Canadian jurisdiction, the previous registration documents;
  • For ORVs imported from the U.S., a Title Certificate; Form 1 or B15 Accounting Document

Information and Resources

The following resources will provide detailed information on the new ORV registration process and regulations:

ORV Registration and Licensing Requirements: This document features a chart that illustrates the registration and insurance requirements for ORVs under the new Offroad Vehicle Act.

Provincial Sales Tax - Notice to Offroad Vehicle Owners - A notice from the Province of B.C. regarding how the Provincial Sales Tax Act applies to the new regulations.

Important Notice to Resource Road Users - Changing the Channel on Resource Road Safety
New mobile radio channels for forestry workers and other resource road users will take effect beginning June 1, 2015 in the Northern and Central Interior of British Columbia.
Fort St. James, Vanderhoof, Nadina, Mackenzie, Skeena Stikine, and Prince George Resource Districts will be converting to new resource road radio channels.
The changes will impact Forest Service Roads and most Road Permit roads in these areas.  All affected road users will need to have the new channels programmed into their mobile radios prior to June 1, 2015. Please contact your local radio shops for installation of the new channels.  Drivers are advised to retain current radio channels and frequencies until they are no longer required.
New signs posted on local resource roads will advise which radio channels to use and provide the communication protocols, including the road name and required calling intervals.  Vehicle operators using mobile radios to communicate their location and direction of travel must use the posted radio channels and call protocols.
All resource road users in the affected areas should exercise additional caution.  Drivers are reminded that forest service roads are radio-assisted, not radio-controlled, and therefore it's essential to drive safely according to road and weather conditions.
Local resource road safety committees have worked with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Industry Canada to implement these changes.
Learn more about resource road radio communications protocols online at: or by contacting the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations district office in your area or Industry Canada at 1 800 667-3780.

Province of B.C. to Implement New Radio Communication Protocols on Forest Service Roads in the Thomson Rivers Forest District
The Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations will be implementing new radio communication protocols on Forest Service Roads in the Thomson Rivers Forest District starting in early May.
The new protocols are being implemented after a number of successful pilot projects were completed in several areas of the province. The new guidelines consist of specific communications protocols as well as standardized radio channels and signs.
For more information, download the following letter from FLNRO: Radio Communications Protocols Being Implemented on FSRs
For additional details on Resource Road Radio Communications in B.C., visit the FLNRO website.

BCWF Welcomes New Outdoor Recreational Vehicle Policy

BCWF issued a news release on Monday, November 10th in support of the Province of B.C.'s new regulations on Outdoor Recreational Vehicles (ORVs) including ATVs, snowmobiles, dirtbikes, and side-by-sides.

BCWF believes that the new regulations will help curtail irresponsible ORV use, and we would like to encourage all of our members to register their vehicles when the process becomes available on Monday, November 17th. ORV owners will have until June 1st, 2015 to complete the one-time process, which includes a $48 fee and the issuing of a number plate for the vehicle. The process has been integrated into the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia's (ICBC) motor vehicle registry, meaning that ORV owners can register at any of the more than 900 ICBC insurance agents in the province.

BCWF President George Wilson welcomed the new registration process, and encouraged all BCWF Members to register their vehicle to register well ahead of the end of the grace period in June: “BCWF welcomes this new legislation, which we hope will result in a reduction in the number of people operating ORVs in an irresponsible manner. We are encouraging our membership to register their vehicles as soon as possible, well ahead of the end of the grace period in June 2015.”

To read the full text of the BCWF press release, click here.

To read the press release from the Province of B.C., click here.

Detailed information from ICBC on the registration process is available here: ICBC - Offroad Vehicle Registration.

A notice from the Province of B.C. regarding how the Provincial Sales Tax Act applies to the new regulations: Province of B.C. - Notice to Offroad Vehicle Owners.

Committee Reports:

2016 Q3 Report

2015 Access Year End Committee Report