Update re. implementation of licencing/regis?

Is there any new information as to when the licencing and registration rules will be in effect?  The latest information I have found (dated December 30, 2010) was a BC government fact sheet stating that the new rules will be "fully implemented by November 2011."  A friend told me he heard that conservation officers near Squamish are looking for people's "registration" though I suspect they might have confused this with the required 3rd party liability insurance as I can't find evidence that the planned licencing/registration rules are in effect.  I would expect putting the rules into place might be delayed by the political events in Victoria, but I'd be interested if anyone else knows what we should be expecting.



Off_Road_Vehicle_Management_Framework- update_from_ATVBC.pdf204.01 KB


Registration and Licensing for OHV in BC

I sit on the Provincial government's BC OHV Registration and Licensing Joint Advisory Group.  The four BC back-country motorized recreational user groups are in there working hard to make sure we don't get too steam-rolled on this.

As you might know, we have been working for over seven years to have a recreational trail stewardship and education program under the OHV Coalition.  Last year, the Provincial government finally acknowledged the 47 recommendations produced by a very broad cross section of back-country recreation stakeholders, but only elected to implement two of the recommendations.  Those two recommendations are focused on OHV registration, and optional licensing if the rider needs to cross roads legally.  Strangely enough, the two recommendations the Ministers choose to pursue create new revenue centres for the Province.

I can't delve into specific of what has been discussed due to having had to sign a confidentiality agreement, but suffice to say I'm fighting for our interests as best as we can.  As an example,they originally wanted tin motorcycle plates on all OHV vehicles, without exception.  That means MX bikes, trials bikes, ranchers quads, enduro bikes, race quads, etc.  The four user groups have fought for decals that would be placed according to type specific location like they have in Oregon and California.  Safer, can't be stolen, works other places with many more OHV use.  Don't know if we will be listened to.  There are a number of other points we have had to fight for, but I can't list them all here.

Our biggest bone of contention with this is if the users are being asked to do a one-time registration per ownership, and pay any unpaid taxes on all used sales, there is a very large revenue stream being created for the Provincial government.  We want those funds to go back to users in the form of a trails and education trust be set up and paid into with some of those funds from the users.  The trust model is already there for the hunter and fishermen, why not us?  So far, there does not seem to be any interest on the part of the Government to even entertain the idea beyond staff.

Right now many millions of funds are spent by this Province on unmotorized trails, but only token amounts (<$250,000 in 2010) relatively are spent on many 1000s of KM of mixed use trails that include motorized recreation.  Noticed I didn't say summer-motorized trails exclusively, but mixed use because all motorized use trails in BC are by law for all user types.  This has to change when we, as back country motorized recreation, create over $1 billion in economic activity and $100 million in in-direct taxes for British Colombia governments.

So back to your question, the official word is November 2011, but due to the political climate, reservations from several present Ministers, and serious reservations from industry and user groups it may not get legs at that time. 

At this time, unless users can see a real benefit from this program, I don't see how we can support it.  I am heavily recommending to all concerned riders to put this issue onto the radar of their Minister/MLA, especially with a shuffle coming soon, and rebuilding of Cristy Clark's Cabinet.

As to COs stopping OHV riders, that would be for insurance while riding on a Forest Service Road only.  Your BCORMA Platinum-Insured Trail Pass covers you.

I'll do my best to answer any other questions about this important subject that will effect us all.  Please continue to post them up on the BCORMA forum.

Peter Sprague, MSc.
Executive Director
BC Off-Road Motorcycle Association

Thanks for the information,

Thanks for the information, Peter.  Since my initial question, I had a quick read of the original 2005 OHV Coalition report with the 47 recommendations you referenced.  They seem like balanced and reasonable recommendations. 

Based on the information available so far on the ministry website describing the "OHV Management Framework," there is no discussion of use of the revenues, or any other recommendations in the package.  It is made to sound that the proposed framework enjoys the support of the OHV Coalition and others who were consulted.  I suppose that's partially true, but obviously a big piece of the picture is missing when 2 out of the 47 recommendations are the gov'ts priorities!

I think I will write some letters.  If I post to this forum some of the points I think I would like to make in my letter, would you check to see that I have the facts right?  I am new to riding, and not well versed in the issues around trail use, land access, etc., so I would like to make sure my opinion is informed. 

Sure, I would be happy to

Sure, I would be happy to work with you to develop your letters based on a solid grasp of the facts.

Hope others will use your drive to also put something into action.  As dirtbikers, we often sit around and complain, but don't actually stand up and take action.


Points for a letter re. licensing & registration

Hi Peter, here's what I was thinking of for some points for a letter.  It took me a while to get done - maybe I needed some nice Spring riding weather to inspire me?  Anyhow, after a nice ride at Tansky, here it is.  What I was thinking of saying is pretty mildly worded, but I haven't fully developed my opinions on these matters - other than to know that I am concerned.  I added a few points on the impact on families, as families are apparently a priority of the new Premier.

If anyone else on these forums likes my points (subject to any suggestions you might make), I'd encourage anyone who wants to write a letter to copy or otherwise use some of my points.  I think I'll start with a letter to the Minister of Natural Resource Operations.  They appear to have responsibility for this issue, based on the website. 

My points:

As a responsible dirt bike rider, I support initiatives I believe will promote safe, lawful and environmentally sound OHV use.  While I think respecting people's freedom to enjoy BC's vast wilderness is important and I don't want to see responsible riders punished through added costs and red tape, I recognize that it is important for off-highway vehicle (OHV) users to promote responsible enjoyment of their sports.  That includes doing what is necessary to ensure that BC's Crown land trails and forest roads remain accessible.

I understand that the BC government is currently planning to implement an "ORV management framework" that will include licencing and registration.  I am concerned about both the use of the fee revenue, and the fee amounts.

The BC government websites currently have very little information available as to the proposed licencing and registration scheme.  The information available is vague as to what the scheme will look like (e.g. plates or decals?), or how much it will cost riders.  However, what is clear from the information currently available is that there is no reference to the use of the fee revenue.  In fact, there are no references to the majority of the recommendations of the Coalition responsible for the report "Solutions for a Sustainable Future: Final Recommendations for Registration, Licensing and Management of Off-Road Vehicles in BC."

As a responsible rider, I support initiatives I believe will promote safe, lawful and environmentally sound OHV use.  I believe that the Coalition's recommendations strike a reasonable balance on that point.  Accordingly, I think the BC government should adopt the Coalition's recommendations - not just the recommendations that generate revenue for the Province.  The plan to implement licensing and registration would enjoy much more support - and voluntary compliance - if the government committed to using the revenue for a trails and education trust so that users could see clear benefits from the scheme.

In terms of the fee amounts, I encourage the government to consider the impact on families of adding licensing and registration fees on top of existing legally-required costs, like liability insurance.  The information currently available online references registration at "sale and re-sale."  These costs could really add up for families.  In addition to the impact on families with multiple children, consider that kids grow quickly.  If younger kids are starting out with appropriately-sized bikes (which is essential for their safety), they will need to change motorcycles often, further adding to the costs for families.

Please keep dirt bike riding affordable for BC's families, and remember that responsible riders are the majority in BC.



BCORMA member

Letters to Ministers and the Premier

Your points are good.

To help you and others understand the issues more fully, I've attached a summary Terry Wardrop of ATVBC wrote of the current state of the Registration & Lincensing initiative.  Riders have to always be aware that this is not one time registration, but one-time per sale.  The government stands to gain an estimated 10 -15% more taxes on back country motorized vehicles sales beyond the first retail sale of 12%.  Yet there is no interest in putting those funds back into a trails trust to be managed by riders for riders.  It will just go into the black hole general revenues, unlike the Wildlife Trust that hunters currently benefit from.

They were out in the Chipmunk

They were out in the Chipmunk riding area lots last year. Police and Conserve. Riding quads as well. Looking for Liability insurance. Not sure how they could implement a registration? hope this helps some?