Automotive

Switching driver's license and car plates from BC to ON

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  • Aug 26th, 2011 4:25 pm
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[OP]
Newbie
Jul 19, 2011
2 posts
OTTAWA

Switching driver's license and car plates from BC to ON

I just moved to Ottawa, ON from Vancouver Island, BC. I have some questions regarding changing licenses and car plates.

1. Since the 1st step will be to change my license from BC Class 5 to ON's G License, will I still be able to drive my car with BC plates using my new ON license or not?

2. Does ON's insurance providers carry over discount from ICBC car insurance? I have 40% discount with ICBC for no claim, however this discount was given to me with my previous driving record in Singapore. So I am getting 7 yrs worth of discount even though I was in BC for 2 yrs only because they accepted my insurance certification from my home country. Will this be the case with ON's private insurance as well?

3. How long does it take to have the car inspected for clean air and road fitness? If I go with online companies like Belair Direct, how soon can I get the license plate? Is it the same with BC where the broker gives the car plate?

Thanks for any help.
18 replies
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Aug 11, 2008
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you'll need an experience letter from ICBC to give to your new insurer..this will show how many yrs you were insured with them and if you had any claims.

in order to get insurance in ontario, the vehicle must be registered in ontario.

cau888 wrote:
Jul 20th, 2011 8:20 pm
I just moved to Ottawa, ON from Vancouver Island, BC. I have some questions regarding changing licenses and car plates.

1. Since the 1st step will be to change my license from BC Class 5 to ON's G License, will I still be able to drive my car with BC plates using my new ON license or not?

2. Does ON's insurance providers carry over discount from ICBC car insurance? I have 40% discount with ICBC for no claim, however this discount was given to me with my previous driving record in Singapore. So I am getting 7 yrs worth of discount even though I was in BC for 2 yrs only because they accepted my insurance certification from my home country. Will this be the case with ON's private insurance as well?

3. How long does it take to have the car inspected for clean air and road fitness? If I go with online companies like Belair Direct, how soon can I get the license plate? Is it the same with BC where the broker gives the car plate?

Thanks for any help.
RIBO LICENCED INSURANCE BROKER(ontario) -OVER 30 YRS OF EXPERIENCE
YOUR BEST INSURANCE IS AN INSURANCE BROKER
All the information provided is for reference purposes only. The actual wordings, conditions and exclusions of your policy will apply.
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Mar 30, 2004
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cau888 wrote:
Jul 20th, 2011 8:20 pm
1. Since the 1st step will be to change my license from BC Class 5 to ON's G License, will I still be able to drive my car with BC plates using my new ON license or not?
Yes, you will have to go to a DriveTest Centre to exchange your license.

Ontario Law allows you to keep your BC drivers license for up to 60 days after moving to Ontario, but only allows you to keep your car registered in BC for 30 days after moving to Ontario. Within that 30 day period, however, there's no issue having a BC-registered car, even if you have already exchanged your license.

Drivetest Centres: http://www.drivetest.ca/en/Home.aspx
License Exchange Details: http://www.drivetest.ca/en/license/Exch ... rocal.aspx
cau888 wrote:
Jul 20th, 2011 8:20 pm
2. Does ON's insurance providers carry over discount from ICBC car insurance? I have 40% discount with ICBC for no claim, however this discount was given to me with my previous driving record in Singapore. So I am getting 7 yrs worth of discount even though I was in BC for 2 yrs only because they accepted my insurance certification from my home country. Will this be the case with ON's private insurance as well?
Ontario insurance companies offer no-claims discounts, but the amount varies depending on the insurance company you choose. You may need to get a letter of reference from your previous insurance companies to prove the "no-claims" status, but i'm pretty sure most companies will recognize your history provided you can prove it to them.

cau888 wrote:
Jul 20th, 2011 8:20 pm
3. How long does it take to have the car inspected for clean air and road fitness? If I go with online companies like Belair Direct, how soon can I get the license plate? Is it the same with BC where the broker gives the car plate?
Safety and Emissions Test, not sure how long it takes, but practically any approved garage can do them, so find one and ask them what it'll cost you and how long it'll take them.

Once you have Safety and Etest done, next step is to obtain Ontario Insurance. Once you have proof of insurance (most companies can fax or email you a temporary proof of insurance), next step is to go to either a ServiceOntario or Ministry of Transportation location (this is not the same as a DriveTest Centre) and register the vehicle. You will get your plates from ServiceOntario/MTO.

ServiceOntario/MTO Locations: https://www.services.gov.on.ca/services ... larService
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Aug 11, 2008
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only insurance experience from Canada and the USA will apply
CorSter wrote:
Jul 20th, 2011 10:41 pm
Ontario insurance companies offer no-claims discounts, but the amount varies depending on the insurance company you choose. You may need to get a letter of reference from your previous insurance companies to prove the "no-claims" status, but i'm pretty sure most companies will recognize your history provided you can prove it to them.

RIBO LICENCED INSURANCE BROKER(ontario) -OVER 30 YRS OF EXPERIENCE
YOUR BEST INSURANCE IS AN INSURANCE BROKER
All the information provided is for reference purposes only. The actual wordings, conditions and exclusions of your policy will apply.
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 19, 2011
2 posts
OTTAWA
Thanks for the replies.

Any recommendations for the cheapest car insurance aside from Belair Direct?

Thanks.
Deal Fanatic
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Aug 11, 2008
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you'll have to shop around
cau888 wrote:
Jul 21st, 2011 4:11 am
Thanks for the replies.

Any recommendations for the cheapest car insurance aside from Belair Direct?

Thanks.
RIBO LICENCED INSURANCE BROKER(ontario) -OVER 30 YRS OF EXPERIENCE
YOUR BEST INSURANCE IS AN INSURANCE BROKER
All the information provided is for reference purposes only. The actual wordings, conditions and exclusions of your policy will apply.
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Mar 30, 2004
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cau888 wrote:
Jul 21st, 2011 4:11 am
Thanks for the replies.

Any recommendations for the cheapest car insurance aside from Belair Direct?

Thanks.

Shop around, but i'd likely also put TD Insurance and DGI Direct at the top of my shopping list.
Deal Fanatic
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Aug 11, 2008
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as you say, shop around...i've had many ppl come over from those companies and some who haven't..just depends on driving record, history and territory etc etc..
CorSter wrote:
Jul 21st, 2011 5:29 pm
Shop around, but i'd likely also put TD Insurance and DGI Direct at the top of my shopping list.
RIBO LICENCED INSURANCE BROKER(ontario) -OVER 30 YRS OF EXPERIENCE
YOUR BEST INSURANCE IS AN INSURANCE BROKER
All the information provided is for reference purposes only. The actual wordings, conditions and exclusions of your policy will apply.
Deal Addict
Nov 15, 2009
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Please let us islanders know how much your insurance goes up by :)
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Oct 29, 2002
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I plan on doing the exact same thing!

I'll be leaving Victoria and going to London, ON for school.

I was hoping I wouldn't have to change licence, or plates, but it looks like I'll have to.

Please keep me posted on any developments. I'm working in Alberta until mid-August so not able to do much until then. Thanks!!
Sr. Member
Dec 6, 2007
794 posts
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Get ready to pay through the nose for insurance. I doubt any insurance company in Ontario can match the rates ICBC provides regardless of experience and/or accident/claim history.
Member
Nov 6, 2005
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Vancouver
Kinda related question...If I plan to stay in BC for a year with my ON car, do I have to switch plates?
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I hope you like freezing winters...
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subagear wrote:
Jul 28th, 2011 5:26 am
Kinda related question...If I plan to stay in BC for a year with my ON car, do I have to switch plates?

if u can prove u still use your BC Address, i dont see why not. its a hard to prove you live here loophole...... just keep your mailing address in bc active (such as bills and banks statements)
Sr. Member
Aug 29, 2004
871 posts
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chowder wrote:
Jul 28th, 2011 4:41 am
I plan on doing the exact same thing!

I'll be leaving Victoria and going to London, ON for school.

I was hoping I wouldn't have to change licence, or plates, but it looks like I'll have to.

Please keep me posted on any developments. I'm working in Alberta until mid-August so not able to do much until then. Thanks!!

If your only going for school, and plan on coming home for summers, don't switch your insurance over, add a "Z" rate from ICBC. Cost is maybe $20 additionally each month. My understanding is that as long as the province that you are in allows it (I know for a fact BC, Alberta and SK do) you can keep your BC license and plates on the car while you are working/going to school in another province, so long as you have added the Z rating. There is a limit in some provinces of 183 days in a calender year, so double check this.

I'm in Alberta now, and my Z-rate lets me have my car here for 183 days per calender year, meaning that if I get here June 1st, I can go until June 1st of the next year without changing to Alberta registration, which requires an inspection and leads to more expensive insurance, especially if you are young. I will caution this by saying to speak to ICBC - the 2 hours it took me to have this setup is well worth the thousands in savings, and as a young driver (presuming such since your a student) your rates in Ontario will be probably 5x what they are in BC... especially since your coming from Vic, which has some of the lowest rates in all of BC. I would also double check with the Ontario DMV that this is allowed - if you are going to be staying there permanently, you will need to change.
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