Off-Road Vehicles

Off-road vehicles (ORVs) are increasingly popular across British Columbia, both for work and leisure. British Columbia’s new Off-Road Vehicle Management Framework promotes the safe and responsible use of ORVs on Crown land.

In particular, the framework brings:

  • A modern registration scheme to help officers track down stolen ORVs and better identify irresponsible ORV riders who endanger others, harm animals or damage sensitive areas
  • Improved safety laws for adults and children to reduce ORV-related injuries and deaths
  • More effective compliance and enforcement tools

What's an Off-Road Vehicle?

The definition of ORVs has been expanded. ORV laws now apply to a wide range of vehicles operated on Crown land both for work and leisure, including:

  • Snowmobiles
  • All-terrain vehicles (or “quads”)
  • Off-road motorcycles
  • Side-by-sides (e.g., “argos”, “rhinos” and “razors”)
  • Jeeps, trucks, SUVs and other small on-highway motor vehicles

Registering Your ORV

Effective Nov. 1, 2015, ORV owners must register vehicles used on Crown land and clearly display their ICBC number plates or stickers. Some exemptions apply.

Helmets, Lights, Seatbelts & Child Safety

The Off-Road Vehicle Act requires child supervision. All ORV riders must use lights in low-visibility conditions, wear a safety helmet on ride-astrides (e.g., all-terrain vehicles), and, where applicable, wear seatbelts.

Compliance and Enforcement

New enforcement tools enable officers to address contraventions more effectively under the ORV Act. These include:

  • The ability to stop, inspect and, where appropriate, seize ORVs
  • Increased fines for violation tickets (e.g., $230 for an unregistered ORV and $368 for careless operation or damage to property)
    • See Schedule 2 of the Violation Ticket and Administration Regulation of the Offence Act
  • ORV riders 12 and older must carry government-issued photo identification to help officers identify riders and establish their age
  • 24-7 access to ORV registration information

Anyone who witnesses a violation of the ORV Act is encouraged to call the Conservation Officer Service & Natural Resource Violations hotline at 1-877-952-7277, or #7277 on the TELUS Mobility Network.

The ORV Framework & Legislation

The Off-Road Vehicle Management Framework – developed with a wide range of stakeholders – helped guide amendments to B.C. laws. This resulted in Bill 13, the Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) Act (2014). The act promises certainty, safety and regulatory structure for thousands of off-road enthusiasts.

Along with other key legislation, including the Motor Vehicle Act Regulation (Div 24) and the Forest Service Road Use Regulation, the ORV Act is central to implementating the ORV Management Framework effectively.