The Automobile Immobility

When moving between provinces one would expect there to be at least a very basic level of government and administrative interoperability. Unfortunately, when it comes to moving a car between Ontario and BC there is little evidence of any interoperability or administrative forethought in regards to facilitating people moving between provinces.

In order to register a car being moved from Ontario to British Columbia the car is required to undergo a safety inspection similar to the one that is performed when you sell a used car to someone else within a province. Unfortunately, the logistics of this requirement when moving between provinces makes it completely impractical to register an Ontario car in BC.

The ICBC website specifies that cars being moved Ontario are required to meet a series of criteria, including a safely inspection, in order to be registered in BC. And while a full list of these inspection facilities can be found on their website, it quickly becomes apparent that there are only approved test facilities in BC itself. A phone call to ICBC confirmed that the reality is one can only complete the inspection by driving the car across the country to an inspection location in BC.

This leaves drivers with a huge dilemma as to whether or not it is worthwhile to bring their car with them when they move across the country. Owners are taking a huge risk moving their car to BC as they have no ability to confirm the cars eligibility before departing. If the owner moves the car to BC and it fails to pass the inspection they are left with unexpected, potentially extensive, repair costs to get it back on the road, or having to sell the un-registrable car for parts. In this case a safer option would be to just sell the car before one moves. Unfortunately, the lost time and money from having to sell and re-buy a car to replace one you already had can also be significant.

Its amazing that this issue isn’t a more visible problem. Moving is already an expensive and stressful ordeal and there is no reason that moving ones (already registered) car between provinces should have to add significantly to the cost and complexity of the move.

It would seem only common sense to have provinces accept safely inspections from other provinces for the purposes of moving. There is no reason that individual provinces safety inspection requirements are so vastly different, within the same country, that it would be unsafe to accept tests from other provinces. With this policy in place drivers could confidently complete all the required paperwork before they move so they can know they will be able to register their car in the new province.

Hayward Peirce Written by:

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