Unpaid COVID-19 fine could lead to driver’s license denial in B.C.

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People who leave COVID-19 fines unpaid may be unable to obtain or renew a B.C. driver’s licence or vehicle licence under new proposed legislation.

If passed, proposed amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act will extend “refuse to issue” (RTI) restrictions to fines issued under the Emergency Program Act and COVID-19 Related Measures Act, according to the province. 

“That small minority of persons who have been fined for violating the rules in place to protect us all are going to be held accountable for the debt they owe,” said Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor general.

RTI will apply to all outstanding fines issued under these acts and will be applied retroactively. People with outstanding fines will receive notice of the RTI from ICBC ahead of their driver’s licence expiry and vehicle license renewal. 

“We’ve already moved up the deadline for sending unpaid COVID-19 fines to collections. Now, we’re going to refuse to issue offenders a driver’s licence or vehicle licence if they still won’t take their tickets seriously and pay up,” Farnworth said.

The amendments will come into force on July 1, if passed.

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