Unpaid COVID-19 Fines Could Lead to Refusal of Driver’s Licences, B.C. Says

People who don’t pay their COVID-19 fines may be unable to obtain or renew a British Columbia driver’s or vehicle licence under proposed legislation introduced Wednesday.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says the province previously moved up the date for when unpaid fines would be sent to collection, and this next step will target a small group of people who refuse to pay.

The proposed changes to the Motor Vehicle Act will extend “refuse to issue” restrictions to fines issued under the Emergency Program Act and COVID-19 Related Measures Act.



The restrictions start July 1, 2021.

Of the nearly $1.18 million in COVID-19 fines processed by the Insurance Corporation of B.C., only $172,825 has been paid.

Drivers may appeal a decision through the superintendent of motor vehicles.

Farnworth says most B.C. residents are doing the right thing to protect themselves and others.

“And it’s frustrating for all of us that there are some people who think the rules don’t apply to them. Well they do. And we all want to see people paying their fines, especially when their actions put others at risk.”


Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth talks during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria on Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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