Our Transportation Partners: Who Does What in BC?

We’ve talked with you before about what the heck it is we do anyways – but lately we have begun to realize that there might be some confusion around what we don’t do; Or rather – where exactly we step out of the transportation picture and where our transportation partners, such as ICBC and Road SafetyBC, municipalities and the federal government step in and help you. Here’s a rundown of what those partners do, in a nutshell.



We asked the folks at ICBC to give us a quick rundown about their transportation role in BC and here is what they had to say:

Insurance, registration, licensing and fines:
The Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC) has been the sole provider of basic auto insurance in the province since 1973. All motorists in B.C. are required to buy a basic package of ICBC insurance that provides coverage for third party liability protection, accident benefits, underinsured motorist protection, hit-and-run and uninsured motorists’ protection and inverse liability. We deliver these services on the ground in communities throughout B.C. We also provide a number of services on behalf of the provincial government, including vehicle registration and licensing, driver licensing and fines collection.


ICBC also helps support provincial transportation laws by educating the public through road safety awareness programs. These programs are aimed at helping reduce traffic-related deaths, injuries and crashes, auto crime and fraud. That’s something we all stand behind.

ICBC Myth Busting:
A common misunderstanding is that ICBC is responsible for the Motor Vehicle Act and its enforcement on our roads – but the Ministry of Transportation is actually responsible for that legislation and police and RCMP follow up with the ‘on the ground’ enforcement.



2. Road Safety in BC

We spoke with our colleagues at RoadSafetyBC (previously the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles) about their role in provincial transportation and here is what they wanted to share with you:

As a leader in road safety, our vision is to have the safest roads in North America by 2020 and work toward an ultimate goal of zero traffic fatalities and zero serious injuries.  RoadSafetyBC is responsible for overseeing programs and laws (e.g. drinking and driving legislation) that address the consequences of unsafe driving in B.C. We work in partnership with police, law enforcement service providers, professional organizations and community groups to ensure drivers on B.C. highways are safe. RoadSafetyBC is a branch within the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. A multidisciplinary team in a variety of positions support the Superintendent in his duties.

We operate three core program areas:

Our staff of adjudicators help make administrative decisions regarding individuals’ driving privileges. We work very closely with our partners at ICBC, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and other government agencies to respond to inquiries from citizens about their individual files or general road safety issues.

At RoadSafetyBC, we are also responsible for the development of specific legislation of other important road safety issues under the Motor Vehicle Act, including distracted driving and seat belt use. Recently, RoadSafetyBC released our updated report, Moving to Vision Zero:  Road Safety Strategy Update and Showcase of Innovation in British Columbia.  The strategy highlights the application of the safe systems approach and embraces the need to continue to work collaboratively with all stakeholders and road safety partners to address all aspects of road safety.  The report also reaffirms RoadSafetyBC’s commitment to road safety principles that will lead to British Columbia having the safest roads in North America.


Gov Can

3. Local Municipalities and the Federal Government

Sometimes BC highways run through local municipalities or federal parks. What then? In the case of local municipalities, the highway remains our responsibility up to the curb, at which point it becomes the business of the local municipality itself. Unsure if your road falls under municipal or provincial jurisdiction? The answer lies in your taxes. If you pay your taxes to your city, then you are under their jurisdiction and you need to contact them first, if you pay your taxes to a Regional District, then your road is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

When it comes to improving or fixing a roadway, it’s a team effort – municipalities work with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and ICBC road safety engineers to assess and deliver road improvement projects, or community safety enhancements such as: roundabouts, new crosswalks and designated turning lanes, making our roads safer for everyone, including pedestrians and cyclists.

Where our highways run through federal parks (such as the Pacific Rim on BC Highway 4), the road and its maintenance become the responsibility of the federal government. Maintenance and rehabilitation works fall to them but we work together to ensure that the transition from provincial highway to federal and back again is as seamless as possible.

So, there you have it. It takes many levels of teamwork to keep you sailing smoothly and safely on roads across B.C. Any questions? Let us know in the comments below.

16 comments on “Our Transportation Partners: Who Does What in BC?”

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  1. Hi I have a big problem concerning my invalid alberta driving licence which 3 year expiry happens in july. My problem is that ive been told by icbc in Osoyoos to get a drivers abstract which I did they would not accept that one because it was a driving summary so I went and got another drivers abstract and went back again to icbc and again I was refused saying the information they want is not on the abstract I went back again to registry in Leduc alberta requesting a confirmation of the information icbc is requesting and just today ive been refused again for the 3rd time ive jumped through all there hoops paid any outstanding tickets paid for bc identification ive even got on the 1 year insurance plan with icbc with full coverage I might add but they will not transfer my licence from alberta .I dont know what else to do who to talk to about this and how come this is happening im leaning on the side of a few types of discrimination now as there is no basis for not giving me my licence which expires permanently on july 27.Can someone who actually has any authority please answer to this .Help me put and end to this complete rediculousnessThank you in advance

    • Your System is Broken , I am living proof . Got hit in the head by a slamming door , Dec 31/2018 . Am still without a drivers licence and job to this day . Next will be losing my home . Because your system is broken . Alberta Transportation , you can talk to the people reviewing your case . You can e-mail forms and reports . And they even call you . I would have my license back long ago if I didn’t have to deal with road Safety. Reports have been misinterpreted , I have been totally recovered within 2 weeks of returning from Mexico . But because of 1 (young) locum misinterpreting me
      I have lost my licence , my job , my medical plan , next my home . I can’t call anyone as you can’t get past an agent , what they are there for I’ll never know . They can’t do nothing for you . No body there will lift a finger to contact your doctor , or neurologist , to find out for yourself . I just came from my Neurologist on the 4th of Feb . You know what she told me ? I have carpo tunnel syndrome in my left wrist . Duh , and you took my license for that ? Use some common sense and call my doctors to see for yourself why I don’t have a license . If B.C Road Safety wasn’t in my way I would have my Alberta Drivers license . That’s all they’re waiting for is for you guys to get out of the way .

      • Hi Doug,

        Thanks for contacting us about driver’s licence.

        RoadSafetyBC is a branch within the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. It’s not part of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (this organization).

        RoadSafetyBC can be contacted at 1 855 387-7747 or via email at RoadSafetyBC@gov.bc.ca.

  2. I owe icbc 1200. I want superintendant of motor vehicle to mandate icbc to reissue my class 1 license on rhe conditions of a payment plan

  3. Who is responsible for the safety of children crossing roads near the school? Is there an obligation to provide a crossing guard? If so, whose obligation is it?

    • Hi Kristil,

      Thanks for your comment. Could you tell us where you are wondering about specifically? That would help us identify who you should talk to further.

      • Hello – I’m trying to locate the legislative source for responsibility over safety on the highway (between the curbs). Specifically I’m trying to determine which level of government has responsibility to provide safe crossing by children over highways at schools by way of crossing guards.

        • Hi there,

          We are responsible for the operation and maintenance of all numbered BC highways; is there a particular stretch of road you are thinking of? We would be happy to direct you to staff in the local area to discuss further.

  4. Who do you contact in order to gain all correspondence or your file of penalty points interest due dates of invoices yearly statements etc