Who Ya Gonna Call? Your BC Transportation FAQs

FAQsPlanning parades, towing boats and RVs, licensing limos or developing rural subdivisions? We hear all kinds of questions about all kinds of topics…

It’s natural that many of these questions come to our offices across the province, given we’re the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. We can give you a full answer to a lot of questions, but in some cases, we are not the organization responsible for the area you want to know about, or the action you want to take. Federal and municipal governments also have a role to play in transportation, as well as other provincial agencies. (And you might discover a surprise or two about areas we do deal with.)

Here are the some of the most popular questions that we receive from you. Click on these headings or scroll through, to find the information source you need:

Commercial Transportation Operators (That’s Us)

How do I go about moving an oversize and/or overweight load on provincial highways? Provincial Permit Centre

What are the seasonal load restrictions for the route I want to haul a heavy load on? Seasonal Load Restrictions website

I’m looking at starting up a business to provide passenger transportation services – something like a taxi, community shuttle or tour bus company. Passenger Transportation Branch

Emergency!

Yikes…I see a fire/chemical spill/downed power line/vehicle crash! BC Wildfire Management 1-800-663-5555/Emergency Management BC 1-800-663-3456/ BC Hydro 1-888-769-3766/911

Land Use – Highway Permits and Rural Subdivisions (That’s Us)

How do I get started on developing a rural subdivision? Rural Subdivision Approvals

What is the process for my development approval application? Permits or Rural Subdivision Approval

I am interested in purchasing or leasing property that the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure may own. Who should I speak with? District Office

I would like to film a movie, organize a parade or hold a fundraising run on a provincial highway or road. Filming and Special Events

I think I’m responsible for having and maintaining a culvert alongside the highway by my property. Is this correct and what do I need to do? Culvert Maintenance Responsibilities on BC Highways or District Office.

Motor Vehicles and Vessels — Registration/Insurance/Regulations (That’s ICBC or Federal Agencies)

My vehicle is damaged due to debris on the highway and I want to make a claim. ICBC: Lower Mainland 604-520-8222; Rest of BC, Canada and the U.S. 1-800-910-4222 or Submit Your Claim Online.

I’ve been in a crash and need to report the incident and damage to my vehicle. ICBC: What to Do After a Crash (video); Lower Mainland 604-520-8222; Rest of BC, Canada and the U.S. 1-800-910-4222; or Submit Your Claim Online.

Import a Vehicle
Planning on importing a vehicle into B.C.?

I’d like to import a car from another province or country. What’s involved with this and who do I contact? ICBC has instructions, including links to federal and provincial agencies. (None of which are us).

How do I renew, replace or cancel my driver’s licence? ICBC

I just bought a snowmobile/all-terrain vehicle/dirt bike. How do I register it and what else do I need to know? Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

How do I register my new boat? Transport Canada – Canadian Register of Vessels

Towing an RV

I plan to tow my recreational vehicle in BC. What are the regulations? Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement.  See our blog: 7 Things You Need to Know Right Now About Towing a Recreational Trailer in BC. If you don’t find the answers you need there, phone: (250) 952-0577.

What’s the schedule for the ferry across the Kootenay Lake (or another ferry in the B.C. Interior)? See our website for Inland Ferries.

How much does the Port Hardy to Prince Rupert ferry (or another coastal ferry) cost, and when does the ship sail? BC Ferries Fare Index and BC Ferries Schedule for all marine ferries.

Provincial Routes (Us Again)

I’m concerned with the conditions of rest area X or highway Y, and I am not sure who the highway maintenance contractor is. Highways Maintenance Contacts and Highway Maintenance Boundary Maps; or DriveBC Report a Highway ProblemDriveBC Report a Problem

There’s a problem with a streetlight, malfunctioning signals, or damaged or vandalized electrical equipment along a provincial highway. Electrical Maintenance Contacts

I am opening a winery/waterslide/bed and breakfast (or insert your type of business) and would like to have sign posted along the highway to advertise my business. District Office

I see highway construction starting up in this area. What’s happening? ProjectsBC, Major Highway Infrastructure Projects or District Office.

Why are there traffic delays or a closure on the route I want to travel, and when will it end? – DriveBC or District Office.

The highway I want to drive has been closed due to avalanche work. When is it expected to re-open? DriveBC or District Office.

What kind of tires and/or chains do I need for driving provincial highways in winter? Winter Tires and Chains

Roads in Regional Districts and Municipalities (Might be us, might not)

The road near my home (in a municipality, regional district, First Nations community or improvement district) has a pothole/needs grading/hasn’t been cleared of snow. Who do I contact? If you pay your taxes to a Regional District, the area is within the jurisdiction of Ministry of Transportation. Highways Maintenance Contacts and Highway Maintenance Boundary Maps; or DriveBC Report a Highway Problem (Mobile). If you pay your taxes to your city/town/village or First Nation then your road is within their jurisdiction and can reach them via CivicInfo Directory or Municipalities, Regional Districts, First Nations or Improvement Districts.

We hope we have set you on a route to receiving the answers you are seeking. Let us know about any other questions you might have, or if there is a topic you would like us to cover more in-depth.

16 comments on “Who Ya Gonna Call? Your BC Transportation FAQs”

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  1. When ever it snows there seems to be a problem with the lack of snow plow service on Hwy 19 between Horn Lake Road and the Courtenay connector. This morning there had not been a plow through prior to 10 am. The conditions were horrendous. The slush thick pulling your car towards the shoulder, visibilty poor. Anyone with a truck or small vehicle would have had major difficulty. I was fortunate to follow a truck who also swerved several times. Cars were travelling between 40 and 60 kms per hour and I passed 3 accidents. It took over an 1.5 hrs to travel that distance. Traffic was single lane. I saw one plow during that time traveling South. Do you not have plows allocated for this area?
    This seems to be a problem area from year to year. I would really like to know why?

    Reply
    • Hi there – sorry for the delay in this message. We understand you heard directly from our local area manager on this as well, but wanted to follow up here too.

      Here’s what we heard from him:

      I apologize for your frustrations this morning Marian. The area you describe below is a “hot spot” for snow and freezing activity. Oddly referred to as a hot spot, but essentially it’s a micro-climate area that has uncharacteristic weather compared to adjacent areas.

      There were 4 Mainroad (maintenance contractor) plow trucks working this area of Highway 19 this morning. Mainroad has sent the ministry their inspection reports; additionally the ministry’s internal staff monitored the area from 7am-11am – both confirming this section was actively treated and plowed.

      If you have questions or concerns regarding plow activity, you can either reach out to Shawn directly, or contact the Mainroad North Island 24 hr line: 1-877-215-7122

      Reply
  2. I’d like to report a problem with your non responses to factual abhorrent road conditions on Texada Island by removing my posts rather than addressing them. Must be nice to have that power over concerned citizens queries and observations. I expect nothing less from this truly phony site editor. The pattern continues with unfavourable posts for many years that I’m aware of. A change is sorely needed.

    Reply
    • Hi William. Please be assured we do not remove comments. Rather, comments go through an approval process before they appear in the comments stream. This ensures the comments stream is free of spam and foul/abusive language.

      Our apologies that we did not get a chance to approve and respond to your December 18 comment until this morning. You will now see it, along with our response. If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out, and we will respond as soon as possible.

      Reply
  3. No contact info available to complain about the ongoing problem in the snow removal on the hiways. Been a otrlong haul driver for over 40 years and the road maintenance gets worse every year. Back in the day when the bc hiway crew maintained these rds we never sat for hrs and hrs on end now a days a snow flake drops every thing comes to a halt. Contractors say it is for safety but in reality its is to cover themselves from insurance claims shameful.

    Reply
  4. Not sure where I should start but there is a proposed landscaping supply company that unfortunately is located in a residential area. This strip of land is zoned industrial and unfortunately sold too late for the zoning to be changed to heritage or residential. To make a long story short, there will be lots of trucks and vehicles doing a sharp left hand turn off of hwy. 3 onto a residential street. What if anything, should I be aware of with respect to highways and residential streets when it comes to a business that involves trucks and increased vehicular traffic? Thank you.

    Reply
  5. I am hauling some lumber on a flat deck trailer behind a pick up truck. What is the maximum length a load cannoverhang the back of the trailer?
    Jim

    Reply
  6. I am from Alberta and plan to drive my 35 Foot motorhome to the Okanagan in October. I will be flat towing a sub-compact car. Am I required to have winter tires for the motorhome or just carry tire chains? Your signs show a car and camper for winter tires and two sizes of truck for chains. We are bigger than the camper picture so which category does a 35ft. class A motorhome fit in?

    Reply
  7. What is the requirements if any needed for a person to travel through BC going to Alaska with a forty foot diesel motorhome with air brakes pulling a small SUV (gmc envoy)
    Thankyou
    Bill

    Reply
    • Hi Bill,

      Thanks for checking in with us on your travel plans for Alaska. Your motorhome-SUV setup is clear and fine – no towing/permit requirements. Have a great trip!

      Reply
  8. Extremely concerned with the keep right issue, especially on hills like the 3 lane, westbound, up the Kamloops Hill from the Valleyview area. The professional large truck drivers are keeping right, clogging up the right lane that people use to exit freeway. Because they are going so slow, it causes extreme slowing and issues when they block numerous vehicles from using the exits and off ramps. In the case of professional driving, they should use centre lane, allowing for vehicles at highway speeds to exit using right lane and allowing others to pass on left lane continuing on highway. Have been witness to several traffic scares when they use the extreme right lane on these types of roads.

    Reply
    • Hi Ron,

      Thanks for connecting with us here and sharing your concern about this location. We will share your comment forward to the local area manager for review.

      Reply