Driving Without a Licence

BC Driver's LicenceA reader has asked "What would happen to me if I was caught driving without a drivers licence?" It is a question that will expose serious consequences for you and the owner of the vehicle you are driving if it is not your own. I will confine my answer to the situation where you don't have a driver's licence either because you did not get one, it was expired or you did not have it properly reinstated after a suspension or prohibition.

Generally an unlicensed driver comes to my attention because they have done something to attract it. I will usually write the ticket for that infraction and query ICBC on your status as a driver. If you are unlicensed and this is the first time you have been caught, you will also receive a ticket for driving without a valid driver's licence. It will be the end of the trip as you will be prevented from driving further.

If you have had a previous conviction for driving without a driver's licence, your ICBC licence record will be flagged for a vehicle impoundment. If the flag is present when I check I am forced by the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act to impound the vehicle that you are driving, regardless of the fact that it might not be your vehicle. If this is your first impoundment, the vehicle will be held for 30 days. If not, the impoundment will be for 60 days and responsibility for the payment of towing and storage fees is yours. Imagine having to tell the boss that his business vehicle is not going to be available for a while.

In addition to the impoundment, I will be writing another ticket for not having a valid driver's licence.

A condition of your insurance contract is that the vehicle driver must be properly licensed. If not, the contract can be considered void and coverage in the event of a collision may be refused. This can be a complicated situation and if you are interested, you should discuss if with your insurer to determine what the outcome would be. Driving without a valid driver's licence has many pitfalls regardless of whether you do so accidentally by missing a renewal, or deliberately through personal choice.

If you allow others to use your vehicle for any reason it is wise to insure that the person who will be driving it has a valid driver's licence.

Reference Links:

Impoundment of a Motor Vehicle: Unlicensed Drivers - Section 251 MVA
Period of Impoundment - Section 253 MVA
Storage of Impounded Motor Vehicle - Section 255 MVA
Review of Impoundment - Section 256 MVA

Comments

Submitted by Marjay12 - moved from another thread

I have researched the consequences of driving without a licence, but I'd like to find out if there are further consequences with respect to driving without a licence with a baby or minor child in the vehicle. What are the implications and/or fines, and more importantly, what about the welfare of the child? Is this taken into consideration?

Considerations in Impounding the Vehicle

When someone's vehicle is subject to impound because they are unlicenced, it is up to the officer doing the impound to make sure that all vehicle occupants are taken care of:

104.1(2) If a peace officer is satisfied that the impoundment of a motor vehicle under subsection (1) would

(a) jeopardize the safety of the occupants of the motor vehicle, or

(b) leave the occupants stranded,

the peace officer must arrange for transportation of the occupants of the motor vehicle to the nearest safe area where they can summon an alternative form of transportation.

The fine does not change if there is a baby or minor child in the vehicle.