Out of Province Handicap Parking Permits

Handicap parking SymbolQuestion: I will be visiting your beautiful country and intend to do a lot of driving. We have an Australian handicap parking permit for my son with autism. I wonder if I can bring it and use it in Canada?

Handicap Parking Permit Reciprocity

Canada is a member of the International Transport Forum and participates in reciprocal recognition of handicap parking permits. There is a caveat in the document that warns of differences between what might be allowed in your home jurisdiction and what is allowed in the jurisdiction that you are visiting.

Parking Laws Vary by Province

Canada may be more complex as the laws are set by the province, modified by the municipality and permits are issued by private agencies on behalf of government. Research is the only way to know what privileges will exist in the municipalities you visit.

Information for British Columbia

Some British Columbia specific information is published by the FIA, including a printable notice directing enforcement personnel to a confirmation of reciprocity on Transport Canada's web site.

The Motor Vehicle Act Regulations state:

Out of Province permits

38.04 A motor vehicle with an out of Province licence and bearing valid identification issued by its resident jurisdiction to identify it as a vehicle driven by or transporting a person with disabilities is, for the purpose of this Division, deemed to be bearing a permit.

The legislation requires that the vehicle must the licensed outside of British Columbia and the permit must be issued in that licence jurisdiction in order to qualify.

Since you won't be bringing your vehicle with you from Australia, I would be cautious about using the permit. Hopefully if there is a problem, the spirit of the permit will be followed rather than strict enforcement of the rule.

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In BC the permit is tied to the person, not the vehicle. There is no requirement that they must use their BC issued permit on a BC licensed vehicle.

I've written to Ministers Chant and Malcolmson (this is their government portfolio area) asking why visitors to our province must bring their vehicles with them in order to use their parking permits.

There has been some difficulty in reaching them, so I went to my own MLA instead. His staff responded that this had been handed off to the MOTI for a response, but nothing has appeared in my inbox yet.

2024/07/08 - Minister Malcolmson responded with:

Your point is excellent and I have asked my senior accessibility staff to respond to you directly with an update