BRITISH Columbians can now extend their expiring driver’s licence remotely, as ICBC adapts driver licensing measures to assist customers to stay home and follow public health orders on physical distancing and further protect employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A customer can renew their driver’s licence up to six weeks in advance of the expiry date by contacting ICBC’s Driver Licensing Call Centre at 1-800-950-1498 and temporarily extend their driver’s licence over the phone. The customer will be mailed an interim paper licence that will be valid for 90 days. Eligible extensions include routine renewals, reinstatement of a licence, and the replacement of a lost licence. Expiring BC Services Cards and BC Identification Cards are not eligible for phone renewals. ICBC will monitor the situation and determine whether the 90-day period needs to be extended further.
In addition to this change, ICBC is now offering customers the option to defer their monthly insurance payments for up to 90 days with no penalty, to support those facing financial hardship at this time. This deferral will be available to customers already on monthly Autoplan payments for up to 90 days. ICBC previously allowed for only a single deferral of 30 days.
Customers can use ICBC’s online resource tool to apply for deferrals or call the customer support team at 1-800-665-6442.
ICBC is also taking further measures to ensure physical distancing requirements to protect customers and employees, as mandated by the Provincial Health Officer. Starting immediately, the following services will only be offered online at icbc.com or through the call centre until further notice:
- Obtaining driving records/abstracts
- Change of address
- Paying violation tickets
Enhanced Driver’s Licence (EDL) and Enhanced Identification Card (EIC) processing has been suspended as of March 24 as those transactions require extended face-to-face interaction where physical distancing guidelines cannot be met.
To further meet physical distancing requirements, all driver knowledge tests will be suspended indefinitely, for motorcycle and passenger vehicles, unless there is a legal requirement to obtain a licence (e.g. new resident to B.C.). Commercial vehicle knowledge tests will continue; however, they will not be permitted with the use of a translator as physical distancing requirements cannot be met. Over the coming weeks, ICBC will be working on finding ways to provide knowledge tests without the need for an in-office visit.
THE ICBC is asking that customers only attend a driver licensing office if their transaction is urgent and cannot be done by phone or online, and if they are not showing symptoms.
For additional information on measures taken during COVID-19:
- Insurance renewable by phone: https://www.icbc.com/insurance/buy-renew-cancel/Insurance-payment-plan/Pages/default.aspx
- ICBC suspends road tests: https://www.icbc.com/about-icbc/newsroom/Pages/2020-mar17.aspx