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Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 03-17-2014, 03:43 PM   #1
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Heads up regarding Chinese DL

Just a heads up to those who own, or have friends who are currently driving in BC with a Chinese DL (and supplementary translation forms)

The Richmond RCMP and other LMD agencies are starting to crack down on driver's who possess only a China DL. Long story short, Police are NOT recognizing China DL's as valid DLs, even with translation forms.

Basically, the reason why is because Police cannot confirm whether the China DL is legitimate or not. Translation papers only translate what the licence says from Chinese to English, but Police cannot verify that the licence is REAL, and there is no way for Police to verify the authenticity of the licence.

ICBC advises that driver's possessing an international driver's licence that is not in English, need to have translation forms completed, but that still does not verify the authenticity of the licence. The International Driver's Permit (IDP) is available which is a separate ID card with your picture and translation, which IS recognized by Police around the world. The problems is, only some countries participate in this program, and guess what China is NOT one of them.

The International Driver's License - WORLD Law Direct

It is a sticky situation to be in if you are a foreign student from China, but your best bet is to not drive, or obtain a BCDL. I am not sure if ICBC will issue a BCDL to students/visitors, but that seems to be the only option, unless you want to risk being fined.

More info on driving in BC

Welcome BC - Driver's Licence
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:08 PM   #2
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Looks like the police are cleaning out Richmond
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:13 PM   #3
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:53 PM   #4
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:05 PM   #5
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To add a bit, those ICBC translation papers are a translation form for ICBC internal use only, not a "translation" for police. It is used by ICBC to figure out which class of BC drivers licence is the equivalent to the Chinese/wherever-its-from licence when the driver applies for a BC licence.
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Old 03-17-2014, 11:25 PM   #6
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Better late than never. It always seemed wonky to me how people with zero understanding of how to drive in Canada just could, while we have such strong (and good, don't get me wrong) regulations regarding new drivers here. I like where this is going!

Not to mention that a LOT of Chinese DL's are fake. My friend's aunt works for the CBSA, and she tells me that fake Chinese DL's are something they find so regularly at the airport/mail/land borders that they had to create classes for Officers to determine the authenticity of such documents.
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:16 PM   #7
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So the police aren't recognizing them as valid licences, but is the province recognizing them as valid?
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:33 PM   #8
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So the police aren't recognizing them as valid licences, but is the province recognizing them as valid?
No. The province sets out what is required to be able to drive in BC. If you read my post at all you would see that the issue is the authenticity of the China DLs. I have had two China DLs in hand side by side, and I knew one of them were fake (heck both could have been fake, but at least one was). They were very similar but had slight differences. How was I supposed to know which on was real? As Paranoia stated, there are tons of fake China DLs circulating. If the driver wants to dispute the ticket (if issued), they can. Onus is on them to prove it is real. You know how that usually ends up.
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:41 PM   #9
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You can only get a BCDL if you are a PR or citizen - yet you are supposed to get one "within 6 months of you living in BC". I went through this BS when my wife immigrated from Europe.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:44 PM   #10
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Thousands of 'illegal' Chinese motorists could be driving in Richmond - News - Richmond News
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:18 PM   #11
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i dont understand why they dont test them in the first place?

if they have and IDP then cool....let them drive without having to go through the whole L and N stage...just make them do a quick driving test with an instructor to see if they are safe or not. if they're safe, they should have no problem converting to a bc dl after their 90 days or whatever it was.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:30 PM   #12
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i dont understand why they dont test them in the first place?

if they have and IDP then cool....let them drive without having to go through the whole L and N stage...just make them do a quick driving test with an instructor to see if they are safe or not. if they're safe, they should have no problem converting to a bc dl after their 90 days or whatever it was.
Its the fact, ICBC sees Chinese DLs as valid documentation under the MVA. But the Police, cannot get ANY information from that (usually due to it all being in Chinese (they dont always have translation paperwork)) And the fact to be a IDP driver, your home country has be "enrolled" in it, and since China is not. Police cannot verify if the licence is first off fake or valid but if they are even supposed to be here.
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Old 04-10-2014, 07:13 AM   #13
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i dont understand why they dont test them in the first place?

if they have and IDP then cool....let them drive without having to go through the whole L and N stage...just make them do a quick driving test with an instructor to see if they are safe or not. if they're safe, they should have no problem converting to a bc dl after their 90 days or whatever it was.

In my experience, even an experienced current locally-born BC driver who has not taken a road test since the GLP started, would fail the test withing a very short time. I know, because I do re-test training for them. For instance, fail to stop before the sidewalk when exiting the test parking lot, you have committed a traffic violation & failed the test in the first few seconds of driving.

Traffic laws differ from Province to province and someone who crosses a single solid centre line to legally pass in BC will fail for the same thing in NB< NS< NFLD etc..
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Old 04-10-2014, 09:31 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by stewie View Post
i dont understand why they dont test them in the first place?

if they have and IDP then cool....let them drive without having to go through the whole L and N stage...just make them do a quick driving test with an instructor to see if they are safe or not. if they're safe, they should have no problem converting to a bc dl after their 90 days or whatever it was.
Plus the province will rake in more money from the test, and retest. Also give more jobs to driving instructors that need more education to pass the test.
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:55 AM   #15
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In my experience, even an experienced current locally-born BC driver who has not taken a road test since the GLP started, would fail the test withing a very short time. I know, because I do re-test training for them. For instance, fail to stop before the sidewalk when exiting the test parking lot, you have committed a traffic violation & failed the test in the first few seconds of driving.

Traffic laws differ from Province to province and someone who crosses a single solid centre line to legally pass in BC will fail for the same thing in NB< NS< NFLD etc..
hand them the icbc book that everyone needs to read/study on before taking their computer test. the book can be read over night and they should have no problem passing a driving test
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Old 04-10-2014, 12:07 PM   #16
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Does that apply to people holding driver license from other non-English speaking country? lets say Saudi Arabia?
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Old 04-10-2014, 12:51 PM   #17
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Plus the province will rake in more money from the test, and retest. Also give more jobs to driving instructors that need more education to pass the test.

More money for driving instructors? I second that motion. Bring on the raises!!!!!
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Old 04-10-2014, 01:11 PM   #18
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Does that apply to people holding driver license from other non-English speaking country? lets say Saudi Arabia?
"This is not only an issue for drivers with Chinese licences; drivers with licenses from countries including India and Indonesia are also affected.

RCMP say drivers with foreign licences also need an International Driving Permit from a place that is part of a UN agreement, which allows countries to give out licences that are valid in all the other nations that have signed on.

Vancouver Police have still a different perspective; they say the licences are okay as long as a driver also has a translation document from ICBC."

Can Chinese driver?s licences be used in BC? ICBC, Richmond RCMP disagree | News1130
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Old 04-10-2014, 02:11 PM   #19
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"This is not only an issue for drivers with Chinese licences; drivers with licenses from countries including India and Indonesia are also affected.

RCMP say drivers with foreign licences also need an International Driving Permit from a place that is part of a UN agreement, which allows countries to give out licences that are valid in all the other nations that have signed on.

Vancouver Police have still a different perspective; they say the licences are okay as long as a driver also has a translation document from ICBC."

Can Chinese driver?s licences be used in BC? ICBC, Richmond RCMP disagree | News1130
Ultimately it is up to the officer/detachment to determine whether a translation paper (that is completed. most of the time it is only partially completed), is good enough. The issue isn't what the DL reads, again it is whether the card itself is valid and authentic. Would all of you feel comfortable with a Dentist with a certificate from Asia, practicing in his home in Canada? I mean he has a piece of paper saying he is a dentist... oh wait.........

Anyways, say the cop lets the driver go after a stop and deems his DL and translation papers enough.... the driver goes on to be involved in a fatal collision, and it is determined after the fact that the DL was a fake... now what? Who is going to be liable? I am sure the public and ICBC is going to be trying to blame the Police officer who let the driver go for not picking up on the fake DL. It's about liability and public safety. The courts have sided with the RCMP case after case regarding this. It's time for ICBC to get their heads out of their asses.
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Old 04-10-2014, 02:57 PM   #20
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ICBC say its ok as long as there are translation paper. Should RCMP work with ICBC when they see that as a loophole or potential problem rather then start ticketing/towing people's car when the "offender" meets ICBC's guideline?
I would be pissed if I fly over to Germany for vacation and got my car towed because the cop can't validate if my Canadian driver license is real or not even i met all their traffic authority's requirement to drive a car there.

Last edited by NNT; 04-10-2014 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 04-10-2014, 03:28 PM   #21
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Traffic laws differ from Province to province and someone who crosses a single solid centre line to legally pass in BC will fail for the same thing in NB< NS< NFLD etc..
THIS..gets me going all the time. Any driver licence obtained in any of the provinces can be used anywhere in Canada, which is fine and rightfully so because it's all Canada..... but good luck to those who are unfortunate enough to commit a traffic offence in the new province that they reside in because of the different rules...

I know... it is up to the person to figure out what rules are..but it doesn't really help when you can just walk into ICBC and they would just swap you licences without warning them of the traffic differences. /end of rant

back on topic:
I don't know why it's so hard for people to get the international driver licence, all it costs is 15 bucks back when i needed it in 2009 to drive in Taiwan/HK. Or simply do the driving test here...
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Old 04-10-2014, 03:35 PM   #22
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Many foreign tourists driving in B.C. have an international driver’s permit (IDP), which you can only get in your country of origin, and only if that country is part of a core group signed up for the program.

“China is not one of those countries and when we come across Chinese drivers with an IDP, we know that document is fake,” said Hwang.

- See more at: Thousands of 'illegal' Chinese motorists could be driving in Richmond - News - Richmond News
There are no official translation papers for these licences... So how do you police it?
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Old 04-10-2014, 04:39 PM   #23
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There are no official translation papers for these licences... So how do you police it?
You can get translations from places, but it still doesnt say if it is legit
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:19 AM   #24
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ICBC say its ok as long as there are translation paper. Should RCMP work with ICBC when they see that as a loophole or potential problem rather then start ticketing/towing people's car when the "offender" meets ICBC's guideline?
I would be pissed if I fly over to Germany for vacation and got my car towed because the cop can't validate if my Canadian driver license is real or not even i met all their traffic authority's requirement to drive a car there.
Please re read the entire article... and re read all the replies here made by me and Zulu.. then edit your reply accordingly.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:09 AM   #25
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That's what I copy from the Welcome BC, Driver's License web site you posted:
If you are a visitor, you can drive in B.C. for up to 6 months with a valid driver’s licence from your country. If you hold an International Driving Permit, you must also carry the accompanying foreign license.
If I understand correctly you can drive up to 6 months with a license from your country if you are visiting and RCMP say you cant? I understand the part that RCMP cant validate if the china DL is real or fake, but at the same time how can the DL holder prove it if it is real?
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