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Registering a vehicle with diplomatic plates in Vancouver

In British Columbia, foreign representatives wishing to obtain diplomatic plates for their vehicles must go through the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC www.icbc.com) Autoplan Sales Office in North Vancouver.

Autoplan Sales Office

151 West Esplanade, North Vancouver, British Columbia
V7M 3H9, Tel.: 604-661-2800.

All foreign representatives and their accredited family members must register their vehicles and obtain the red and white diplomatic plates within 30 days of establishing residence in the province.Once the vehicle has been registered, any subsequent dealings may be handled by any ICBC Autoplan broker in British Columbia, including the renewal of one’s plates(obtaining a new validation sticker for an existing licence plate) and a mid-term change or a cancellation, for which both plates must be returned.

If the vehicle is purchased or leased in British Columbia, the foreign representative must provide documentation showing proof of ownership or lease to ICBC. In order to register a vehicle, the following documentation is needed:

  • The vehicle's current registration
  • A "passed" vehicle inspection report from a designated inspection facility in B.C.
  • A signed and dated bill of sale, if the vehicle is not registered in your name
  • An ID card and Passport containing Acceptance for verification of eligibility and confirmation of applicable licence plate category.
  • A passed AirCare test certificate, if the vehicle is not a late-model vehicle and already registered in the Lower Mainland Region of British Columbia

A foreign mission may register a vehicle in the name of that mission by providing a letter on mission letterhead, signed by the Head of the mission, whichconfirms that the mission is the owner or lessee of that vehicle. During the initial registration of the vehicle at the ICBC office, the person who licences the vehicle must produce a valid ID card showing the acronym for their mission and their passport containing a validAcceptance. The numbers on the ID card and Acceptance must match.

Before the expiry date of the validation sticker and vehicle insurance, ICBC will send a renewal reminder to the registered owner or lessee of a vehicle. The expiry date corresponds to the day on which the vehicle was initially registered with ICBC. This document can be taken to any ICBC Autoplan broker to obtain a new validation sticker and to renew the basic vehicle insurance.

At the conclusion of a foreign mission, the licence plate of the foreign representative must be returned to an ICBC Autoplan broker. This must be done within 30 days of the end of the mission. Cancellation fees may be applied, while refunds for the plates and appropriate insurance charges will be made.

Insurance in British Columbia


ar insurance in British Columbia is provided by a government-run insurance company, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). ICBC offers basic auto insurance and optional extended coverage.

All drivers in British Columbia must have the Basic Autoplan. It provides the legal minimum coverage for medical expenses and rehabilitation costs, as well as damages claimed by other drivers.

Optional coverage includes:

  • Collision, to repair a vehicle, even if the accident was the owner’s fault
  • Extended third-party liability coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage, which includes other perils to which collision does notapply, including theft, vandalism and fire. Comprehensive coverage is generally purchased to replace a vehicle in the case of loss. The value being replaced is not the original cost of the vehicle, rather the value of the car at the time of loss.