The government is touting its new registration system for off-road vehicles as a boost for “safe and responsible use of B.C.’s backcountry.”

The new rules come into effect on Sunday, Nov. 1st, with the launch of the registration system for off-road vehicles, as well as increases to safe access for highway crossings for recreational off road vehicles.

The combined cost of the number plate and registration fee is $48.

“The BC Snowmobile Federation along with its other power sports partners invested a lot of volunteer time, effort and expense in working with government on this initiative,” says Erin Hart, president, BC Snowmobile Federation. “We are very pleased that the new regulations are being implemented and look forward to working closely with government to further enhance organized snowmobiling in B.C.”

Off-road vehicle owners can obtain a one-time registration for off-road vehicles that is integrated within the pre-existing structure of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia’s (ICBC) motor vehicle registry. This will reduce implementation costs and allows off road vehicle owners to register at any of the 900-plus ICBC insurance brokers in the province.

These changes, made possible by the passage of the Off-Road Vehicle Act on March 24, 2014, support the Province’s Off Road Vehicle Management Framework. The framework will help British Columbians get out and enjoy the beauty of the province’s backcountry and ensure off-road vehicles, including snowmobiles, are driven in a safe and environmentally responsible manner, a government press release says.

In addition, changes to the Motor Vehicle Act regulations will allow off-road vehicle operators greater access to highways, including the ability to:

• Cross a highway without having to obtain an operation permit if the crossing is controlled by a stop sign or traffic light.

• Cross a highway where local police authorize through an operation permit.

• Load or unload in a parking lot without an operation permit.

• Obtain an operation permit with an extended term of up to two years.

To date, the Off-Road Vehicle Management Framework has been implemented in stages. Future regulations will follow that will flesh out ORV rules of operation, safety standards, penalties and conditions of use for a wide range of modern ORVs, including snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles or “quads”, dirt bikes and side-by-sides (e.g., Rhinos and Argos).