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Insuring U-Built Vehicles & Trailers in BC

In previous posts, we have laid out ICBC’s requirements for registering vehicles that come from other provinces or countries. But what about vehicles you have built yourself?

Because they are all unique, u-built vehicles and trailers have their own set of registration requirements with ICBC.

Here is what you need to know about registering a ubilt vehicle or trailer in BC:

Firstly, like all other vehicles, the ubilt vehicle must meet all the requirements set out in the Motor Vehicle Act.

The Motor Vehicle Act of BC covers everything from braking requirements to traffic signals, horns to license plates, to help ensure the safety of everyone on the road.

Next, the vehicle needs a VIN. What’s a VIN? It’s that long vehicle ID number you see on the inside of the driver’s door, the bottom of the windshield on the driver’s side, or the engine block.

VINs are 17 digits and entirely unique. Whenever you register a vehicle in BC, an Autoplan broker needs to confirm the VIN on the vehicle matches the VIN on the paperwork.

Vehicles purchased from manufacturers come with VINs already. If you build a vehicle yourself, you need to apply for a VIN from ICBC.

(Note: Ubilt trailers that weigh under 1,400 kilograms do not require a VIN, but it is recommended that they get one anyway, as it’s the best way to identify a vehicle in the event that it is stolen.)

How do you apply for a BC VIN?

Start by filling out this form online (or get a paper copy from your auto insurance broker).

When it’s complete, take the MV1325 form to your Autoplan broker, along with receipts for all the component parts of the vehicle, and photos of the vehicle.  This forms your VIN application package. Enclose a $25 cheque payable to ICBC for the administrative costs, and then your broker will mail it to ICBC for you.

Once your application is approved and your vehicle is assigned a VIN, ICBC mails a package to the designated inspection facility of your choice, you take the vehicle to the facility, and they install/affix the VIN.

Getting a BC-assigned VIN is a big step, but it’s not the final one.

The u-built vehicle also needs to be inspected at a designated inspection facility (like the one where your VIN was attached). (Again, u-built trailers that weigh less than 1,400 kilograms are exempt from the inspection requirement.)

If the vehicle passes the inspection, head back to your BC car insurance broker with:

  • A copy of the passed inspection report
  • The receipts and documents related to the component parts of the vehicle
  • A completed Tax/Transfer form (the same one you would fill out if you were buying or selling a used vehicle)
  • Your BC Driver’s License or other valid government photo ID

Twice now, we have mentioned the “component parts” of the vehicle. Here is what ICBC considers a component part, based on vehicle type:

Trailers

  • Frame
  • Axles
  • Tires
  • Rims
  • Hitch
  • Tongue
  • Decking

 Motorcycles & Tricycles

  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Frame

 Cars & Trucks

  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Frame
  • Cab
  • Truck bed
  • Unibody
  • Tires
  • Rims
  • Brakes
  • Front & rear clip
  • Rear axle
  • Seats
  • Doors
  • Interior
  • Hood
  • Trunk lid
  • Glass
  • Suspension
  • Steering
  • Heating & air conditioning
  • Electrical

For u-built motorhomes, the process is similar to the above; however, there are additional requirements regarding holding tanks, water supplies, and cooking facilities.

If a vehicle was modified into a motorhome, you will need to complete an application for modified vehicle status (found here), in addition to getting an inspection and submitting receipts and documentation for the work that went into the modification.

There’s a lot that goes into registering a ubilt or modified vehicle – contact your local ICBC Autoplan broker for more info and to ensure you don’t miss any steps!

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