Have your car insurance premiums increased? Can you remember exactly when that recent accident was? Any difficulty recalling how many demerit points you have left?
When you need to consult your driving record, aka driver’s abstract, to view your driver’s licence history, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) is where you can order a copy.
Your driving history begins as soon as you first get behind the wheel and continues until you retire from driving. Drivers get busy and don’t know what is on their driving record.
The Sicotte & Sandhu BC driving lawyers explain everything you want to know about driving in the province.
Requesting Your Driving Record and Other Documents
The ICBC simplifies ordering an ICBC-certified driver’s record via email. You can also request a copy of your insurance and claims history record, as well as your commercial driving record (National Safety Code abstract) if you have one.
You can fill out an online application. While online services are a fast way to get the information you need, the ICBC warns that receiving them by email is not secure. You can also order your complete driver’s record by phone, mail, or fax to have it mailed to your home or another organization.
Why would you need a copy of your driving record? You might need to apply for a driver’s licence because you:
- Moved outside of BC
- Want to become a member of a car-sharing company
- Plan to volunteer at driving activities, such as school field trips
Here are a few other documents BC drivers may not be familiar with:
- Insurance and Claims History Record: You will need a copy of this to show your new insurer when moving out of BC and applying for auto insurance. Drivers can request this document to cover your history from the last 20 years or less.
- Driver Factor Report: All BC drivers have a driving factor, which is a three decimal number that signifies driving experience and crash history and shows the status of a driver, such as a senior or new resident. The driver factor starts at 1.000. The lower the number is, the better the driver. This number is considered when insurance companies calculate a driver’s premium. The report can feature both personal and commercial rate classes.
- Commercial Driving Record: Anyone applying to work as a driver must get a copy of their National Safety Code (NSC) abstract, which is a record of your basic driving history and any commercial vehicle-related convictions received in the previous five years.
What’s the Difference between a Driving Record and a Driver’s Abstract?
Across Canada, each province has a different meaning for a driving record and driver’s abstract. For example, a driver’s record and abstract are the same thing in Ontario, but it is understood to refer to a three-year uncertified driver’s record.
But in BC, a driving record and abstract are the same thing and show a basic history of the driver’s record from the past five years. It is a public record.
Who Can Access My Record?
There are a few entities that have access to your driving record, which are:
- Insurance Company: They review your driving record to calculate your insurance premiums.
- Police: They can see your driving record when you are at a traffic stop.
- Judicial Services: They can access your driving record to settle court cases related to your vehicle.
British Columbia has a point system for drivers. Drivers can receive demerit points, aka Driver Penalty Points (DPP), on their driving record when they commit traffic violations. The number of demerit points depends on the offence. The ICBC reviews each driver’s record within 12 months to calculate the demerit points. This assessment period can include traffic offences that occurred prior to the 12-month period, but have only recently been recorded.
A collection of more than three demerit points on your driving record within the assessment period results in paying a DPP premium. Consult the Driver Penalty Point Chart tab to view the payment amount before and after November 1, 2019. If you want to dispute the demerit points, you must dispute the traffic tickets to which they are connected.
There are certain instances where drivers must also pay a Driver Risk Premium (DRP). These include one or more of the following:
- Criminal Code convictions that are related to driving
- Ten-Point Motor Vehicle Act convictions
- Excessive speeding convictions
If you have two or more of the following, you must pay a DRP:
- Roadside suspensions or prohibitions
- Convictions over a three-year period for using an electronic device while driving
Consult this chart for DRP payments before and after November 1, 2019
How Long Are Driving Offences Kept on My Driving Record?
Points received from driving offences remain on your driving record for five years. You can give up your driver’s licence for one year to remove the DPP premium (and save money), or you can reduce the DPP premium by surrendering your driver’s licence for a minimum period of 30 days.
Here are a few examples of common driving offences:
- 3 Points: Speeding, Speeding in a school zone, Excessive speeding
- 4 Points: Using an electronic device while driving
- 6 or 10 Points: Motor vehicle-related Criminal Code offence
- 10 Points: Driving While Prohibited or Suspended
Probation for GLP
Drivers in the Graduated Licensing Program (GLP) with an “N” of “L” on their licence have strict requirements to meet before they can graduate to a Class 5 licence. While BC does not offer a probationary licence, these strict requirements mean that it is very easy for novice drivers to be put on probation or even prohibited from driving. It is possible that a Class 7L or 7N license will be prohibited from driving even after a single driving offence on their record.
Receiving a notice of probation means that the driver is being monitored and is at risk of losing their driver’s licence if they are involved in any dangerous driving behaviour. They will have to start the GLP over again if they lose their driver’s licence.
Hire Sicotte & Sandhu to Defend Your Driving Offence Charge
Our experienced lawyers settle court cases involving a variety of driving offences and can act as your middleman when you need to speak with your insurance company. Sicotte & Sandhu fights hard for your rights and to keep your driving record as clean as possible. When you need assistance with getting your driver’s license back or disputing demerit points, we’re there to help.
Contact us today for more information.