ORV registration deferred to the fall

An off-road vehicle is designed for off-highway use and does not meet safety standards for on-highway use.

The province announced recently that the mandatory off-road vehicle (ORV) registration would be deferred from June 1 to Nov. 1 to give extra time for off-road users to prepare.

The press release also stated that an ICBC-issued numbered sticker would be available in early fall for those registering an off-road vehicle who would prefer a sticker instead of a registration number plate. The addition of a sticker addresses a key request from off-road motorcycle and snowmobile groups.

The sticker will be a similar size as the number plate, and the combined cost for registration and sticker will be the same as with the plate option—$48.

Until the mandatory registration begins on Nov. 1, there is a voluntary one-time registration for operating an ORV on Crown land at the combined cost of $48 for registration certificate and ORV number plate.

Registration can be done at any ICBC Autoplan broker, which in Grand Forks is Dave Dale Insurance or RHC Insurance.

An off-road vehicle is designed for off-highway use and does not meet safety standards for on-highway use. Eligible ORV vehicle types include: golf cats, snow vehicles, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), trucksters and restricted use motorcycles (RUM).

Doug Zorn, vice-president of the Grand Forks ATV Club, said the club was disappointed by the announcement of the delay.

“It was completely out of the blue,” he said. “Everyone was thinking it was going to be June 1 and according to the news release, only 20,000 of the 200,000 ORVs have been registered. What this does to a lot of us that manage trails out there, it just delays the inevitable that this is going to happen.”

Zorn said it made more sense to have the new regulations in at the start, rather than the end, of the riding season.

“In the beginning we could have brought forward what the club feels would be a more responsible use of ORVs in say the backwoods.”

Zorn said having the delay also means riders will take even longer to accept the new regulations.

“We would rather see them stick to the original schedule,” he said. “What people say now is, ‘Oh well, they didn’t mean it and there’ll be another extension in November and another extension.’ Unfortunately, this is what happened in the beginning with this system is that it kept getting postponed until it finally was brought in.”

Zorn said people are upset anyway about the ORV regulations because “they feel it’s a provincial tax grab.”

“A lot of people are upset with any kind of rules and regulations where you have to pay money,” he said. “Inevitably, this will bring more respect to the sport of off-road vehicles. We look forward to whenever that happens.”

Zorn said having the ORV licensing helps increase the responsibility level of the riders. He also believes it will help curb the number of stolen ATVs and ORVs.

“It’s a small percentage of people that are not respectful that are leaving the biggest impression on people,” he said. “The Grand Forks ATV Club has really worked hard to change that impression. But it only takes one person to be acting irresponsible. It seems that that is a long-lasting effect.”