Dear Cop - Drivers License

As happens to everyone at one time or another you head out in your car and have forgotten your Drivers License at home. If you were to get stopped, do you get fined right away or do you have so many hours to produce it, or can the Officer radio in to verify you have one?

Every driver of a vehicle must carry a drivers licence on their person while operating a vehicle on the roadways of British Columbia. The law is quite explicit. The drivers licence can be verified on a computer and through radio transmissions to a point, but the onus is on a driver to have a picture drivers licence for identity while driving a vehicle. There has been cases in the past where a violator will provide a name, address and date of birth for another person in hopes of avoiding a ticket or for other reasons such as outstanding criminal warrants. There is no grace period for the production of a drivers licence. It must be provided at the time of the stop.

Production of licence and liability card, duplicates
Section 33 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act indicates that every person, except
(a) a person driving or operating a motor vehicle exempted under section 2 (5) (Farm Vehicles) or section 8 or 10 (Farm Tractor), or
(b) a person driving or operating a motor vehicle of a fire department of a municipality, must have his or her driver's licence and driver's certificate and a motor vehicle liability insurance card or financial responsibility card, issued for the motor vehicle he or she is driving or operating, in his or her possession at all times while driving or operating that motor vehicle on a highway, and must produce the licence, certificate and card for inspection on demand of a peace officer.

Constable R.A.(Richard) ASELTON
Central Okanagan Traffic Services - Media Liaison
Kelowna R.C.M.P. Detachment

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

More Behind the Wheel articles

About the Author

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. He has been writing his column for most of the 20 years of his service in the RCMP.

The column was 'The Beat Goes On' in Fort St. John, 'Traffic Tips' in the South Okanagan and now 'Behind the Wheel' on Vancouver Island and here on Castanet.net.

Schewe retired from the force in January of 2006, but the column has become a habit, and continues.

To comment, please email

To learn more, visit DriveSmartBC

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories