BC vehicle owners can now save a bit of ‘tin’

After years of the SVABC (Specialty Vehicle Association of BC) working in partnership with ICBC managers, policy and insurance specialists, the day has arrived when a surviving spouse in British Columbia can retain a vehicle’s collector plate and not be required to reapply for collector status on the vehicle.

This applies to both regular plates, as well as collector plates.

Due to the resources required to process these transactions, it is recommended that the insurance broker in BC be contacted/visited between 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday, since brokers will not be able to process these plate transactions outside of these hours.

Because the ability to retain the same plate on the vehicle is limited to surviving spouses, the insurance broker will need to see a marriage certificate in addition to the estate documentation.

Additionally, surviving spouse who wishing to retain their deceased spouse’s vehicle plate should attend their Autoplan broker’s office before the insurance expires. Plates with active insurance can be transferred on the same day, whereas lapsed plate transactions can take up to three weeks.

If the collector vehicle was registered in both spouses’ names, both spouses would have applied for collector status when the plate was issued so there is no need for a surviving spouse to re-apply for collector status.

If the vehicle was only registered in the deceased spouse’s name, the surviving spouse would need to apply and be approved for collector status before the collector plates could be retained for display on the vehicle.

Estate planning tips

  • Consider putting the vehicle ownership in both spouses’ name
  • A vehicle in joint name simplifies the estate documentation requirement. When a vehicle is in joint name, the surviving spouse simply needs to bring in the vehicle registration, death certificate and marriage certificate to process an estate transfer and retain the same plate on their vehicle.
  • A collector vehicle in joint name simplifies the collector application process in the event of a spouse passing. When both spouses are registered owners and jointly apply for collector status the surviving spouse isn’t required to re-apply for collector status.
  • Don’t let the plates expire. Lapsed plates can take up to three weeks to process for a surviving spouse wishing to retain them on their vehicle.


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