Getting it Straight: Repairer Plates and Acceptable Use

Can a repairer plate be used on an unregistered vehicle?

Last publication’s “Getting it Straight” clarified driver’s licence (DL) requirements for moving or test-driving vehicles with different DL classes. In this issue, we will investigate the repairer’s plate. Many in industry are unsure as to the limitations on the use of a repairer’s plate, and clarification has been requested to minimize any potential exposure to risk.

For those who operate designated inspection facilities, part of your vehicle intake includes vehicles requiring inspection to obtain a “rebuild” designation. Part of the inspection process conducted is to validate the vehicle’s roadworthiness. The question revolves around conducting a road test on a vehicle with no registration. Is this an acceptable use of the repairer plate?

Thanks to an ICBC senior vehicle registration and licensing analyst, we were able to obtain a definitive “Yes, a repairer plate can be used on an unregistered vehicle.”

The Motor Vehicle Act (MVA), section 44, Repairer’s License, subsection 3, provides the answer:

(3) A motor vehicle or trailer being driven, operated or towed on a highway by the owner of a repairer’s garage, or his or her agent or employee, for the purpose of repairing, testing or rendering a service incidental to the repairing or testing, of the motor vehicle or trailer, and that has attached to it a number plate issued to the owner under subsection (2), is deemed to be sufficiently registered and licensed for the purposes of this Act and the Commercial Transport Act.

We also confirmed this through ICBC Garage Underwriting, who state that from their perspective, the repairer plate can be used on any unlicensed vehicle, including one that is not registered.

Save driving.