British Columbia Government Crest
entire site permits site
Main Index
Contact Us
Ministry of Transportation
Permits and Approvals
Rural Subdivision Approvals
Highway Permits and
Ministry of Transportation AuthoritiesApproval ProcessApplyForms and ChecklistsGlossaryFAQUseful LinksFeedbackContacts
Contacts by Districts

>> Works on Highway Right of Way
>> Highway Access
>> Special Events
>> Structures

Ministry staff grant thousands of permits per year to individuals, organizations and companies in British Columbia. Where an organization or company require a large number of permits, the Ministry may enter into a pre-authorized agreement, giving blanket permission for the company to carry out its work under certain pre-set conditions. This guide to permits deals primarily with requests for individual permits.

The Ministry of Transportation issues many types of permits, but they fall into only a few broad categories. For information specific to individual permits, select one of the categories in
Section 3: Apply.

The Ministry has a specific Policy on Use of Rights of Way that Provide Access to Water .

Itís purpose is to accommodate public uses of these unique areas of right of way. Retention of the essential function of access to water, and limiting costs and liability to the province, are the primary considerations. Proposals for improvements to these rights of way will be considered with this in mind, and in consideration of all interests affected.

Who Needs a Works Permit?

The Ministry of Transportation permits certain works to be constructed in the highway right-of-way where it is practical and safe to do so. All developers must apply for and receive a permit from the Ministry of Transportation before constructing or maintaining a work or structure or pipe on roads or land controlled by the Minister of Transportation, according to Section 62 of the Transportation Act, .

Go to Apply: Permits for Works on Right-of-Way for specific information about the following permits:


Who Needs an Access Permit?

A highway's safety and efficiency depends to a large extent upon the amount and type of roadside conflict with through traffic. Most conflict comes from traffic movements to and from connecting streets, businesses, residences and other development along the highway.

Accordingly, Section 62 and Section 49 of the Transportation Act allow for the control of access points to provide efficient and safe operation on the highway. They also ensure the optimum use of highway investments. As a result, everyone except those building residential driveways on side roads must apply for a permit. For guidelines to building residential driveways on unincorporated side roads, go to the Residential Driveway Information Guide.

Although owners of land have certain rights of access under the Land Title Act, highway users have certain rights of safe and efficient travel. Ministry staff consider these competing interests when evaluating access permits, in accordance with provincial legislation and case law.

Go to Apply: Highway Access Permits for information specific to the following permits:


Who Needs a Special Events Permit?

The Ministry of Transportation issues special events permits pursuant to Section 62 of the Transportation Act. Permits are required for any organized event that has participants using a portion of the highway, where such an event may affect the normal flow of traffic.

The Ministry of Transportation is interested in all special events that take place on a provincial highway. These might include filming, parades, sports and fundraising events. It also includes the movement of livestock, such as with cattle drives.

Go to Apply: Special Events Permits for information specific to the following permits:


Who Needs a Structures Permit?

All structures must be placed at least 4.5 metres back from the right-of-way, or 3 metres where the structure has an additional access, according to Section 12 of the Provincial Public Undertakings Regulation BC Reg. 513/2004 . Anyone intending to obtain relief from setback regulations must apply for a permit, under Section 62 and Section 90of the Transportation Act .

The legislation and regulations specify the Minister of Transportation as the authority for these sections; Orders-in-Council 2434/81 and 47/82 delegate that authority to the Regional Director, Provincial Approving Officer and District Manager, Transportation

Please note that local government may have different setbacks in their zoning bylaws.

Go to Apply: Structures Permits for information specific to the following permits: