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Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

Registrar, Passenger Transportation Branch

Frequently Asked Questions

Passenger Transportation Licensing & Applications

Who must have a Passenger Transportation Licence?

Individuals and companies that operate commercial passenger vehicles in British Columbia require a Passenger Transportation Licence. The Passenger Transportation Act and Passenger Transportation Regulation define what constitutes a commercial passenger vehicle and prescribe what specific Passenger Transportation Licence is required based on the type of vehicle and service being operated.

How do I apply for a new Passenger Transportation Licence?

Applicants for a new licence must prepare an application and submit it to the Passenger Transportation Branch.

How do I apply to change my licence or add a new authorization?

To apply to make a change to your licence or to add a new authorization you can:

  • Print the application forms package that best fits your proposed service (general or special authorization), follow the instructions to complete your application and return it to the Passenger Transportation Branch along with all supporting documentation.

Where do I send my application and/or supporting documentation?

All printed forms and/or supporting documentation can be submitted by fax, email, post, courier or in person to:

Registrar of Passenger Transportation
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Passenger Transportation Branch
Suite 200 - 1500 Woolridge Street
Coquitlam, BC V3K 0B8

Telephone:  604-527-2198

BC residents can call toll free through Enquiry BC:

Victoria:  250-387-6121

Elsewhere in BC:  1-800-663-7867

 

Fax: 604-527-2205

Email: passengertransportationbr@gov.bc.ca

How can I make a payment to the Passenger Transportation Branch?

You can make your payment by cheque, money order or credit card.  Debit card and cash payments will also be accepted if you deliver your application/request in person to the Passenger Transportation Branch.  Fees are required at the time of application/request and payable to the Minister of Finance (in Canadian funds only).

Note:  If you want to pay by credit card do not send credit card information with your application/request.  A Passenger Transportation Branch staff member will contact you by telephone to request your credit card information and authorization.
Application fees are non-refundable once an application is accepted at the PT Branch.

What happens after I submit my application?

The licence application process (either for a new passenger transportation licence or an amendment to an existing passenger transportation licence) begins when an applicant submits an application to the Registrar at the Passenger Transportation Branch (Branch).

Branch staff will review each application to confirm that it contains all the required information.

If the Branch determines that an application does not contain all the required information, Branch staff will advise the applicant in writing and allow them 30 days to submit the missing information. If after 30 days the requested information is not received:

  • A General Authorization Licence application will be closed and the $200 application fee will not be refunded.
  • A Special Authorization Licence application will be forwarded, as is, to the Passenger Transportation Board for their review.  The Board may, after giving notice to applicants, dismiss an incomplete application.  Dismissed applications will not be processed any further and the $200 application fee will not be refunded.

The Registrar will review and make a decision on a General Authorization Licence application that contains all the required information.

The Registrar will forward a Special Authorization Licence application that contains all the required information to the Passenger Transportation Board for publication, review and decision.

Are there costs in addition to the application fee?

If your application for General Authorization is approved there is no fee to activate your licence but, starting one year after the licence is issued, there will be an annual licence renewal fee of $100.

If your application for Special Authorization is approved, there will be a $100 fee for each Special Authorization Vehicle Identifier (plate and decal) that is issued for each vehicle that will be operated under the licence.  There will also be an annual renewal fee of $100 for each vehicle operated under the licence.

Does a Passenger Transportation Licence expire?

If a Special Authorization licence is approved, and issued, it is valid for one year from the date of issue unless otherwise specified by the Passenger Transportation Board. Renewals are under the authority of the Registrar of Passenger Transportation. The annual licence renewal fee is $100 for each Special Authorization licensed vehicle.

If a General Authorization licence is approved, and issued, it is valid for one year from the date of issue. Renewals are under the authority of the Registrar of Passenger Transportation. The annual licence renewal fee for a General Authorization Licence is a single flat fee of $100.

What happens if a Passenger Transportation Licence expires?

If a licence is not renewed the licence expires.  If the licence expires, any pending application(s) associated with that licence will also expire.

General Authorization licensees who fail to renew by the expiry date of their licence will be required to reapply for a new licence.  This means that they must cease their passenger transportation service and apply for a new licence.  An application filing fee of $200 will apply.

Licensees with Special Authorization who fail to renew their licence within the time specified within the Passenger Transportation Act must re-apply for a licence.  This means that they must cease their passenger transportation service and submit an application for a new licence which will require approval from the Passenger Transportation Board.  An application filing fee of $200 will apply. 

In deciding whether or not to approve an application, the Board will consider the following three questions:

  • Is there a public need for the service?
  • Is the applicant a fit and proper person and capable of providing the service?
  • Would approving the application promote sound economic conditions in the transportation industry?

Do I need approval to add vehicles to my GA licence?

Licensees who want to increase the number of vehicles operated under a GA licence are not required to file an application or advise the Passenger Transportation Branch. However, it will be the Licensee's responsibility to ensure that the vehicle(s) being added to the fleet operate in accordance with the licence. It is an offence to operate contrary to the licence.

As a GA licensee, you are required to maintain the following vehicle safety, liability and/or financial responsibility requirements when adding on additional vehicles:

Vehicle(s) base plated in BC

  • A current vehicle registration (i.e. "Owner's Certificate of Insurance and Licence/Vehicle Registration") that:
    • shows the vehicle to be licensed/registered in the correct I.C.B.C. insurance category;
    • shows the vehicle to be classified as "commercial type"; and
    • displays the correct seating capacity.
  • A current Commercial Vehicle Inspection Report (CVIP), Form MV3104, that verifies the vehicle has been inspected and passed by an approved vehicle inspection facility (Inspections are required to be performed on a semi-annual basis unless your operation is part of a preventative maintenance program).

Vehicle(s) base plated outside of BC

  • A current vehicle insurance document showing the vehicle has been properly licensed and insured as a commercial passenger vehicle and displaying the correct seating capacity; AND
  • A current mechanical inspection report that verifies the vehicle has been inspected and passed by an approved vehicle inspection facility. (Inspections are required to be performed on a semi-annual basis in BC).
  • A current apportioned cab card showing proof that the vehicle is registered with the International Registration Plan (IRP); OR

    If the vehicle is not registered with IRP, prior to entering British Columbia, you have purchased a non-resident commercial vehicle permit (NRSCV) or a non-resident quarterly commercial vehicle permit (NRQCV) from the Provincial Permit Centre's toll-free vehicle permit line 1-800-559-9688.

    For further information on IRP please call your local IRP office.
  • A current British Columbia Financial Responsibility Certificate (BC Insurance Filing) number issued by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC); OR

    If you do not have a BC Insurance Filing number, prior to entering British Columbia, you have purchased a non-resident single commercial vehicle permit (NRSCV) or a non-resident quarterly commercial vehicle permit (NRQCV), that includes insurance, from the Provincial Permit Centre's toll-free vehicle permit line: 1-800-559-9688.

    For further information on British Columbia Financial Responsibility Certificate (BC Insurance Filing) please call (604) 443-4624 or Toll Free 1 (800) 665-4336.

Additional requirements for all General Authorization Vehicles

  • As a Licensee with General Authorization you will be required to display your unique General Authorization Vehicle Identifier (GAVI) on each vehicle operating under a GA licence. This will allow Peace Officers to continue to monitor these vehicles at roadside to ensure they are meeting all their obligations under the Passenger Transportation Act.

The GAVI will be your passenger transportation licence number, prefixed with the letters "PT" (meaning Passenger Transportation), and will be at least 5 centimetres (approx. 2") in height. The GAVIs (i.e. PT70000) will not be supplied by the Passenger Transportation Branch, but rather each Licensee will be responsible for their manufacture and display either on the side of the vehicle below the driver's window or on the rear window, or rear bumper.

Do I need approval to change Passenger Directed Vehicle (PDV) rates or rules?

Rates are what you may charge passengers for a trip. Rules govern how you apply rates.

You may only charge the PDV rates that have been approved by the Passenger Transportation Board (Board).  You may only apply rules that have been approved by the Board.

You must file an application if you want to charge rates or set rules that are different from those that have been approved by the Board.

Licensees applying for Board approval to change PDV rates or rules are required to include with their application supporting documentation to meet both Registrar of Passenger Transportation (Registrar) and Board information requirements.

Registrar, Passenger Transportation Information Requirements

  • Completed PTR5026: Change Rates or Rules Application. A copy of this form is available on the Registrar's website or by request at the Branch.
  • Agent Letter of Authorization — If the applicant has hired an agent to prepare the application, the Branch requires a letter signed letter by the applicant authorizing the agent to act on their behalf.
  • Payment of the $200 Application Fee. Applications received at the Branch will not be accepted until the application fee is processed. The application fee is non-refundable once an application has been accepted by the Branch.

Passenger Transportation Board Information Requirements

Information about Board requirements and copies of the guides, reference sheets and forms needed to complete your application are available on the Board's website. The Board's website also provides access to additional information including, but not limited to, the Weekly Bulletin, industry information and Board operational policies and procedures. Copies of the guides, sheets and forms are also available by request at the Branch.

How can I apply to change my Special Authorization Licence or add Passenger Directed Vehicles (PDV)?

Licensees who want to change their SA licence (terms and conditions) or add PDV vehicles can submit their application to the Passenger Transportation Branch (Branch). Applicants are required to include with their application supporting documentation to meet both Registrar of Passenger Transportation (Registrar) and Passenger Transportation Board (Board) information requirements.

REGISTRAR, PASSENGER TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION REQUIREMENTS

Important Applicant Advisory:

Licensees applying for the addition of PDV vehicles are advised to delay the purchase, lease, or rental of vehicle(s) until after they have obtained Board approval for their application.

When considering the purchase, lease or rental of a vehicle for operation under a passenger transportation licence it is the licensee's responsibility to ensure that it meets Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. This is an ongoing obligation (refer to INDUSTRY NOTICE: Commercial Vehicle Safety Requirements & Importation Information Sheet)


  • Completed PTR5002: Signing Authority (included in the Special Authorization Application Package - PTR5010) including specimen signatures for everyone authorized by the applicant to correspond with the Passenger Transportation Branch and/or Passenger Transportation Board regarding passenger transportation matters.
    Note: This requirement does not apply to applicants that currently hold a Passenger Transportation Licence if there are no changes to the Signing Authority form currently filed with the Branch.
  • Agent Letter of Authorization - If the applicant has hired an agent to prepare the application, the Passenger Transportation Branch requires a letter signed letter by the applicant authorizing the agent to act on their behalf.
  • Payment of the $200 Application Fee. Applications received at the Branch will not be accepted until the application fee is processed. The application fee is non-refundable once an application has been accepted by the Passenger Transportation Branch.
  • If the Board approves the application, Branch staff will request the following vehicle documents:
    • Vehicle(s) base plated in BC
      • A current vehicle registration (i.e. "Owner's Certificate of Insurance and Licence/Vehicle Registration" that:
        1. shows the vehicle to be licensed/registered in the correct I.C.B.C. insurance category;
        2. shows the vehicle to be classified as "commercial type"; and
        3. displays the correct seating capacity.
      • A current Commercial Vehicle Inspection Report (CVIP), Form MV3104, that verifies the vehicle has been inspected and passed by an approved vehicle inspection facility. Inspections are required to be performed on a semi-annual basis unless your operation is part of a preventative maintenance program.
    • Vehicle(s) base plated outside of BC
      • A current vehicle insurance document showing the vehicle has been properly licensed and insured as a commercial passenger vehicle and displaying the correct seating capacity; AND
      • A current mechanical inspection report that verifies the vehicle has been inspected and passed by an approved vehicle inspection facility. Inspections are required to be performed on a semi-annual basis in BC.