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Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

Registrar, Passenger Transportation Branch

Apply - Temporary Operating Permit (TOP)

What is a TOP?

Commercial passenger vehicles are licensed and regulated in British Columbia under the Passenger Transportation Act.

Sometimes an operator who is licensed outside British Columbia (BC), but does not have a BC Passenger Transportation Licence, needs to transport passengers into BC for a short period of time;
   OR
Sometimes a BC licensee needs to operate a Special Authorization vehicle that does not display a valid Special Authorization Vehicle Identifier (plate and decal) on a temporary basis.

A TOP may allow for these situations under limited circumstances.

The issuance of TOPs is in accordance with Division 5 of the Passenger Transportation Act and Part 5 of the Passenger Transportation Regulation, and is subject to full compliance with all British Columbia and Federal Statutes and Regulation.

The Registrar of Passenger Transportation is responsible for verifying safety requirements and issuing TOPs. The Passenger Transportation Act and its regulations apply to holders of both passenger transportation licences and TOPs.

What different types of TOP are available and who may approve them?

The Passenger Transportation Board and the Registrar of Passenger Transportation are separate entities with distinct responsibilities under Division 5 of the Passenger Transportation Act.

The Registrar of Passenger Transportation may approve a TOP application under the following limited circumstances:

The Passenger Transportation Board may approve a TOP application under the following circumstances:

What is the process for a TOP application?

  • TOP application materials are sent to the Passenger Transportation (PT) Branch*.
  • TOP applications are processed during business hours – Monday through Friday, excluding statutory holidays, between 08:30 and 16:30 hours.
  • In general, TOP applications received at the PT Branch should be processed within 3 business days. However, incomplete applications will cause delays. Estimated Branch Processing Timelines are posted on the Registrar’s website.
  • Depending on the type of application submitted, a completed application will be considered and approved (or refused) by either the Registrar of Passenger Transportation or the Passenger Transportation Board (Board). The applicant is notified of refused applications by either PT Branch staff or the Board.
  • If an application is approved, PT Branch staff
    • contact the applicant to request the required vehicle documents
    • issue the TOP after all safety requirements are met
    • require a MINIMUM of 1 business day to issue the TOP
    • forward the TOP and applicable attachment(s) to the applicant

* Exception: A person applying to the Provincial Permit Centre (PPC) for the TOP Extra-Provincial Undertaking (originating outside of British Columbia) will give verbal confirmation of their application information by telephone.

A vehicle operated under any temporary operating permit must maintain: 
  • A valid commercial vehicle inspection decal (semi-annual inspections are a requirement unless your operation is part of a preventative maintenance program)
  • Insurance coverage appropriate for the type of commercial passenger transportation provided
  • Compliance with the Passenger Transportation Act and Regulation as well as other applicable laws and regulations
Vehicles registered (base plated) outside BC:
  • The legal name shown on the TOP application form MUST match the name on the applicant’s BC Financial Responsibility (i.e. insurance), vehicle registration document(s) or apportioned cab card(s), AND home jurisdiction safety certificate & extra-provincial or interstate operating authority.

What are the costs for a TOP?

There is a TOP application fee which is based on the time period and number of vehicles you are requesting to operate under a TOP.

  • If you are requesting a TOP for 14 days or less, the permit application fee is $25 for each vehicle.
  • If you are requesting a TOP for 15 to 30 days, the permit application fee is $50 for each vehicle.
  • If you are requesting a TOP for 31 to 60 days, the permit application fee is $75 for each vehicle.
  • If you are requesting a TOP for 61 to 92 days, the permit application fee is $100 for each vehicle.

The TOP application fee is non-refundable once an application is accepted by the Passenger Transportation (PT) Branch. TOP application fees can be paid by cheque, money order or credit card. Debit card and cash payments will also be accepted if you are dropping your application off in person at the PT Branch.

Note: If you pay with a credit card do not send credit card information with your application. When your application is received at the PT Branch a staff member will contact you by telephone to request your credit card information and authorization.


TOP - Substitute Vehicle (for the temporary replacement of an existing Special Authorization licensee vehicle that is incapable of operating)

What is a substitute vehicle TOP?

Sometimes a Special Authorization licensee needs to temporarily replace a Passenger Directed Vehicle (PDV) or Inter-city Bus (ICB) in their fleet with a substitute vehicle because of a break-down or an accident.  A substitute vehicle TOP allows for this.

Section 36(3) (a) (ii) of the Passenger Transportation Act provides that the Registrar of Passenger Transportation (Registrar) may issue a substitute vehicle TOP to a licensee.

Decisions to approve or refuse substitute vehicle TOP applications are made by the Registrar. The Registrar must be satisfied that the TOP is needed to allow the licensee to operate a motor vehicle in substitution of an existing motor vehicle that displays a current, valid Special Authorization Vehicle Identifier (plate and decal) but is incapable of operation due to a mechanical breakdown and/or accident related damage.

Ref. Passenger Transportation Act, Part 4, Division 5

Am I eligible to apply for a substitute vehicle TOP?

You are eligible to apply for a substitute vehicle TOP if: 

  • You are a licensee whose licence includes a Special Authorization for Passenger Directed Vehicles and/or Inter-city Buses
  • You have an existing vehicle that displays a current, Special Authorization Vehicle Identifier (plate and decal) that is incapable of operation (e.g. due to mechanical breakdown and/or accident related damage)
  • You need a substitute vehicle on a temporary basis to replace the existing vehicle that is incapable of operation

Can I obtain a substitute vehicle TOP when the Passenger Transportation Branch is closed?

Yes, under limited circumstances, a substitute vehicle TOP can be obtained when the Passenger Transportation Branch is closed.

Passenger Transportation Branch hours of operation are Monday through Friday between 08:30 and 16:30 hours and excluding holidays.

Two types of substitute vehicle TOP application are available. The application form used will depend on when the motor vehicle break-down or accident occurs:

If the motor vehicle break-down or accident happens DURING BRANCH HOURS OF OPERATION a licensee can submit the PTR5047: TOP Substitute SA Vehicle application to request a substitute vehicle TOP (refer to processing timelines).

If the motor vehicle break-down or accident happens AFTER BRANCH HOURS OF OPERATION a licensee can notify the Registrar by submitting the PTR5004: TOP After Hours Permit application and supporting documents prior to commencing passenger transportation services in a substitute vehicle.

The After Hours Permit is valid only after the licensee has met all "Conditions" listed on the application form (failure to comply with these directives may result in a violation ticket and/or fines/penalties). Once these conditions are met, the completed After Hours Permit application must be placed in the substitute vehicle and is the authorization under which the Licensee may operate the temporary substitute vehicle. Passenger Transportation Branch staff will review the application for completeness and process the application fee on the next business day.

 

What information is required for a substitute vehicle TOP application?

  1. Application Form - The application form you submit will depend on the type of substitute vehicle TOP you are requesting:

    PTR5047: TOP Substitute Special Authorization Vehicle - Use this application form if the break-down or accident occurs during Passenger Transportation Branch hours of operation – Monday through Friday, excluding statutory holidays, between 08:30 and 16:30 hours.

    Note: Applicants are advised to delay the purchase, lease or rental of a substitute vehicle until after approval is obtained from the Registrar – refer to the Important Applicant Advisory section in the application package.

    OR

    PTR5004: TOP After Hours Permit - Use this application form only if the break-down or accident occurs after Passenger Transportation Branch hours of operation and a substitute vehicle is needed before the Passenger Transportation Branch will be open for business.

  2. Application Fee - Applications received at the PT Branch will not be accepted until the application fee is processed.

    Note: If you pay with a credit card do not send credit card information with your application. When your application is received at the Passenger Transportation (PT) Branch a staff member will contact you by telephone to request your credit card information and authorization. The application fee is non-refundable once an application has been accepted by the PT Branch.

What supporting documentation is required for a substitute vehicle TOP application?

If the substitute vehicle has been purchased, leased or rented – submit the following vehicle documents with your application

OR

If you have not yet purchased, leased or rented the substitute vehicle - if Registrar approval is obtained, you will be required to submit the following vehicle documentation before a TOP can be issued:

Vehicles registered (base plated) in British Columbia:

  1. Photocopy of the current vehicle registration (e.g. “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 seating capacity of the vehicle.
  2. Photocopy of the Commercial Vehicle Inspection Report (CVIP), Form MV3104, that verifies that the vehicle has been inspected and passed by an approved vehicle inspection facility (semi-annual inspections are a requirement unless your operation is part of a preventative maintenance program).
  3. For a wheelchair accessible vehicle you must include a photocopy of the Vehicle Inspection Report (CVSA), Form MV3110, of the British Columbia Commercial Vehicle Inspection Program (CVSE).
  4. For a vehicle with a seating capacity that exceeds a driver and 11 passengers you must complete the form PTR5005B: Commercial Vehicle Safety Compliance Declaration (included in the application package) and submit it with your application.

Vehicle(s) registered (base plated) outside of British Columbia

  1. Photocopy of the current vehicle insurance showing the vehicle has been properly licensed and insured as a commercial passenger vehicle and displaying the correct seating capacity
  2. Photocopy of the mechanical inspection report that verifies the vehicle has been inspected and passed by an approved vehicle inspection facility (semi-annual inspections are a requirement unless your operation is part of a preventative maintenance program).
  3. For a wheelchair accessible vehicle you must include a photocopy of the Vehicle Inspection Report (CVSA), Form MV3110, of the British Columbia Commercial Vehicle Inspection Program (CVSE); or equivalent if the vehicle is not registered in British Columbia; or a clear photograph of the secondary manufacturer label displaying the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS) or the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) approval.
  4. For a vehicle with a seating capacity that exceeds a driver and 11 passengers you must complete the form PTR5005B: Commercial Vehicle Safety Compliance Declaration (included in the application package) and submit it with your application.
  5. Photocopy of the apportioned cab card showing proof that the vehicle is licensed with the International Registration Plan (IRP); OR

    If the vehicle is not registered with IRP, attach a written statement to explain how you intend to pay British Columbia vehicle licensing fees (e.g. Prior to entering British Columbia you will contact the Provincial Permit Centre at 1-800-559-9688 to purchase a non-resident single commercial vehicle permit (NRSCV) or a non-resident quarterly commercial vehicle permit (NRQCV).

    For further information on IRP please call your local IRP office.
  6. Photocopy of a valid BC Insurance Filing letter issued by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia; OR

    If you do not have a BC Insurance Filing letter, attach a written statement to explain how you intend to meet motor vehicle liability insurance requirements (e.g. Prior to entering British Columbia you will contact the Provincial Permit Centre  at 1-800-559-9688 to purchase a non-resident single commercial vehicle permit (NRSCV) or a non-resident quarterly commercial vehicle permit (NRQCV).

    For further information on BC Insurance Filing please call 604‑443‑4624 or Toll Free 1‑800‑665‑4336.

When operating a vehicle under a passenger transportation licence it is the owner'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.

 

 

Where can I submit a completed substitute vehicle TOP application?

If you are submitting the PTR5047: TOP Substitute Special Authorization Vehicle application, your application form and all supporting vehicle documentation can be submitted to the Passenger Transportation Branch using any of the following methods:

  • Mail or deliver in person to:

    Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
    Passenger Transportation Branch
    Suite 313 – 1500 Woolridge Street
    Coquitlam, BC  V3K 0B8

  • Fax the application to 604-527-2205
  • E-Mail the application to PassengerTransportationBr@gov.bc.ca

The Passenger Transportation Branch office is open Monday through Friday, excluding statutory holidays, between 08:30 and 16:30 hours.

  • Office Phone No: 604-527-2198

    BC residents can call toll free through Enquiry BC:
    Victoria: 250-387-6121
    Elsewhere in BC: 1-800-663-7867

OR

If you are submitting the PTR5004: TOP After Hours Permit application, your application form and all supporting vehicle documentation can be submitted to the Passenger Transportation Branch using any of the following methods:



TOP — Extra Provincial Undertaking originating outside British Columbia (EXPRO TOP)

What is an EXPRO TOP?

An operator from outside British Columbia (BC), with no BC passenger transportation licence, sometimes needs to transport passengers into BC for a short period of time. Under limited circumstances, the EXPRO TOP allows for this.

Section 36(3) (a) (i) of the Passenger Transportation Act and Sections 20 (2) and 21 of the Passenger Transportation Regulation provide that the Registrar may issue an EXPRO TOP to a person who is not a licensee.

Decisions to approve or refuse EXPRO TOP applications are made by the Registrar of Passenger Transportation (Registrar).

Ref. Passenger Transportation Act, Part 4, Division 5

Am I eligible to apply for an EXPRO TOP?

You are eligible to apply for an EXPRO TOP if:

  • you hold a licence, issued by your home jurisdiction, with authority to operate beyond the boundaries of your home jurisdiction
  • you hold a valid safety certificate with a satisfactory rating, issued by your home jurisdiction
  • you are not licensed under the British Columbia (BC) Passenger Transportation Act to operate in BC, and
  • the transportation service you will provide in BC will be
    • the extra-provincial transport of passengers from any provincial boundary, to any provincial boundary,
    • for a single round trip (maximum duration of 7 days*) as long as the same permittee and vehicle transport the same group of people out of British Columbia on the same trip;

      OR
    • for a single one way trip (maximum duration of 7 days*) - provided passengers brought into the province are dropped off in BC and the same permittee and vehicle leave the province empty (pick up of new passengers in BC is not allowed)

    * Issuance of “back to back” EXPRO TOPs on the same trip is not allowed.

What types of TOP are available if I do not hold a valid British Columbia passenger transportation licence?

If you do not hold a British Columbia Passenger Transportation Licence, you can apply for a 7 day EXPRO TOP (for trips originating outside British Columbia only).

No other TOPs are available.

If your trip will begin in BC, or if your trips into BC will be frequent and/or over seven (7) days in duration, you should be seeking annual licensing.  There are other forms and reference materials available for this purpose on the Registrar’s website or by request at the Passenger Transportation Branch.

What options are available to apply for an EXPRO TOP?

There are two options available to apply for an EXPRO TOP:

Option 1:  By telephone

Before entering BC, call the Provincial Permit Centre (PPC) permit line at 1-800-559-9688 (toll free in Canada and the USA).  Other permits are also available through the PPC permit line (e.g. non-resident commercial vehicle permits and motor fuel tax permits).

Staff is available to answer your questions and issue permits 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Prior to issuing a permit, PPC staff will request applicant details and verification as well as credit card information.

Option 2:  By hand

Before entering BC, complete the PTR5046: TOP Extra-provincial Undertaking application and submit it with all supporting documentation to the Passenger Transportation Branch.

NOTE:

  • TOP applications submitted to the Branch are processed during its hours of operation – Monday through Friday, excluding statutory holidays, between 08:30 and 16:30 hours.
  • TOP applicants are required to submit supporting documentation with their application.
  • Incomplete applications will cause processing delays.
  • If an application is approved by the Registrar, the Branch requires a MINIMUM of 1 business day to issue a TOP once the Registrar is satisfied that all safety requirements have been met (refer to Branch Processing Timelines).

If I apply by telephone, what information will the Provincial Permit Centre (PPC) need to process an EXPRO TOP application?

Prior to issuing your EXPRO TOP a PPC staff member will request credit card information and verbal confirmation from you on the following:

  1. You or your Company have a valid safety certificate and extra-provincial or interstate operating authority in your base jurisdiction?
  2. Your vehicle has a valid mechanical inspection report verifying the vehicle has been inspected and passed by an approved inspection facility?
  3. Your point of entry into British Columbia?
  4. You or your Company have a BC Insurance Filing number? 

    If you do not have BC Insurance Filing, for a fee, the PPC staff member will prepare and issue to you a non-resident single commercial vehicle permit (NRSCV) or a non-resident quarterly commercial vehicle permit (NRQCV).
  5. Your vehicles are registered with the International Registration Plan (IRP)?

    If your vehicles are not registered with IRP, for a fee, the PPC staff member will prepare and issue to you a non-resident single commercial vehicle permit (NRSCV) or a non-resident quarterly commercial vehicle permit (NRQCV).

If I apply by hand, what information and supporting documentation will the Passenger Transportation Branch need to process an EXPRO TOP application?

  1. Completed PTR5046: Temporary Operating Permit (Extra-provincial Undertaking) Application
  2. Applications received at the Passenger Transportation (PT) Branch will not be accepted until the application fee is processed.
    Note: If you pay with a credit card do not send credit card information with your application. When your application is received at the PT Branch a staff member will contact you by telephone to request your credit card information and authorization. The application fee is non-refundable once an application has been accepted by the PT Branch.
  3. Identification Documents
    • If you are applying as an individual (sole proprietor) you must include a legible photocopy of your driver's licence.
    • If you are applying as a partnership, you must include a legible photocopy of each partner’s driver’s licence.
    • If you are applying as a corporation, limited liability company or society your application must include:
      • a photocopy of your Company’s certificate of incorporation/articles of incorporation issued by your home jurisdiction, and a list of directors and officers; AND
      • a photocopy of your Company’s BC Certificate of Incorporation (issued by the BC Registrar of Companies and showing registration in BC as an extra-provincial company), OR
      • a signed letter declaring that your Company is exempt, from being a BC registered company, under the Business Corporations Act, SBC2002 Chapter 57 – Part 11, Section 375.

        To register your Company in BC, or to learn if your Company is exempt from registering in BC, please the visit the BC Corporate Registry's web site at http://www.bcregistryservices.gov.bc.ca/bcreg/corppg/index.page.
    • Photocopy of the safety certificate issued with a satisfactory rating by your home jurisdiction.
    • Photocopy of the extra-provincial or inter-state operating authority, issued by your home jurisdiction, indicating that you are authorized to operate beyond the boundaries of your home jurisdiction (province or state).

Vehicle Information Requirements:

The filing of an application does not confer any authority to operate vehicle(s) for an extra-provincial undertaking originating outside of British Columbia. 

Applicants are advised to delay the purchase, lease or rental of vehicles until approval is obtained from the Registrar of Passenger Transportation.

Prior to making decisions on the purchase, lease or rental of vehicle(s) applicants should review the information sheet PTR5005A: Commercial Vehicle Safety & Importation Information Sheet.

Before a temporary operating permit can be issued the Branch will contact you to request that you submit the required vehicle(s) documents.

If you have already purchased, leased or rented vehicle(s) - include the following for each vehicle:

  • Photocopy of the current vehicle insurance showing the vehicle has been properly licensed as a commercial passenger vehicle and displaying the correct seating capacity.
  • Photocopy of the mechanical inspection report that verifies the vehicle has been inspected and passed by an approved vehicle inspection facility (semi-annual inspections are a requirement unless your operation is part of a preventative maintenance program).
  • Wheelchair accessible vehicle(s) – include a photocopy of the Vehicle Inspection Report (CVSA), Form MV3110, of the British Columbia Commercial Vehicle Inspection Program (CVSE); OR equivalent if the vehicle is not registered in British Columbia; OR a clear photograph of the secondary manufacturer label displaying the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS) or the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) approval.
  • Vehicle(s) with a seating capacity that exceeds a driver and 11 passengers – complete the PTR5005B: Commercial Vehicle Safety Compliance Declaration (included in the application package) and submit it with your application.
  • A photocopy of the apportioned cab card showing proof that the vehicle is licensed under the International Registration Plan (IRP);
    OR
    If the vehicle is not registered with IRP, attach a written statement to explain how you intend to pay British Columbia vehicle licensing fees. For example, prior to entering British Columbia you will contact the Provincial Permit Centre at 1-800-559-9688 to purchase a non-resident single commercial vehicle permit (NRSCV) or a non-resident quarterly commercial vehicle permit (NRQCV).

    For further information on IRP please call your local IRP office.
  • Photocopy of a valid BC Insurance Filing letter issued by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia;
    OR
    If you do not have a BC Insurance Filing letter issued by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, attach a written statement to explain how you intend to meet motor vehicle liability insurance requirements (e.g. Prior to entering British Columbia you will contact the Provincial Permit Centre at 1-800-559-9688 to purchase a non-resident single commercial vehicle permit (NRSCV) or a non-resident quarterly commercial vehicle permit (NRQCV).

    For further information on BC Insurance Filing please call 604-443-4624 or Toll Free
    1-800-665-4336.

 

Where can I submit a completed EXPRO TOP application?

Your completed PTR5046: TOP Extra-provincial Undertaking application and all supporting documentation can be submitted to the Passenger Transportation Branch using any of the following methods:

  • Mail or deliver in person to:

    Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
    Passenger Transportation Branch
    Suite 313 – 1500 Woolridge Street
    Coquitlam, BC  V3K 0B8

  • Fax the application to 604-527-2205
  • E-Mail the application to PassengerTransportationBr@gov.bc.ca

The Passenger Transportation Branch office is open Monday through Friday, excluding statutory holidays, between 08:30 and 16:30 hours.

  • Office Phone No: 604-527-2198

    BC residents can call toll free through Enquiry BC:
    Victoria:  250-387-6121
    Elsewhere in BC:  1-800-663-7867


TOP — Temporary Additional Passenger Directed Vehicle(s) (Additional PDV TOP) – for an existing Special Authorization licensee

What is an additional PDV TOP?

Sometimes a licensee needs extra taxis, limousines or other PDVs for a short time. An additional PDV TOP allows for this.

Section 38(2) of the Passenger Transportation Act provides that the Passenger Transportation Board may approve an additional PDV TOP application if the Board considers there is an "urgent" and "temporary" need for a licensee to increase the number of motor vehicles that may be operated under a licence.

If an application is approved by the Board, and after all safety requirements are met, the Registrar issues an "additional PDV" TOP.

Ref. Passenger Transportation Act, Part 4, Division 5

 

When are additional PDV TOP applications approved?

The Passenger Transportation Board may approve an additional PDV TOP application if the Board considers there is an urgent and temporary need for the licensee to increase the number of motor vehicles that are or may be operated under the licence.

What types of circumstances meet the "urgent" and "temporary" need test?

The Passenger Transportation Board will consider each request in light of the circumstances outlined by the applicant. However, some examples of approvals for additional PDV TOPs include:

  • Conferences or special events
  • Transportation of dignitaries
  • Seasonal spike in demand for services
  • Bookings that exceed capacity for a limited period of time

Can I get an additional PDV TOP while my permanent additional vehicle(s) application is being processed?

Passenger Transportation Board policy is not to approve temporary operating permits pending additional vehicle applications.

Licensees who want to expand their passenger directed vehicle fleets on a permanent basis should apply to change their licence by submitting the PTR5010: Special Authorization Licence Application, not a temporary operating permit request.

What is the duration of an additional PDV TOP?

The length of an additional PDV TOP depends upon the time period for which a permit is needed.

The maximum time for a TOP is 92 days.

What information is needed to process an additional PDV TOP application?

Applicants are required to meet both Registrar of Passenger Transportation and Passenger Transportation Board information requirements:

  1. Registrar of Passenger Transportation Information Requirements:
    1. Completed PTR5045: TOP Additional PDV application form.
    2. Applications received at the Passenger Transportation (PT) 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 PT Branch.

      Note: If you pay with a credit card do not send credit card information with your application. When your application is received at the PT Branch a staff member will contact you by telephone to request your credit card information and authorization.
  2. Passenger Transportation Board Information Requirements:
    1. Describe the reason for the “urgent” and “temporary” need to add vehicles to your fleet. Section 5 of the application form (PTR5045) includes space for applicants give an explanation.
    2. Information that supports the temporary and urgent need for the additional PDV TOP. The information may include:
      • Contracts to provide service at a conference or special event
      • Written confirmation of additional bookings for a time limited period
      • Booking information that proves that bookings exceed capacity, for a set time period.
    3. Information about the vehicle(s) the applicant is proposing to use (i.e. make, model and seating capacity, excluding driver).
    4. Information on rates (and any rules applicable to those rates) that the applicant proposes to apply to the operation of temporary additional vehicle(s) only if these will be different from approved rates

The Passenger Transportation Board’s  Reference Sheet 17 – Temporary Operating Permits: Taxis, Limousines and other PDVs provides answers to typical questions about Passenger Transportation Board Policy on Temporary Operating Permits.

The Board may dismiss or refuse applications that do not meet Board requirements.

 

What information/documents are needed before an approved additional PDV TOP can be issued?

The Registrar of Passenger Transportation is responsible for verifying safety requirements and issuing additional PDV TOPs that have been approved by the Passenger Transportation Board.

Vehicle Information Requirements

The filing of an application does not confer any authority to operate additional passenger directed vehicles on a temporary basis.

Applicants are advised to delay the purchase, lease or rental of vehicles until approval is obtained from the Passenger Transportation Board.

When operating a vehicle under a passenger transportation licence and/or temporary operating permit it is the owner’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).

Before a temporary operating permit can be issued the Branch will contact you to request that you submit required vehicle documents.

If you have already purchased, leased or rented vehicle(s) - include the following for each vehicle:

Vehicles registered (base plated) in British Columbia:

  1. Photocopy of the current vehicle registration (e.g. "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 seating capacity.
  2. Photocopy of the Commercial Vehicle Inspection Report (CVIP), Form MV3104 that verifies the vehicle has been inspected and passed by an approved vehicle inspection facility. Semi-annual inspections are required unless your operation is part of a preventative maintenance program.
  3. For a wheelchair accessible vehicle you must include a photocopy of the Vehicle Inspection Report (CVSA), Form MV3110, of the British Columbia Commercial Vehicle Inspection Program (CVSE).

Vehicle(s) registered outside of British Columbia:

  1. Photocopy of the current vehicle insurance showing the vehicle has been properly licensed and insured as a commercial passenger vehicle and displaying the correct seating capacity.
  2. Photocopy of the mechanical inspection report that verifies the vehicle has been inspected and passed by an approved vehicle inspection facility (semi-annual inspections are a requirement unless your operation is part of a preventative maintenance program).
  3. For a wheelchair accessible vehicle you must include a photocopy of the Vehicle Inspection Report (CVSA), Form MV3110, of the British Columbia Commercial Vehicle Inspection Program (CVSE);


    OR
    equivalent if the vehicle is not registered in British Columbia;

    OR a clear photograph of the secondary manufacturer label displaying the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS) or the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) approval.

  4. Photocopy of the apportioned cab card showing proof that the vehicle is licensed with the International Registration Plan (IRP);
    OR
    If the vehicle is not registered with IRP, include a written statement to explain how you intend to pay your British Columbia vehicle licensing fees. For example, prior to entering British Columbia you will contact the Provincial Permit Centre at 1-800-559-9688 to purchase a non-resident single commercial vehicle permit (NRSCV) or a non-resident quarterly commercial vehicle permit (NRQCV).
  5. Photocopy of a valid BC Insurance Filing letter issued by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia;
    OR
    If you do not have a BC Insurance Filing letter, attach a written statement to explain how you intend to meet motor vehicle liability insurance requirements (e.g. Prior to entering British Columbia you will contact the Provincial Permit Centre at 1-800-559-9688 to purchase a non-resident single commercial vehicle permit (NRSCV) or a non-resident quarterly commercial vehicle permit (NRQCV).

 

Where can I submit a completed additional PDV TOP application?

Your completed PTR5045: TOP Additional Passenger Directed Vehicle (PDV) application and all supporting documentation can be submitted to the Passenger Transportation Branch using any of the following methods:

  • Mail or deliver in person to:

    Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
    Passenger Transportation Branch
    Suite 313 – 1500 Woolridge Street
    Coquitlam, BC  V3K 0B8

  • Fax the application to 604-527-2205
  • E-Mail the application to PassengerTransportationBr@gov.bc.ca

The Passenger Transportation Branch office is open Monday through Friday, excluding statutory holidays, between 08:30 and 16:30 hours.

  • Office Phone No: 604-527-2198

    BC residents can call toll free through Enquiry BC:
    Victoria: 250-387-6121
    Elsewhere in BC: 1-800-663-7867


TOP — Festive Season Additional Taxi(s) (Festive Season TOP) – for an existing Special Authorization licensee

What is a Festive Season TOP?

Sometimes a taxi operator (licensee) needs some extra taxis within the time period between December and New Year’s Day (the Festive Season). A Festive Season TOP allows for this.

Section 38(2) of the Passenger Transportation Act provides that the Passenger Transportation Board (Board) may approve a TOP for additional taxis if the Board considers there is a temporary and urgent need for a licensee to increase the number of motor vehicles that may be operated under a licence. The Board recognizes demand for taxis often increases significantly in the Festive Season. Taxi operators who apply for Festive Season TOPs are not required to provide additional evidence of a temporary and urgent need for more taxis.

The Board’s Festive Season TOP Policy allows taxi operators to apply each autumn for a temporary taxi fleet increase of up to 10% or 1 vehicle, whichever is greater (10% is calculated using conventional rounding and excluding peak period taxis). The extra taxis may be operated for up to 30 days within the time period between December 1st and January 15th. An applicant’s Terms & Conditions of Licence (excluding peak period taxi services) and applicable rates apply to the operation of vehicles operating under an approved Festive Season TOP.

If an application is approved by the Board, and after all safety requirements are met, the Registrar issues a Festive Season TOP.

Ref. Passenger Transportation Act, Part 4, Division 5

Am I eligible to apply for a Festive Season TOP?

You are eligible to apply for a Festive Season TOP if:

  • You are a licensee whose licence includes Special Authorization for taxis
  • You need additional taxis between December 1st and January 15th (the Festive Season)

Taxi operators who want a TOP to temporarily increase their fleet by more than 10%, or who want to operate additional taxis on days that do not fall between December 1st and January 15th, must submit the PT5045: TOP Additional PDV application and include evidence of an “urgent” and “temporary” need for more taxis.  Refer to the Board’s Festive Season TOP Policy more details.  This information is also available by request at the Passenger Transportation Branch.

When should I apply for a Festive Season TOP?

Eligible applicants are encouraged to send their Festive Season TOP applications to the Passenger Transportation Branch as early as possible each autumn.

What are the costs for a Festive Season TOP application?

The cost for a Festive Season TOP application will depend on the number of extra taxis you need and how long you will need them for:

  • If you are requesting a TOP for 14 days or less, the permit application fee is $25 for each vehicle.
  • If you are requesting a TOP for 15 to 30 days (maximum), the permit application fee is $50 for each vehicle.

Note:  The application fee is non-refundable

What information is needed to process a Festive Season TOP application?

Applicants are required to meet both Registrar of Passenger Transportation and Passenger Transportation Board information requirements:

  • Registrar of Passenger Transportation Information Requirements:
    • Completed PTR5048: TOP Festive Season Additional Taxi(s) application form.
    • Applications received at the Passenger Transportation (PT) 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 PT Branch.

      Note: If you pay with a credit card do not send credit card information with your application. When your application is received at the PT Branch a staff member will contact you by telephone to request your credit card information and authorization.
  • Passenger Transportation Board Information Requirements:
    The Board recognizes that December and New Years is typically the busiest season of the year for taxis in British Columbia. Applicants for Festive Season TOPs are not required to provide evidence of an “urgent” and “temporary” need for more taxis. Although information requirements and application processes are streamlined for Festive Season TOPs, the Board may require that applicants provide more information.

    The Board may dismiss or refuse applications that do not meet Board requirements.

What information/documents are needed before an approved Festive Season TOP can be issued?

The Registrar of Passenger Transportation is responsible for verifying safety requirements and issuing Festive Season TOPs that have been approved by the Passenger Transportation Board.

Vehicle Information Requirements

The filing of an application does not confer any authority to operate additional taxis on a temporary basis.

 

Applicants are advised to delay the purchase, lease or rental of vehicles until approval is obtained from the Passenger Transportation Board.

 

When operating a vehicle under a passenger transportation licence and/or temporary operating permit it is the owner’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).

 

Before a temporary operating permit can be issued the Branch will contact you to request that you submit required vehicle documents.

If you have already purchased, leased or rented vehicle(s) - include the following for each vehicle:

Vehicles registered (base plated) in British Columbia:

  • Photocopy of the current vehicle registration (e.g. "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 seating capacity.
  • Photocopy of the Commercial Vehicle Inspection Report (CVIP), Form MV3104 that verifies the vehicle has been inspected and passed by an approved vehicle inspection facility. Semi-annual inspections are required unless your operation is part of a preventative maintenance program.
  • For a wheelchair accessible vehicle you must include a photocopy of the Vehicle Inspection Report (CVSA), Form MV3110, of the British Columbia Commercial Vehicle Inspection Program (CVSE).

Vehicle(s) registered outside of British Columbia:

  • Photocopy of the current vehicle insurance showing the vehicle has been properly licensed and insured as a commercial passenger vehicle and displaying the correct seating capacity.
  • Photocopy of the mechanical inspection report that verifies the vehicle has been inspected and passed by an approved vehicle inspection facility (semi-annual inspections are a requirement unless your operation is part of a preventative maintenance program).
  • For a wheelchair accessible vehicle you must include a photocopy of the Vehicle Inspection Report (CVSA), Form MV3110, of the British Columbia Commercial Vehicle Inspection Program (CVSE);
    OR
    equivalent if the vehicle is not registered in British Columbia;
    OR
    a clear photograph of the secondary manufacturer label displaying the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS) or the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) approval.
  • Photocopy of the apportioned cab card showing proof that the vehicle is licensed with the International Registration Plan (IRP);
    OR
    If the vehicle is not registered with IRP, include a written statement to explain how you intend to pay your British Columbia vehicle licensing fees. For example, prior to entering British Columbia you will contact the Provincial Permit Centre at 1-800-559-9688 to purchase a non-resident single commercial vehicle permit (NRSCV) or a non-resident quarterly commercial vehicle permit (NRQCV).
  • Photocopy of a valid BC Insurance Filing letter issued by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia
    OR
    If you do not have a BC Insurance Filing letter, attach a written statement to explain how you intend to meet motor vehicle liability insurance requirements (e.g. Prior to entering British Columbia you will contact the Provincial Permit Centre at 1-800-559-9688 to purchase a non-resident single commercial vehicle permit (NRSCV) or a non-resident quarterly commercial vehicle permit (NRQCV).

Where can I submit a completed Festive Season TOP application?

Your completed PTR5048: TOP Festive Season Additional Taxi(s) application and all supporting documentation can be submitted to the Passenger Transportation Branch using any of the following methods:

  • Mail or deliver in person to:

    Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
    Passenger Transportation Branch
    Suite 313 – 1500 Woolridge Street
    Coquitlam, BC  V3K 0B8

  • Fax the application to 604-527-2205

The Passenger Transportation Branch office is open Monday through Friday, excluding statutory holidays, between 08:30 and 16:30 hours.

  • Office Phone No: 604-527-2198

    BC residents can call toll free through Enquiry BC:
    Victoria:  250-387-6121
    Elsewhere in BC:  1-800-663-7867


TOP - Peak Season Additional Limousine(s) (Peak Season TOP) - for an existing Special Authorization Licensee

What is a Peak Season TOP?

Sometimes a limousine operator (licensee) needs some extra limousines at various times throughout the year when there are seasonal spikes in demand. A Peak Season TOP allows for this.

Section 38(2) of the Passenger Transportation Act provides that the Passenger Transportation Board (Board) may approve a TOP for additional limousines if the Board considers there is an urgent and temporary need for a licensee to increase the number of motor vehicles that may be operated under the licence.

The Board recognizes that limousine operators may experience seasonal spikes in demand for limousines at various times throughout the year, such as during the festive, grad, ski or summer season. The cyclical and discretionary nature of limousine operations may require operators to increase their fleet size on a temporary basis to accommodate urgent and temporary spikes in demand. For this reason, the Board is implementing a TOP application process for Peak Season Temporary Operating Permits ("PS TOPs") for limousines that aims to:

  • Allow limousine licensees to respond to seasonal increases in the need for limousine services
  • Streamline regulatory practices and procedures

The Board does not require applicants for PS TOPs to provide additional evidence of a temporary and urgent need for more limousines.

Ref. Passenger Transportation Act, Part 4, Division 5

Note: Municipalities and other agencies or organizations may have additional requirements with which limousine companies must comply.

Am I eligible to apply for a Peak Season TOP?

You are eligible to apply for a Peak Season TOP if:

What are the parameters for a Peak Season TOP?

The Passenger Transportation Board Operational Policy II.8 allows limousines operators to apply for PS TOPs to increase the number of vehicles operating in their fleets as follows:

  1. PS TOPs may be "cumulative". In any calendar year, a licensee may apply for a maximum of one of the following PS TOP timeframes:
    1. 3 -30 day PS TOPs,
    2. 1- 60 day PS TOP and 1 -30 day PS TOP, or
    3. 1 – 92 day PS TOP.
  2. The calendar year starts on January 1st.
  3. PS TOPs that cover December may finish on any day up to January 7th of the following year.
  4. In any calendar year, the latest date to start a PS TOP is
    1. December 9th for a 30 day permit
    2. November 9th for a 60 day permit
    3. October 8th for a 92 day permit
  5. The maximum number of vehicles permitted for a PS TOP time frame is as follows:
    Fleet Size Maximum # of PS TOP
    vehicles permitted.
    1 - 101
    11 - 23 2
    24+ 3
  6. Licensees must indicate the maximum number of vehicles they are requesting when they submit a PS TOP application.
  7. Originating areas for PS TOPs will be the same as those on the applicant's licence.
  8. Vehicle capacity and type may be different on a PS TOP than on a licence; however the Board may limit the approval of sedan limousines at any time.
  9. This policy applies only to those licensees who must charge hourly rates pursuant to the Board's Minimum-Maximum Rates and Standard Rules for Limos in BC of October 14, 2015, as amended from time to time.
  10. Fees for PS TOPs applications are the same as for regular TOP applications.
  11. TOP requests outside the PS TOP parameters must be submitted through the regular TOP process where evidence of "temporary and urgent need" is required.

Licensees must manage bookings accordingly and should not expect TOPs over and above PS TOPs unless appropriate supporting data is provided.
See Reference Sheet 17 Temporary Operating Permits: Taxis, Limousines and other PDVs.

With any regular or PS TOP, a panel member may require an applicant to provide additional information to the Board or refuse an application if circumstances, including applicant fitness, warrant a refusal.

What are the costs for a Peak Season TOP?

The cost for a Peak Season TOP will depend on the number of extra limousines you need and how long you will need them for:

PS TOP DurationApplication Fee
30 days $50 for each vehicle requested
60 days $75 for each vehicle requested
92 days $100 for each vehicle requested

What information is needed to process a Peak Season TOP?

Applicants are required to meet both Registrar of Passenger Transportation and Passenger Transportation Board information requirements:

  • Registrar of Passenger Transportation Information Requirements:
    1. Completed PTR5049: TOP Peak Season Additional Limousine(s) application form.
    2. Applications received at the Passenger Transportation (PT) 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 PT Branch.

      Note: If you pay with a credit card do not send credit card information with your application. When your application is received at the PT Branch a staff member will contact you by telephone to request your credit card information and authorization.
  • Passenger Transportation Board Information Requirements:

    Passenger Transportation Board (Board) information requirements and application processes for Peak Season Additional Limousine(s) TOPs are streamlined to allow limousine licensees to respond to seasonal increases in the need for limousine services and streamline regulatory practices and procedures. Applicants are not required to provide evidence of a temporary and urgent need for more limousines.

    The Passenger Transportation Board (Board) has established PS TOP parameters that set a limit on the number of additional PT TOP vehicles allowed, based on an applicant's fleet size, and the duration of a PS TOP. For more information review:
    The above information is also available on request from the Passenger Transportation Branch.

    With any regular or PS TOP, a panel member may require an applicant to provide additional information to the Board or refuse an application if circumstances, including applicant fitness, warrant a refusal.

    The Board may dismiss or refuse applications that do not meet Board requirements.

What information/documents are needed before an approved Peak Season TOP can be issued?

The Registrar of Passenger Transportation is responsible for verifying safety requirements and issuing Festive Season TOPs that have been approved by the Passenger Transportation Board.

Vehicle Information Requirements

The filing of an application does not confer any authority to operate additional limousines on a temporary basis.

Applicants are advised to delay the purchase, lease or rental of vehicles until approval is obtained from the Passenger Transportation Board.

When operating a vehicle under a passenger transportation licence and/or temporary operating permit it is the owner'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).

Before a temporary operating permit can be issued the Branch will contact you to request that you submit required vehicle documents.

If you have already purchased, leased or rented vehicle(s) - include the following for each vehicle:

Vehicles registered (base plated) in British Columbia:

  1. Photocopy of the current vehicle registration (e.g. "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 seating capacity.
  2. Photocopy of the Commercial Vehicle Inspection Report (CVIP), Form MV3104 that verifies the vehicle has been inspected and passed by an approved vehicle inspection facility. Semi-annual inspections are required unless your operation is part of a preventative maintenance program.

Vehicle(s) registered outside of British Columbia:

  1. Photocopy of the current vehicle insurance showing the vehicle has been properly licensed and insured as a commercial passenger vehicle and displaying the correct seating capacity.
  2. Photocopy of the mechanical inspection report that verifies the vehicle has been inspected and passed by an approved vehicle inspection facility (semi-annual inspections are a requirement unless your operation is part of a preventative maintenance program).
  3. Photocopy of the apportioned cab card showing proof that the vehicle is licensed with the International Registration Plan (IRP);

    OR

    If the vehicle is not registered with IRP, include a written statement to explain how you intend to pay your British Columbia vehicle licensing fees. For example, prior to entering British Columbia you will contact the Provincial Permit Centre at 1-800-559-9688 to purchase a non-resident single commercial vehicle permit (NRSCV) or a non-resident quarterly commercial vehicle permit (NRQCV).
  4. Photocopy of a valid BC Insurance Filing letter issued by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia

    OR

    If you do not have a BC Insurance Filing letter, attach a written statement to explain how you intend to meet motor vehicle liability insurance requirements (e.g. Prior to entering British Columbia you will contact the Provincial Permit Centre at 1-800-559-9688 to purchase a non-resident single commercial vehicle permit (NRSCV) or a non-resident quarterly commercial vehicle permit (NRQCV).

Where can I submit a completed Peak Season TOP application?

Your completed PTR5049: TOP Peak Season Additional Limousine(s) application and all supporting documentation can be submitted to the Passenger Transportation Branch using any of the following methods:

  • Mail or deliver in person to:

    Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
    Passenger Transportation Branch
    Suite 313 – 1500 Woolridge Street
    Coquitlam, BC V3K 0B8

  • Fax the application to 604-527-2205

  • E-Mail the application to PassengerTransportationBr@gov.bc.ca

    The Passenger Transportation Branch office is open Monday through Friday, excluding statutory holidays, between 08:30 and 16:30 hours.

  • Office Phone No: 604-527-2198

    BC residents can call toll free through Enquiry BC:
    Victoria: 250-387-6121
    Elsewhere in BC: 1-800-663-7867