A rumour has been making the rounds on Facebook recently stating a B.C. driver can get an $800 fine in Washington state for driving with an expired ICBC decal.
As of May 1, 2022, British Columbia drivers no longer need to display an ICBC decal on their licence plates.
But if you keep the old one on your licence plate, it does not mean your insurance has lapsed.
Capt. Neil Weaver with the Washington State Patrol told Global News he is not aware of any complaints regarding troopers issuing tickets or fines for expired B.C. decals.
“Traditionally, if a vehicle gets stopped for not displaying current tabs, the Trooper would run the registration and find that it is in fact current, so no citation would be issued and it would only be a slight pause in the motorist’s journey,” he said in an email.
However, if anyone does experience a different scenario, they are asked to let the WSP know.
“Our Troopers working around our shared border are aware that B.C. tabs may be showing as expired on the vehicle, but that it does not necessarily reflect the accuracy of the registration,” Weaver added.
“We are always welcoming of our neighbours from the north and appreciate our long-standing and shared goal of keeping one another safe on our roadways.”
ICBC said they have seen the rumours circulating online as well.
A spokesperson said they have not heard of anyone actually being fined for having an outdated decal, while at the same time having valid auto insurance and a licensed and registered vehicle.
ICBC said customers should not have concerns travelling to other jurisdictions in Canada as law enforcement is “well informed” there is no need to display an insurance decal on a B.C. licence plate.
Additionally, law enforcement in other Canadian jurisdictions can confirm the validity of a B.C. customer’s insurance through a tool that provides vehicle data to police for out-of-province vehicles.
Drivers should always have their valid insurance documents on them and ICBC recommends removing outdated decals if travelling out of the province as an expired decal can draw attention but not a fine.