Richmond RCMP and ICBC say they are working together following media reports exposing a conflict between the two institutions over the legality of driving on B.C. roads with a licence issued from China.
Drivers stopped by Richmond RCMP and found to be in possession of a Chinese licence have, for years, been routinely fined $267 and had their cars impounded, reported the Richmond News.
But, according to ICBC guidelines, a new resident of B.C. is legally allowed to drive on their previously-issued licence for 90 days, and if they are visiting B.C. temporarily, they may drive on that licence for six months.
Adam Grossman of ICBC, told 24 Hours that full-time students are able to drive on a licence issued by the People's Republic of China or any other country for the duration of their studies.
Const. Dennis Hwang, of Richmond RCMP’s road safety unit told the Richmond News the problem stems from there being no agreement to verify drivers' information between China and Canada.
“It’s not a legal document because it’s not verifiable, there’s no agreement between the two governments to share information,” he said.
Both the RCMP and ICBC say they are committed to working out the conflict — which has seen thousands of drivers issued tickets — quickly.
"We are in discussions to try and assist with this issue as quickly as possible," Grossman told CBC in an email. "We will continue to discuss the issue with police today and we are committed to coming up with a solution."
Sgt. Rob Vermeulen confirmed the RCMP are also working fast to come to agreement: "We are working in concert with our stakeholders on a resolution to the concerns that have been raised," he said in an email.
"This is a complex issue which requires further discussion. We are committed to coming up with a solution and providing an update in a timely manner."