Off-road vehicle registration launched for B.C.

New registration program is aimed at cutting down on theft and sale of stolen dirt bikes, ATVs and snowmobiles.

New rules are voluntary, but will become mandatory in June

New rules come into in effect on Monday for off-road vehicle in B.C., including a new registration system for all ATVs, snowmobiles, and dirt bikes.

Owners have to pay a one-time fee of $48 to register their vehicles with ICBC. All vehicles will require a license plate or a decal and will be added to a province-wide database.

For now the registration is voluntary, but beginning in June, it will be mandatory.

Future regulations will be used to regulate rules of operation, including safety standards, penalties and conditions of use.

Erin Hart, the President of the B.C. Snowmobile Federation, says the new system will cut down on off-road vehicle theft.

"B.C. has long been known as the dumping ground for stolen ORVs right across Canada and the U.S., so this is going to be a nice way to curb that," says Hart.

Hart says the new rules have been in the works for years and B.C. has been lagging behind other provinces. The new rules were first announced in 2009, and then enacted in March of 2014.

There are an estimated 200,000 off-road vehicles in the province.

With files from Rafferty Baker

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