For less than the price of a traffic ticket, you can find businesses on line that will sell you a “novelty” B.C. driver’s licence that looks a lot like the real thing. Would it make a perfect gift for your favorite prohibited driver or perhaps avoid becoming prohibited if you have too many penalty points right now? Perhaps, but my bet is that you are just asking for more trouble if you try.

It is an offence to simply possess a phony driver’s licence much less attempt to use it. You are in just as much trouble if you possess a real driver’s licence that belongs to another person. You don’t even have to be in a vehicle for this law to apply! Thinking about loaning your licence to someone else? Think again, you will be in trouble too.

Are you braver (or more foolhardy) than most and thinking about applying to ICBC for a driver’s licence using false information? Facial recognition software makes this an extremely risky act. Just ask Mark Mahovlich who applied for BCID using his brother’s information. His penalty on conviction for this was a $1,750 fine.

Maybe it’s not so bad to just do a bit of surgery and modify the driver’s licence that you already have. People have been doing that to get into the bars when they weren’t old enough forever, right? Well, drive a vehicle and you are guilty of two offences, altering the licence and possessing an altered licence.

Reference Links:

CASE LAW – R v Mahovlich

Cst. Tim Schewe (Ret.) runs DriveSmartBC, a community web site about traffic safety in British Columbia. For 25 years he was an officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, including five years on general duty, 20 in traffic and 10 as a collision analyst responsible of conducting technical investigations of collisions. He retired from policing in 2006 but continues to be active in traffic safety through the DriveSmartBC web site, teaching seminars and contributing content to newspapers and web sites.

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