A few notes for people landing in British Columbia

I just wanted to share a few notes for people moving to British Columbia

If your vehicle is worth less than $ 10k, please get rid of it before moving. It’s not worth it going through the hassle of exporting from US /importing to Canada.

If you’re living in Vancouver or surrounding areas, public transportation is great.

And the last thing is the auto insurance costs. Even with documented insurance history for the past 8 years with no claims which gets you a 40% discount, you’ll still be paying more than $2000 / year in auto insurance, that’s over $200 / month. Auto Insurance in British Columbia is provided by the government (ICBC) so you can’t shop around

If you can do a soft landing at least 2 months before you finally move. [It’s in your best interest to do this]

  • Your PR card takes at least 6 weeks to 12 weeks to be processed and sent to the mailing address you provided
  • You can just switch you US Drivers License to A BC DL without doing a road test but they take your US DL and issue you a temporary piece of paper. You get the actual BC DL after you have received your PR card

If you don’t remember anything else remember this:

  • You should do a soft landing at least 2 months before you finally move. [It’s in your best interest to do this]
  • If your car is worth less than $ 10k, please sell it before you move. All the inspection and insurance costs are just not worth it
  • If you’re landing by land you can just rent a car or a Uhaul and drop it off in Vancouver
  • There is no Uber in BC but you really don’t need a car. Public transport is pretty good. Having a car just adds unnecessary monthly expenses. You could always get a car later once your situation is stabilized
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Thanks for the info @atreides. I will be moving to Vancouver, BC later this year.

I agree with the insurance part; it’s true in Toronto as well ($200/mo. insurance).

PR card took 4 months for me (2 months - resend photos - +2 months).

Could you explain how is the driver license related to the PR card? Isn’t the stamped CoPR proof of PR?

For e.g. if I already have a PR card and I show up at Service Ontario (or Service B.C. for that matter) they will take away my US DL and give me BC (piece of paper) DL I presume, and the DL card will arrive a few days later at the given address?

@avj If you already have your PR card, I guess you should be fine. Not sure about ON but in BC they issued me a temp license on a piece of paper and said to return when I get my PR card.

If you already have your PR card they should send it right away to your address.

@atreides , thanks for the information on this thread.

I was reading about the recent news regarding ICBC’s new Enhanced Care. Based on this update, apparently, there would be an average savings of 20% or approximately $400. Do you know if this holds true right now?

I am planning to move to British Columbia early next year and I was wondering how much monthly premium I’d need to shell out on auto insurance.

I’m just going to clarify a few things -

  1. It doesn’t matter when you do your landing or whether you do a soft landing or land for good. Yes it’s true that ICBC won’t mail out the card version of your drivers license till you present your PR card in person but you will get your full BC drivers licence (in the paper format) and you can drive with it, get insurance etc. So unless you attach a special significance to the card version of a drivers license this is a moot point.

  2. Selling off your car if you plan to buy a new car in Canada is a good idea generally. It costs about $500 to pay the RIV fees and the provincial inspection. If your car fails the inspection it’s going to cost a lot more in fixing the problems and redoing the inspections. So yeah if you have a car that’s not worth too much dispose of it in America and buy another one in Canada. With used car prices being at historical highs and no real discounts on new cars keep that in mind when deciding your budget.

  3. Public transportation is only good in the Vancouver metro area, if you plan on settling elsewhere then you do need a vehicle. It is false that there is no Uber in BC, both Lyft and Uber operate in the greater Vancouver area. But outside of that you won’t find Uber and Lyft in the other smaller cities.

  4. Car insurance is pretty expensive for sure in BC and as others have also stated it’s the same in Ontario. Cost of living is also pretty high in BC, Gasoline is the most expensive anywhere in North America, Food and Utilities are expensive too as is the rent. Specially if you’re moving from America there’s definitely a sticker shock.