ICBC COVID-19 changes: license renewals over the phone and pauses on monthly payments

ICBC COVID-19 changes: license renewals over the phone and pauses on monthly payments
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ICBC implements numerous changes in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19

British Columbians can now renew their license over the phone, as ICBC changes its rules to allow customers to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Drivers can renew their licenses up to six weeks prior to expiry by calling ICBC’s Driver Licensing Call Centre at 1-800-950-1498. ICBC will then mail the customer an interim paper license.

The corporation adapted the process to encourage physical distancing and to further protect employees from the virus.

Eligible extensions include routine renewals, a replacement for a lost license and reinstatement of a license, but BC Services Cards and BC Identification Cards are not eligible to be renewed over the phone at this time.

For now ICBC is only allowing a 90-day license renewal saying it will monitor the situation and decide at a later date if this time period needs to be extended.

To ease financial pressure many are facing during the pandemic, the insurance giant is also allowing customers to defer their monthly insurance payments for 90-days with no penalty. This is only available to customers already on the monthly Autoplan payments.

To defer your monthly insurance payment, use ICBC’s online resource tool or call the customer support team at 1-800-665-6442.

This follows the announcement from ICBC on Friday that insurance transactions will now be done over the phone or email.

In addition, ICBC will now be obtaining driving records and abstracts, changing your address and paying violation tickets all exclusively online in an effort to uphold social distancing protocols.

Enhanced Driver’s Licence (EDL) and Enhanced Identification Card (EIC) processing will be suspending temporarily as of Wednesday because the corporation feels those transactions require extended face-to-face interaction.

ICBC, who has already canceled road tests, is now suspending driver knowledge tests and motorcycle exams until further notice. The only exception is if there is a legal requirement to obtain a license, such as a new resident moving to the province.

Commercial vehicle knowledge tests will continue, however, ICBC has said they will not be permitted if a translator is required.

According to the auto insurer, they are working on finding ways to provide knowledge tests without the need for an in-person visit and are asking the public to only come into an office if it is urgent.

Rebecca LawrenceRebecca Lawrence

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