Trying to save some bucks on fuel in British Columbia? Are you considering switching from a regular vehicle to a street-legal dirt bike?

Turning your dirt bike into a street-legal adventure companion is no simple task, but with a few adjustments, you can make it work!

What is a dirt bike? A dirt bike is simply a lightweight motorcycle specifically equipped to ride off-road or on rough terrains.

Its spiky tires and stiff suspensions allow you to ride over paved and unpaved roads, which make it the desired vehicle for many.

Can a dirt bike be street legal in BC?

British Columbia has bike laws that specify the conditions for a street-legal dirt bike.

First, one needs a permitted approval from Transport Canada as a CMVSS sticker to let the ICBC register your dirt bike as street legal.

Compared to other places, the laws in British Columbia are strict.

Under the Off-Road Vehicle Management Framework, dirt bikes fall into a wide range of off-road vehicles used for work or leisure purposes that fall under section 2 of the ORV Regulation.

These vehicles include:

  • Snowmobiles
  • All-terrain vehicles (or “quads”)
  • Off-road motorcycles
  • Side-by-sides (e.g., “argos”, “rhinos” and “razors”)

Effective Nov. 1, 2015, all people who own any of the above vehicles must register them and display their ICBC stickers or number plates clearly on their vehicles.

CBC’s Autoplan Brokers can be approached for registration services.

Street-legal dirt bikes must have functional mirrors and lights along with other equipment that conventional vehicles possess.

Can you ride a dirt bike on the street in BC?

If you have a valid driver’s license and a permit that clearly states your registration, then you can ride your dirt bike on public streets, highways, and forest service roads in British Columbia.

Permits and licenses apply in different scenarios. On highways, you will need a police-issued operation permit, which is easily obtained from the police department, unless the crossing is controlled by a traffic light or stop signal.

What is the registration fee?

You will only be required to register your dirt bike once, for a one-time fee of $48.

This will give you a valid registration and number plate or sticker as long as you are the sole owner of the vehicle.

If the owners change, then the registration has to be reapplied for a fee of $28.

Safety Requirements for Dirt Bikes in British Columbia

Under the regulations of the Off-Road Vehicle Act, the safety requirements for all off-road vehicles, including dirt bikes, include:

  • Turning on the lights in low-visibility conditions
  • Wearing a pre-approved safety helmet while riding an all-terrain vehicle, motorcycle or snowmobile.
  • Adult supervision of children and ORVs used by children
  • Under the Wildfire Act, all off-road vehicles are also required to have spark arrestors installed during wildfire conditions. A spark arrestor is a small screen installed in an engine exhaust system to prevent sparks from escaping the tailpipe.

Where can I ride a dirt bike in British Columbia?

There are several motocross tracks scattered throughout the beautiful province of British Columbia that provide scenic routes for all riders.

Some of the best dirt bike trails in British Columbia include:

  • Whispering Pines Raceway
  • Bear Creek Motocross Track
  • Popkum Motor Park
  • Quesnel Motocross Association
  • Williams Lake Motocross Track
  • Pemberton Motocross Track
  • Wastelands Motocross Park
  • Campbell River Motocross Track

The tourism potential in British Columbia has immensely grown as more and more people and families turn out to enjoy the scenic adventures this province offers.

Dirt bikes are a great way to explore the winding, dwindling, and expansive terrains of the region.