British Columbia Prorated (Apportioned) License Plates

In 1961, British Columbia joined the Uniform Vehicle Registration Proration and Reciprocity Agreement (also known as the Western Compact). Entry into this Agreement necessitated the issuance of "P" prefix plates (denoting a Prorate vehicle )to allow for the easy identification of vehicles operating under the terms of the Agreement.

Quick Links:
Prorate  |  "Bingo"  |  CAVR

1962 - 1963

 

Issuing Statistics
1962:
unknown
1963:
unknown
In this photo, courtesy of Harry Black and Hank Rabe, a Public Freightways truck is clearly displaying (L to R) a first year of issue - 1962 - Prorate plate (No. 302), along with a 'J' prefix Motor Carrier plate; a 1961 Motive Fuel plate (No. 4231) and a Bingo plate on the front bumper.

1964 - 1971: "Beautiful" Slogan
Issuing Statistics
1964:
P1 to P1-000
1965:
P1 to P1-000
1966:
P1 to P1-000
1967:
P1 to P1-000
1968:
P1 to P1-000
1969:
P1 to P500
1970:
P1 to P500
1971:
P1 to P500
       

1972 - 1978
Issuing Statistics
1972:
P20-001 to P20-500
1973:
P20-001 to P20-600
1974:
P15-001 to P17-000
1975:
P2-001 to P4-000
1976:
P22-001 to P24-500
1977:
P4-001 to P7-000
1978:
P7-001 to P10-500

1979 - 1980
Issuing Statistics
1979:
unknown
1980:
P15-500 to P19-999

1981 - 1984
1983
1984
Issuing Statistics
1981:
P20-000 to P24-499
1982:
P24-500 to P28-999
1983:
P29-000 to P33-499
1984:
P33-500 to P37-999

1982 - Competing designs
it is not clear what prompted the switch in the design of the 1982 Prorate plates shown above, and, based upon known issuing statistics, we can assume that the plate at right is not over-run.
It appears that possibly the first 2,600 plates in the series (i.e. P24-500 to P27-100) employed the same layout seen on the 1981 base, but that around the P27-100 mark a decision was made to re-tinrduce the design first used in 1979 and 1980 for the remaining 1,900 plates (i.e. P27-100 to P28-999).
Oddly, the layout used in 1983 and 1984 would revert back to that which appeared on the first 2,600 plates of the 1982 series ...

1985 - 1988
1985
1988
Issuing Statistics
1985:
P38-000 to P42-999
1986:
P43-000 to P50-999
1987:
P51-000 to P58-999
1988:
P59-000 to P66-999
       

1989 - 1995
1990
1991
1992
Issuing Statistics
1989:
P00-001 to P12-000
1991:
P12-001 to P16-700
1993:
P16-701 to P19-650
1994:
P19-651 to P21-450
1993
1994
1995

The International Registration Plan (IRP)
Sometimes, we here at BCpl8s.ca like to let others do the talking for us, and in this instance we believe that Elizabeth Cull, the former Provincial Minister of Finance (circa 1995), is eminently qualified to perfom this task.
What follows is the description of the International Registration Plan that the Minister provided to the Legislature on June 20, 1995, when a series of amendments to the Commercial Transport Act and Social Service Tax Act, necessary to enact the Plan, were being considered for second reading:
 
Hon. E. Cull: I just might mention that the Liberal critic has left the room to talk to the school children from Delta, so I hope that he will be back before I finish these brief second reading notes.
Bill 39 proposes amendments to the Commercial Transport Act and the Social Service Tax Act to accommodate British Columbia's membership in the International Registration Plan, known as the IRP. It is intended that British Columbia become a member of this plan as of January 1, 1996. The IRP is a multi-jurisdictional licensing agreement that establishes a single, uniform system for administering and collecting licence fees and other recurring fees or taxes from interjurisdictional carriers.

Under the existing licensing and taxing provisions, multi-jurisdictional carriers are required to license in and pay tax separately to each jurisdiction in which they travel. Under the International Registration Plan, a carrier is only required to license at its base jurisdiction. At the time of licensing, the carrier receives credentials and pays the annual fees and taxes required of all the IRP member jurisdictions in which it will travel. The base jurisdiction collects the fees and taxes on behalf of member jurisdictions. This considerably reduces the administrative costs for carriers in complying with the various licensing and tax requirements of the jurisdictions in which they travel.

However, the IRP program cannot accommodate the collection of a onetime tax. Therefore, to ensure that B.C. carriers and the province receive the full benefits of IRP membership, Bill 39 proposes amendments to the Social Service Tax Act which will replace the existing onetime 7 percent tax with an annual tax payable each year the vehicle is licensed for travel in the province. The annual tax rates have been set, on average, so that the total amount of tax paid over the lifetime of the vehicle is equal to the onetime 7 percent tax currently paid. This amendment is therefore revenue-neutral to British Columbia. In fact, over time the province may experience an increase in revenue, because IRP membership facilitates increased tax compliance from out-of-province-based carriers.

Bill 39 also makes a minor amendment to the Commercial Transport Act to exempt extraprovincially licensed trailers from the requirement to obtain a licence for travel in B.C. This parallels the exemption provided to extraprovincial trailers by IRP jurisdictions.

The proposed amendments benefit multi-jurisdictional carriers because they reduce the administrative costs of compliance with the licensing and tax requirements of the various jurisdictions in which they travel. Carriers will realize some of the tax relief because they will be paying the tax over the lifetime of the vehicle rather than paying the full tax at the time the vehicle is purchased or first licensed for use in the province. The proposal benefits the province because it ensures a vehicle will not be licensed for use in B.C. until the provincial tax is paid. It maintains current levels of tax revenues and ensures that the tax and the licensing fees are collected in an efficient and timely manner. This proposal will benefit the industry, the province and our economy. With that, I now move second reading of Bill 39.


1996 - 2010: IRP / "Apportioned"
1999
Issuing Statistics
1996:
unknown
1997:
unknown
1998:
unknown
1999:
unknown
2000:
unknown
2001:
unknown
2002:
unknown
2003:
unknown
2004:
unknown
2005:
unknown
2006:
unknown
2007:
unknown
2008:
unknown
2009:
unknown
2010:
unknown
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
       

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COMMERCIAL TRAILER PLATE

TRAILER FLOATER PLATE

In 1972, the province created two separate types of trailer licence plates; these being a standard “Commercial Trailer” plate which, since 1976, has been identifiable by a single letter suffix (which started at ‘V’).  The other was a “Trailer Floater” plate which has always included the name of the plate above the registration number (see example at bottom-left).

“Commercial Trailer” plates are generally issued to an operator based out of British Columbia, while the “Trailer Floater” plate would have been issued to an out-of-province operator, most likely from Alberta.
When British Columbia joined the IRP in 1996, a condition of the Agreement required the province to allow all trailers being towed by a prorated vehicle, irrespective of where that trailer may have been registered.
This effectively rendered “Trailer Floater” plates irrelevant, however, they were never phased out and soon were being used by local operators when purchasing new trailers or as a floater plate that could be switched between different trailers depending on the job being performed
Some operators were even using the plates to skirt the regulations and inspection requirements associated with the issuance of a “Commercial Trailer” plate, but this loophole was eventually closed.

*     *     *     *     *
Dual Decal Box
When the "P0-0000" series was exhausted in mid-2010 and flipped to the "0000-0P" serial, the manufacturer again produced the series with the dual-decal well box found on the Olympic passenger plates and Veteran plates. However, as with the introduction of the new Truck plate serial in 2008, this does not appear to be long-lasted as it is reported that these plates are now appearing with the more common single decal box. Why is ICBC being inconsistent with this and not simply applying it to all plates?

2010 - 2013: "0000-oP"
2010
2012
2013
Issuing Statistics
2010:
unknown
2011:
unknown
2012:
unknown
2013:
unknown
       

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