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Class 4 Driver's License Requirements for Employees

The CEO Network approached CSSEA on behalf of its members to provide direction regarding employee driver’s license requirements for Class 4 Licenses in BC. Following an initial consultation with the Insurance Company of British Columbia (ICBC), we sought further legal regulatory expertise from Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP on the licensing requirements pursuant to the Motor Vehicle Act and associated regulations.

Generally, under the Motor Vehicle Act, employers must ensure that employees who are directed to operate vehicles in the course of their employment possess the appropriate class of license to operate the particular motor vehicle. Failure to possess the appropriate license is considered an offence and may also invalidate insurance coverage through ICBC.

The focus of the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations, which set out licensing requirements, is the nature and use of the vehicle and driver:

  • Class 5/7 license holders are permitted to operate “2 axle motor vehicles other than a motorcycle, but does not include a bus, school bus, special activity bus, special vehicle, taxi or ambulance, when used for its purpose as intended by design” (Section 30.01 (2) (c) and (g))
  • Class 4 License is required to operate any ambulance, taxi, school bus, special activity bus, special vehicle, or a bus with a seating capacity of more than 10 but less than 25 persons, including the driver. (Section 30.01 (2) (i))

We were informed that many CSSEA members have been of the view that a Class 4 License is required if an employee provides transportation of a client during the course of their employment. In the scenario presented, the vehicles used for transportation are not modified or designed to provide transportation of individuals with disabilities. The vehicles are 2 axle motor vehicles, such as an employee’s personal vehicle or vehicle provided by the employer, which Class 5/7 license holders are permitted to operate. As a result, the only category that could require a Class 4 License to transport passengers is a vehicle operated as a “taxi.”

CSSEA has been advised that a vehicle and driver could be described as a taxi if it “operated for hire.” However, as long as the CSSEA member is engaged in the provision of broad social services, (such as operating a group home residence or providing home support care), in which the transportation of individuals is only a part of a larger service offering and employees receive the same amount of compensation regardless of whether an individual is transported or not, the driver does not require a Class 4 License.

Payment of collective agreement wage rates and reimbursement for expenses such as mileage and insurance would not be considered additional compensation for transportation that could lead to the necessity for holding a Class 4 License. However, surcharges, additional fees or compensation collected by the amount or length of trips made by the driver may be considered additional compensation.

In summary, unless the service involves charging fees specifically for the transportation of clients, the vehicle and driver would not typically require a Class 4 License. CSSEA has recently notified the CSSBA about this position and the parties will be discussing it further during a Sector Committee Meeting scheduled for May 3.

Notice of Change in Procedure

For those CSSEA members who have revisited the Motor Vehicle Act requirements and, based on their review of this communication believe that a Class 4 License is not required in their particular circumstances, consider the following implementation process:

  • Job descriptions should be revised to reflect any amended qualification requirements under the Motor Vehicle Act and Regulations and forwarded to the Union and affected employees. Review and revise all related policies (eg. Vehicle insurance coverage and rate class coverage) to ensure consistency.
  • Affected employees should be notified directly with reasonable notice (at least 60 days in advance of the change in licensing requirement and changes to any related policies) to avoid a situation where an employee unwittingly acquires a Class 4 License when one is no longer required and reimbursement will no longer be provided in accordance with current terms.
  • Clearly and unequivocally communicate to employees through policy that employees are unable to accept any tips, gratuities, or other consideration from individuals for any reason, so as to eliminate possibilities that transportation may be determined to have been a service for hire by the provision of an additional fee.

For More Information

Employers with additional questions are asked to contact their HRLR Consultant.

Communications Contact

Doris Sun
Director of Communications
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