How you can get your driver's licence back if the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program takes it away

If you fall behind in your support payments, the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP) may advise the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) not to issue or renew your driver's licence. This fact sheet sets out what you can do to get your licence back.


When can the FMEP take away my driver's licence?

The FMEP is entitled to advise ICBC not to issue or renew your driver's licence if you owe $3,000 or more under a support order. Generally what happens is that when your driver's licence expires on your birthday, or if you lose your driver's licence, ICBC won't renew it. If they can, the FMEP should give you advance warning that they are going to take this action.

What can I do to get my licence back?

First, you must make a written request to the FMEP. For the FMEP to consider returning your licence, you must convince them of at least one of the following:

  • There has been a material or substantial error made; for example, you're not the person required to pay child support under the order, or the amount of arrears is incorrect and therefore less than $3,000.
  • Without a driver's licence, your income will be or has been significantly reduced. If you haven't been paying any support, it may be difficult to make this claim without a letter from a current or prospective employer confirming that you need your driver's licence to work for them and that they have a job for you. You'll also have to make an arrangement that the FMEP agrees to for repaying your arrears or reporting your earnings once you're working. This means that you'll probably need to provide proof of your income and expenses to FMEP.
  • You'll regularly pay an agreed-upon amount towards the arrears, in addition to any monthly support.

If the FMEP refuses to allow your driver's licence to be reissued to you, you may apply to the Provincial Court of British Columbia for a judge's order that your driver's licence be reissued to you.

How do I apply to the court to get my licence back?

Here are the steps to apply to the court to get your licence back.

  1. Prepare documents to submit to the court
  2. Obtain a court date
  3. Serve your Notice of Motion on the FMEP
  4. Present your application to the judge

1. Prepare documents to submit to the court

Complete the following documents:

  • a Notice of Motion in an Enforcement Proceeding (PCFR Form 24). Follow the instructions on the first page of the form.
  • an Affidavit in support of your application (PCFR Form 17). This document is optional. An affidavit is a sworn statement that provides evidence to the judge of the relevant facts about your case. For example, if you've obtained a letter from your employer, you can attach a copy of the letter as an exhibit to your Affidavit. You can swear or affirm the Affidavit at the court registry or before a lawyer or notary public. Even if you provide an Affidavit, the judge may require you to be sworn in as a witness at the hearing and give your evidence in person, so be prepared for this.
  • a Statement of Finances or a Financial Statement (PCFR Form 4).

2. Obtain a court date

When you go to the court registry to file the Notice of Motion and other documents, the registry staff will give you a court date. Insert that date on your Notice of Motion.

3. Serve your Notice of Motion on the FMEP

There are strict rules about how to give your Notice of Motion to the FMEP. These rules require you to serve the Notice of Motion on the FMEP. There are two ways to do this. You may either fax or mail the FMEP a copy of your filed Notice of Motion, Financial Statement, and any other supporting documents.

There must be at least seven whole days between the day you serve the FMEP and the day your application is scheduled to be heard in court. You don't have to serve the other party (the recipient of the support) with your Notice of Motion.

4. Present your application to the judge

Because it's your application, you'll present your case to the judge first. You'll have to convince the judge that at least one of the following is more likely than not:

  • A material or substantial error has been made.
  • Without a driver's licence, your income will be or has been significantly reduced.
  • You'll regularly pay an agreed-upon amount towards the arrears, in addition to any monthly support.

You may be able to convince a judge that if he or she allows your driver's licence to be reissued, you'll voluntarily turn it in if you don't make the agreed-upon payments.

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