Asking the officer to change the face of the ticket to registered owner

Many people have heard of a method to avoid the consequences of a traffic ticket, in particular, the points and the record, by asking the officer to amend the violation ticket to reflect the charge against the registered owner. While it is true that the violation ticket can be amended, that doesn’t mean that an officer or a court will allow it.

When a ticket is issued, the officer is required to indicate whether the ticket is being issued to the driver or the owner. They are trained to issue tickets to the driver of the motor vehicle unless they are not able to identify the officer, in which case the owner becomes responsible for what is done with the vehicle.

This is because, under the MVA, registered owners maintain liability for anything done with anyone they trust their vehicle to.

A registered owner ticket does not go on your record and does not have any points associated with it, although the fine still applies.

Typically, registered owner tickets are issued by police in response to accidents or civilian complaints about driving behaviour that they investigate. Tickets can also be amended in court to reflect a change to the registered owner. But the ability to make the amendment be reflected in court to make the amendment is not clear cut.

The Judicial Justice must be satisfied that the person who is pleading guilty as the registered owner is the registered owner. In court, there are many schools of thought about this, that compete with one another.

Some Judicial Justices take the view that amending the liability to registered owner is to run around ICBC’s policies, and the intention of the legislature to create a violation ticket regime. And unless there is a good public interest reason, they refuse to make the amendment.

Some Judicial Justices take the view that the faces of the violation ticket must reflect the person as the registered owner of the vehicle and if that’s not reflected on the ticket, they lack the authority to make the amendment because the information before them does not conform to that amendment.

Finally, some Judicial Justices take the view that a plea of registered owner is an acknowledgement of all the essential elements of the offence, including that the person was the registered owner, regardless of what the violation ticket, which is merely information, says.

In our opinion, the latter view is the correct view. A violation ticket is nothing more than an allegation, it is not facts that are already proven from which a refusal to make an amendment can be done.

Further, in our opinion, if the legislature intended that tickets not be amended to reflect the change to the registered owner, then the legislature would remove the provisions that allow registered owners to be ticketed or clarify in those provisions that it is only to be used in specific circumstances.

This is why asking an officer to change a violation ticket to a registered owner is not as simple as it sounds. In addition, many officers think it is inappropriate and refuse to do so. There are personal and policy reasons for this.

Some officers feel that it is dishonest because if they can prove that the person is the driver, they should not be suggesting to the court that they cannot, by making the amendment. Other officers feel that they have been given direction from superior officers not to amend tickets to registered owner and so they refuse to make such amendments.

Ultimately, it is the discretion of an individual officer whether to amend a ticket and it is the discretion of an individual Justice whether to allow the amendment. So although amending a ticket to reflect the registered owner may make your circumstances better, the ability to achieve that result requires a lot of effort, understanding of the individual officer that you’re dealing with, and the Justice before whom you appear.

For this reason, we do not recommend representing yourself if you are seeking an amendment to reflect a change to registered owner. You may end up in a situation where your case is even more complicated by not understanding the people, the players and the circumstances involved in such an application.

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