Q: Where is it Illegal to Park a Car in BC?

(Last Updated On: January 10, 2017)

It is illegal to park the car:

  • where the curb is painted yellow
  • on the ‘wrong’ side of the road i.e. against traffic direction
  • where your vehicle obstructs the view of a stop sign or other traffic sign
  • on a bridge
  • in a highway tunnel
  • in a bike lane
  • within 15 meters of a railway crossing
  • within 6 meters of a stop sign
  • within 6 meters of a traffic light
  • within 6 meters of a crosswalk
  • within 6 meters of an intersection
  • within 5 meters of a fire hydrant
  • across the entrance to a driveway
  • across the entrance to a back lane
  • across the entrance to an intersection
  • on a sidewalk
  • on a boulevard
  • where a traffic sign prohibits parking
  • *when parking parallel, make sure your vehicle is within 30 cm (1 foot) of the curb.

Use common sense and be sure to park where it is safe and legal, and where you are not blocking traffic.

** These rules may vary according to municipal by-laws.


Many moons ago, Carmen became an ICBC-approved driving instructor at the age of 22 in North Vancouver, and has spent many years working with new and experienced drivers around the lower mainland. She can be found reading the Motor Vehicle Act for fun while receiving strange looks from others. May the quest for great driving continue!

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  • carmenac

    I think the city of Vancouver has some by-law where you can only park for 3 or 4 hours regardless of the signs (will have to look that up)… I don’t think it matters what kind of plate you have. Different cities/municipalities have different by-laws, some that include things like allowing people to park closer to the entrances to lanes or even intersections/stop signs. Unfortunately it seems it’s a bit annoying to look up the by-laws..

    • competentdrivingbc

      Indeed, many municipalities will enact by-laws that require more than compliance with the provincial legislation found in the Motor Vehicle Act. Generally speaking, they’ll make sense – such as not being allowed to park within 3 metres of the entrance to a back lane (thus blocking the view for drivers both exiting and entering, as well as pedestrians who are still technically on the sidewalk and must be given right of way).

      Because of the importance of maintaining sight lines, and enabling pedestrians (particularly the young/short/etc types – i.e. students) to see and be seen, some municipalities deliberately prohibit parking on the ‘school side’ of the road in front of schools during the hours when students are likely to be present. I think you’ll find this in all three of the north shore municipalities, in fact. Makes sense.

      It also makes sense that the mighty Motor Vehicle Act allows municipalities to ‘modify’ provincial legislation in some cases. For instance, in the case of a T-Intersection, to allow parking along the stem of the T on the opposite side of the road from the intersecting street, never mind that 6 metre rule. Another example is that municipalities may extend (but not reduce) the hours that school speed zones are in effect, reflecting the fact that school playgrounds and facilities may often be used by kids beyond 8/5 M/F on days when school is regularly held.

      None of this parking stuff has anything whatsoever to do with having Yukon plates on your car (but don’t leave your car parked on Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver overnight, because they do have a bylaw prohibiting that) and don’t expect to see taxis in North Vancouver making use of the furthest end of a bus zone for pickup and dropoff in North Van, because although it is allowed, nobody seems to be aware of it.

      Also, you’re not even allowed to stop in front of, or within 5 metres of, a fire hydrant, never mind park! Unless, of course, the fire hydrant is adjacent to a stop sign …

  • Emililly

    When I had yukon plates on my car, and I parked on the street in Vancouver overnight, and in the morning the cops came by to harass me. They told me I can only park on a Vancouver street for 4 hours! I think they were fucking with me. It was at moms old place