Body Armour Permits and Permit Exemption
The Possession of Body Armour in B.C.
In British Columbia, there are controls on the possession or selling of body armour (see Body Armour Control Act and Regulation). Police have the authority to seize body armour that is illegally sold or possessed without a permit. As well, individuals without permits may face fines of up to $10,000 and incarceration for six months. Businesses selling body armour without authorization can be fined up to $100,000 and their controlling members incarcerated for up to six months (see Body Armour Control Act - Fine Schedule).
Definition of Body Armour
Under the Body Armour Control Act, body armour is:
A garment or item designed, intended or adapted for the purpose of protecting the body from puncture or stab wounds intended to be inflicted by another person; or panels or plates that protect the body from projectiles discharged from a firearm or from puncture or stab wounds and are designed to be inserted into pockets of vests, jackets or other garment to create or enhance body armour.
Who May Sell Body Armour
The selling of body armour may only be done by a licensed security business and licensed security worker authorized to sell body armour. If you require body armour sales type on your security licence, refer to the appropriate licensing section of this website: Security Worker or Security Business.
Who May Possess Body Armour WITHOUT a Permit
Individuals exempt from requiring a permit to possess body armour while performing the job on which the exemption is granted are:
- Those who have a valid B.C. security worker licence authorizing them to provide the services of an armoured car guard, a private investigator, a security consultant, a security guard and / or a body armour salesperson.
- Peace officers, sheriffs, corrections officers and conservation officers.
- Those employed by the government if wearing body armour is required or allowed in the course of the person's employment.
- Security guards registered as a gaming worker under the Gaming Control Act.
- Individuals who possess a valid firearms licence issued under the Firearms Act (Canada).
Body Armour Permit EXEMPTION (90 Days)
Who May Be Considered for an Exemption and How to Apply:
Individuals who do not reside in B.C. but due to the nature of their activities while in B.C. require the possession of body armour, or any individual in B.C. who believes their safety is at imminent risk may apply to the Registrar for an exemption from requiring a permit. Exemptions hold a term of 90 days and may be extended. To apply, download the appropriate form below.
Terms of an Exemption:
When the exemption ends and no extension is required or when the circumstances upon which the exemption was granted have changed … you have 14 days to:
- return or sell your body armour to your employer (if the exemption was based on the person’s employment with an exempt employer);
- destroy your armour; or
- sell your body armour to another person who holds a valid security business licence authorizing them to sell body armour;
- complete an application for Body Armour Permit.
When purchasing body armour from a licensed body armour salesperson, exempt individuals must provide the vendor with:
- their full name, residential address, phone number; or a copy of their valid security worker or business licence; or
- if a peace officer, the name and address of their employer plus their badge number; or
- a signed statement from their employer saying the exempt person is to wear body armour in the course of their employment, plus the name and address of their employer; or
- their gaming worker’s official identification card and the name and address of their employer; or
- written evidence provided by the Registrar, Security Programs, that the person has a 90-day exemption.
- valid firearms licence.
A piece of current identification that displays a photograph of the exempt person – the I.D. may be a Canadian-issued Driver’s Licence, passport, BCID, Canadian Firearms Licence, Canadian Permanent Resident Card or Native Status Card.
Who REQUIRES a Permit
Anyone who wishes to possess body armour must apply for a permit from the Registrar, Security Services; but they must be able to prove a reasonable need for possession. As well, applicants must undergo a criminal record check, police information check and a correctional service information check.
Permit Terms, Fees and Payment
The term of a body armour permit is five years. The permit must be renewed before it expires. Permit holders must carry their permit with them whenever in possession of body armour. If a permit is lost or stolen, or if the information displayed on the permit regarding the permit holder changes, the permit must be replaced.
- $90 for a new 5-year permit
- $45 for a 5-year renewal
- $0 (no fee) for replacing the current permit (lost, stolen, change of name)
Apply for a New Permit or Renew Your Current Permit
You must complete the appropriate application form (see below) and provide it to the Registrar, Security Services, along with information regarding your:
- identity and contact information;
- details of your physical appearance;
- a recent photograph;
- particulars about any of your unresolved charges or crime convictions; and
- the reason you need to possess/wear body armour, including, if applicable, the name and address of your employer.
Permit holders must report to the Registrar, Security Service, within 14 days of occurrence:
- a change in your employment if the possession of body armour under the permit is for the purpose of that employment;
- a change in your residential address; or
- any new criminal charges or convictions against you.
To report changes use form, Reporting an UPDATE to Current Permit to Possess Body Armour (SPD0602)
Permit is Lost or Stolen
You must inform the Registrar, Security Services, if your permit has been lost or stolen and apply for a replacement within 14 days of the occurrence. Under the Body Armour Control Act, you must carry your permit with you when in possession of body armour so replacing the permit right away is important.
To report a lost or stolen permit use form, Request for REPLACEMENT of Current Body Armour Permit (SPD0603)
Requirements of a Permit Holder
- You must always carry your permit when in possession of body armour.
- You must show your permit whenever requested by an inspector or peace officer when in possession of body armour.
- You must report to the Registrar, Security Services, within 14 days of occurrence, the following:
- theft or loss of the permit;
- a change in the employment that you were issued the permit to possess body armour for;
- a change in your residential address; and / or
- any new criminal charges or convictions against you.
- If you are not renewing your permit, you must surrender your permit to the Registrar, Security Services, on or before the last day of the term of your current permit plus you must provide the Registrar with evidence that the body armour:
- has been returned or sold to your employer (if you were in possession of body armour because of employment);
- has been destroyed; or
- it has been sold to a licensed security business authorized to possess and sell body armour.
- You must never allow anyone else to use your body armour permit.
- You must comply with the Body Armour Control Act and Regulation as well as the terms and conditions of your body armour permit.
Request to Registrar to Reconsider Refusal to Issue Permit or Exemption
If an applicant wishes to submit a request to the Registrar to reconsider the decision to deny a permit or an exemption or to suspend or cancel a permit or exemption, it may be requested by sending the Registrar a letter of request:
- within 30 days after the individual received the Registrar’s letter containing reasons for the decision; or
- if the request for reconsideration cannot be submitted within the 30-day period, it must be submitted within the period of time specified by the Registrar (the Registrar may allow more time to file a request for reconsideration if satisfied that special circumstances exist that require an extension or some injustice would otherwise result.
The written request must identify the error the individual believes to have been made or the grounds the on which it is believed a reconsideration should be accepted.
Once the Registrar receives the written request for reconsideration, he or she may confirm, change or vary, or cancel the original decision. The Registrar will send the individual a letter outlining the new decision and reasons.
See the Contact Us page for information on how to contact the Registrar.