Transport Canada enclosed vehicle deck safety regulation

Passengers on enclosed lower vehicle decks will be required to leave their vehicles during the sailing.

Important: The height, length and weight of your vehicle determines the vehicle deck on which you will be placed.


Booking ahead

If you are travelling on a bookable route, we strongly recommend that you book ahead if you plan to travel during popular sailing times, including:
  • Holiday weekends
  • Thursday and Friday afternoons and evenings
  • Sunday afternoons
Booking in advance secures a spot for your vehicle on board your preferred sailing. Without a booking, vehicles are loaded in order of arrival at the terminal on the next available sailing. This may result in wait times at the departure terminal.

If you have booked online in advance, you need your booking reference number, or the phone number associated with your booking, to check in at the ticket booth.


Check-in times

Check-in times and ticket sales cut-off times vary by terminal.

Find and review the check-in and cut-off times at your departure terminal.
If you have a reservation:
  • Ensure that you arrive in time to redeem your reservation. Review terminal (and vehicle) specific check-in times at your departure terminal. Find your terminal now.
    • If you miss the terminal check in time for your sailing you will forfeit your reservation and be placed on the next available sailing based on your order of arrival at the terminal
If you do not have a reservation:
  • To make your preferred sailing without a reservation, review terminal specific ticket sales cut-off times at your departure terminal. Find your terminal now.
    • If you are in a lane queuing for the ticket booth,  but have not actually purchased a ticket from a ticket agent before the ticket sales cut-off time, you will be placed on the next available sailing based on your order of arrival at the terminal.

Checking in at the terminal

Terminals with ticket agents

When you arrive at the terminal, a ticket agent will greet you and get you checked in. The ticket agent will then assign you a vehicle lane to park until boarding starts. Please proceed to your assigned lane with caution.

Terminals without ticket agents
Park in the first available vehicle lane when you arrive at the terminal. You will be loaded on the next available sailing based on space on board. If a fare is due for travel on the route, it will be collected on board during the sailing.

Vehicles we carry

Standard vehicles
Vehicles under 7 ft. (2.13 m) high and less than 20 ft. (6.10 m) long are considered standard vehicles.
  • Standard vehicles (including cars, vans and SUVs) are loaded onto the upper or lower vehicle deck, depending on deck space availability.
  • In accordance with Transport Canada regulations, passengers are prohibited from remaining in their vehicle on any closed lower deck on a vessel that is underway. A closed vehicle deck is a space that is closed at both ends with limited side openings.
  • If your vehicle is 7 ft. (2.13 m) high or under, and items on top of your vehicle cause your vehicle height to go over 7 ft. (2.13 m), your vehicle may be considered oversized. Unreasonably placed items sticking out of the top of your vehicle or items not safely secured* on the roof of your vehicle will not be counted towards the overall height measurement and must be removed prior to check-in at the ticket booth.
  • If you're planning to travel with items secured to the outside of your vehicle, read TranBC's tips on how to safely secure items onto your vehicle.

* Safely secured is defined according to BC's Motor Vehicle Act Regulations which state: Vehicles must be equipped and cargo must be contained, immobilized or secured…so that it cannot: (a) leak, spill, blow off, fall from, fall through or otherwise be dislodged from the vehicle, or (b) shift on or within the vehicle in a manner that affects the stability or manoeuvrability of the vehicle.

Oversized vehicles
  • Vehicles over 7 ft. (2.13 m) high or more than 20 ft. (6.10 m) long are considered oversized vehicles. This may impact your fare and the deck on which you are placed.
  • During a sailing you can only stay in your vehicle if you are placed on the upper vehicle deck due to Transport Canada regulations.

Depending on the route and traffic volumes, you will board the ferry before or after all other vehicles.

If you have a trailer, sidecar, or more than two wheels on your motorcycle, you will board the ferry with standard vehicles.

During popular sailing times and when sailing waits are in effect, all vehicles will board in order of arrival at the terminal, including motorcycles.

  • Ride slowly when loading or unloading
  • Park diagonally to the ferry’s centre line and leave in a low gear
  • Park using a side stand and use wooden blocks (available on our vehicle decks) so your motorcycle is secure
  • Bring tie downs to secure your motorcycle when travelling on our North coast sailings
  • We operate under the principle of first come, first served and may deviate from this if a motorcycle/trike does not displace other vehicles by the space they occupy onboard
If you are travelling with a motorcycle on our North coast routes or between Vancouver (Tsawwassen) and the Southern Gulf Islands, we recommend booking your travel online.
Check in with a ticket agent at the foot passenger entrance. You will then board the ferry via the vehicle deck, where you will be able to securely stow your gear during the sailing. If your departure terminal does not have a ticket agent or foot passenger entrance, board at the direction of the crew. There is no fee for travelling with your bicycle.

Important: For your safety, please walk your bicycle when boarding and disembarking.
Registered 5,500 kg GVW
  • Includes all vehicles with a Registered Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) over 5,500 kg (12,100 lbs.)

Note: Any vehicle more than 9 ft. (2.74 m) wide is included in this category.

Learn more about travelling with a commercial vehicle


If you use a wheelchair or walking aid and need your vehicle to be close to the onboard elevator, view our accessibility page for boarding instructions.
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