Laws & Regulations

The laws and regulations below are good to know and understand when travelling to and within British Columbia and Kelowna. For the laws and regulations of Canada, please visit

Driving in BC

Visitors may drive in BC for a period of up to six months with a valid driver's license from another province, state or country. In BC, seat belts and other safety devices such as child restraints are mandatory and must be worn when vehicles are in motion. Bicycle helmets and motorcycle helmets are required by law. It is prohibited to use cell phones or other handheld electronic devices while driving. Winter tires are mandatory from October 1 through April 30 on some mountain passes and highways in BC. Watch for posted regulations on road signage. 

Cannabis Consumption

You must be 19 years or older to buy, use, possess, or grow non-medical cannabis in B.C. Adults 19+ can carry up to 30 grams of dried non-medical cannabis, or its equivalent, in a public place. Adults 19+ can generally smoke or vape cannabis in public spaces where tobacco smoking and vaping are allowed. But remember, second-hand smoke can be harmful and irritating to people, especially children, so be mindful when smoking in public spaces. Operating a motor vehicle (such as a car or boat) while under the influence of cannabis is against the law and is strictly enforced. For more information please visit: (British Columbia), (City of Kelowna).

Liquor Consumption

The legal drinking age in BC is 19. Anyone under 19 is considered a minor and not permitted in nightclubs or drinking establishments and cannot purchase alcoholic beverages or participate in wine tastings, although they are welcome to visit wineries. Liquor cannot be consumed in public places unless that public place is licensed. However, you may drink liquor in a residence or private place, such as outdoors on private property or at your campsite. Possession of open liquor in any private or commercial motor vehicle (such as a party bus or a limo) is illegal whether the motor vehicle is moving or not. Operating a motor vehicle (such as a car or boat) while under the influence of alcohol is against the law and is strictly enforced. Enjoy safe wine, beer, cider or spirits touring and book a guided tour. For more information please visit: Responsible Liquor Consumption (British Columbia).

For both Cannabis & Liquor consumption, two pieces of identification (ID) are required if asked to provide ID. One government-issued ID with name, picture, and birth date and a secondary ID that includes name and signature or picture; such as credit card or student ID.

Smoking in Public Places

Smoking is prohibited within all Kelowna parks including beaches, playgrounds, building exteriors, parking lots and natural areas. 

Pets in Vehicles: Regional District of the Central Okanagan Bylaw #1343

During warm weather, pet guardians must take precautions against the danger of heat exhaustion and heatstroke for their pets. The temperature in a parked car, even in the shade with the windows partly open, can rapidly reach a level that will seriously harm or even kill your pet. Leaving your pet in a car with the air conditioning on is also taking a risk as many pets have died as the result of a faulty air-conditioning system. Bylaw #1343 states that: No Owner shall cause or permit his or her dog to be confined to an enclosure or vehicle without adequate ventilation and sufficient shade to protect the dog from excessive heat and direct rays of the sun; conversely cold weather precautions should be taken as well. Fines range from $50-$2000. Additional information about pets in cars: BC SPCARDCO.

Municipal Bylaws & Self-government Laws of the Central Okanagan

For information about bylaws in each of the municipalities, please visit the links below.

For information about the self-governing laws of Westbank First Nation, please visit this link.

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