(see Vehicle Registration)
Registrar of Motor Vehicle Services and Assistant Deputy Minister
Alberta Government Registries
3rd Floor, Brownlee Building
10365 97 Street
Edmonton, AB T5J 3W7
There are over 220 private registry agent locations throughout Alberta that provide motor vehicle related services as well as other registry services. For a listing of registry agents, please visit:
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
11140 – 109 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5G 2T4
(780) 412-5424 | www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ab/index-eng.htm
(see Vehicle Registration)
When the ownership of a registered vehicle is transferred to another person by an act of the owner or by operation of law, the registration of the vehicle expires and the registered owner must remove the plates from the vehicle and retain.
(see Vehicle Registration)
A person may not operate a motor vehicle or trailer on the highway unless a certificate of registration has been issued.
A temporary registration in the form of an in-transit permit issued by another jurisdiction in Canada permits the operation of a motor vehicle in Alberta if: (1) the operator carries the in-transit permit while operating the vehicle; (2) the operator of the vehicle acts in accordance with the terms and conditions of the in-transit permit; and (3) the owner of the vehicle possesses a valid financial responsibility card (insurance/pink card).
Prior to obtaining a certificate of registration or permit for a motor vehicle or trailer, the Registrar or license issuer may require that the applicant produce: (1) proof of ownership; (2) a financial responsibility card (insurance/pink card); (3) an inspection certificate, as required; and (4) personal identification.
Persons under the age of 18 may only be issued a certificate of registration upon satisfying the application requirements: (1) the application is signed by a parent or guardian; or (2) the applicant proves self-supporting ability or proof of marriage.
The owner must have valid insurance on the vehicle and the registration must contain the insured’s name (either exclusively or jointly with another individual).
The driver, owner, or person with the care and control of a motor vehicle must produce the vehicle registration certificate or permit on demand of any police officer.
A person may not operate a trailer on the highway unless there is an existing certificate of registration.
If the vehicle owner is a new resident of Alberta, he or she must register their vehicle(s) and obtain an Alberta driver’s license within 90 days of moving to the province.
Vehicle owners who are temporarily working in Alberta but are legal residents of a jurisdiction outside Alberta, may continue to use the valid registration and plates from the home jurisdiction up to a maximum of 183 days in a calendar year (January through December). However, the vehicle owner must obtain an Alberta registration if the vehicle has been in Alberta over the 183-day limit. The vehicle owner must also have valid insurance on the vehicle.
When visiting Alberta, a vehicle owner may use his or her valid registration and plates (with valid insurance) from the home jurisdiction, provided he or she does not establish residency in Alberta. However, if a vehicle owner takes up residency in Alberta he or she must obtain an Alberta registration and plates.
If a vehicle owner is staying in Alberta as a full time student and attending an accredited institution or is working here as part of a co-op program of study, he or she may use the valid registration and license plates from the home jurisdiction for the vehicle. The owner must have valid insurance on the vehicle and the registration must contain the insured’s name (either exclusively or jointly with another individual). Proof from the accredited institution verifying your full time student status for presentation to a law enforcement officer should also be obtained.
Military personnel on duty in Alberta must register their personal vehicles.
A certificate of registration must be renewed annually and may be reissued before its expiration date.
Vehicle registration expires on the last day of the expiration month for persons or organizations according to the following. The date is established by associating the first and/or second character of the applicant’s last name or the company name. The prefix ‘The’ in a company name shall be ignored when establishing the expiration date, and the first character after the word ‘The’ will be used. All numerical named applicants shall be assigned the expiration month of January. January=A, I, J, Ke, U, X, #; February=M, Q; March=B, Y; April=D, G; May=C, N; June=Cl, H, Sc; July=Av, Be, L, Sz, V, Z; August=E, Gr, R; September=F, Po, T; October=S; November=K, P; December=Me, O, W.
Registration period shall normally be no longer than 18 months. Vehicles registered in a passenger class category shall be the only exception, with a 30-month maximum registration period. Commercial plates with an annual fee of more than C$500 may qualify for a quarterly registration program.
When the ownership of a vehicle passes by reason of death, the registration of the vehicle does not expire for that registration year and the following persons may operate the vehicle under the deceased person’s registration: (1) spouse of the deceased; (2) a person having proper temporary custody of the vehicle until the grant of probate; and (3) the personal representative of the estate of the deceased.
Alberta has no province-wide emissions inspection program.
All vehicles last registered in another jurisdiction or declared salvage by an insurance company must undergo an inspection after repairs are completed and before they can be re-registered. Licensed inspection technicians perform the inspections at licensed vehicle inspection facility. Click here to search for an inspection facility.
Title Fee: N/A
Registration Fee: $84.46
Title Fee: N/A
Registration Fee: $54.45
Plate Fee: $22.45
Registration Fee: $22.45
Driver’s License Fee: $22.45
Title Fee: N/A
Special Plates: Varies
Upon the issuance of a certificate of registration, the Registrar shall issue vehicle license plates in the number and design specified by the Registrar.
The Registrar may authorize the use of a license plate for more than 1 year if validated by an appropriate tab.
License plates may be issued prior to the expiration date specified.
A license plate with a validation tab is valid for so long as the respective certificate of registration is valid.
A personalized license plate (also known as vanity plates) can have up to 7 characters, either letters or numbers. Personalized plates can be issued for almost every registration class except Dealer, Antique, or Disabled. Alberta Government Registries reserves the right to reject requests for personalized plates for any reason, which includes ethnic slurs, religious slurs, or foul language.
During the registration year for which license plates are issued, the person may apply to the Registrar to use the plates on another vehicle registered in the same person’s name. Persons may display plates on a newly acquired vehicle for up to a maximum of 14 days from the date on the ownership document(s), e.g. bill of sale. After the 14 days, the client must transfer the license plate/registration to the new vehicle or apply for a new license plate/registration.
When the ownership of a registered vehicle passes by act of the owner or by operation of law, the new owner must return the license plates to the Registrar if the previous registered owner does not remove the license plates.
When a vehicle is registered to a lessor and lessee, the license plates should be in the lessee’s possession.
When a dealer takes possession of a motor vehicle to sell it on behalf of the owner, the owner must remove the license plates and retain or cancel them.
An applicant must: (1) complete and pass a knowledge examination for the appropriate class of license required; (2) complete and pass a road examination for the appropriate class of license required.
Alberta has a system of graduated licensing for new drivers. The program consists of 2 stages: learner and probationary. A minimum of 3 years is necessary to complete both stages; 4 years is required if the individual applies for a learner’s license at 14 years of age.
Licensees must hold a learner’s license (class 7) for at least 1 year and may drive only when accompanied by a fully licensed (non-GDL probationary) driver who is 18 years of age or older, and who is seated next to the driver.
Learner’s licenses (class 7) are issued to persons 14 years of age or older who pass a vision test and a written knowledge test on the rules of the road. Parental consent is required for persons under 18 years of age.
To obtain a probationary license, the driver must be 16 years of age or older and pass the standard Alberta road test. Learners licensees are not permitted to drive from the hours of midnight to 5 a.m. Both learners and probationary licensees must have no more passengers than available seat belts, and have a zero alcohol level at all times while operating a motor vehicle. Fewer demerit points are allowed than for fully licensed drivers. Drivers cannot upgrade to a commercial license while under probation and cannot serve as an accompanying driver to a learner licensee.
To become a fully licensed driver (class 5), the individual must be suspension free for the last year of the 2-year probationary stage and pass an advanced road test. The minimum age for a full unrestricted license is 18.
An operator’s license shall only be issued to an Alberta resident who meets the eligibility requirements as defined in legislation. An interim license valid for 30 days will be issued, followed by a new, highly secure card in the mail. The interim license does not contain an image and may not be used for identification purposes. For additional information on Alberta’s driver license program, please visit http://www.servicealberta.ca/1301.cfm.
A person may not operate a motor vehicle unless the person holds a valid operator’s license.
A person holding a valid license or permit issued to that person in a jurisdiction outside of Alberta is exempt from the requirement to obtain a license if the person does not remain in Alberta for more than 90 days in 12 consecutive months.
A non-resident who: (1) holds an international driver’s license issued outside of Canada in conjunction with their home country license; and (2) does not remain in Alberta for more than 12 consecutive months is exempt from the requirement to obtain a license.
For the issuance of an operator’s license, the Registrar or license issuer: (1) shall require that the applicant provide personal identification; and (2) shall capture a digital photo and signature image.
A person that applies for or holds a Class 1, 2, or 4 operator’s license must submit a medical report with the initial and subsequent renewal applications.
An operator’s license must contain the following information on the licensee: (1) surname and first name; (2) date of birth; (3) signature; (4) photograph; (5) height, weight, eye color, hair color, and sex; (6) operator’s license number; (7) class of license; (8) expiration date of license; and (9) mailing address.
An operator’s license may be issued to a person under the age of 18 upon satisfying the application requirements: (1) the application is signed by a parent or guardian; or (2) the applicant proves self-supporting ability or proof of marriage.
Any person who holds an operator’s license or makes an application for an operator’s license must disclose to the Registrar any medical condition or disability that may interfere with the safe operation of a motor vehicle.
Any person 75 years of age or older must provide a medical report upon application and renewal. The Registrar may issue a license under conditions or periods as deemed necessary based on the results of the medical report.
The members of Her Majesty’s forces, or the forces of a country other than Canada who are in Canada under the Status of Forces Agreement (NATO) may operate a privately owned vehicle with a driver’s license issued by their home state or country until the expiration of the license.
Renewal notices for operator’s licenses are generally mailed to drivers 4 to 6 weeks before the expiration date. Renewal application must be done in person at any registry agent office. Only residents of Alberta are eligible to renew. Anyone 75 years or older is required to submit a medical report and have their vision screened. Medical reports are also required for holders of class 1, 2, and 4 licenses and for all licenses with a condition code “C” or “D”.
Class 1 license permits an operator to drive: (1) any motor vehicle, or combination of vehicles, other than a motorcycle; and (2) class 6 type vehicles, for learning only. The minimum learning or licensing age is 18. Requirements: vision screening; written and road test; medical report; airbrake certificate. Vehicle for road test: A tractor-trailer combination with three or more axles equipped with airbrakes.
Class 2 license permits an operator to drive: (1) any motor vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that the holder of a Class 3, 4, and 5 operator’s license may operate; (2) any bus; and (3) classes 1 and 6 type vehicles, for learner only. The minimum learning or licensing age is 18. Requirements: vision screening; written and road test; medical report; airbrake certificate for vehicle with airbrakes. Vehicle for road test: a bus with a seating capacity exceeding 24, excluding the operator.
Class 3 license permits an operator to drive: (1) any motor vehicle, or combination of vehicles that the holder of a class 5 operator’s license may operate; (2) a single motor vehicle with 3 or more axles; (3) a motor vehicle with 3 or more axles towing a trailer with 1 or more axles, if the trailer is not equipped with airbrakes; (4) classes 2 and 4 type vehicles without passengers; and (5) all motor vehicles included under class 1, 2, and 6, for learning only. No holder of a class 3 operator’s license shall operate a motor vehicle: (1) that has a seating capacity of more than 15, while that vehicle is transporting any person in addition to the operator; or (2) to transport passengers for hire. The minimum learning or licensing age is 18. Requirements: vision screening; written and road test; airbrake certificate if the vehicle is equipped with airbrakes. Vehicle for road test: any single motor vehicle having 3 or more axles.
Class 4 license permits an operator to drive: (1) a taxi, ambulance, or bus (including school or kindergarten buses) where seating capacity is not over 24, excluding the operator; (2) all motor vehicles included under class 5; and (3) all motor vehicles included under classes 1, 2, 3, and 6, for learning only. The minimum learning or licensing age is 18. Requirements: vision screening; written test; medical report; road test required if operator does not hold a class 1, 2, or 3 license. Vehicle for road test: any 2-axle motor vehicle, excluding a motorcycle.
Class 5 license permits an operator to drive: (1) a 2-axle single motor vehicle, excluding a motorcycle; (2) a 2-axle motor vehicle towing a trailer with 1 or more axles, if the trailer is not equipped with airbrakes; (3) a recreational vehicle or any combination of a recreational vehicle and a trailer, if the trailer has not more than 2 axles and is not equipped with airbrakes; (4) a moped; and (5) classes 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 type vehicles, for learning only. No holder of a class 5 operator’s license shall operate a motor vehicle: (1) that has a seating capacity of more than 15, while that vehicle is transporting any person in addition to the operator; or (2) to transport for hire. The minimum learning age is 14. The minimum licensing age is 16. Requires a road test with any 2-axle motor vehicle, excluding a motorcycle.
Class 6 license permits an operator to drive: (1) a motorcycle or a moped; and (2) all motor vehicles under class 5, for learning only. The minimum learning or licensing age is 16. Requirements: written test and vision screening, and a road test for applicants with a class 7 or if no license presented. Written test, vision screening, and skill test for applicants with a class 5 or better. Vehicle for road test: motorcycle without sidecar.
Class 7 license permits an operator to drive: (1) a moped; (2) a motor vehicle referred to in the class 5 category, as a learner only; and (3) a motorcycle, as a learner only, if the operator is at least 16 years of age. The minimum learning or licensing age is 14. Requires a written test and vision screening.
Alberta has a limited occupational hardship license law.
The use of handheld cell phones and text messaging while driving is prohibited. No person may drive while engaged in an activity that distracts the individual from the operation of the vehicle, including reading or viewing printed material, writing, printing or sketching, engaging in personal grooming or hygiene.
Citizen band radio channel 9 is monitored for emergency calls.
Emergency number is 911.
No prohibition on wearing of headsets while driving.
Canadian federal law prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating beverages, with the illegal per se limit set at 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (.08 BAC). Alberta sets an illegal per se limit of .05 BAC. Violating this law could result in temporary loss of driver’s license.
Alberta sets the legal drinking age at 18.
It is illegal to fail to submit to testing or an evaluation for impaired driving.
Alberta requires the use of ignition interlocks for all impaired driving offenders over .08 BAC.
A motorist may not drive more than 60 kph or the maximum speed limit, whichever is lower, if the vehicle is travelling on the same side of the highway and in the lane immediately adjacent as a stopped emergency vehicle or tow truck, and is passing the stopped emergency vehicle or tow truck when its flashing lamps are operating.
In a motor vehicle equipped with a seat belt assembly, the driver and the passengers must wear the complete seat belt assembly.
It is not permissible to remove, render partly or wholly inoperative, or modify a seat belt assembly in a motor vehicle to reduce its effectiveness.
A person may ride in the bed of a truck: (1) when the nature of the person’s occupation requires the person to ride in the bed; or (2) when the person is engaged or employed in agricultural, horticultural, or livestock raising operations and riding in the bed of the truck is related to one of these operations.
It is not permissible to operate a vehicle with a child passenger unless: (1) the motor vehicle is equipped with a child seating assembly; (2) the child seating assembly is properly installed; and (3) the child is occupying and properly secured in the child seating assembly.
It is not permissible to operate a motor vehicle on the highway with a passenger at least 6 years of age but under 16 years, or a child weighing more than 18 kg., occupying a seating position with a seat belt assembly unless the passenger is wearing the complete seat belt assembly.
A child from birth up to 9 kg. can be in either a rear-facing infant seat or a rear-facing convertible seat, used and installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
A child weighing 9 to 18 kg. must be in a child safety seat and be properly secured by using the vehicle seat belt and the child safety seat tether strap.
When a child is over 18 kg., an approved booster seat for the vehicle or the vehicle seat belt may be used.
At a railroad crossing when: (1) a clearly visible electrical or mechanical signal device gives warning; (2) a crossing gate is lowered or a flagman is giving a signal to indicate approach or passage; (3) a railway train within 500 meters of the crossing is approaching and either sounds an audible signal or is visible; or (4) a railway train is visible and approaching the crossing and by reason of its speed or nearness is an immediate hazard; the driver approaching the crossing must stop the vehicle no closer than 5 meters from the nearest rail of the railway and must not proceed until the train has passed the crossing or has come to a stop.
If a stop sign is erected at a railway crossing, a driver approaching the crossing must stop the vehicle between 5 and 15 meters from the nearest rail of the railway and must not proceed until he can do so safely.
At a railway crossing not controlled by a traffic control signal, the driver of a vehicle that: (1) is a school bus; (2) is carrying explosive substances as cargo; or (3) is used for inflammable liquids or gas, must stop the vehicle between 5 and 15 meters from the nearest rail of the railway. The driver must remain stopped, listen and look in both directions along the railway for an approaching train and for signals indicating the approach of a train, and must not proceed unless the vehicle can cross safely. In the case of a school bus, the driver before proceeding must open the front door and if practicable to do so with 1 hand, must open the window immediately to the left.
Drivers must cross the tracks in a gear that will not need to be changed while crossing the tracks and must not shift gears while crossing.
When a school bus displaying alternating flashing amber lights is on a highway divided by a median into 2 separate highways, an operator approaching the bus from the rear must reduce the speed so if the vehicle passes the school bus it does so in a cautious manner.
The operator of a vehicle approaching a bus displaying alternating flashing red lights must, if approaching from the rear on a highway divided by a median into 2 separate highways, or from the front or rear on a highway not divided by a median into 2 separate roadways, stop the vehicle before it reaches the bus. The operator must not pass the bus until the operator of the bus indicates by signal that the vehicle may proceed or the alternating flashing red lights stop flashing.
A bumper may not be installed or altered on a passenger car unless the bumper is mounted in substantially the same manner as by the manufacturer.
The passenger car bumper may not be altered so that the main structural component of the bumper is more than 50 cm or less than 40 cm above the ground. This provision does not apply to passenger cars manufactured before April 1, 1976. However, no person may alter a bumper so that it is more than 10 cm higher or lower than it was when the car was manufactured.
Headlights are required to be used at night or when visibility is 150m or less.
The use of hazard lights is required by passenger vehicles that are stationary on a highway outside of an urban area at night or when the vehicle is not visible from 150 meters distance.
Tire chains are permitted.
Studded tires are permitted.
It is not permitted to place or install on a motor vehicle a transparent, translucent, or opaque material on or in place of a windshield glazing or side window glazing that is beside or forward of the driver on the right- and left-hand side of the motor vehicle.
It is not permitted to place or install in a motor vehicle a transparent, translucent, or opaque material on or in place of a rear window glazing unless the motor vehicle is equipped with rearview mirrors on the right and left of the motor vehicle.
Glazing installed by the manufacturer of the motor vehicle, clear untinted frost shields, and window stickers that do not impair the operator’s field of vision are permitted.
It is not permissible to place or install any material on or in place of any window glazing that casts a glare on other vehicles on the highway.
It is permissible to drive on a highway any motor vehicle that is equipped with a television/video entertainment set, provided the driver cannot see the screen while the vehicle is moving. Exempts GPS devices and hands free cell phone systems. GPS systems must be set before the vehicle is in motion, or be voice-activated.
Radar detectors are permitted.
A person may apply stickers to the window of a motor vehicle only if they do not limit the driver’s field of vision or otherwise impair the safe operation of the motor vehicle.
Every headlamp of a moped must have a single beam light that when illuminated reveals persons and vehicles at a distance of 60 meters.
Every motorcycle, moped, or power bicycle must be equipped with at least 1 but not more than 2 headlamps; 1 tail lamp mounted at the rear of the vehicle; and at least 1 stop lamp mounted on the rear of the vehicle.
Tail and stop lamps on every motorcycle, moped, or power bicycle must be permanently mounted on the rigid part of the vehicle, and the distance between the ground and the center of the lamp must not be less than 38 cm or more than 200 cm. Lamps must be located on the vertical center line unless more than 1 stop lamp is used. If more than 1 stop lamp is used, they must be symmetrically disposed about the vertical center line. These provisions do not apply to vehicles manufactured before January 1, 1971.
Every motorcycle, moped, and power bicycle must not travel on the highway unless each wheel is equipped with an adequate service brake.
Service brakes on a moped or power bicycle must be capable of bringing the vehicle to a standstill within 12 meters on a level surface consisting of dry paving of asphalt or concrete free of loose materials at a speed of 30 km/h.
Operators and passengers on a motorcycle, moped, or bicycle must wear a safety helmet.
Every motorcycle, moped, or power bicycle must be equipped with a horn or bell to warn persons on or approaching the highway in the immediate vicinity.
Driver’s license required; minimum age 16; Class 6; valid for 5 years; expires on operator’s birth date.
License plates required; the duration and expiration are the same as regular motor vehicle registration.
No provincial motorcycle noise limits.
Requires minimum class 7 license. Licensees must be at least age 14. Requires registration and insurance. Required equipment includes: headlight while in operation, brake lights, turn signals, taillight, rearview mirror, safety helmet, and side and rear reflex reflectors.
Total length: 20 meters; trailer length: 12.5 meters; width: 2.6 meters, mobile living accommodations 2.6 meters; height: 4 meters.
Private trailers weighing more than 909 kg (2,000 lbs.) and more than half of the actual weight of the towing vehicle, need to be equipped with a braking device that can stop and control the trailer.
Breakaway device required that will brake at the time that the trailer breaks away from the towing vehicle and be automatically applied for at least 15 minutes.
Two separate means of attachment (i.e., tow bar and safety chains) are required so that the failure of 1 will not affect the other.
Must have two tail, two brake and a license plate light. Right and left turn signals are required as are clearance lights and side markers.
Two side view mirrors are required on a towing vehicle where the rearview is obstructed by a trailer.
100 km/h or as posted.
Riding in a holiday trailer, fifth-wheel trailer, or truck box, with or without a canopy, is not permitted. Riding in a camper is permitted.
Crashes are required to be immediately reported.
Contact your local AAA club about AAA Guaranteed Arrest Bond validity in Canada.
Contracts evidenced by the motor vehicle liability policy insure, to a limit of not less than C$200,000 exclusive of interests and costs, against liability resulting from bodily injury to or the death of 1 or more persons, and loss of or damage to property.
Insurance is compulsory for residents. Proof is required at all times.
Province does not have non-resident service of process law. Province has guest suit law.
Peace officer may require the operator of a motor vehicle to submit the vehicle together with its equipment and trailer, if any, to examination and tests to determine that the equipment and trailer are fit and safe for operation.
Bicycle helmets are required for riders under age 18.
U.S. citizens returning to the U.S. from Canada by land or sea are required to present proper travel documents according to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. Proof of citizenship is required for travel to Canada by land or sea. A U.S. passport is required for travel by air to Canada and to the U.S. Permanent U.S. residents who are not citizens should carry their Alien Registration Receipt Card.
All children must have their own travel documents. In lieu of a U.S. passport or passport card, U.S. children under 16 traveling to and from Canada by land or sea may also present an original or copy of his or her birth certificate, a consular Report of Birth Abroad, or a Naturalization Certificate. If the parents are separated or divorced, the parent crossing the border should have proof of custody or a letter from the other parent. Persons under 18 years of age who are not accompanied by a parent should bring a letter from their parent or guardian giving them permission to cross the border.
A visitor is permitted to bring a reasonable amount of personal effects, a reasonable supply of food, and a full tank of gas. “Reasonable” means enough for personal use during the length of stay in Canada. Any unreasonable amounts are subject to duty.
A visitor must have a rabies vaccination certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian to bring dogs or cats into Canada.
Alberta has an implied consent law with regard to drunk driving. The legal drinking age is 18.
It is a criminal offense to operate a motor vehicle when a person’s ability is impaired by alcohol or drugs; or person has an alcohol blood concentration that exceeds .08. Persons operating a motor vehicle with an alcohol blood alcohol concentration that exceeds 0.05 are subject to an immediate roadside licence suspension and vehicle seizure.
A person with a learner’s or probationary license may not drive a motor vehicle if there is alcohol in the person’s blood.
It is illegal to transport an open alcoholic beverage container in a vehicle.