Blog Alberta Vehicle Registration : Renewal, Costs And Other Common Questions

Jan 31, 2022

Alberta Vehicle Registration Information

Alberta licence plate

Vehicle registration in Alberta is important - you can’t drive without having a vehicle registered. You need to know when it’s time to renew. You need to understand the process to ensure you are compliant with all car registration laws, just like how you need car insurance in Canada to drive in the country.

There are more than 5 million total vehicles registered in Alberta. There are more than 1 million passenger cars, over 1 million trucks, and close to 1.5 million trailers.

When you need to renew, registration costs and updating your information vary based on the type of vehicle you drive.

Here we provide you with all the information you need for Alberta vehicle registration. Learn about registering a car, renewals, costs, and frequently asked questions by Alberta drivers.

How do you register a vehicle in Alberta?

All vehicles on public roads are required to have a vehicle registration certificate. Steps to complete the registration process are :

  • Visit : Visit a registry agent in person
  • Ownership : Provide proof of vehicle ownership
  • Insurance : Provide proof of valid Alberta car insurance for the vehicle that includes the name(s) of the person requesting registration.
  • ID : You will need acceptable personal identification
  • Fees : Pay the vehicle registration fee
  • Registration : Receive your vehicle registration certificate

How long is the Alberta motor vehicle registration period?

Passenger car registration, motorcycles, and off-highway vehicles can be issued for a minimum of one year to a maximum of two years.

Is there an Alberta registration renewal grace period?

No. There is not a grace period. If you drive with an expired licence plate, you could face fines and late penalties.

Can you register a vehicle online in Alberta?

No. You are required to register all vehicles in person at a registry agent. You can only renew your registration online.

How do you register a used car in Alberta?

The registration process for used cars follows the same steps as new cars. If you are buying from a dealership, they will usually handle the registration process for you. If it’s a private sale, you will need to visit a registry agent to complete the transfer of ownership and registration.

The Alberta vehicle registration renewal process

Vehicle registration renewals expire on assigned months based on your surname. You have three options to renew your registration online, in person, or by mail. Here is a look at how they work.

Can you renew your Alberta vehicle registration online?

road with mountains and cloudy sky

You can renew online if there are no changes to your information. To renew, you will need your vehicle registration certificate, insurance pink slip, and a credit card for payment. You can renew online here.

You CANNOT renew online if :

  • You have unpaid fines
  • You have less than 10 business days until your registration expiry date
  • You have a name or address change

In person renewal registration

You can renew your registration in person at any Alberta Registry Agent. Bring your driver’s licence, proof of insurance, and vehicle registration certificate.

Renew by mail

You can renew your passenger vehicle registration by mail. Complete the general mail-in renewal form and mail it to the address listed on the form.

It’s recommended you only use the postal option if your registration expires in 30 days or more. You cannot renew by mail if you have outstanding fines or want to make changes.

Will I get an Alberta vehicle registration renewal notice?

No, you will not receive a reminder unless you sign up for the Renewal Reminder Service. This service will send you an email or text message reminder prior to your next renewal date.

Where can I find my Alberta car registration renewal date?

You can find your expiration date on your licence plate tags, registration certification, or on the registration expiry date chart.

How much does it cost to register a car in Alberta?

The cost of passenger vehicles is $84.45 for one year and $159.45 for two years. If you register a vehicle for the first time, it will be prorated based on your expiry month. The same fees apply to renewals.

Alberta vehicle registration fees are based on the type of vehicle

In the province, vehicle registration fees vary based on the type of vehicle.

  • Cars : $93.00 for 1 year, $173.00 for 2 years
  • Motorcycles : $54.00 for 1 year $99.00 for 2 years
  • Off road vehicle : $54.45
  • Trailer :$163.00
  • Antique vehicles : $39.45 (one-time fee)

Which vehicles don’t require registration in Alberta?

Miniure vehicles that are less than standard size, or are not permitted to drive on public roads, do not require registration. They can only be used on privately owned land. This list includes :

  • Electric scooters and mini bikes
  • Small mopeds
  • Miniature all-terrain vehicles
  • Golf carts
  • Segways

Some vehicles exempt from registration that can be driven on roads include farm equipment, heavy industrial equipment, some trailers, and mobile homes.

How to register a vehicle from another province?

Sample of Alberta vehicle registration

Vehicle standards and registration processes vary. To register your vehicle in Alberta, you will have to get it inspected and provide the following information :

If you are importing a vehicle from the United States, you will also be required to provide a Certificate of Origin and Transport Canada Form 1.

What is the fine for driving without vehicle registration in Alberta?

It is an offence to drive any vehicle without valid registration. If the police stop you, you could be fined a minimum of $230.

How do you register a commercial vehicle in Alberta?

There are specific registration requirements for commercial vehicles in Alberta. Commercial registration applies to Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 plates. Owners must register for the proper plate class or face charges. Vehicle registration costs vary based on class and weight category.

You may need to obtain a Safety Fitness Certificate and/or an Operating Authority Certificate. Commercial vehicle registration can be a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 1 year.

Alberta vehicle registration locations

Alberta vehicle registration locations are found in cities across the province. Currently, there are more than 200 locations across Alberta. Visit your local registry agent to register your vehicle. Click here to find a registry agent near you.

Registration in Edmonton

Edmonton vehicle registration can be completed at 28 locations across the city. You can register and renew your vehicle, take driving road tests, and access many other services.

Registration in Calgary

Registration in Calgary follows the same steps as in other areas of the province. There are about 30 locations across the city where you can register your vehicle.

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When does my Alberta vehicle registration expire?

Registration expiration dates vary. Your registration expires at the end of the month that corresponds with the first letter of your last name.

Can I register a vehicle if I have outstanding fines?

No. You cannot register or renew your vehicle registration if you have outstanding fines. You must pay fines in full before registering or renewing.

How to register a commercial vehicle in Alberta

The province has additonal registration requirements for commerical vehicles. Each type is applied to a particular line of work.

  • Class 1 :Passenger transportation such as a school bus of taxi. Transporting goods owned by the owner or another person for compensation.
  • Class 2 :Operations in specific industry services and transporting goods within 10km of the registered address.
  • Class 3 :Cannot be used to transport another person's goods for compensation, and they are operated by governments, hospitals, school boards, or municipalities.

Commerical vehicles are issued for a minimum of three months to a maximum of one year.

Tips to renew registration in Alberta

Alberta no longer provides postal reminders for expiring registration. Here are some tips to ensure you renew it on time :

  • Renew early (at least 10 business days in advance) so you have access to online renewal
  • Pay fines well in advance of renewal (if applicable)
  • Sign up for electronic reminders for registration renewal
  • Write down the month of your renewal in a planner or somewhere you check frequently
  • Keep all renewal documents filed together
  • Know the documents you need to successfully complete the process

Alberta Vehicle Registration FAQs

Yes. Classic car registration is permanent. There is a one-time cost of $39.45 - you do not need to renew your registration each year.

Yes, you can register a vehicle for someone who cannot make it to a registry office. To complete the registration, you must bring the person’s proof of ownership, valid insurance, and identification. You will also need to obtain a signed and completed Authorization for Vehicle Services form.

This form allows you to give someone else the ability to register, renew, or transfer vehicle registration on your behalf. This form is used if you are not physically able to be present in a registry office to complete the transaction. Fill out the official form provided by Service Alberta.

You can get a copy by visiting a registry office. You will need Government of Alberta photo identification. A $22.45 fee applies for the new registration to be printed. Depending on your expiry date, you may have the option to renew and extend the term of your registration.

Yes. Visit a registry agent and fill out the License Plate/Parking Placard Cancellation form. You will need to bring ID, your licence plate, and pay a $9 cancellation fee. You are eligible for a refund based on the amount of time left on your registration.

You have 14 days to change your address. You must visit a registry agent in person to apply for an address change. A $7 fee applies to change personal information on your registration.

Final thoughts on Alberta vehicle registration

Alberta vehicle registration doesn’t have to be complicated. Use the information above to complete registrations and renewals with ease. Be sure to check that your car insurance in Alberta is up to date.