Vehicles on a public roadway in Alberta must have valid insurance and a Vehicle Registration Certificate. The vehicle you’re registering must be in Alberta.
A vehicle can be either a motor vehicle, such as a car or truck, or a non-motor vehicle such as a trailer.
If you have any outstanding fines, you won’t be able to register a vehicle. If you choose to pay your fines online first, you must wait a couple days for the payment to process before you can renew online.
Vehicle Registration Certificate details
A Vehicle Registration Certificate has:
- the name of the registered owner
- a description of the vehicle
- the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- licence plate type
- licence plate number
A person age 18 or older can register a vehicle by themselves. A person under age 18 who is not self-supporting or married must have consent from their parent or guardian to register a vehicle for the first time. The person providing consent will sign the consent at the registry agent office.
If you are temporarily staying in Alberta for less than 183 days, and your vehicle is registered in another jurisdiction, you don’t have to register your vehicle.
If you are a new resident of Alberta, you must change your registration to an Alberta registration within 90 days of moving to Alberta.
Registering a vehicle on behalf of someone else
If you can’t go to a registry office, another person can apply for a vehicle registration, renewal, cancellation or transfer on your behalf. The person requesting the service on your behalf must bring:
- your proof of ownership document, proof of valid insurance, and their ID
- a completed Authorization for Vehicle Services form, signed by you Authorization for Vehicle Services (PDF, 171 KB)
Register your vehicle
To register a vehicle, you must go to a registry agent with the following:
- proof of ownership document, such as a lease, bill of sale, probated will or letters of administration.
- proof of valid insurance for the vehicle that includes the name(s) of the person(s) requesting the registration.
- acceptable identification.
- an out-of-province, salvage or commercial inspection (if applicable)
- if you are registering a used vehicle in Alberta for the first time, you may require an inspection if the vehicle was purchased outside of Alberta
Passenger, motorcycle and off-highway vehicle registrations are issued for a minimum of 1 year to a maximum of 2 years.
Registering a commercial vehicle
There are additional registration requirements for commercial vehicles.
A commercial vehicle transports people or goods and is not used only as a private passenger vehicle.
There are 3 classes of licence plates that apply to commercial carriers in Alberta. These plates are different from the ones used on personal vehicles. Each commercial licence plate allows a carrier to perform a particular type of work.
Class 1 plates
- Transporting goods owned by the owner or another person for compensation
- Passenger transportation, including school bus, charter bus and taxi operations
Class 2 plates