How To Register A Car in Alberta

March 25, 2023

Before you hit the roads in Alberta with your newly purchased car, it’s crucial to get the vehicle registered and insured. While you would fancy trying your hands on the steering, make sure to adhere to the legal norms. It’s illegal to drive in Alberta without getting your vehicle registered. To ease things up for you, we have discussed this process comprehensively in this article.

As you know, the authorities would check your car’s insurance documents before registration and Alberta car registration renewal. First, reach out to one of the reputed brokers at for affordable insurance policies. Established brokerages like Surex recommend cost-effective packages after comparing the best offers from top insurers. 

Now that you have got your vehicle insured, you can proceed to the registration process.

What happens when you register your vehicle in Alberta?

Registering your car in Alberta implies that you inform the government formally that the car now belongs to you. According to the Traffic Safety Act of Alberta [(subsection (b), Section 167(1)], owners should register their cars before driving them on the road. So, it is mandatory by law to get your new car registered.

When you  register a car in Alberta, the law enforcement authorities get to know that you have paid the fees and taxes associated with the process. Also, some cars need to be inspected before you get them registered. For instance, in case you purchase a vehicle outside the province, you might have to get it inspected.

Since car owners need to furnish their insurance documents to complete the registration process, reach out to the auto insurance brokers immediately after purchasing the car.

The process of registering your car in Alberta

  • Visit one of the authorized registry agents to  register cars in Alberta or renew it.
  • Furnish the ownership documents to the authorities.
  • Provide adequate proof that you have insured the car in Alberta.
  • Carry your personal identities that the authorities would ask for.
  • Pay the registration fee and obtain the vehicle registration certificate.

Things to know about registering your vehicle

  • The registration of passenger cars, off-highway vehicles, and motorcycles remains valid for one to two years. After this period, you need to go for Alberta car registration renewal  by shelling out a fee.
  • There’s no grace period for registering your car in Alberta. In case you continue driving with an expired registration, late penalties, and fines will be applicable.
  • Owners cannot register their cars online in Alberta. You can, however, renew the registration online. So, you need to reach out to the registry agent to complete the initial formalities.
  • In case you purchase a used car in Alberta, the same formalities regarding registration apply. Dealerships usually assist their customers in completing the registration process. However, if you purchase it from a private seller, you need to get it registered through an agent.

Cost of vehicle registration in Alberta

  • For passenger vehicles, the registration charge for one and two years is $84.45 and $159.45, respectively.
  • If you purchase a car, the registration cost for one and two years would be $93 and 173, respectively.
  • For antique vehicles, there’s a one-time registration fee of $39.45.

For first-time owners, the registration will be prorated according to the month of expiry. The process for car registration renewal in Alberta would also cost the same amount. Some vehicles are exempt from registration. These include golf cards, small mopeds, mini bikes, electric scooters, miniature ATVs, and segways.

What are the penalties for driving without registering your car?

In case you ignore registering your car, or the number plate expires due to non-renewal, fines and penalties are applicable. You may have to shell out a fine of a minimum of $230 if you are caught driving without a valid registration.

Moreover, this offense can result in a traffic ticket. Under certain circumstances, law enforcement authorities can impound or tow your car. You can even end up being arrested for violating the norms in Alberta.

Documents required for car registration

Here’s the list of documents you should keep handy for registering your car.

Proof of ownership: The vehicle registration process requires the owner to furnish relevant proof of ownership. Therefore, you need to provide your bill of lease or sale, gift documents, or inheritance documents.

Proof of insurance: Before registering your vehicle, you need to get adequate insurance coverage. Reach out to reputed insurance brokers in Alberta for suitable coverage. Keep the insurance documents handy when you apply for your vehicle registration.

Identification documents: Carry your identification documents, such as government-issued ID cards or driving licenses, when you apply for vehicle registration.

Can driving without registration in Alberta increase insurance premiums?

No, driving an unregistered car in Alberta won’t increase your premiums. This is because this offense doesn’t lead to the accumulation of demerit points.

In the first place, you cannot register your car without insuring it. Even if you forget to renew the number plate, it won’t affect your premiums.

However, the fines and penalties would financially drain you. If you overlook the registration process completely, the fines can be as high as $690. After all, there’s no point in flouting the norms and landing yourself in legal trouble. You can stay away from paying hefty fines by paying the registration fee which is much lower.

How can Alberta insurance brokers help you?

As a new car owner, it’s easy to find yourself confused about the insurance coverage you should purchase before registering your vehicle. By consulting one of the trusted insurance brokers, you can customize the package.

Working with insurance brokers, you need not visit dozens of websites to get quotes from the top insurers. Rather, owners can simply convey their requirements to the professionals, who would obtain multiple quotes from reputed insurers. After comparing the premiums and coverages, they would recommend the most suitable package for you.

Alberta car registration renewal — Endnote

Registering your car in Alberta is easy, and renewing it online doesn't even require you to visit an agent physically. By consulting insurance brokers in Alberta, you can start with the initial formalities. With your insurance documents, ownership proof, and personal identities in place, simply visit an authorized agent in Alberta. This way, you can drive without the consequences of flouting norms chasing you.


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