In Alberta all vehicles being operated or parked on public roads or property must be registered and insured. The law even includes off-road vehicles such as snowmobiles and dirt bikes.
If you buy a car that was previously registered in Alberta (not a brand new car) you must register and insure it if you wish to use it on a public roadway. The first years fee will be pro-rated to correspond with your expiry date that is based on the first initials of your last name. You will be asked for 3 documents:
Generally your Driver’s Licence will be sufficient identification to prove that you are the “Buyer” on the Bill of Sale.
If we find that the vehicle you purchased was previously “written-off” by an insurance company and has that status on the system you’ll need to have it inspected by a mechanic authorized by Alberta Transportation to perform vehicle inspections before registration can be completed.
A person under 18 years old must have parental consent to register a vehicle in their name.
If a vehicle is being registered jointly all parties should be named on the Bill of Sale and all parties should be present. If this is not possible the absent parties must sign an authorization form that gives their consent to be included on the registration. You can register a vehicle for another person. This requires that the person named on the Bill of Sale must sign an authorization form stating that you can register the vehicle on their behalf.
If you are registering a brand new vehicle that has never been registered before you will be asked for the 3 documents described above as well as the New Vehicle Information Statement (NVIS). The auto dealership will provide you with the NVIS when you buy a new car. In this case a faxed NVIS is not acceptable. You must bring in the original document and it will be retained by us and forwarded to government.
Since January 1, 1997 all vehicles that were last registered outside of Alberta must be inspected by an authorized mechanic before being registered within our province. First bring us your Bill of Sale. We’ll do a search on the vehicle to find out its previous status in the jurisdiction it was last registered in. Depending on that status you will be required to either have an Out of Province Vehicle Inspection or a Written-Off Vehicle Inspection done. We will provide you with a Request for Inspection form that you must take to the mechanic before he can start to inspect your vehicle. We also have a list of some of the Alberta authorized mechanics available. Not all mechanics in Alberta are authorized to perform these inspections. After the inspection is completed you must return to us the form given to you by the mechanic. This inspection form is only valid for 14 days from date of issue, if you miss this deadline you will have to start the process all over again. Then the vehicle can be registered and the record from the previous province closed out.
If your vehicle is 25 years old or more you may want register it as an antique. With this registration you can use your antique in exhibitions and club meets and also going to and from those events. You can also drive it to and from a service station for maintenance. You cannot use it for general transportation unless it is also registered as a regular vehicle (dual registration). To register your antique vehicle you will also be asked for the documents required in registering a regular vehicle.