Importing a vehicle into Alberta

How to bring a vehicle purchased out-of-province to Alberta, and what to consider before you buy.

When a vehicle is brought into Alberta, legislation requires that it is registered in the province within 3 months. As the vehicle you are registering in Alberta was last registered in another jurisdiction, it must pass an Out of Province (OOP) Vehicle Inspection.

You will need to visit an Alberta registry agent to purchase the necessary form for the OOP inspection, vehicle registration and obtain an Alberta driver's licence. To obtain Alberta registration and a licence plate for your vehicle you will require:

  • proof of ownership or previous registration for the vehicle
  • proof of Alberta insurance
  • an Alberta address
  • personal identification

The vehicle must be within the province when you purchase your Alberta licence plate. Before visiting a registry agent to purchase the registration you will need to contact a private insurance company in Alberta to purchase the mandatory insurance.

Visit Service Alberta for comprehensive registries and consumer information and services.

Federal requirements

Before importing your vehicle you should contact the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) to determine the federal clearances required and to get a list of inspection facilities that you may contract to perform the requisite federal inspection. You may find that the federal inspection station licensed by the RIV can also perform the Alberta OOP inspection. The registered inspection technician determines the cost of the OOP inspection. You may wish to contact a number of inspection facilities to determine the best option for choosing your inspection technician. Typically the OOP inspection takes two hours to perform. The RIV may be able to advise you of the labour required to perform the federal inspection.

Locate an Alberta vehicle inspection facility in your area.

Buying a used vehicle in the United States

Avoid fraud by using this new online service.

The National Motor Vehicle Title Information Service (NMVTIS) is an online tool developed by the United States Department of Justice to help protect consumers from automobile fraud. If you are buying a used vehicle in the United States, you can use NMVTIS to access the vehicle's brand history, odometer data and basic vehicle information. Brand history gives you information about the vehicle's current or prior condition, including whether it has ever been classed as "salvage" or "flood."

For many vehicles, you can even access the full title record from the state where the vehicle is currently registered. The NVMTIS website will link you to your choice of online service providers. For a small fee, you can then purchase a report on any vehicle for which NMVTIS has records.

NMVTIS currently has information for over 316,000,000 vehicles with over 46 million brand records and over 1 million records of vehicles designated as junk, salvage or total loss as reported by junk yards, recyclers and insurers.

Links to external websites are provided solely for information purposes. The Government of Alberta is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, efficacy or timeliness of these websites.

For more information, contact:

Vehicle Inspection Program