Licence plates

A valid licence plate must be displayed on your vehicle at all times.

Get a licence plate

You can purchase a licence plate at a registry agent. To get a licence plate, you will need:

  • your driver’s licence
  • a Bill of Sale, or proof that the vehicle is owned by you

Your licence plate must be located in one of these places:

  • if the vehicle is a tractor-trailer, to the front of the vehicle
  • if the vehicle is a motorcycle, to the back mudguard or back fender so that it can be seen easily
  • on the back of the vehicle for all other types of vehicles

You cannot display more than one licence plate on your vehicle or any other type of plate that could be mistaken for a valid licence plate.

Some vehicles do not need a licence plate or registration. For more details, see the non-eligible vehicles page.

Types of licence plates

Alberta issues a variety of standard and specialty licence plates and permits.

For short-term registrations we offer an in-transit permit.

Order a Calgary Flames speciality licence plate.

Order an Edmonton Oilers specialty licence plate.

Order a Support our Troops specialty licence plate.

  • Veterans licence plate

    The Government of Alberta introduced a special veterans' licence plate in 2005 and a motorcycle veterans' licence plate in 2012 to honour the contributions of Alberta veterans.

    Alberta residents who have served, or are currently serving, in the following capacities are eligible for veterans’ licence plates:

    • Honourably discharged after serving as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces
    • Honourably discharged after serving in an allied force, the Canadian or allied merchant navy, or the ferry command in World War II, the Korean War, or the Gulf War
    • Currently serve in the Canadian Armed Forces with at least 3 years of active service
    • Members of the RCMP or other Canadian police departments who served under NATO or the United Nations
    • Currently serve as members of the RCMP with at least 3 years of active service
    • Honourably discharged after serving as members of the RCMP

    The Royal Canadian Legion (RCL), Alberta/NWT Command must approve all applications before you can be issued a veterans’ plate.

    You can print an application from The RCL, Alberta/NWT Command and mail to the following address:

    Alberta/NWT Command Veterans’ Plate
    The Royal Canadian Legion
    2020 15th Street NW
    Calgary, Alberta  T2M 3N8

    Once you have an approved application form from the legion, you may request the plate from your local registry agent.

    Standard or personalized veterans’ licence plates can be used on:

    • passenger vehicles
    • commercial farm vehicles
    • motorcycles
    • Amateur Radio Operators (HAM)

    Veterans’ licence plates cannot be used on:

    • commercial vehicles (except commercial farm)
    • trailers
    • off-highway vehicles

    When the veteran passes away, the veterans' licence plate may be retained only as a memento but can no longer be used on a vehicle.

  • Personalized licence plate

    Albertans may purchase a personalized licence plate with the configuration of their choosing. A personalized licence plate may be registered in all classes of vehicles except:

    • dealer plates
    • antiques
    • consular corp
    • disabled
    • specialty plate

    All personalized licence plate configurations must meet Government of Alberta standards. A personalized licence plate configuration must not contain or reference:

    • human rights discrimination
      • A plate must not express ridicule or superiority of any race, religion, ethnic origin, ancestry, creed, colour, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, age, disabilities or the like.
    • abusive, vulgar, derogatory, obscene or profane language
    • sexual messaging or meaning
    • political or social messaging, opinion, affiliation, organization, figures, or dignitaries, including negative message or meaning with respect to government
    • violence and/or criminal activity, including weapons
    • offensive language, including text message abbreviations, words spelt backwards and/or upside down or translated words
    • promotion of risky driving behaviour, including disregard towards road safety, the consumption of drugs, alcohol, controlled substances, or paraphernalia used in the consumption thereof
    • a configuration used by Motor Vehicles Services for regular series licence plates
    • the letter O (use the number zero)
    • a configuration that could be easily confused with an existing licence plate (look-a-like)
      • Letters and numbers cannot be substituted to create a plate similar to an existing plate such as H1 QT and HI QT. Common substitutions include:
        • Number 1 and the letter I
        • Number 1 and the letter L
        • Number 6 and the letter G
        • Number 5 and the letter S
        • Number 2 and the letter Z
        • Number 0 and the letter Q
        • Number 8 and the letter B
        • Number 3 and the letter E
        • Number 4 and the letter A

    Personalized plates are issued on a first come, first served basis. Plate configurations cannot be reserved.

    The Registrar of Motor Vehicle Services is authorized to refuse to issue, or recall at any time, any licence plate configuration that is considered inappropriate for a government-issued licence plate.

    If your plate is denied and you wish to have the decision reconsidered, you may contact Motor Vehicles Services in writing to the attention of the Assistant Director Motor Vehicles at [email protected].

    Transferring and changing a personalized plate

    You may request a change to your personalized plate after the order is placed, within the first 90 days to:

    • cancel and refund – you must return both unused licence plates
    • exchange the unused plate for a new configuration

    A personalized licence plate can only be transferred:

    • to an immediate family member, such as mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter, spouse, common-law spouse and in-laws
    • between a company and the company owner, when the person is the only owner of the company
    • when purchased as a gift

    Once a personalized licence plate is issued, there are no additional fees to retain the special plate. You only pay the standard vehicle registration renewal fee.

  • Amateur Radio Operator (HAM) licence plate

    Amateur Radio Operator (HAM) plates can be issued to Albertans who have a valid Amateur Radio Operator Certificate issued by Industry Canada.

    Amateur Radio Operator (HAM) plates bear the operator’s call sign shown on their Amateur Radio Operator Certificate. Canadian Amateur Radio Operator call signs have a national prefix for each province that has 2 letters and a number. They also have the 2 or 3 letter suffix of your call sign.

    Alberta’s assigned prefixes are:

    • VA6
    • VE6

    Albertans may request personalized veterans’ plates displaying their Amateur Radio Operator call letters if it doesn’t have more than 5 total characters.

    If you’re moving to Alberta from another jurisdiction, you cannot use the prefix from the other jurisdiction. Your plate will be printed with the Alberta prefix and your call sign.

    To obtain your Alberta Amateur Radio Operator’s plate, you need:

    • acceptable identification
    • a valid Amateur Radio Operator Certificate
  • Antique licence plate

    An antique passenger or motorcycle plate is available for vehicles or motorcycles that are 25 years old or more and will be only used in the following ways:

    • as a collector’s item in exhibitions
    • in club activities
    • in parades
    • as transportation to and from these events
    • as transportation to servicing appointments

    To get an antique plate, you must meet the following criteria:

    • provide acceptable identification
    • the vehicle must be a minimum of 25 years old
    • if it’s imported, you need an import form
    • have proof of ownership
    • if the vehicle is from outside Alberta, you have a vehicle inspection
  • In-transit permit (temporary plate)

    Alberta does not have a temporary licence plate. We can issue you a special permit called an in-transit permit.

    An in-transit permit allows a person to move a vehicle or trailer that doesn’t have a valid vehicle registration and licence plate.

    The in-transit permit can be used in the following situations:

    • moving a vehicle between 2 points in Canada
      • maximum 3 days within Alberta, maximum 7 days out of province
    • towing
      • maximum 3 days within Alberta, maximum 7 days out of province
    • for car dealership demonstration/test drive purposes
      • maximum 7 days
    • repairs/servicing
      • maximum 7 days
    • salvage vehicles
      • maximum 24 hours

    When you’re moving the vehicle from one province to another, the starting point or ending point must be in Alberta.

    Request an in-transit permit

    You can request an in-transit permit online or through a registry agent. A verified Account is required for online requests.

    To request an in-transit permit when using it in Alberta only, you need the following:

    • a verified Account (if completing request online)
    • identification
    • proof of insurance

    To request an in-transit permit when using inside and outside of Alberta, you need the following:

    • a verified Account (if completing request online)
    • identification
    • proof of insurance
    • proof of ownership

    When an unregistered vehicle or trailer is carrying a load, a load licensing permit is needed in addition to the in-transit permit.

Transfer a plate to a new vehicle

If you already have a valid licence plate and registration and want to use it on a new vehicle, you can request it to be transferred.

For more details, see the transfer a registration.

Lost, stolen and damaged plates

If your licence plate is lost or stolen, report it to the police agency where the loss or theft occurred. A police file number is required to replace the licence plate.

Police agencies in Alberta

Report your stolen plate to the local police service listed below.

Report your stolen plate to the police service where the loss or theft occurred.

Police agency Phone
RCMP 1-855-565-7555
Blood Tribe Police 403-737-3800
Calgary Police Service 403-266-1234
Camrose Police Service 780-672-4444
Edmonton Police Service 780-423-4567
Lacombe Police Service 403-782-3279
Lakeshore Police Service 587-749-0208
Lethbridge Police Service 403-328-4444
Medicine Hat Police Service 403-529-8481
Taber Police Service 403-223-8991
Tsuu T’ina Police Service 403-271-3777

To replace the licence plate, visit a registry agent office and:

If your licence plate becomes difficult to read due to wear or damage, it could result in a fine. You must apply for a replacement licence plate through a registry agent.

Returning licence plates

If you have moved out of Alberta or no longer need your licence plate, you can return it to any registry agent office in-person or by mail.

To return a licence plate by mail, complete the Licence Plate/Parking Placard Cancellation Declaration form.

Once the licence plate is returned, your file will be updated to show that you are no longer in possession of it.

You can also cancel your vehicle registration by submitting a Registration Cancelation.


Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-7013
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]