Oil well service rig regulations

Regulation changes have reduced red tape by streamlining transportation rules for oil well service rigs.


New regulation changes remove unnecessary rules limiting the movement of service rigs between work sites and across provincial borders.

These changes help cut red tape without compromising safety. Service rigs will continue to follow appropriate safety standards, including valid permits, regular inspections, and compliance with Occupational Health and Safety requirements.

Changes in effect

Transportation requirements

Vehicles with permanently mounted service rigs are classified as commercial vehicles, which means they must meet transportation requirements for the commercial trucking industry.

Since a service rig typically spends 95% of its time at a worksite and only 5% of its time on the road, not all commercial trucking requirements are suitable.

Changes to the Commercial Vehicle Certificate and Insurance Regulation and Vehicle Inspection Regulation on June 28, 2019 mean service rigs:

  • must be inspected every 5 years, instead of annually under the Commercial Vehicle Inspection Program
  • are exempt from Safety Fitness Certificate (SFC) requirements
    • service rig operators do not have to carry an SFC or complete daily trip inspection reports
      • service rig owners must still ensure a daily trip inspection is conducted

These changes to the regulation only apply to service rigs – however, members of the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors can obtain a permit to extend these allowances to support vehicles when operating in a convoy. Service rig carriers without this permit will  still need to comply with all SFC and CVIP requirements for any support vehicles.

These changes do not apply to companies that operate outside of Alberta and have a federal operating status.

Carrier profiles

We collect information about the conduct of commercial carriers from law enforcement across North America and compiles it into a carrier profile, which tracks a carrier’s compliance with laws and regulations.

Learn more about carrier profiles and monitoring.

If you see violations on your carrier profile relating to your service rigs and have questions or concerns, contact us.

Future changes

More work is underway to reduce barriers to cross-border travel. More information will be posted as updates are available.

Reducing cross-border barriers

The governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work towards:

  • a unified approach for transport regulations making it easier for service rigs to get to job sites across western Canada
  • aligning provincial and federal standards through a joint agreement seeking a class exemption for interprovincial service rig carriers from the federal Motor Vehicle Transportation Act

An interprovincial working group has been formed to accomplish these goals.


Service rigs require both provincial and municipal approvals for permits to operate across the province, as they exceed the maximum size and weight.

We are working with municipalities to streamline the permitting process by having all municipalities use the provincial Transportation Routing and Vehicle Information System-Multi Jurisdictional for service rig permits.


Connect with Permitting and Approvals about Safety Fitness Certificates:

Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:15 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 4:30 pm
Phone: 403-340-5444
Email: [email protected]

Carrier and Vehicle Safety
Room 401, 4920 51 Street
Red Deer, Alberta T4N 6K8

Connect with Permitting and Approvals about Commercial Vehicle Inspections:

Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:15 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 4:30 pm
Phone: 780-427-8901
Email: [email protected]

Carrier and Vehicle Safety
Room 109
Main Floor, Twin Atria Building
4999 98 Avenue
Edmonton, AB T6B 2X3

Connect with the Central Permit Office about permits:

Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:15 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 4:30 pm
Phone: 1-800-662-7138
Email: [email protected]

Central Permit Office
Room 401, 4920 51 Street
Red Deer, Alberta T4N 6K8