Getting started

Where can I obtain an inspection facility licence application package?

An inspection facility licence application package can be obtained from the Alberta Transportation website, or contacting Alberta Transportation by phone at 780-427-8901 (toll free 310-0000), fax 780-422-2721.

What is the application fee for a vehicle inspection facility licence?

The current application fee for a vehicle inspection facility licence is $250.

What equipment must I have to be licensed as an inspection facility?

To be licensed as an inspection facility, you must be equipped as required under the schedule within the Vehicle Inspection Regulation, AR 211/2006 for the type of vehicle that you wish the facility to be licensed to inspect. Click here to view the required equipment list.

When I have submitted my inspection facility licence application package to Alberta Transportation, how long will I have to wait for my facility to be audited?

Depending upon the applicant's location, and when an auditor will be in the area, the wait time could be up to 4 to 6 weeks.

What are the fees for a vehicle inspection facility audit?

Current audit fees are as follows:

  • out-of-province and/or salvage facility : $315.00 ($300 + GST)
  • commercial facility: $441.00 ($420 + GST)
  • out-of-province or salvage and commercial facility: $472.50 ($450 + GST)

How long will I have to wait for my inspection facility licence subsequent to a successful audit?

When a complete inspection facility audit package is received by Alberta Transportation, it takes 3 to 5 business days to process.

Facility manual

What is the purpose of the Facility Operating Manual?

The purpose of the Facility Operating Manual is to provide a one-source guide to an operator with respect to the regulatory requirements of the Vehicle Inspection Regulation, the manner to conduct a vehicle inspection and to issue a vehicle inspection certificate.

A facility that fails to comply with the Facility Operating Manual may be subject to sanctions up to the suspension or revocation of the facility licence.

Where do I purchase the Vehicle Inspection Program Facility Operating Manual?

The vehicle inspection program facility manual must be purchased from Riley's Reproductions and Printing Ltd. The manual can be ordered from their website or by calling toll free at 1-800-563-1542.

What is the cost of the Vehicle Inspection Program Facility Operating manual?

The manual is currently priced at $18.00. Please note that this does not include GST, shipping and handling.

What should I do with the manual?

The manual must be located in an accessible area in the facility for easy reference. The registration card, found in the front of the Facility Operating Manual, must be returned to Alberta Transportation.

What should I do if the Facility Manual is lost or becomes unusable?

Contact Riley's immediately for assistance to purchase a new copy.

What is the name of the Technician Manual that your technician must look to for questions regarding how to conduct an inspection?

There are four different Technician Manuals in the Vehicle Inspection Program. A technician can have one, 2 or all 3.

  • Commercial Vehicle Inspection
  • Automotive and Light Truck Inspection
  • Motorcycles and Mopeds

Where should the technician manual(s) be located?

The facility operator and technician must make sure that the Technician Manual is located close to the area of inspection for easy reference.

Facility licence requirements

What are the general administrative responsibilities of a facility operator?

The following is a list of general administrative responsibilities for a facility operator:

  • The facility operator or a responsible person should be available at the facility during operating hours who:
    • is knowledgeable about the inspection of the relevant vehicle type
    • is familiar with the Facility Operating Manual and the Technician Manual(s) that govern the way an inspection must be conducted by the technician
    • is capable of completing and processing the Record of Inspection (ROI) and the Certificates and other pertinent documents
    • can respond to enquiries from the Alberta Transportation's Vehicle Safety Investigators or contracted auditors
  • Maintain the facility in a clean and safe condition
  • Maintain equipment in good and serviceable order
  • Maintain the calibration of required gauges and measuring devices
  • Post the Facility Licence in a conspicuous place
  • Provide the terms of the Facility Licence to any person who requests that information
  • Post the shop rates in a conspicuous place (when applicable)
  • Ensure the AMVIC licence (if applicable) is current
  • Notify Alberta Transportation immediately of any changes of information (name, phone, fax, email, AMVIC licence)

What are the facility premises and equipment requirements?

There are numerous requirements relating to the premises and equipment for the operation of a facility. Consult the Facility Operating Manual for the details of the requirements. The requirements are also included in the Vehicle Inspection Regulation.

What are the things that a contracted auditor will be looking for during a facility audit?

The Facility Operating Manual outlines the matters that will be verified by the audit.

How should I get ready for the audit?

Ensure you comply with the requirements and have all records ready.

What should I do if my AMVIC (Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council) Licence is expired, suspended or revoked?

Report this fact immediately to Alberta Transportation, and stop performing vehicle inspections or issuing certificates under the Vehicle Inspection Program. NOTE: Facilities that are a "Carrier Limited" facility or those facilities inspecting only trailers or motorcycles are not required to have an AMVIC licence, for the purpose of the Vehicle Inspection

What should I do if my facility licence is missing, mutilated or destroyed?

Report the problem immediately to Alberta Transportation and apply for a replacement facility licence. Wait for direction from the VIP Application Analyst, VIP Manager or the Registrar.

What should I do if I have reported my facility licence lost or stolen but then found the original licence again?

Report the matter immediately to Alberta Transportation. Also, once you have received a replacement licence, cut up the original licence and use the replacement licence.

If I sell, lease or otherwise dispose of my facility to another person or corporation, can I transfer the facility licence to the other person or corporation?

No, a facility licence is not transferable.

If I move my facility to another location, do I need a new facility licence?

Yes, you will need a new facility licence. A facility licence is issued for a particular location. A facility audit will also be required. Contact the VIP Manager for approval to continue inspecting.

If I expand my facility in the current location, do I need a new facility licence?

No, the current facility licence remains in effect.

If I move the shop where the vehicle inspection is conducted within the existing premises, do I need a new facility licence?

No, a new facility licence is not required. You can commence the inspection of vehicles under the Vehicle Inspection Program in the new space.

When is a facility audit required?

A facility requires an audit:

  • Every 2 years
  • Each time they move locations
  • Each time there is an ownership change
  • When adding new program types to the current facility licence

As a facility licensee, am I accountable for infractions committed by my technicians or employees against the requirements of VIP, if I did not know or did not direct such actions?

The licensee of the facility is accountable for actions of the technicians and employees under the Vehicle Inspection Program, whether or not the licensee knows or directs the actions. Technicians and employees should be trained in the requirements of the Program, and their activities monitored.

Why is a background check required?

Applicants, directors, partners and employees of a facility may be required to submit a background check upon application for, or renewal of a facility licence. The criminal record check is required to enhance public safety and accountability, as well as support program integrity. This supports the objective that only qualified and quality individuals will be licensed under the regulation.

What should I do if I, or one or more of my directors, partners or employees at the facility were charged or convicted of a Criminal Code or Excise Act offence?

Report this immediately to Alberta Transportation. The facility may be able to continue to perform vehicle inspections and issue certificates under the Vehicle Inspection Program within the terms and conditions of the facility licence, when directed by Alberta Transportation.

What documents must a facility display?

The facility must display the facility licence in a conspicuous place to which the public has access. If requested, the facility must provide a copy of the terms and conditions of the licence to the public.

If the facility is licensed to inspect out-of-province or salvage vehicles, the facility must post its shop rates in a conspicuous place to which the public has access. The facility must also display their AMVIC licence, if applicable.

Information privacy and security

What should I do if the customer who requested the vehicle inspection asks for another copy of the Record of Inspection or Vehicle Inspection Certificate pertaining to that person's vehicle?

You are required to provide a copy of the Record of Inspection (ROI) to the person who originally provided the information or to the registered owner of the vehicle. However, you must confirm the identity of the person.

What should I do if the person asking for information relating to a vehicle inspection is not the registered owner or the customer who originally provided the information?

You must not provide information collected under the Vehicle Inspection Program to anyone other than authorized personnel of Alberta Transportation (e.g. Vehicle Safety Investigators), contractor (e.g. Auditors), or the owner of the vehicle or the owner's representative. When in doubt, contact Alberta Transportation for direction.

What kind of records under the Vehicle Inspection Program does a facility maintain that contain customer's personal information?

Many documents kept by a facility under the Vehicle Inspection Program contain their customer's personal information. The facility must safeguard the privacy of such information.

You are required to provide a copy of the Record of Inspection (ROI) to the person who originally provided the information or to the registered owner of the vehicle. However, you must confirm the identity of the person. You must not provide information collected under the Vehicle Inspection Program to anyone other than authorized personnel of Alberta Transportation (e.g. Vehicle Safety Investigators), contractor (e.g. Auditors), or the owner of the vehicle or the owner's representative. When in doubt, contact Alberta Transportation for direction. Many documents kept by a facility under the Vehicle Inspection Program contain their customer's personal information. The facility must safeguard the privacy of such information.

  • Vehicle Inspection Certificates
  • Records of Inspection
  • Request for Inspection Forms (Salvage Vehicles and Out-of-province Vehicles)

The above list does not contain records that may contain customer personal information collected by the facility outside of the Vehicle Inspection Program, e.g. credit card information.

How long must a facility keep records relating to the Vehicle Inspection Program?

The current year and the previous 4 calendar years.

What are the methods used to safeguard Vehicle Inspection Program records that contain customer personal information and un-issued Vehicle Inspection Certificates?

Valuable or sensitive records relating to the Vehicle Inspection Program must be kept in a safe and secure manner:

  • Keep the documents in a lockable, fireproof and liquid-proof cabinet or box.
  • Ensure only authorized personnel will have access to the key or access code.
  • Conduct a physical inventory of the records on a periodic basis so that any missing documents may be identified as soon as possible. Report any discrepancies in VIP certificate inventory to Alberta Transportation

Vehicle inspection certificates and records

Where do I purchase vehicle inspection reports?

Inspection reports can be purchased from either the contractor or Riley's Reproductions. Facilities also have the option of producing their own. To purchase inspection reports, please contact any of the following:

Transtrue Vehicle Safety
Phone: 780-450-3400 or toll free at 1-866-756-3400

Riley's Reproductions (Edmonton)
Phone: 780-413-6816 or toll free at 1-800-563-1542

Riley's Reproductions (Calgary)
Phone: 403-297-1234 or toll free at 1-800-563-2512

If an inspection facility wishes to produce its own inspection report, a sample Record of Inspection (ROI) can be found in the Facility Operating Manual (Attachment 11) or by clicking here. Please contact Alberta Transportation directly, should you have further questions.

If I run out of vehicle inspection certificates/decals, can I borrow an unused certificate/decal for my use from another facility?

A vehicle inspection facility can only issue an inspection certificate/decal that was sold to it and with the series number assigned to that facility by the contractor. If a facility issues a certificate or decal that was not assigned to that facility by contractor, the certificate will be revoked by Alberta Transportation. A facility that contravened this requirement may be subject to a review and possible administrative penalties assessed by Alberta Transportation.

Also, it is an offence for an operator of a facility to loan, sell or otherwise provide an unused vehicle inspection certificate or a decal to another facility. This prohibition applies even if the other facility is owned by the same owner, as each facility has a separate licence issued to it by Alberta Transportation.

What would I do if I discovered one or more of the un-issued certificates are missing?

Write down the series number of the missing certificates, and information relating to the event (who discovered the problem, when the problem was discovered, was the problem reported to the police), and immediately telephone Alberta Transportation about the problem. You will be required to send or fax a copy of a written description of the event to Alberta Transportation.

What should I do if I have reported that an un-issued certificate was missing or stolen but then found it again?

A certificate that has been reported to Alberta Transportation as missing or stolen, but was subsequently found cannot be used. The facility contact must notify Alberta Transportation immediately.

How do I "void" a vehicle inspection certificate?

If a vehicle inspection certificate is to be voided, write the word "VOID" and draw a diagonal line on the original and all copies. Keep the facility copy and mail the original and the other copies to Alberta Transportation.

If no information is required for a space on the vehicle inspection certificate or a Record of Inspection, should I simply leave the space blank?

If no information is needed in a space, include "N/A" in that space. Leaving it blank is not acceptable.

Vehicle inspection administration

Apart from the information required to complete a vehicle inspection certificate, what other information must a person supply in order to have an out-of-province vehicle inspection or salvage vehicle inspection?

A person must provide a Request of Inspection Form issued by Service Alberta before a vehicle inspection facility could perform an out of province vehicle inspection or salvage vehicle inspection under the Vehicle Inspection Program.

Under unique circumstances, a facility or vehicle owner may contact Alberta Transportation for permission to conduct an out of provincial vehicle inspection or salvage vehicle inspection without a Request for Inspection Form. This approval or direction will only be given by Alberta Transportation.

What are the types of vehicles that are eligible for a Commercial Vehicle Inspection Certificate and Decal?

Vehicles that are eligible for a vehicle inspection certificate and decal include:

  • a truck, tractor or trailer or a combination of these vehicles that have a GVW of 11794 kg or more
  • a converter dolly
  • a bus that has a designed seating capacity of 11 or more passengers including the driver

You must not issue a VIP inspection certificate or decal to a commercial vehicle that does not meet these criteria.

When should a technician sign a Vehicle Inspection Certificate?

A Vehicle Inspection Certificate may only be signed or dated by a technician after the completion of the inspection and the technician is satisfied that the vehicle passed all of the requirements of the inspection.

If a vehicle is brought back to your facility for re-inspection within 10 days of a failed inspection, must it be inspected by the same technician who performed the original inspection?

No.

If a vehicle is re-inspected within 10 days of a failed inspection, must a Vehicle Inspection Certificate be issued if the items that failed the last inspection passed the re-inspection?

Under normal circumstances, yes. In a re-inspection, only those items that failed the inspection and listed on the Record of Inspection are needed to be inspected. However, if a technician is not satisfied that the vehicle is safe for highway use, even though the items that failed the last inspection have been corrected, a Vehicle Inspection certificate may not be issued. Alberta Transportation will be contacted for further direction.

How long does it take to conduct each type of inspection?

Each inspection varies depending on the vehicle. However, it should generally take the following timeframes (approximately):

  • commercial inspection – up to 4 hours
  • salvage inspection – up to 4 hours
  • out-of-province – up to 2 hours

If a technician completes an inspection and signs a vehicle inspection certificate sooner than is generally expected, the facility operator should double check the work and make sure the inspection was properly conducted according to the Technician and Facility Operating Manuals.

What are the special requirements for the inspection of a salvage vehicle that is not a motorcycle?

The mechanical portion of a salvage motor vehicle inspection must be conducted by a journeyman automotive service technician or a journeyman heavy equipment technician who has a subsisting Vehicle Inspection Technician Licence issued by Alberta Transportation. A journeyman auto body technician who has a subsisting Vehicle Inspection Technician Licence issued by Alberta Transportation must conduct the structural integrity portion of a salvage motor vehicle inspection.

What are the special requirements for the inspection of a salvage vehicle that is a motorcycle?

A Journeyman Motorcycle Mechanic who has a subsisting Vehicle Inspection Technician licence issued by Alberta Transportation must inspect the mechanical equipment, the alignment, and the structural integrity of a salvage motorcycle.

What are the special requirements for the inspection of a rebuilt salvage vehicle?

For the inspection of a rebuilt salvage vehicle, the customer must present a completed Application to Obtain Certification of Rebuilt Vehicle along with:

  • Proof of ownership document
  • A list of major components necessary for rebuilding the vehicle
  • 4 colour photographs taken before the vehicle was rebuilt, clearly depicting its front end, rear end and both sides
  • Rebuild plan and invoices to support purchases. Cannot be VIN parts for a non-repairable vehicle.

How is the VIN of a vehicle to be verified?

The accuracy of the VIN must be consistent with:

  • the VIN on the door decal
  • the Request for Inspection Form (in the case of a salvage or out-of-province vehicle)
  • the VIN plate on the dash and door decal have not been tampered with

What should you do if the VIN of the vehicle appears to have been altered or tampered with?

Contact Alberta Transportation immediately for direction.

What should you do if your technician found structural damage to a vehicle that was the subject of an Out-of-Province Vehicle Inspection?

Contact Alberta Transportation immediately for direction.

Can you issue a Salvage Vehicle Inspection Certificate for a motorcycle with a repaired bent frame?

No a motorcycle with a bent frame must have it replaced in order to pass the Salvage Vehicle Inspection. Since a motorcycle with a replacement frame is an amalgamated vehicle, it must also have an assigned VIN issued by the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

Reporting safety issues

During the inspection of a vehicle under the Salvage Inspection Program, the Out-of-Province Inspection Program or the Commercial Vehicle Inspection Program, what would you do if you have concluded that the vehicle is "non-repairable"?

Collect as much information relating to the issue as possible such as the vehicle's licence plate, VIN, model, make, colour, year, nature of the safety issue. Advise the owner of the situation and provide the information to Alberta Transportation and wait for their direction. Consult the Facility Operating Manual for additional information.

How do I report an unsafe vehicle or inspection process?

Contact Alberta Transportation or a Peace Officer about the issue.

From a vehicle safety and inspection perspective, what are the key indications of a "non-repairable" vehicle?

From a safety perspective, the key indications that a vehicle is "non-repairable" include one or more of the following situations:

  • It has substantial damage to all of the body panels or interior components missing
  • It has been immersed in a liquid to the bottom of the dashboard or to a level affecting any of the major electrical system components, and/or a vehicle contaminated with toxic fluid that renders the vehicle unsafe due to toxic hazard. The bottom of the dashboard is defined as the area where the floor meets the firewall at the seam. The major components of an electrical system include:
    • a fuse panel or breaker panel
    • a component that monitor, triggers or controls any component of the vehicle's occupant restraint systems
    • an electronic component that transmits or relays power for use in the heating and cooling of the vehicle's occupant compartment
    • an electronic component that transmits or relays power for use in the vehicle's defogging or defrosting systems
    • an electric component or module that controls the vehicle's primary operating systems
    • a main wiring harness with unsealed connections that is located in the occupant compartment
    • an electronic module that controls the vehicle's on board self-diagnostic system, excluding communications, navigational and entertainment systems
    • an electronic module that controls the vehicle's braking, acceleration, steering or any other systems affecting the drivability or safe operation of the vehicle
  • It has been burned or damaged by heat in 2 or more compartments or burned or damaged by heat to the extent that high-strength steel components are affected
  • In the case of a full frame motor vehicle, the damage would require replacement of both the cab and the frame
  • In the case of a uni-body motor vehicle, the vehicle is affected by one or more of the following:
    • collision or other damages to the passenger compartment floor, cowl or A-pillar
    • collision or other damage to the rocker panel and B-pillar extending to the floor
    • an opening anywhere in the uni-body as part of a rescue or recovery operation

Revocation of inspection certificates

What are the circumstances under which an inspection certificate may be revoked by Alberta Transportation?

Alberta Transportation will revoke a certificate for one of the following reasons:

  • the issuing facility was not licensed to inspect the type of vehicle
  • the issuing technician was not licensed to inspect the type of vehicle
  • the date of the inspection on the certificate is different than the actual date of the inspection
  • the technician signed the certificate prior to completing the inspection
  • the certificate issued was reported missing, destroyed, or otherwise invalid
  • the certificate issued was originally sold to another inspection facility
  • the certificate was issued for which the inspection was not conducted in accordance with the Vehicle Inspection Regulation (A/R 211/2006), the Facility Manual, or the Technician Manual
  • the certificate was otherwise issued under fraudulent or false pretenses

What are the consequences to a facility if an inspection certificate issued by it is revoked by Alberta Transportation?

The facility responsible for the issuance of the improper certificate (including certificate improperly issued by its technician) may be subject to a review by Alberta Transportation, up to the revocation of the facility licence and prosecution.

What are the consequences to the client if a vehicle inspection certificate is revoked by Alberta Transportation?

In the case of a revoked Out-of-Province Vehicle Inspection Certificate, the owner cannot use the document to register the vehicle in Alberta, and if registration has occurred, the status of the vehicle will be reverted back to the previous status.

In the case of a revoked Salvage Vehicle Inspection Certificate, the status of the vehicle will be reverted back to "Salvage" or "Unsafe", and the vehicle will be prohibited from being operated on a highway.

In the case of a revoked Commercial Vehicle Inspection Certificate, the vehicle may be declared Out-of-Service during a roadside inspection by an enforcement officer, and the carrier and driver may be directed to obtain a new VIP for commercial vehicle; up to and including the vehicle may be impounded.

Penalties

Under what circumstances may action be assessed against a facility by Alberta Transportation?

Alberta Transportation will sanction or administer penalties to the licensee of a facility for committing the following contravention(s):

  • conducting an inspection without receiving the Request for Inspection Form issued by an Alberta registry agent, in the case of an inspection of a salvage motor vehicle or an out-of-province motor vehicle
  • late submission of an issued certificate to Alberta Transportation
  • failure to submit an issued certificate to Alberta Transportation
  • certificate rejected
  • certificate revoked
  • failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the licence
  • failure to comply with the Traffic Safety Act, the Vehicle Inspection Regulation or the Facility Operating Manual

What are the types of sanctions and penalties that may result if I fail to comply with the Facility Operating Manual, the Code of Conduct, the Vehicle Inspection Regulation, terms and conditions of the licence, and directives from Alberta Transportation officials including the Registrar and the vehicle safety investigators?

Depending on the nature, severity, and past compliance history, administrative penalties and sanctions that Alberta Transportation may apply to an infraction may include one or more of the following:

  • warning letter
  • intervention actions by Alberta Transportation (interview, investigation, review)
  • show cause hearing
  • facility audit
  • additional licence terms and conditions
  • directives to take specific actions
  • administrative penalties
  • licence suspension
  • licence cancellation
  • prosecution

What if I disagree with a Directive issued by a Vehicle Safety Investigator?

You should first contact the Vehicle Safety Investigator to have the issue addressed. If there is no resolution, you can formally request the Registrar to review the matter. The Facility Operating Manual contains information on the process to request the Registrar's review. While you are waiting for the resolution from the Vehicle Safety Investigator or the Registrar, you must comply with the Directive.

If my licence is suspended, what actions are required for me to recommence vehicle inspections after the suspension?

Even after the licence suspension period has expired, you will have to pass a facility audit administered by the contracted auditor to recommence inspecting vehicles under the Vehicle Inspection Program. Depending on the issues involved, the approval may or may not be granted, or may be granted with additional terms and conditions, or restrictions.

Can the sanctions and penalties imposed by Alberta Transportation be appealed?

Yes, a decision by Alberta Transportation that affects the operation of a facility or a technician may be appealed to the Alberta Transportation Safety Board. The notice from Alberta Transportation regarding the sanction or penalty will include information on the appeal process.

Dispute resolution

What should I do if I have a dispute with Alberta Transportation's contracted services?

You should make every attempt to resolve the issue directly with the contracted services. However, it that has failed, contact Alberta Transportation to have the matter reviewed. Refer to the Facility Operating Manual's dispute resolution process.

Continuous improvement

Is a newsletter published informing me of topical issues affecting the Vehicle Inspection Program?

Yes, Alberta Transportation produces the Vehicle Inspection Program Newsletter which is sent out semi-annually via email to each licensed facility. As well it may be viewed on the Alberta Transportation website.

If I have any suggestions or comments to improve the Vehicle Inspection Program, who should I forward them to?

Suggestions and comments regarding the Vehicle Inspection Program are welcomed by:

You should make every attempt to resolve the issue directly with the contracted services. However, it that has failed, contact Alberta Transportation to have the matter reviewed. Refer to the Facility Operating Manual's dispute resolution process. Yes, Alberta Transportation produces the Vehicle Inspection Program Newsletter which is sent out semi-annually via email to each licensed facility. As well it may be viewed on the Alberta Transportation website. Suggestions and comments regarding the Vehicle Inspection Program are welcomed by:

Alberta Transportation
Box 900, Station Main
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 2L8
Phone: 780-427-8901 (for toll free outside of Edmonton, dial 310-0000)
Fax: 780-422-3682