The provincial government is delaying implementation of its new fee for looking up vehicle owner information, officials said on Thursday.  

In April the province said it would start charging municipalities and police services $15 for every computer check Service Alberta does on a driver's licence or licence plate.  

In an email to the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police, Service Alberta said it is deferring the charge until Sept. 1.

Police chiefs had complained the additional charge would take badly needed money out of their budgets.

Last month council voted to pass on the new $15 cost to violators, increasing the cost of fines by the same amount.

But the new fee will still cost Calgary's police force about $4 million per year, since the city can't increase the cost of tickets covered under provincial laws.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said in a written statement that he welcomed the postponement, but he called it a partial solution at best.

"Starting the fee in September will cost the City of Calgary at least a million dollars that we don't have … the real solution is for the provincial government to reduce its costs so that this new fee is not charged at all — $15 for two computers to talk to one another is still ridiculous."