Calgary

Many Albertans still forget to renew vehicle registration — and get hefty fines

It has been more than two years since the Alberta government stopped mailing notices to remind people to renew their vehicle registrations, and many still forget — resulting in hefty tickets.

Province stopped mailing reminders more than 2 years ago

Thousands of Albertans have forgotten to renew their vehicle registration since the province stopped mailing out reminders, resulting in hefty fines. (Service Alberta)

It has been more than two years since the Alberta government stopped mailing notices to remind people to renew their vehicle registrations, and although the numbers have dropped, many still forget — resulting in hefty tickets.

The year after the government ended mail reminders, tickets shot up from 36,841 to 51,131. The past year saw that number drop to 46,468 tickets issued. 

Fred Armstrong, a technician at Knibbe Automotive Repair, says finding expired plates often means they can't take a vehicle they're working on out for road tests.

"I bet you we get four or five a month, easily, where we as a technician are unable to road test a vehicle because the licence plates expired," he said. "When we notify the customer, it's actually amazing that they do not realize that their plates are expired."

Knibbe said there's a vehicle currently in his shop with plates that's about 30 days past the expiration. 

Drivers can get reminders from Service Alberta, the Alberta Motor Association, or from most registry agents.

"We actually provide three electronic service reminder options and those include an email, text message or a landline auto call, and you can choose any combination of those options, and it's available to any Albertan that just goes on to our website," said Jeff Kasbrick with AMA.

Many independent registry agents also offer a registration renewal reminder service. The Association of Alberta Registry Agents, which represents 207 member agents, offers the service through its website.

The province says more than 100,000 people have signed up for email notifications through Service Alberta. There are more than 3.5 million registered vehicles in Alberta.

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