Alberta will no longer mail out vehicle registration reminders
Province will save $3 million by ending practice of mailing out those helpful reminders
If your vehicle registration is about to expire, you won't find a reminder in your mailbox anymore.
The province announced last month a plan to save Alberta taxpayers $3 million a year by switching to electronic reminders for vehicle registrations, licences and identification cards.
The new electronic reminder system went into effect on April 1.
This marks a transition point in how it is that we're going to be making sure that we're getting the registry services that we need.- Jeff Kasbrick, Alberta Motor Association
People with disabilities will continue to receive their reminders in the mail. Albertans over the age of 70 will continue to receive mailed reminders until April 1, 2017.
Only one week into the program, 8,000 people have already signed up for online reminders.
But some are concerned that drivers accustomed to getting paper reminders in the mail might not know about the change, and could end up on the road with expired paperwork.
Renewing online 'easy'
Robert Guenther said he and his wife were expecting their registration reminder cards in the mail last week. They own four vehicles.
"This year, they hadn't shown up," said Guenther, who was wondering if the cards got lost in the mail.
He said his wife eventually went on the Service Alberta website, which is where she learned about the change. He said filling out the forms online turned out to be easy, but he wonders if other people aren't aware of the change, and don't know those reminder cards will no longer be mailed to people's homes.
"A lot of people, I think, are going to get stuck, with no idea it's coming up," he said. "They're going to forget about it and be driving and get pulled over for something simple, and get a ticket for expired registration."
Jeff Kasbrick of the Alberta Motor Association agreed that some people likely haven't heard about the change.
"There's a number of people that absolutely do rely upon those renewal notices," he said. "This marks a transition point in how it is that we're going to be making sure that we're getting the registry services that we need."
Auto-renew option in the works
The AMA will soon launch a new service to allow members to auto-renew their vehicle registrations, Kasbrick said.
Members will be able to go into their online accounts and enter some basic information about their vehicles.
"And that's it," he said. "We'll take care of the remembering for you. And every single year, we'll send you your sticker for your licence plate in the mail."
He said the AMA has already heard from 2,400 members interested in the program, which he called the first of its kind in North America.
The province has planned a public awareness campaign to inform drivers about the change.
In a statement last month, the province said it expects registry agents to take "a proactive role" in reminding drivers when their licences and registrations need to be renewed.