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alberta vehicle transfer of ownership
Sep 26, 2022
3 min
How to Transfer Vehicle Ownership in Alberta

Are you thinking about buying a new car? Do you have an older car that you no longer need to use? 

Then it’s the perfect time to learn about transferring vehicle ownership in Alberta.

The Alberta vehicle transfer of ownership process is relatively straightforward; however, there are a few subtle details that drivers should be aware of.

Do you want to learn everything you need to know about transferring vehicle ownership in Alberta? Be sure to continue reading.

What is vehicle ownership in Alberta and why is it important?

Your vehicle ownership (also known as your vehicle title or vehicle permit) is a document that you need to obtain when you buy a car from a dealership or from a private seller in Alberta.

Vehicle ownership documents are important because they provide the authorities with important information (if you are pulled over) and confirm that the vehicle is yours. Your vehicle ownership document will feature the following information:

  • Your name and address
  • Your licence plate number
  • The vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • The make and model of your vehicle
  • A portion of your licence plate sticker

Being able to reference this information allows the police to identify if the car is stolen or if there are any other similar issues.

Is it illegal to drive without valid vehicle ownership in Alberta?

Yes, operating a vehicle in Alberta without a proper vehicle ownership form is a serious offence.

If you’re caught operating a vehicle without the proper ownership documentation, you can receive a fine of a minimum of $230. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why drivers should always keep their vehicle ownership on hand while driving. This is one of the reasons why drivers need to be familiar with the Alberta vehicle transfer of ownership process.

Bonus tip — Many drivers keep their vehicle ownership documents in their vehicle’s centre console or glove box. This makes it easy for them to access the document when needed.

How do you transfer vehicle ownership in Alberta?

The Alberta vehicle transfer of ownership process is relatively quick and simple, but, as mentioned earlier, there are some important details that drivers should take note of.

Here’s a step-by-step guide that you can use if you want to learn how to transfer vehicle ownership in Alberta as a vehicle buyer:

  • Make sure that both VINs match
  • Ensure that the bill of sale is completed under the Used Vehicle Inspection Report 
  • Ensure that the Application for Transfer portion of the bill of sale has been completed
  • Pay the required retail taxes and other related fees
  • Provide proof of car insurance from a valid car insurance company in Alberta

Private vehicle sellers also need to be aware of some of the nuances of the ownership transfer process.

Here’s a step-by-step guide that you can use if you want to learn how to transfer vehicle ownership as a private seller

  • Buy a Used Vehicle Inspection Report and give it to the buyer
  • Take note of the buyer’s name, the total purchase price, the date the sale took place on the bill of sale portion of the Used Vehicle Inspection Report
  • Complete the Application for Transfer portion of the bill of sale
  • Ensure that you keep the plate portion of your ownership form and your licence plate
  • Contact the Ministry of Transportation in Alberta and update them on your recent purchase

Is your Alberta vehicle ownership transfer of form different from your registration? 

Yes, your vehicle ownership form and your registration form are two separate forms of documentation.

As mentioned earlier, your vehicle ownership form allows the authorities to identify that you own the vehicle. On the other hand, your vehicle registration form shows that you’ve registered your vehicle with the Alberta government. 

You can transfer registration in Alberta as well, but the process is relatively different.

Bonus tipClick here if you’d like to learn about transferring registration in Alberta.

When do drivers need to show proof of car ownership?

As mentioned earlier, drivers must supply the authorities with proof of ownership when pulled over. However, this isn’t the only instance where you’ll need to supply your ownership; you’ll be asked to provide your proof of ownership under the following circumstances:

  • When you’re replacing a stolen, lost or compromised licence plate in Alberta
  • When you’re selling your vehicle
  • If you need to transfer ownership to another driver

How long can I use my licence plate on another car in Alberta?

If you’ve purchased a car, you can use your current licence plate for no longer than 14 days (from the date of the sale).

After the 14-day period has elapsed, you will need to go through the Alberta vehicle transfer of ownership process.

Bonus tip — Want to learn more about licence plates in Canada? Click the following link to learn how to get a custom licence plate in Ontario.

Can you give a car to a family member as a gift in Alberta?

Yes, you can give a car as a gift to a family member in Alberta, but you need to have full ownership of the vehicle. This means that you have to have paid off all of your car loans before gifting the vehicle to a family member.

Save up to 25% on car insurance in Alberta when you team up with Surex

Much like proof of vehicle ownership, you need to have valid auto insurance in order to operate a vehicle in Alberta (and the rest of Canada, to be precise). However, finding low-cost auto insurance in Alberta can be quite a challenge, especially if you’re shopping for quotes by yourself.

That’s where our team at Surex steps in. At Surex, we work with several of the top-rated auto insurance companies in Alberta, which makes it easier for drivers to find competitive quotes for car insurance.

Within ten short minutes, your personal Surex insurance advisor can provide you with the best auto insurance quotes Alberta has to offer.

Not to mention, when you bundle multiple policies with one of our providers (for example, home and auto), you can get access to competitive discounts. In some cases, the discounts can be as high as 25%.

Contact your Surex insurance advisor over the phone or online to learn more.

Find the best insurance rates today.

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