10 Tips for a Successful Registry Visit

Posted on: Aug 01, 2020

Most people don’t look forward to their annual visit to the Registry office, but at East Calgary Registry, we do everything we can to make the experience as pleasant as possible. There are some things we wish everyone knew to make the experience go as smoothly as possible for everyone.

  1. Try to visit at non-peak times. Avoid the last couple of days of the month and the first couple of days of the month. We also tend to be busier on Mondays and toward the end of the day. If you can come to our office earlier in the day and in the middle of the month, you are more likely to have a short wait.
  2. Bring your documents. We work hard to keep our website updated so that you will know how to prepare for your visit. Be sure to visit the page related to your service to see what we need you to bring. The most common documents that people have to go back home for is valid vehicle insurance certificate. It’s fine if you show this to us on your phone (we don’t need to see the actual paper) but what is really important is the expiry date. It’s really common that people haven’t remembered to switch out the pink cards and so the one they have in their vehicle is expired. Even if it expired yesterday, we can’t use it. It needs to be valid for today.
  3. Dress for the weather. Unfortunately, because of COVID-19, we are only able to accommodate 5 people in line inside our office. We try our best to keep our line shorter than that, but sometimes the line does get longer so people have to wait outside. Bring a coat or an umbrella or a sun hat. We are working on a digital solution so people can wait in their cars, but until that is ready, you may have to wait outside for a bit.
  4. Bring your debit card. Some registries charge customers to use debit, but we don’t do that. We are trying not to accept cash at this time due to the risk of virus transmission. Our staff deal with many clients every day and we want to keep them (and our customers) safe. Debit tap is the safest way to handle payment and we are pleased to offer it free of charge. We do also accept credit cards, but we charge around 3% extra for this. The reason is that for most services, most of the money we collect goes directly to the government. We simply can’t afford to absorb the merchant fee – in many cases the merchant fee is bigger than our service fee, so we would lose money.
  5. Related to the above, make sure you have enough money for your service. All of the prices are listed on our website, but people often have a fine on their file and we have to clear these fines before we can do any services. To check if you have any fines, please call the fines line at 403 297-2283. 
  6. If you can do it online, do it. We offer many services on our website, including Vehicle Renewals, Lien Searches and Road Test Booking. All of the links are available right on the home page. This will save you a trip and keeps us all safer. The cost is the same for all of these services whether online or in person, but if you are doing a vehicle renewal, you’ll need to plan at least a week ahead so we can get your tabs mailed out.
  7. Bring your own pen. It reduces the risk of transmission and saves us having to sanitize pens.
  8. Bring the right people with you, and only the right people. If you are getting married, adding a spouse to your Alberta Health or registering a vehicle with another person, you will need to bring the other person. If you are a minor, you will need your parent with you to take Knowledge Test or Road Test or for most registry services. However, in most cases, you can come to the registry office alone. You don’t need to bring a friend or a cousin or a spouse for most services and since we are trying to keep 2 metres between our clients, it really helps if we don’t have extra people in the office.
  9. Don’t forget your mask – according to the new Calgary By-Law, they are required for everyone over the age of 2, with exceptions for people with medical conditions.
  10. Please be patient. We aren’t perfect, but our staff undergo a lot of training and they truly want to do the best job possible. It means a lot to us when people recognize that we are just humans trying to do a good job in extraordinary times.