No More Stickers. Here’s What You Need to Know

Posted on: Dec 12, 2020

There was surprise announcement from the Government of Alberta this week that starting January 1, 2021, you will no longer get a year sticker (or “tab”) when you renew your Alberta Licence plate. Here are the answers to the most common questions we are getting these days.

  1. How am I supposed to remember to renew my plate when I don’t get a notice in the mail and there are no more stickers? This is a great question. We urge you to sign up for an eReminder to help you remember not only your licence plate delivery but also your Driver’s Licence expiry (which can be hard to remember since it only happens once every 5 years for most people).

  2. How will police know if the plate is valid when there are no stickers? Law enforcement are able to scan a plate using the automated licence plate readers in their police cars to determine whether or not a plate is valid and whether the registration matches the vehicle description.

  3. Am I going to have to get a new plate? At this time, the new “reflective” plates which will make it easier for law enforcement to scan plates are being issued on a “go forward” basis. Service Alberta estimates that the current stock of plates will last until Fall 2021. At this point, there is no indication that the Government of Alberta is going to require people to hand in existing plates and transfer to the new reflective plates. If you already own a Specialty plate (i.e. Support Our Troops, Personalized, Veteran, Flames or Oilers plate), your plate is already reflective.

  4. Have any other jurisdictions already switched to tabless plates? Yes, Alberta will be joining Quebec, Northwest Territories, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan who have all discontinued use of licence plate stickers.

  5. Why is Alberta getting rid of the stickers? The main reason for getting rid of tabs is that the Government of Alberta has challenged all ministries to find ways to reduce red tape. This move will save the Government of Alberta $1.2 million as well as time and resources related to storing, printing, shipping and tracking the tabs. At the Registry level, it will save time for our staff who have to keep track of each individual tab as each tab has a unique serial number.

  6. Is the cost of registration going down now that I don’t get a sticker? Unfortunately, no. The cost will remain $93 per year for a passenger plate.

  7. How does this make life easier for me? Generally, we think Albertans will like not having to deal with year tabs. For one thing, they often tear and if the plate isn’t completely clean, dry and frost-free, the tabs often don’t stick. We also frequently see cases where thieves have stolen tabs off of vehicles

  8. Are there any plates that will still require a sticker? Yes, Prorate vehicles and Farm plates will still require a tab.

  9. Can I renew online?  While we love serving you in our office, we are in favour of the modernization of our industry and anything that makes it easier for Albertans to take care of routine tasks like vehicle registration from the comfort of their own homes. If you decide to renew online, please select East Calgary Registry as your designated registry of record. If there are any changes, you will need to come into the registry.