What to consider when buying a used car, truck, van or motorcycle.
What’s important to know
Service Alberta is not provided with stolen vehicle information. Check with law enforcement before buying a vehicle.
Before you buy a vehicle
- research the process and dangers of buying used vehicles on reliable websites, such as the Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC)
- make sure the seller has valid ID and proof that they own the vehicle
- get a Vehicle Information Report from a registry agent or AMA, which describes the vehicle’s registration history in Alberta
- get a Personal Property lien search from a registry agent, based on the vehicle’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- a CARFAX and/or Carproof Vehicle History Report is also recommended
- get a safety inspection of the vehicle from a vehicle inspection facility
- search the Canadian Police Information Centre database for stolen vehicles. The Government of Alberta is NOT provided with stolen vehicle data.
Importing a vehicle into Canada
If you want to import a vehicle into Canada, the Registrar of Imported Vehicles has information on which vehicles are allowed to enter Canada and how to import them. An imported vehicle may require a federal and a provincial vehicle inspection.
After you buy a vehicle
- get insurance and register your vehicle as soon as possible
- check that all the information on the Vehicle Registration Certificate matches the proof of ownership and insurance
- keep the reports on your vehicle’s registration, lien history and proof of ownership safe