Registration of a Right-Hand-Drive Vehicle in Alberta
Before you Buy
For example, parts for right-hand-drive vehicles may be difficult to find, and may have to be ordered directly from the manufacturer in the country in which the vehicle was manufactured. Even if you can order the parts in Canada, it can take months for them to arrive. At times, it can be difficult to find dealers interested in servicing imported vehicles or taking them in trade for a North American built left-hand-drive vehicle.
You should also be aware that right-hand-drive vehicles require changes in the way you perform ordinary driving operations. Other provincial jurisdictions, such as British Columbia, have found the risk of being involved in a collision with a right-hand-drive vehicle is 40 percent higher. (Click here to view this information.) This may be because it is far more difficult to perform simple driving functions such as passing (you have to go further into the left lane to see whether it is safe to pass) or left turns (you must allow the vehicle ahead of you to clear the intersection before you have a clear view of your path).
For more information, refer to this Analysis of Accident Risk for Right Hand Drive Vehicles here.
You may have been informed that right-hand-drive vehicles that are imported into Canada can automatically be driven on provincial roads. That is not the case. The moment the vehicle is to be driven on a public road, it becomes subject to provincial legislation. Transport Canada makes this clear in this statement: "It should be noted that the provinces/territories have the authority to establish their respective registration (plating) requirements for these vehicles, consistent with the level of risk they may pose to the travelling public."
After You Buy
If you intend to drive your vehicle on Alberta roads, the vehicle must pass an out-of- province vehicle inspection before it can be registered. The owner of the vehicle is required to visit a registry office to purchase a “Request for Inspection”. The vehicle owner will then take the “Request for Inspection” and the vehicle to an out of province vehicle inspection facility.
To find an Alberta Inspection Facility in your area, please click here.
Purpose of Inspection
Imported right-hand-drive vehicles were never built for or intended to be driven on North American roads. Therefore, they may have equipment and parts that pose a danger to the driver, passengers, and the public. To ensure the safety of the travelling public, a number of modifications may have to be made to the right-hand-drive vehicle before it can be allowed to operate legally on Alberta highways. For example, headlights that tilted toward the ditch and would now tilt toward an oncoming driver. These headlights may have to be replaced.
Once your vehicle is inspected
If the vehicle passes inspection, you will receive an out of province vehicle inspection certificate confirming that you are permitted to register your vehicle. The vehicle inspection certificate must be presented to a Registry Agent within 14 days of the date of issue, in order to register the vehicle.
If the vehicle does not pass inspection, you will have 10 days to complete the required repairs. Within 10 days of the repairs being completed, take the vehicle back to the vehicle inspection facility for a re-inspection. If the vehicle passes this re-inspection, an out of province vehicle inspection certificate will be issued. This certificate must be presented to a Registry Agent within 14 days of the date of issue, in order to register the vehicle.
Additionally, it is recommended that you contact the original equipment manufacturer for proper parts. You are responsible for having this work completed, at your cost.