Buying or Selling A Used Vehicle

How it works

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.



Vehicle Inspection Facility Search

Auctions (buying and selling)

Canadian Police Information Centre

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.

Registrar of Imported Vehicles

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

Registry agents

Contact this service

780-427-7013, toll free dial 310-0000 first in Alberta

8:15 am - 4:30 pm (Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)

Related services

Tips on buying a used vehicle (AMVIC)

Find a registry agent