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Albertans will need to report missing license plates before getting a new one

Alberta’s government is making changes to accelerate auto theft investigations and protect officers by requiring Alberta motorists to report a missing plate before requesting a new one.

This new change will be effective January 19, 2022.

Early reporting of lost or stolen plates allows police to be on alert for license plates that may be used for illegal purposes.

A lost or stolen license plate can be frustrating for the owner but can also create larger problems if it is used in criminal activity.

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One reason for the change is regarding the safety of law enforcement officers who benefit from having the most accurate, up-to-date information when conducting roadside stops.

Nate Glubish, Minister of Service Alberta says Requiring a police report for a lost or stolen license plate is a common-sense change to make.

“We are ensuring police have accurate information that can better help them when interacting with motorists and is crucial for an investigation.”

The change was successfully piloted at 12 registry agent offices across Alberta in 2021. This change is recommended by the Provincial Auto Theft Review Committee, and a subcommittee of the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police designed to address auto theft in Alberta.

Mark Neufeld, Calgary police chief, and president of, Association of Alberta Chiefs of Police says It is common practice for criminals to disguise their stolen vehicles by attaching an unreported stolen plate associated with a vehicle of a similar make and model.

“This tactic allows auto thieves to engage in high-risk criminal activities undetected. This includes dangerous driving, hit-and-run collisions, robberies, and break and enters. Mandatory reporting of lost and stolen license plates will go a long way to making life more difficult for thieves and help keep Albertans safe.”

When motorists go to a registry office to request a replacement for their lost or stolen plate, they will be required to present a police file number. Albertans can file a report at their local police station or over the phone, and many police services provide the ability to file a report online. If the police have not been notified before a request for a replacement plate is made, Albertans can call directly from the registry office at the time of service.

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