By Jaxon McGinn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Sunny South News
The province has implemented some procedural changes for Albertans requesting a replacement license plate.
As of Jan. 19, motorists must report lost or stolen license plates to the police before requesting a replacement plate from registry agents. A release from the Government of Alberta notes that doing this allows police “to be on alert for license plates that may be used for illegal purposes.”
“A lost or stolen license plate is not just frustrating for the owner. It can create larger problems if it is used in criminal activity. One of those risks is to the safety of law enforcement officers who benefit from having the most accurate, up-to-date information when conducting roadside stops.”
Last year, the update was successfully piloted at 12 registry agent offices in Alberta. The changes come at the recommendation of the Provincial Auto Theft Review Committee, which is a subcommittee of the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police, designed to address auto theft in the province. The committee includes representatives from government ministries and law enforcement.
Nate Glubish, Minister of Services Alberta, said, “requiring a police report for a lost or stolen license plate is a common-sense change to make.”
“In doing so, we are ensuring police have accurate information that can better help them when interacting with motorists and is crucial for an investigation.”
When Alberta 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 by phone. Additionally, many police services offer 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.
The province notes that in 2020; registry agents issued 46,307 replacement license plates for Albertans whose previous plates were lost or stolen. Of those, 30,687 containers were cited as lost, while 15,620 were noted as stolen.
This provincial change does not apply to personalized license plates issued in pairs. Reporting a lost or stolen personalized plate requires a motorist in Alberta to return the other plate, rendering the plate configuration unusable. More information on license plates is available at alberta.ca.