If you’re moving from one province to another or you’ve found a great deal on a car that’s being sold outside of your province (or the country for that matter) it’s important to understand the full cost of importing your vehicle.
What are we talking about?
Most provinces with the exception of Newfoundland and all the territories require some kind of inspection to be performed on the vehicle usually before registration of that vehicle will be permitted. In Alberta, the required inspection is called an Out-of-Province inspection and is a thorough look at the condition of the vehicle. Any vehicle that comes into Alberta must pass an Out-of-Province inspection as a requisite to vehicle registration. If that vehicle is also more than 10 years old or more, most insurance companies will require an insurance inspection as well.
Doing this can be tricky because it’s hard to find professionals who can do this service reliably. And more to the point: you’ll most definitely want a provider that is cost-effective and timely.
It’s also worth noting that there are some exceptions within the law, which we will discuss later.
But if a cost-effective and reliable Out-of-Province inspection is needed in Calgary or Alberta in general, please read on.
Before the Inspection
Everyone needs to get an Out-of-Province Vehicle Inspection request form before the inspection. Proof of vehicle ownership will need to be shown to do this (ex: Bill of Sale or lease papers) and it will cost a small fee.
Once filled in, present the form to the authorized mechanic or facility carrying out the inspection.
What Does the Out-of-Province Inspection Involve?
A certified journeyman will deal with the vehicle for about two hours or less, depending on various factors.
Their job will be to give the vehicle a set of mechanical, structural integrity, and safety tests. These tests are to ensure that it fits within Alberta Transportation’s Vehicle Inspection Program (VIP) guidelines.
Therefore, a really good tip is to give the vehicle a thorough personal check before venturing out to Alberta. If there are any issues that need addressing, they can be fixed by the mechanic before the vehicle goes through testing.
Also, it’s a wise idea to declutter the vehicle and clean it well inside and out. Plus, it doesn’t take much time to inflate the tires up to the recommended pressures at a local garage.
We will now summarise how mechanics inspect the vehicles and what they will check. For more information on this, it’s best to chat to the mechanic over the phone or in-person before the inspection.
In the mechanical fitness aspect of the inspection, the technician will check all vehicle components to ensure proper functionality.
The inspector is looking for the vehicles maintained to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) tolerances and standards. This includes the checking of parts such as:
- Engine controls
- All electrics
- Fuel and exhaust systems
- Braking systems
- Glass parts
That’s why it’s important to choose a quick and efficient VIP certified Out-of-Province authorized mechanic. It’s easy to find this level of service in Calgary.
Structural integrity testing is all about the vehicle’s body and framework. The journeyman will check for large repair work and of course, any damage. Plus, they will look for corrosion.
Lastly, safety testing is part of many of the other checks we’ve just described.
Most will be happy to know that there are some exemptions for needing the Out-of-Province inspection. Yet the list and rules to these exemptions are quite extensive. Therefore, it’s best to check the official exemption criteria.
Bear in mind that modified, classic, homebuilt, or antique vehicles that haven’t been registered yet will still have to undergo the same inspection process.
A way around this is to prove previous Alberta registration. That being said, some vehicles from British Columbia or Saskatchewan might be exempt from having an inspection.
As well, some passenger vehicles might be able to forgo the inspection. These can include:
- New vehicles bought/leased in Canada
- Bill of sale/lease dated inside 90 days
- Vehicles with mileage below 5,000 km
And since it is a privatized inspection process, it’s well worth trying to find a cost-effective test facility. This is especially true if you need to do several Alberta registrations as an example.
Deadline for the Out-of-Province Inspection
It’s important to understand that all inspectors have to follow strict guidelines and rules.
So this means that if a vehicle fails the first inspection, it’ll be 10 days to get the repairs done. A full inspection fee will not have to be paid in this period. Instead, payment will just be for the repairs.
However, if the vehicle isn’t fixed past the 10-day deadline, the inspection facility will be required to perform another inspection so you can expect to pay full inspection fees again.
Once the vehicle has been inspected and it passes, they will issue an inspection certificate. The next step is to go to get the vehicle registered, which has to be done within 14 days.
If the vehicle is not registered inside the 14-day window, a full inspection will need to be carried out once more.
It’s important to note that insurance will be needed for the vehicle as another requisite for registration. There are plenty of independent brokers who sell insurance in Alberta
Truck Out-of-Province Inspections
If the vehicle you are importing to Alberta has a GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight) of 11,794 kg an Out-of-Province inspection is not required, however, a Commercial Vehicle Inspection will be required in its place.
Any other vehicle under 11,794 kg will require an Out-of-province inspection, however, some facilities are able to perform both types of inspections to meet all of your needs. These facilities are usually well versed in a broad range of vehicles and usually have extensive trailer repair experience as well.
Any Final Tips Before the Out-of-Province Inspection?
Before deciding on any agreements with an authorized inspection facility, it’s a good idea to discuss the condition of the vehicle. This way, they will be better prepared to deal with the vehicle when the time comes.
It can be the case that some inspections can fail the vehicle and others will pass it. Although this thought process isn’t recommended, it might be that one inspector is more experienced than another or tolerant of the requirements.
Plan It Now
The last thing to say on the subject of Out-of-Province inspections is to plan well in advance. The sooner, the better!
It’s much better to get organized, take notes, and plan your trip or final stay to Alberta with friendly, reputable, and local professionals.
And if the official exemptions list is hard to read, it’s probably better to pick up the phone and ask.
Many experienced inspectors can give you all the advice you need, such as ourselves. Just get in touch with us today!