Smog test for Alberta vehicle registration: What you need to know

Smog test laws vary depending on where you live. In Canada, Ontario is the only province with mandatory emissions testing for vehicles. Smog tests help officials identify cars that release excessive emissions. Failing a smog test means that you’ll need to bring your vehicle in for necessary repairs to be approved for registration renewal. 

Vehicle registration renewal process
Vehicle registration renewal process

Do I need a smog test in Alberta to renew my vehicle registration?

No, you do not need a smog test in Alberta. All new vehicles are required to meet Environment Canada’s emissions standards, which states that your car can’t emit more than 0.03 grams of nitrogen oxide per mile. Nitrogen oxide is the principal contributor to smog. 

While Alberta has proposed a smog test program in the past, the legislation didn’t pass. Emissions-testing is not necessary because emissions-control technology has dramatically improved. Modern cars built in the last ten years will pass. 

When do I need a vehicle inspection for vehicle registration?

While you won’t need a smog test to register your vehicle in Alberta, there are certain conditions when vehicle inspection is required.

A vehicle purchased outside of Alberta but within Canada must pass an Alberta Out of Province Vehicle Inspection before being registered. Depending on the type and status of your car, you’ll need to complete either an:

  • Out-of-province inspection
  • A salvage inspection, or 
  • A commercial inspection

A new vehicle may not need an out of province inspection depending on the date of sale, mileage, and where it was purchased. 

Some insurance companies require inspections for older cars. If you have an older car that needs inspections, you’ll need to obtain a Request for Vehicle Inspection form from a vehicle registry in Edmonton. Insurance is mandatory to register your vehicle.

What do I need to bring for a vehicle inspection required by the province?

Once you’ve obtained a Request for Vehicle Inspection form from an Edmonton vehicle registry, you’ll need to give your auto technician this form when you bring your vehicle in for an inspection. You’ll also need a valid driver’s licence and proof of insurance.