Alberta License Plates

The latest news from Alberta is that the proposed new issue (detailed below) has been put on indefinite hold. Until a new base is issued, the current base will be extended by expanding to an ABC-1234 configuration.

News from Rod Gough: The Alberta Government has undertaken a consultation to redesign the plates. A decision on the design is expected in early 2008, and a reissue is expected to start early 09. It is estimated this base's numbering combinations will be exhausted by April 09. The last plate to be issued should be TGU-999 since TGY-001 was the starting point for plates with vowels.

Alan Bones reports Alberta will officially announce details of the new design in January 2009, and the issue is expected to begin in the middle of 2009. The new issue will be reflective. No mention has been made as to whether the new issue will remain embossed or go flat.

Now, after all of these announcements over many months of planned changes, Alberta is not changing the design, nor are they going reflective. The only real change will be going to 7 characters in the 3 letter/4 number format with a hyphen between the letters and numbers. Plates will continue to be embossed and will feature different dies that will be smaller. Numbering will begin at BBB-0000.

David Evans reports that it is interesting to note that in the original run of plates (prior to the introduction of vowels), the letter "Y" was treated as a vowel, thus omitted until they decided to use vowels. Now it appears the letter "Y" is being treated as a consonant.

As of the middle of 2012, some two year registrations are appearing with 2014 stickers.

July 2014 Update from Rod Gough: Albertans to choose province's new licence plate Alberta's new licence plate will incorporate a new design and new features to help make roads safer. Albertans are invited to participate in an online survey to choose which of three proposed designs will be featured on the new provincial licence plate. The survey, which is available online, will run from July 8 to August 19. The design that receives the most votes will be selected for the new plate. "Alberta is the best place to live, work and raise a family; and, these three designs are all inspired by the pride Albertans have in their home. The natural beauty of our province is on display in all three designs. I know Albertans will enjoy having a say on what their new provincial licence plate will look like." Dave Hancock, Premier The licence plate, which will be available in spring 2015, is being updated to bring it in line with other jurisdictions across North America. The new plate will include: Alberta's new logo; the Alberta Government website address; and a reflective coating that makes the plate easier to see under low light conditions and easier for infrared equipment to read. "Our current licence plate is more than 30 years old and lacks features to help make our roads and communities safer. This new plate will make it easier for police to spot vehicles that are unregistered, uninsured, or stolen." Doug Griffiths, Minister of Service Alberta Annual vehicle registration will cost five dollars more to help cover the costs of production and implementation. Even with the increase, Alberta's vehicle registration fees will still be about 11 per cent lower than the national average. Albertans can receive a new plate from their registry agent when they renew their registration during their regularly scheduled annual renewal, or they may purchase the new plate ahead of their regular renewal time for a fee.

September 2014 update: Now the word is that the plans for a new plate issue have been scrapped, so the base in use since 1983 will continue indefinitely.


11 - white on orange

12 - black on yellow

13 - white on green

14 - white on blue

15 - white on red

16 - black on orangish/yellow

17 - white on green

18 - white on blue

Standard Passenger Plates

Passenger new

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Seven character plates are now in use. The dies appear to be the same Waldale dies used for Mississippi and Prince Edward Island.

On the original 6 character series, after reaching the end of the YZZ series, the BAA series began. The Z series was not used for Passenger because it was used without vowels for All-Terrain vehicles earlier, but now it is being used with vowels for Passenger. Andrew Osborne saw a ZGH series plate, so it appears that they may now be using non-vowel Z series plates beyond the point where the Z series All-Terrain plates ended. The A series was skipped because the early part of the series was used for handicapped plates. The B series seems to be using just vowels so far since the original run of plates in the B through T series omitted vowels. The F series started at FVU, then reverted to FAA, FAB, and up, always with at least one vowel. Alan Bones reports that plates recently issued in the BSE series have been recalled because of the connotation with mad cow disease. The beef cattle industry is an important part of the economy in the province. Those plates had been issued in more than a half dozen communities. Rod Gough reports seeing two cars displaying BSE series plates, but it is unknown if the recall was mandatory.

It appears that plates from ZBA-000 - ZFZ-999 may have been skipped since no Z vowel plates were ever issued to all terrain vehicles.

Jonathan Vos - 12 Jun ’24

Non-passenger Plates

Antique Auto

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After reaching 9-999, the series advanced to the A-123 format.

"Fleet" non-expiring sticker where the year sticker would normally be.

Although these plates have "Antique Auto" screened in the upper right corner, Martin Ten Ham reports a "Historical Vehicle" sticker in one corner.

As of at least M-226, this type used 7 character dies.

Eric Bryden - 14 Oct ’23


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The ATV series has been discontinued. Standard Motorcycle plates are now being used for ATV.

It has been reported that this series ended at ZGG-999, as the passenger plates beginning in Z resumed issuance at ZGH-000 almost 2 decades later. Thus, this is the highest plate number in this series.

Eric Bryden - 10 Jul ’23

Consular Corps

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Fleet sticker on plate

Now with 7 character dies

Eric Bryden - 14 Oct ’23


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Seen in Calgary

Beginning at M83000, the plates now have reflective sheeting. It's also the last type (out of all the Alberta plates) to go reflective.

Now using 7 character dies.

Dealer plate allotment with D prefix exhausted. Plates have no divider.

M23156 reported by Plate Finder Number One in the Vancouver area 2009-04-30, which is quite a jump from the last reported. Maybe one of those mysterious jumps?

Now another mysterious jump to M25700 reported by Plate Finder on 2009-09-09.

Eric Bryden - 20 May ’24


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AAA-057 reported as a low by Brent Kirchner.

Eric Bryden - 25 Apr ’24


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Seen in Calgary

New dies

Also used on semis depending on the license class of the vehicle.

Series began as all-numeric at 00-0001 through 09-9999, then added letter in the third position, starting at A.

While these plates CAN be used on farm vehicles, as denoted by a FARM sticker, they are usually found on commercial vehicles.

Eric Bryden - 22 May ’24


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Eric Bryden - 30 Nov ’22

Motorcycle/ATV new

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Seen in Calgary

The 2/5 series followed the 3/3 X series starting in 1999 at GD-001. After reaching ZZ-999, the series continued in the AA-001 range.

The current format is exhausted, so it appears plates using the letter Q were used to fill in. The RQ series has also been seen, so Q appeared in the second position as well as the first. Having reached QZ-999, it appears that the new format is ABC12.

ATV had its own type earlier, but regular Motorcycle is now being used for ATV.

Eric Bryden - 9 Jun ’24

Rental Car new

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Class 1 plates are used for rental cars, tour buses, and on the front of big trucks. The series started as a hyphenated all-numeric in the 1-12345 format, then 2-12345, then 3-12345, followed by the letters B, C, F, G, H, and J in the first position. It takes about 3 years to run through 99999 of these plates.

As of July 2010, Rental plates are using the new 7 character dies.

Original die high: J-03443

7 character die low: J-04409

The change appears to have been at J-04000.

Kontrails - 9 Jun ’24


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Seen in Calgary

New format after reaching Z999-99.

New 7 character dies. The change was probably at Z800-00.

David Allyn Brown reports that trailer plates began at 0000-1A, with suffixes of B, C, D, then reverted to all-numeric 4000-00 through 9999-99. Next came the letter prefixes, leaving the divider between the fourth and fifth characters. (The divider position signifies the licence category in Alberta.) The letter prefixes employed so far are N, P, R, S, T, V, W, X, Y, and Z.

Eric Bryden - 16 May ’24

Specialty Plates

Calgary Flames

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Eric Bryden - 23 Apr ’24

Edmonton Oilers

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Eric Bryden - 12 May ’24

Support Our Troops

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Went on sale July 23, 2014.

Low of AA0004 spotted by Jerry Woodhead.

Eric Bryden - 8 Dec ’23

Military Veteran Plates


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Issued in the VAA01 format. Adriaan Bergink reports a low of VAA27.

VVV9R was spotted, but it was probably a personal plate.

Jonathan Vos - 25 Apr ’24

Veteran - Motorcycle

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New in April 2012. It appears that "A" was skipped, and the first series was VB, which would make this the 82nd plate issued. David Evans predicts that the order of issue will be VB, VC, VD .... VZ, and then likely BB ... BZ, CB ... CZ etc.

Low: VB02 2012-05-30 Martijn Ten Ham

Danny K. - 21 May ’22