Alberta’s Out-of-Province Motorcycle Inspections: A Comprehensive Guide

When you're bringing your motorcycle from outside of Alberta, there are a number of important notes to consider. In this article, we will break down everything you need to know about Alberta's Out-of-Province Motorcycle Inspections, from the inspection process to what happens when your motorcycle fails the inspection.

Understanding Out-of-Province Motorcycle Inspections

Alberta requires all motorcycles brought from outside its borders to pass an out-of-province inspection before receiving an Alberta registration and license plate. This inspection ensures your vehicle adheres to Alberta's safety and equipment standards.

Inspection Criteria

The out-of-province inspection is a rigorous process undertaken by an experienced and licensed motorcycle mechanic from an approved inspection facility. This comprehensive examination can take roughly two hours and involves a detailed review of numerous components on your motorcycle, ensuring they're operational as intended and aren't worn beyond the guidelines set by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).

Let's delve deeper into the specifics of the inspection process:

Identification: Prior to commencing the inspection, it's crucial to confirm that the motorcycle's current registration and your identification match. This step is the initial part of the pre-registration process.

Controls: All controls including the clutch, brakes, and throttle must be operational and properly adjusted. The throttle should return smoothly when released. The grips must be securely fastened. The clutch, kickstand, and any switches related to brake or safety function must be in full working order.

Steering and Suspension: Steering head bearings should not exhibit any signs of being too loose or too tight, and steering stops must be intact. There should be zero play in the swingarm or suspension linkage, including the fork bushings. Rear shocks and fork seals should neither leak nor be damaged.

Tires and Wheels: The tire size, type, tread depth, rotation, and pressure are inspected to match the specifications. There should be no play in front/rear wheel bearings, no loose or broken spokes, and out-of-round wheels. The chain or belt and sprockets should be in good condition, adjusted to the correct free play, and must be guarded.

Brakes: The brakes must not pulse and the lines must be fully intact without wear. Disc brake pads & rotors must meet adequate thickness specifications and show no signs of warpage. All brakes and their associated components should be deemed safe.

Onboard Diagnostic Systems: The mechanic ensures the engine light, Antilock Brake System (ABS), and any other warning indicators are functional. No warning lights should be illuminated during the inspection.

Lamps: All lamps including the headlamp, brake and tail light signals, and license plate lamp should be working correctly and meet the DOT standard. They should also be aimed properly for safety. Reflectors must be present and functional.

Powertrain: The inspection process ensures there are no leaks in the fuel and cooling systems and that the exhaust system is secure with no holes. The engine and all its components, including the fuel system, are inspected to ensure they are working as intended.

Body: The motorcycle's body parts like the seat, fairings, and frame must be secure. Front and rear fenders must be present, and the motorcycle should be equipped with a functioning speedometer, odometer, two mirrors, foot pegs, and a license plate mount.

Electrical System: The battery, switches, and any other electrical components are reviewed to ensure they are operational.

Remember, any modified components may not pass the inspection. Comparing the current condition of your motorcycle with an original photo can help identify any modifications from the original equipment. Any non-original parts like reflectors, signal lights, original rear fender, chain guard, license plate light, and passenger foot pegs could affect the outcome of the inspection. It's crucial that these parts meet OEM specifications for your motorcycle to pass the inspection. Lastly, your motorcycle must also run straight down the road to meet the inspection standards.

a motorcycle mechanic performing an inspection

Out-of-Province Inspection Process

  1. Obtain an Inspection Request Form: Purchase this form at any Alberta Registry, presenting proof of ownership like a bill of sale or a certificate of title.
  2. Submit the Motorcycle for Inspection: Bring the form and the motorcycle to an approved inspection location in Alberta. A licensed motorcycle mechanic will inspect your motorcycle against Alberta regulations.
  3. Finalize Registration: After your motorcycle passes the inspection, return to any Alberta registry within 14 days to finalize the registration.

A Couple of Key Points to Remember

  • Inspection certifications are valid for 14 days. You must register your bike in Alberta before it expires, no exceptions.
  • If your motorcycle fails the inspection, you may complete the repairs within 10 days and get it re-inspected.

What If Your Motorcycle Fails the Inspection?

In case of a failed inspection, the failed components must be repaired before a re-inspection is conducted. You have three options:

  1. Leave your motorcycle with the inspection center for necessary repairs and a free re-inspection.
  2. Take your motorcycle away, have it re-assessed and the repairs done elsewhere, and return within 10 days for a re-inspection at a charge.
  3. If the bike isn't re-inspected within the 10-day expiry, a new inspection request is required.
A motorcycle shop performing an inspection

Inspection for Selling Out of Province

If you are located in Alberta and looking to sell out of province, the respective province will govern

Final Words

These inspections ensure that all motorcycles on Alberta's roads meet the province's safety and equipment standards. They give you peace of mind, knowing that your vehicle is safe to ride. Navigating the out-of-province motorcycle inspection process in Alberta can seem daunting, but with the right knowledge, it becomes fairly straightforward. Always remember, the safety and condition of your vehicle should be your top priority.

For more information or to schedule an inspection, we have created a couple of handy guides for motorcycle service shops in Edmonton and Calgary.



Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or professional advice. While we aim to provide accurate and up-to-date information, we cannot guarantee that the information provided here will remain relevant or accurate due to changes in provincial laws, rules, or regulations. Therefore, we highly recommend that you consult with a professional or legal advisor for any specific questions or concerns you may have regarding Alberta's out-of-province motorcycle inspections. Performance Cycle and Auto and the author of this post disclaim any liability for any loss or damage caused by reliance on the information provided in this post. Always follow the guidelines provided by the relevant authorities in your area.