The Vehicle Information Report
(VIR) is an important source when buying or selling
a previously owned vehicle.
When you buy a previously owned
vehicle in Alberta, how do you learn its history?
Where and when was it registered in Alberta?
Has it been declared salvage? Was it registered
for commercial use? Are there any current liens
recorded in Alberta against the vehicle? The
VIR has the answers to these questions.
Both buyers and sellers of previously
owned vehicles find the VIR beneficial. As a
buyer, the VIR can help you make an informed
decision. It does not replace a mechanical inspection,
but it will add to the information you need to
assess the value of the vehicle. It is a good
idea to get a mechanical inspection on a previously
owned vehicle before you make a purchase. As
a seller, the VIR will provide more information
to interested buyers, showing your intent to
sell a vehicle as you've advertised it. Please
consult us for more information - (403) 288-3333.
The Alberta government records major changes in a vehicle's history with
the help of registrants, the insurance industry, registry agents, and
inspection centres authorized by Alberta Transportation.
A Search of Alberta Registries'
records is done using the Vehicle Identification
Number (VIN) to gather valuable information about
a vehicle's history in Alberta. The VIN is the
unique serial number assigned to every new vehicle
by the manufacturer. It is used to identify a
specific vehicle throughout its life and generate
The VIR provides:
- the vehicle's description.
- the vehicle's odometer reading.
- the vehicle's status
- registration information, and
- the number of current liens
registered in Alberta against the vehicle.
The description includes the year, make, model, style, colour and fuel
type. This information should match the vehicle you are considering.
For example, if the colour does not match, you may want to check with
the owner to find out why there is a difference.
December 2002 the public have been encouraged
to voluntarily provide
Alberta Registries with the odometer
reading on their vehicle at the time
of registering or renewing a vehicle
registration. These odometer readings
have been added to the vehicle description
of this report. You should compare the most recent odometer reading and
date on this report
to the current reading on the vehicle. If there is a discrepancy, you
may want to have the odometer reading investigated. If it is determined
that the odometer reading is not correct and you suspect your vehicle
odometer was tampered with, please contact the Alberta Motor Vehicle
Industry Council (AMVIC) at 1-877-979-8100. If it has been determined
that the odometer reading is not correct, a Reason Code will be added
to the Alberta Motor Vehicle system. The codes that could appear are:
- M - if the odometer is broken
or not working properly.
- R - if the odometer has been
- N - if the odometer has been
If the VIR does not have an odometer
reading, it may be because the previous owner
declined to provide it, the last transaction
was an Internet vehicle renewal, or a transaction
has not taken place since December 2002.
The Vehicle status shows the current designation in the Alberta Motor
Vehicle system. It is an indication of the vehicle's suitability for
registration and the registration history.
- Any status beginning with oop
(out-of-province) means the vehicle is not
registered in Alberta.
- All out-of-province vehicles
must pass a safety inspection before they can
be registered in Alberta.
- Prior to January 1997, it was
not mandatory to report a written-off vehicle
to Alberta Registries. Therefore, this report
may not include all written-off occurrences.
A vehicle will have one of the
following status descriptions.
Active or oop-active: A
vehicle with this status can be registered.
Salvage or oop-salvage: A
vehicle that requires repairs to the extent
that it is written-off and branded as a salvage
vehicle must be inspected and certified prior
to registration. Vehicles with a status of
salvage must pass an inspection, and can
only be registered with a status of rebuilt.
or oop-nonrepairable: A
vehicle that can be sold for scrap and dismantled
for parts only. A vehicle with this status
cannot be registered.
Unsafe or oop-unsafe: A
vehicle that is deemed unfit for continued road
use. A vehicle with this status must be inspected
and certified before it can be registered.
Rebuilt or oop-rebuilt: A
vehicle that was written-off and given a salvage
status (that is, it has damage in excess of its
value), then repaired and subsequently certified
by an authorized inspector. A vehicle with a rebuilt status
can be registered.
vehicle is from out-of-province. The status information
is not available. Usually this vehicle has been
imported from outside Canada and will also require
a Transport Canada (Customs) form.
vehicle has been reported as stolen in another
vehicle that was once repaired, and in a separate
instance is deemed to be unfit for continued
road use. A vehicle with this status must be
inspected and certified before it can be registered.
Associated with each status is
the date the status was entered into Alberta
Registries records. This date is reported in
all instances except where there is "active" or "oop-actv" status.
Registration information contains the date Alberta Registries first entered
the vehicle's data in its records, the vehicle's current licence plate
classification and registration history. This information is useful if
you want to know about previous registrations or if the vehicle is from
out-of-province (that is, the vehicle registration history in Alberta
does not match the age of the vehicle).
The licence plate classification
indicates the type of registration, such as passenger,
commercial, farm or rental.
The registration history is a list
of municipalities where the previous registrants
resided at the time of registration, and the
dates of registration.
Registration data is available
from December 1993 onward, to a maximum of seven
worthwhile checking further on a vehicle
that shows liens registered against it.
This report provide the number of liens
and other related instruments, which
are registered in the province of Alberta
and associated with the serial number.
Detailed information, such as the secured
party and the party to whom the money
is owed, can be determined by purchasing
a separate Personal Property Registry
lien search. The amount owing may be
determined by contacting the secured
Sources of Information: Additional
sources of information on buying a previously
owned vehicle can be found by contacting the
Alberta Motor Vehicle
Industry Council (AMVIC) www.amvic.org for
consumer issues related to buying a previously
here for the
Price of the Vehicle Information Report