Residency & ID requirements

How it works

If you’re living in Alberta, you may apply for an operator’s licence or ID card with the correct documentation.

After moving to Alberta, you have 90 days to change your licence.

To get an operator’s licence or ID card for the first time, a Registry Agent will ask for documentation to prove who you are, where you live and if you’re allowed to be in Canada.

You must also provide your legal name, address, birth date, photo and signature.

If you’re applying for a drivers licence and you already have a valid driver’s licence(s) from anywhere else, you must give it to the registry agent.

Your Alberta drivers licence or identification card may take up to 2 weeks to arrive by mail at your Alberta address.

If your name has changed due to marriage, divorce or a legal change of name, please tell the registry agent and show proof of your other names.

Proof of identity

Some examples of original documents that have a photo and may be provided as proof of identity:

  • An ID card or driver’s licence issued by any official government
  • a valid passport, nexus card or permanent resident card

The following types aren’t accepted as identification:

  • debit and credit cards or cheque cashing cards
  • Social Insurance Number cards
  • interim or temporary driver’s licences
  • business and organization membership cards

If your ID is lost, stolen, destroyed or you cannot present enough identification to have a drivers licence or ID card issued to you, a registry agent can help you. You may be asked questions that only you will know the answer to, or you may be asked to provide documents that only you should have.

A registry agent cannot issue you a driver’s licence or identification card unless they are fully satisfied that you are a legal resident of both Canada and Alberta.

Alberta residence documents

At least one of the following types of original documents with your Alberta address may be presented as proof that you are living in Alberta:

  • electronic utility bills showing an Alberta address
  • other non-utility statements or correspondence mailed to your Alberta address

The documents must contain your full name, address and have a date of less than than 90 days to ensure the information is reasonably current.

If your Alberta residence documents are not in English, you must present a written translation from an approved translator.

If you don’t have Alberta residency documents yet you don’t have to exchange your previous drivers licence right away. You have 90 days from the day you moved to Alberta to obtain these.

A registry agent cannot issue you a driver’s licence or identification card unless they’re fully satisfied that you’re a legal resident of both Canada and Alberta.

Canada residence documents

One of the following original documents may be presented as proof that you are a permanent or temporary resident of Canada:

  • Canadian Birth Certificate
  • valid Canadian passport, NEXUS or Permanent Resident card
  • Secure Certificate of Indian Status
  • Metis Nations of Alberta card
  • Canadian Citizenship Certificate dated after February 2012
  • Canadian Citizenship Card dated before February 2012
  • a confirmation document, permit or resident visa issued by   Citizenship and Immigration Canada - CIC, that gives you resident status in Canada for more than the next 90 days
  • refugee claimants with the following 3 requirements:
    • valid Refugee Claimant document
    • a Valid Work permit with ‘Does not confer status’ or Does not confer temporary resident status’
    • a copy of a written ‘Notice of Decision’ with a ‘positive first decision’ by Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada granting refugee status

If your Canada residence documents are not in English, you must present a written translation from an approved translator.

A registry agent cannot issue you a driver’s licence or identification card unless they’re fully satisfied that you’re a legal resident of both Canada and Alberta.

Contact this service

780-427-7013, toll free dial 310-0000 first in Alberta

8:15 am - 4:30 pm (Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)

Related services

Driver’s Licence

Alberta Vital Statistics

Citizenship and Immigration Canada - CIC

Approved Translators

Find a registry agent