Steps to becoming commercial carrier

Looking at becoming a commercial carrier?

A Safety Fitness Certificate is required by all Carriers operating commercially in Alberta or into other jurisdictions. If the carrier is registering a vehicle for 11,794 Kgs or more and are operating in Alberta, they will require a Provincial SFC. If they are registering a vehicle over 4,500 kgs and are operating outside of Alberta, they will require a Federal SFC.

SFC’s are available through Alberta Transportation – our knowledgeable staff can assist you in applying for one based on your operational needs.

Effective March 1, 2019:

New carriers

New carriers must complete a Safety Fitness Certificate (SFC) application. The application fee is $150.

New carriers are also required to complete the Pre-Entry Program for New National Safety Code Carriers. This includes:

  • successful completion of the online Safety Fitness Certificate Compliance course
  • a passing mark (80%) in the SFC Compliance Knowledge Test administered by an Alberta registry agency
  • successful completion of the new carrier compliance review within 12 months of operation

Carriers must contact a certified Third Party Auditor who will conduct the new carrier compliance review and submit it to Alberta Transportation. You will need to provide between 9 and 12 months of data for the auditor to be able to assess the overall compliance of your organization.

Pre-Entry Program

Complete the Pre-Entry Program for New National Safety Code Carriers

Step 1. Complete the online Safety Fitness Certificate Compliance course

The course contains 6 modules that should take approximately 6 to 8 hours to complete:

  • access the course online
  • create a 511 Alberta account
  • complete the self-assessments for each module and a certificate of completion will be automatically generated
  • save your certificate, you will need it to apply for your Safety Fitness Certificate

Step 2. Register your vehicle

  • register a vehicle at a registry office with the following information:
    • proof of ownership document, such as a lease or bill of sale
    • proof of valid insurance for the vehicle
    • acceptable identification
    • an out-of-province, salvage, or vehicle inspection (if required)

Remember, you are not authorized to operate a regulated commercial vehicle without a Safety Fitness Certificate.

Step 3. Apply for your Safety Fitness Certificate

  • visit the online application portal
  • have the following documents and information ready to provide:
    • certificate of completion for the Safety Fitness Certificate Compliance Course
    • the Motor Vehicle Identification (MVID) number associated with your company which is found on your vehicle registration document
    • electronic copies of your Commercial Vehicle Inspection (CVIP) certificates (for vehicles originally designed with a seating capacity of 11 or more)
    • the nature of your business (for example: do you haul commodities or transport passengers?)
    • the amount of insurance coverage you have
    • where you will operate (within or outside of Alberta)
    • confirmation that you have written safety and maintenance programs
    • credit card and card holder information (Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted) for application fee payment
  • follow the instructions in the portal to complete the application and pay the $150 application fee

Step 4. Pass the Safety Fitness Certificate Compliance Knowledge test

The Safety Fitness Certificate Compliance Knowledge Test will cover what you learned in the online Safety Fitness Certificate Compliance Course:

  • you will get an email from Alberta Transportation prompting you to take the Safety Fitness Certificate Compliance Knowledge test
  • take your knowledge test in person at your local registry office
  • you must receive 80% or higher to pass and you will be notified of your result at the end of the test
  • if you’ve passed, resubmit your finalized Safety Fitness Certificate application on the online portal

Step 5. Safety Fitness Certificate issued

  • your Safety Fitness Certificate will be issued after your finalized application is approved by Alberta Transportation
  • once you have received the certificate, put a copy of it in each of your vehicles
  • you are now authorized to operate

Step 6. New Carrier Compliance Review

  • within 9 to 12 months of being issued your Safety Fitness Certificate, you will be required to undergo a new carrier compliance review
  • contact a government-certified Third Party Auditor to arrange for a compliance review
  • if you do not meet this requirement, your certificate will be suspended until a compliance review is completed

Step 7. Renew your Safety Fitness Certificate

Once you’ve completed the Pre-Entry Program for New National Safety Code Carriers, you will need to renew your Safety Fitness Certificate every three years:

  • submit a renewal application online to Alberta Transportation before your certificate expires

Commercial vehicle descriptions

The following commercial vehicles must comply to meet the requirement to receive an SFC:

  • a truck, tractor or trailer or any combination of these vehicles that has a registered gross vehicle weight of 11,794 kilograms or more, operating solely within Alberta
  • a truck, tractor or trailer or any combination of these vehicles that weighs or is registered with a gross vehicle weight of more than 4,500 kilograms that is used or intended to be used to transport goods on a highway outside of Alberta, including a farm-plated vehicle
  • a ‘bus’ (including vans) that is a commercial vehicle which is originally designed for carrying 11 or more persons, including the driver, and that is used or intended to be used for the transportation of persons

Insurance requirements

The National Safety Code program provides minimal standards for carrier safety compliance.

To maintain an acceptable safety fitness rating, a carrier must have a good safety record and the minimum insurance coverage required by Alberta legislation.

The Commercial Vehicle Certificate and Insurance Regulation sets out the minimum insurance requirements as follows:

  • Section 24, Cargo Insurance – requires carriers to maintain insurance to cover against loss of or damage to goods transported. Insurance requirements range from $600 to $32,000 depending on the gross vehicle weight of the vehicle.
  • Section 25, Liability Insurance – requires all carriers to maintain at least $1 million coverage and those transporting certain types of dangerous goods at least $2 million coverage.
  • Section 26, Passenger Insurance – requires carriers conducting a passenger service to maintain passenger hazard insurance of either $1 million or $2 million coverage depending on the number of passengers the vehicle can transport.
  • Section 27, Taxi Insurance – requires taxi companies to maintain at least $1 million of passenger hazard insurance.

The above is a summary of insurance requirements set out in legislation. For detailed insurance requirements for the passenger transport industry and cargo insurance, please refer to the Commercial Vehicle Certificate and Insurance Regulation (AR 314/2002) in the Traffic Safety Act.

See our Website for more information on requirements for maintaining your Safety Fitness Certificate such as: