New Alberta Licence – Cost Savings, Enhanced Security & A Dinosaur

Posted on: Jun 25, 2018
alberta's new licence sample

If you are a dinosaur fan, you are going to love the new Alberta Driver’s Licence since the Albertosaurus features prominently. Castle Mountain and the Bow River are two other artistic elements on the new card.


Service Alberta predicts that this new design will save the province $1 million per year since they are slightly less costly to produce. Service Alberta has not announced whether they plan to change the fee associated with driver licensing.

Security Features

The improvements to this licence are more significant than just a re-vamped design. The new Alberta driver’s licence actually boasts advanced security features. The security features, some of which are unique in Canada, fall into three categories: how the card looks, how it feels, and how it sounds.


  • Clear window: the new licence has three complex look-through windows, including one in the shape of Alberta. All of these windows contain a small image of the cardholder.  The current licence also has a window, but this new design will make Alberta the first province to use a complicated, assymetrical design.
  • Rainbow printing: a gradual transition of colour from one part of the card to another makes it difficult to scan and replicate.
  • “Ghost” date of birth: the security background is visible through the characters of the birth month and year.


  • The card makes a tin-like sound when dropped on a hard surface, unlike credit cards or bank cards.


  • Clear laser engraving: you can feel the clear lettering (date of birth and sex) to the left of the photo.
  • Raised text: you can feel the raised black text on the date of birth, date of expiry and signature. The data is engraved into the core of the card and difficult to alter or replicate.
  • Embossed Alberta shield: can be seen and felt in the lower part of the clear window.
  • 3D embossing: you can feel the Albertosaurus image raised above the card surface. It creates a 3D effect – the tail continues on the back of the card and appears to travel through the Alberta-shaped window.

All of these features allow law enforcement and others whose work involves authenticating identity of individuals to be able to spot a fraudulent licence more easily. The protection of privacy and identity is an important part of what Alberta Registry Agents do every day to keep our province safe and we welcome this new enhanced licence.

What to expect

The licences are already in production, so you may start seeing them immediately. If you have a current licence, you do not need to visit a Registry office for a replacement until your card expires, or until you need to re-class your licence or change your address or other personal information.