Alberta License Plates 1969-present

AB 69 #TA-69-44
Alberta 1969 passenger issue. Alberta plates of this era were issued in an AB-12-34 format. There is supposedly some coding involved with these plates, with the first letter corresponding with the area of the province where the plates were issued, but I have been unable to find reference to the actual codes. The plate series seems to advance from year to year, however, to avoid duplication.
AB 70 #CD-07-68
Alberta 1970 passenger issue. Again, AB-12-34 format, with the letter series closer to the beginning of the alphabet.
AB 71 #LT-19-48
Alberta 1971 passenger issue. This plate was issued in two types, this variety with "1971 Alberta" listed at the bottom, and a second with a reversed "Alberta 1971" format. The latter are more rare. These plates again advanced the letter series forward to avoid duplication with the 1970 plates. These plates are green on the front and blue on the back, as some plates were stamped on leftover 1970 blanks.
AB 72 #RN-41-56
Alberta 1972 passenger issue. Identical colors and format to the 1970 release. These plates were again issued in the AB-12-34 format, and again advanced later in the series towards the end of the alphabet. These plates were again green on one side and blue on the other, as the blanks could have been used for 1971 or 1972 plates. This was the last yearly issue for Alberta.
AB 74 #CV-51-40
Alberta 1974 passenger issue (1973 base). This baseplate was first issued at the end of 1972 and was used through the end of 1974 with stickers. It introduced the "Wild Rose Country" slogan still in use today, and a stylized embossed province name at the bottom. Format remained AB-12-34, starting from the beginning of the alphabet again.
AB 76 #KXR-171
Alberta 1976 passenger issue. This black on yellow plate style was introduced in 1975 and was used with stickers through March, 1984. These plates were issued in a complicated letter block order that I'm not even able to follow, and with several die variations used. This plate features the standard Alberta dies of the time and odd sticker boxes at the bottom corners of the plate.
AB 79 #RKD-820
Alberta 1979 passenger issue. Continuation of the above series, later plates had different sticker boxes at the bottom that do not meet the outside border of the plate.
AB 80 #VGT-969
Alberta 1980 passenger issue. Example of an occasional die variation during this stretch. The "G" is shorter than the other letters on the plate and is of a different, more squared-off design. Just one of the type of things that keeps Alberta plates of this era interesting.
AB 83 #XLG-684
Alberta 1982/83 passenger issue. This plate was a later period issue on this base, produced by Acme Co. in Quebec and using the same die set as Quebec's 1979-82 plates. This one has a rare decent example of the red-on-silver 1983 foil sticker. Most of these disintegrated after a year of use.
AB 83 #QKX-737
Alberta 1983 passenger issue. Alberta's die set returned after the Quebec-made plates were exhausted. This return was brief, however, as the contract changed hands once again for the last stretch of these plates (see next). This plate features the rare 1983 Scotchlite sticker, introduced late in the year after the foil sticker was discontinued.
AB 84 #EGK-008
Alberta 1984 passenger issue. Another die variation on the 1975 base, this plate was issued later than the ones before, despite the lettering series. These "E" plates were produced by Waldale, Ltd. in Nova Scotia and use the same die set seen on Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, British Columbia and probably other plates of the era. All 1976-84 yellow plates were discontinued in March, 1984, although some were on the road through the end of June, 1984 due to a computer error in issuing new plates.
AB 84 #BKB-486
Alberta 1984 passenger issue. These new baseplates were first issued at the end of 1983 and remain valid today with stickers. A small number of these were issued with 1984 stickers, expiring in October, November or December. As with the last series, this baseplate has undergone numerous base revisions and die varieties over the years. The first block of these plates (from BBB-000 through the mid Hxx series) were produced using Quebec-like dies. There may have been an attempt by Acme to "Alberta-ize" their die set, as this particular plate seems to have dies that don't quite match either Quebec dies of the day or later Alberta dies.
AB 88 #JJL-123
Alberta 1988 passenger issue. Continuation of the Wild Rose graphic plate, plates in the block from the mid Hxx series through LWK-499 were produced using these "standard" Alberta dies (if there even is such a thing). I think they should have started selling programs at some point so that collectors could keep track. The 1988 validation sticker carried the logo of the 1988 Winter Olympics, held in Calgary.
AB 91 #LWN-955
Alberta 1991 passenger issue. There was another die variation from LWK-500 through MDR-499, using tall, thin dies produced by L&M Signs, Ltd. These dies would re-appear again a couple more times within the next few years, although this was the only time they would appear on a reflective plate.
AB 92 #MZH-492
Alberta 1992 passenger issue. Plates from serial MDR-500 through PFB-199 returned to the standard Alberta dies, resulting in a type identical to variation #2 (1990 plate above).
AB 94 #PFT-503
Alberta 1994 passenger issue. Starting with plate number PFB-200, Alberta switched to non-reflective bases, a practice which continues today. This was done as a cost-saving measure, as was bidding out the plate production to different vendors on a regular basis, for that matter. Plates in the block between PFB-200 and PZX-199 were produced in this variety, with the standard Alberta dies and non-reflective background. These plates were produced by HiSigns Manufacturing, Ltd.
AB 95 #PZX-709
Alberta 1995 passenger issue. L&M Signs received the contract for the next batch, so non-reflective plates with their tall, thin dies were produced between PZX-200 and RRF-199.
AB 97 #RRF-452
Alberta 1997 passenger issue. Yet another die variety on this base, this plate was part of the block from RRF-200 through SLM-199 that were made using dies from the Waldale Company in Nova Scotia. These are similar to many recent issues from the Maritime provinces, also made by Waldale. Again, these plates were non-reflective. These started to appear in mid-1995, with this one being from the first letter block issued. This was probably a two-year registration to have expired in 1997.
AB 97 #SMZ-089
Alberta 1997 passenger issue. Once again in 1995, L&M Signs was awarded another contract to produce Alberta's plates, in a block from SLM-200 through SVL-599. To add to the minutia, they also happened to produce a number of these plates with round bolt holes instead of the usual oval slots.
AB 97 #SRL-237
Alberta 1997 passenger issue. Here's an example of one of these plates with the standard oval slots in place. These plates were another example of the tall, thin L&M dies that were used earlier. I personally like these dies a lot, I think they look very distinctive.
AB 97 #SXH-021
Alberta 1997 passenger issue. The provincial government of Alberta does not share my opinion on dies, however, and upon placing their next order for plates with L&M Signs, they requested that the tall, thin dies be shelved in favor of something different. As a result, the serial block between SVL-600 and TGW-199 was produced using these shorter, squarer dies that were also used on certain blocks of Saskatchewan plates.
AB 97 #THD-615
Alberta 1997 passenger issue. Plates produced in the block following TGW-199 were made by HiSigns once again and reverted back to the standard Alberta dies. This resulted in a plate design identical to the 1994 plate shown above. This style lasted through the entire Uxx series (with a slight exception shown below), through the "VAE" series.
AB 99 #UWE-352
Alberta 1999 passenger issue. Slight variant of the above plate, HiSigns produced part of the UJx series, then all plates between UWA and UYZ using aluminum instead of steel. The plant apparently had a steel shortage and received permission from the province to make the change. This, of course, doesn't show in a scan, but is mentioned here for the sake of being complete, and also to show off that I've got one of these relatively rare specimens.
AB 00 #VAN-621
Alberta 2000 passenger issue. Starting with the VAF series, Waldale, Ltd. again received a contract to produce a block of plates. This time around, they used a newer die set which is the same as that used on current Manitoba and New Brunswick plates. These plates are all aluminum as well. This remains the current Alberta type as of early 2003. Reports are that these plates, all base varieties, all dies varieties, are supposed to be replaced in 2005, corresponding with the Centennial of the province. There will, no doubt, be ten or twelve varieties of that plate as well, to keep collectors on their toes.
AB 00 #VAN-621
Alberta 2000 passenger issue. Although the Waldale contract has run from VAF through the present, a small interim order was placed with HiSigns in 1999, covering plates in the VUR to VYX series. These plates were again identical to the Txx and Uxx HiSigns plates above, and once again made of steel. These may have been issued out of sequence in 1999, after which the Waldale plates picked up again.
AB 02 #WWN-422
Alberta 2002 passenger issue. Continuation of the Waldale variety of plates, picking up where the HiSigns order left off. The province did a slight re-design of their month stickers around this time as well, shown on this plate. This sequence ran through the available set of numbers at YZZ-999 in 2003 (the X and Z series were skipped for motorcycle use).
AB 05 #CUX-295
Alberta 2005 passenger issue. Alberta ran out of passenger numbers in this series in 2003 and re-started the sequence at BAA, with the twist being that only letter series featuring an A, E, U or Y (all previously skipped, at least until around the T series) can be used. Aside from the numbering sequence, these new plates are identical to the other Waldale-made recent issues.
AB 11 BBJ-3698
Alberta 2011 passenger issue. Starting in early 2010, Alberta ran out of available six-digit combinations using previously skipped letters. At this time, a seven-digit ABC-1234 format was introduced, using narrower dies of the type used on Prince Edward Island plates, among others. As before, this series does not use vowels and therefore started with the BBB series. Despite persistant rumors of a reissue in the province, the baseplate remains otherwise unchanged from the six-digit versions.

Special thanks to Andrew Osborne for the information provided on Alberta varieties, both provided directly and the stuff I lifted from his inaugural "Oh, Canada!" column in the February, 1997 ALPCA Newsletter.

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Last Modified 10/20/2012 (added 2011 plate).