Though nowadays you may be sending and receiving fewer letters and parcels in the mail, a looming Canada Post labour disruption could still affect you—particularly if you’re expecting (or are in need of) official documents like these:
VEHICLE REGISTRATION / LICENCE PLATE STICKER
We all have a lot on our minds during summer: Vacation plans, graduation ceremonies, weddings; no surprise that some of life’s seemingly minor details might slip through the cracks. However, forgetting to take care of a smaller item, like renewing your vehicle registration, could end up costing you big. You could face a fine of $310 if the police pull you over without an up-to-date validation sticker on your licence plate. You may also have to call for a ride home, since by law you won’t be allowed to drive.
Remember, too, that the Alberta government is no longer mailing out registration-renewal reminders, regardless of whether or not there’s a postal disruption. It’s your responsibility to know when you need to renew. Do it online or at any AMA centre, or sign up for AMA’s Vehicle Registration Auto-Renew service and we’ll take care of the renewal on your behalf—automatically, every year.
Just as you’re not legally authorized to drive without a current plate sticker, you cannot drive with an expired licence. The good news is that when you renew your licence at a registries office you’ll receive a temporary 30-day permit. The fine for driving without a valid licence is also $310, but having it on your record may also affect your car insurance rate. And your insurance may not cover you if you get into an accident.
All motor vehicles registered in Alberta must be insured before they hit the road, so you’ll want to avoid a situation where your coverage ends up lapsed due to mail delays, even if it’s just for a few days. Drivers lacking insurance could be summoned to court and given a hefty fine—up to $10,000 for a first offence. In a collision, your insurance coverage may not apply, meaning you’d be on the hook for damages not only to your own car, but also to other people and their vehicles.
If you’ve been expecting insurance-renewal documents in the mail but worry their delivery might be impacted by a Canada Post work stoppage, simply visit AMA Insurance at an AMA centre to pick up a copy of your renewal papers, including your Pink Card. Or you can call 1-800-615-5897 and AMA Insurance will arrange to email you a copy of your documents.
AMA Insurance policyholders now have easier and more convenient online access to their insurance information through MyAMA Insurance. You can find your policy details, view upcoming payments, browse active claims and even chat with an insurance advisor. You can even request policy changes and have insurance documents or digital pink cards emailed to you
And remember, a postal disruption doesn’t allow for flexibility. If you normally pay for your automobile insurance by mail, you’ll need to make other arrangements. Non-payment may be cause for your insurance company to cancel your policy.
Many Albertans rely on the mail to pay for and renew—or be reminded to renew—their home insurance policies. Like car insurance, however, your home coverage could be at risk of cancellation if a postal strike causes a delay in the delivery of your cheque or documents. Contact your insurer to find out what their payment and renewal processes will be in the event of a Canada Post service disruption.
Having an up-to-date passport is essential when travelling outside of Canada. You shouldn’t leave the country with a passport that will expire during your trip or shortly after your planned return date. Consult the Canadian embassy or consulate in the country you intend to visit for more information about entry and exit requirements. If you have to renew your passport urgently for travel within the next six weeks, you should visit a passport office in-person.
TRAVEL MEDICAL INSURANCE
If you have an annual travel medical insurance plan, be sure to check its expiration date. You may not be covered if your plan’s term has end. Fortunately, most insurers allow you to renew by phone, in-person or via email.