What is the History of AMA?

Alberta has grown quite a bit since it first became a province in 1905, and we’re proud to say that we’ve grown right along with it. From the early days of the Automobile Act to today, explore a timeline of our history, or watch a video on our History of Advocacy.

1901
The first “horseless carriage” arrives in Alberta, a Locomobile, driven by Billy Cochrane.

1906
Alberta passes the Automobile Act, setting speed limits of 10 mph in towns and 20 mph in the country.

The first long-distance auto trip is made over the entire Edmonton-Calgary Trail — it takes two days.

1909
Good Roads Association holds it first convention in Leduc, spawning auto clubs that would later become the AMA.

1911
Alberta establishes minimum age limits for drivers – 16 for men, and 18 for women.

1913
Alberta government creates an official highways branch.

Twelve auto clubs from across Canada join together to form the Canadian Automobile Association.

1918
Alberta now has 29,000 licensed drivers, up from 41 car owners in 1906.

1922
Alberta passes its second Highways Act. The provincial government agrees to share road costs with municipalities, paying 75% for main roads and 25% for “market” or district roads.

1923
A provincial tax of two cents a gallon is added to the price of gasoline.

1926
AMA is officially incorporated on November 30, with the merger of the Edmonton Automobile and Good Roads Association, and the Calgary Auto Club.

1927
First Road Reports are broadcast on radio.

AMA offers six garages that will provide free emergency road service.

1928
AMA begins to sell licence plates, at 50 cents each.

1929
All Albertans are now required to have a driver’s licence (Driving exams, however, aren’t implemented until 1937).

1936
AMA offers highway patrols on Harley-Davidson motorcycles to help distressed motorists.

1937
School Safety PatrolSchool safety patrol program begins in Calgary.

1938
The first white line on the Calgary to Edmonton highway is completed.

AMA Driver Education begins in Calgary, using the first dual-control cars in Canada.

1947
Oil is discovered at Leduc. Over the next 10 years, Alberta’s provincial government spends $280 million on highways.

1948
Federal government calls for a plan to build the Trans-Canada Highway. It isn’t completed until 1963.

1951
AMA begins free hotel/motel reservations services, helping members overcome poor telephone communication with Alberta’s mountain resorts.

1958
AMA crest with the Alberta coat of arms gives way to the blue and red oval of the CAA.

1959
AMA begins selling personal accident insurance.

1962
AMA begins to offer automobile insurance and enters the travel business.

1964
Hunting and fishing licences are sold at AMA.

AMA membership breaks the 200,000 mark.

1967
Premier Ernest C. Manning opens AMA’s first provincial headquarters at Kingsway Branch, in Edmonton.

Membership rates rise for the first time since 1929 – from $10 to $13.

1970
Homeowner and tenant insurance for members is introduced.

1971
AMA becomes the first CAA club to offer protection against loss or theft on credit cards.

Marriage licences sold for the first time.

1972
AMA begins compulsory seat belt use campaign, an issue on which the membership is evenly split. Continues for 15 years, ending with provincial legislation in 1986.

1977
Highway signs go metric.

AMA introduces travel accident insurance.

1978
AMA Consumer Hotline opens.

1982
Calgary is hit by a massive hailstorm; AMA Insurance loses more than half a million dollars.

1984
Alberta introduces “Starting Early,” an alcohol awareness program for youths.

1989
First President’s Cruise to the Caribbean.

1990
AMA membership passes 400,000.

1996
AMA launches MISSION POSSIBLE Traffic Safety Initiative.

AMA launches its first website.

2001
AMA blazes yet another new trail by becoming the first automobile association in North America to offer members mortgages.

AMA celebrates its 75th anniversary, ending the year with over 600,000 members.

2004
AMA membership exceeds 700,000.

2006
The provincial government develops and adopts the Alberta Traffic Safety Plan, a framework for action to reduce collisions, with input from AMA.

2016
AMA now has over 980,000 members.