Maintenance Enforcement Program

Failure to make child support payments under the Maintenance Enforcement Program

The Alberta Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) is a way to help people who are owed spousal and child support.  It was set-up by the Government of Alberta to enforce payments ordered by the Court or other binding agreements.  The program gets its authority from the Maintenance Enforcement Act.

Once someone registers with MEP, they are giving the province the authority to take certain steps to enforce the money owed.  These enforcement tools include registrations at Land Titles and the Personal Property Registry, wage, non-wage and federal support deduction notices, federal licence (passport) denials, motor vehicle restrictions and driver's licence  

There are two types of motor vehicle actions available to the program:

  • Motor vehicle restrictions: The person owing money (debtor) will not be able to access motor vehicle services. The debtor will not be able to renew a driver's licence and vehicle registration or even get a driving abstract.
  • Licence cancellations: A person who owes child or spousal support may have their current Alberta driver's licence CANCELLED under MEP. A warning letter is sent to the debtor that allows him/her 21 days to respond beforethe cancellation is requested from the Registrar of Motor vehicles.

Some debtors choose to drive illegally and MEP has no control of this.  Pursuant to section 95(1) of Traffic Safety Act, driving in Alberta with a cancelled operator’s licence is subject to penalties.

If you are the debtor you have a right to stop from being registered in the MEP. You will receive a summons requiring you to appear before the court, where a master takes place of a judge and is able to issue court orders.  You will be asked to:

  • Show the court why the maintenance order should not be enforced.
  • Be examined under oath about your finances
  • Show why you should not be committed to prison for wilfully defaulting in the payment of maintenance.

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