What many Albertans consider an aesthetic upgrade to a truck, added at the owner’s prerogative, is actually a mandatory requirement according to a provincial law which has been in place for decades.

Trucks without fenders covering their rear tires must have mudflaps.

Garrett Alger recently spent thousands of dollars on a new Dodge Ram 1500 under the assumption the truck was road legal. The truck owner was surprised to discover his fiancé was stopped by Strathmore RCMP because the new truck lacked mudflaps.

Garrett researched the infraction and discovered his truck required mudflaps in Alberta. He called the Calgary dealership that sold him the truck to ask why there were no flaps.

He was told Chrysler Canada was not obligated to install flaps on his truck and he would have to purchase mudflaps on his own dime.

“I think it's a joke,” said Garrett. “I think it's ridiculous that you pay $40,000 or $50,000 for a truck that doesn't conform with the law.”

Consumer Watch reporter Lea Williams-Doherty contacted the dealership where Garrett purchased his truck. Representatives of the dealership told Lea that Chrysler, and other vehicle manufacturers, ship trucks without mudflaps and dealer are not required to install them.

The Alberta Motor Dealers' Association says Alberta Transportation stated dealers are not obliged to make sure trucks confirm with this law as it's the consumer's responsibility.

While illegal, Calgary police say they rarely write tickets for mudflap violations.

With files from CTV's Lea Williams-Doherty