Earlier this year, Ontario announced that it would no longer be charging residents to renew their license plates with an annual sticker. They shifted to a free renewal system which can be completed online. While many Ontario residents are still confused about how the process works, we decided it would be helpful to make a blog that covers everything you need to know about the Ontario license plate renewal process.
Do I Need to Renew my License Plate Being an Ontario Resident?
Yes, every Ontario resident will need to renew their plates, except now that process is free and can be done completely online. According to the Ontario government, for a vehicle to be road legal it needs a valid license plate and be insured.
In the past, Ontario drivers were required to renew their license plate stickers every 1-2 years, costing hundreds of dollars. In order to renew your plates under the new rules, you must connect your license plate with your valid insurance policy. Therefore, you’re going to need to have your insurance company's name and policy number to proceed with the renewal. This info is associated with your license plate and makes it easy for law enforcement to verify that vehicles on the road are insured.
How Do I Renew my License Plate?
To renew your website, simply go to the Ontario license renewal website, it shouldn’t take longer than 2 minutes to complete if you have all the necessary information. Once again, you’re renewing the actual license plate and not the sticker so you won’t need to do anything after renewal and it won’t cost you a dime.
To renew your license plate, you’ll need the following:
- Your license plate number
- Vehicle permit number (bold text by the signature on the lower back portion of your ownership slip)
- Your insurance company name
- Your insurance policy number
- Your vehicle’s odometer reading
It’s important to note that before you start this process you ensure all of your outstanding tickets, tolls or other fees have been paid. Once you’ve done this and inserted all the necessary information, law enforcement databases will be updated immediately. This means that if you happen to drive that same day and a police officer runs your license plate number, they’ll see your license plate has been renewed.
Refunds for Past License Sticker Fees
During the Spring of 2022, many Ontario residents received refunds for a portion of the fees they had paid for their plate stickers. The sticker program ended in March of 2022, meaning that Ontario residents were refunded either $60 or $120 per year. It should be noted that not all vehicles are exempt from plate stickers. Trailers, snowmobiles, buses and commercial vehicles still require license plate stickers.
The Fines for Failing to Renew Your License Plate
The steps required to renew your license plate are so easy if you get pulled over for an expired plate you can only blame yourself. Driving with an expired license plate can carry a fine of up to $1,000. If you were feeling lazy about taking the two minutes to renew your plate, read the last sentence again! That’s a heavy price to pay for something that takes two minutes!