In order to legally drive on the roadways in Ontario, you must have a valid license plate, and be legally insured to drive in Ontario.
This is true no matter what type of vehicle you drive, or whether it’s part of your profession. Ontario license plate renewal is simply another aspect of car ownership.
But with the changes to the annual renewal sticker system, the Ontario license plate renewal system can definitely be confusing to some people. What’s worse is that there are steep penalties if you don’t renew your license plates on time.
We’ll tell you everything you need to know about Ontario license plate renewal in this article.
Yes and no. There’s no longer a sticker involved in the Ontario license plate renewal process.
The government in Ontario specifies that you need two things to legally drive your car on the road in Ontario:
Because of the previous sticker system, many drivers in Ontario have become used to renewing their license plates every year or two. And the Ontario license plate renewal process links your insurance to the vehicle you’re renewing your plates on.
In order to complete your license plate renewal, you have to provide insurance information like your policy number and the insurance company name.
This information is filed with your license plate information so that when law enforcement runs your plates, insurance information is readily available, too.
All of this is still required, even though the license plate renewal sticker isn’t part of the process anymore.
If you own a passenger vehicle or a light-duty vehicle that weighs less than 3,000 kg, or a motorcycle or moped, then you’re required to renew your license plate every 1-2 years. The date usually falls before your birthday.
Here are a few facts about the Ontario license plate renewal process:
Heavy commercial vehicles are now able to renew their license plates online, too.
Here’s everything you need for your Ontario license plate renewal:
You now have the option to do your license plate renewal online. Here’s what you need to know about renewing:
Here’s the link to renew your license online: Online license plate renewal. As soon as you open the link there’s a pop-up message that allows you to sign up for digital reminders so that you won’t forget to renew, as well. You can set reminders up by text, email or phone call.
You can also renew your license in person. Click here to find a location.
License plate stickers are no longer part of the Ontario license plate renewal process for passenger vehicles, motorcycles, mopeds, and light-duty trucks.
Because of this, any sticker renewal fees that were collected between March 1, 2022 and March 12, 2022 were refunded.
If by chance you didn’t receive your refund by September 2022, you should check your driver’s license to see if the address is correct and update it if it isn’t correct, then pay any fines, fees or tolls that have defaulted. If you still haven’t received your refund, call 1-888-333-0049 to get the situation sorted.
For most passenger vehicles, mopeds, motorcycles, and light-duty trucks the fee is $0. This fee varies based on different factors, like whether it’s a company vehicle, snowmobile or trailer.
You can print receipts for your license plate renewal if you’ve renewed them online, and you can request a receipt if you renew them in-person as well.
When you pay in person, you can use cheques, money orders, cash, Visa, Mastercard or Interac.
Here are some considerations if you’re paying with a cheque:
Once you’ve completed the renewal, it will automatically become visible to law enforcement, so no worries there.
You’re able to renew the license for up to 10 vehicles at a time, so long as they weigh 3,000 lbs or less, such as motorcycles, mopeds, light duty vehicles, snow vehicles or passenger vehicles.
Although plate renewals are free now, businesses are still required to pay any unpaid dues that were charged between March 2020-March 12, 2022. When you renew your license plates, you must pay these fees.
You can renew your license plates online for up to 5 different vehicles at a time. Some vehicles over 3,000 lbs include farm-plated vehicles, buses/school buses.
Ontario license plate renewal for snow vehicles still involves stickers. You can renew your snow vehicle license plate sticker online here, or also in-person at a local ServiceOntario centre. It costs $0 in Northern Ontario, or $15 in Southern Ontario.
You get a temporary license plate sticker either 14 days before it expires, or after it expires, once you’re renewed it.
Until your sticker arrives, you’ll be required to print your temporary license plate validation document and make sure to keep it in the vehicle, as well as keep the expired sticker on the plate in the meantime.
Your temporary license plate sticker validation document serves as proof of sticker renewal, and it gives you an additional 14 days from the time you renewed your sticker until the arrival of your new sticker.
Renewing in person means that you’ll be issued a new sticker at the centre.
Defaulted driver’s fines encompass for moving violations that don’t involve vehicle fines (like highway toll or parking).
Some of these moving violations include:
If your license was suspended then you’ll have to pay an Administrative Monetary Penalty (AMP) or reinstatement fee.
Your license could be suspended in court, at the side of the road, or by receiving a letter from the Ministry of Transportation.
You can’t renew your license plate without paying defaulted driver’s fines.
You can pay driver’s fines here.
Upon Ontario license plate renewal, you can also pay overdue vehicle fines, tolls and penalties.
Some of these may include highway tolls, vehicle licensing fees (for things like bounced cheques) or any number of vehicle fines (red light camera, parking, operation of an unlicensed taxi, passing a stopped school bus, passing a stopped streetcar, or automated speed enforcement).
You can pay for any of these fines, penalties or tolls at a ServiceOntario centre.
Your vehicle must be insured upon Ontario license plate renewal, according to law.
During the renewal process the Ministry of Transportation checks your policy number and verifies your coverage. If for some reason your insurance coverage can’t be verified, then you can’t renew your license plates.
You need to check y our vehicle identification number on:
If your vehicle identification number doesn’t match up on your dashboard and insurance card, then you need to contact your insurance company before renewing your license plate because this will cause complications.
If you’ve recently moved, then you’re required to update your address within 6 days of the move.
This ensures that products you’ve ordered online will arrive to the right address, any validation fees you’re charged are linked to the right address, and that you’re following the law.
Hopefully none of these things happen to you, but if they do, you must contact a ServiceOntario centre:
Any fees, cancellations or expiration of your license plate doesn’t affect your driver’s license. Your driver’s license is valid for 5 years, after which you must pay a $90 renewal fee which will ensure it’s good for another 5 years.
Make your money do more.
Offers shown here are from third-party advertisers. We are not an agent, representative, or broker of any advertiser, and we don’t endorse or recommend any particular offer. Information is provided by the advertiser and is shown without any representation or warranty from us as to its accuracy or applicability. Each offer is subject to the advertiser’s review, approval, and terms. We receive compensation from companies whose offers are shown here, and that may impact how and where offers appear (and in what order). We don’t include all products or offers out there, but we hope what you see will give you some great options.