Police Warn Ontario Drivers That Licence Plate Renewal Is Still Required Even Though It’s Free

Police Warn Ontario Drivers That Licence Plate Renewal Is Still Required Even Though It’s Free
An Ontario provincial licence plate with a renewal sticker is shown in Mississauga, Ont., on Feb. 22, 2022. (The Canadian Press/Nathan Denette)
Peter Wilson

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is warning that drivers could face fines of up to $110 in the province if they fail to renew their annual licence plate registrations.

Although the provincial government has removed renewal fees and licence stickers, the OPP is reminding drivers that they still must renew their licence plate registration every year if they wish to avoid being ticketed.
In a Twitter video, Sergeant Kerry Schmidt of the OPP Highway Safety Division reminded Ontarians that they will no longer receive annual renewal notices in the mail from the province’s Ministry of Transportation. Drivers must now visit the provincial government’s website or visit a Service Ontario office to re-register their licence plates before they expire, which is usually during their birthday month.

“It may not cost anything, but you are still required to go online and renew your registration,” Schmidt said.

The provincial government announced in February that as of March 13, vehicle owners no longer need to pay the $120 fee for annual vehicle registration. However, the government said that the annual re-registration requirement will remain in place to ensure drivers maintain valid insurance and that they pay any outstanding fines or highways tolls.
Some media reports have indicated hefty fines of up to $500 for driving with an expired licence plate. In a May article, CTV News said that a driver from Brampton, Ontario, received a $489 ticket for driving with an expired Ontario plate in Gatineau, Quebec.

In an interview with the Epoch Times, Sergeant Schmidt clarified that the largest fine drivers in Ontario can receive for having an expired licence plate is $110. Since the driver profiled in the CTV article was driving in Gatineau, he was under the jurisdiction of Quebec traffic laws, which differ from Ontario’s in this regard.

“There’s a set fine for driving with an expired licence plate in Ontario and it’s $110,” Schmidt said. “Even though [the driver] was an Ontario driver, his traffic ticket was a Quebec offence.”

Only drivers of passenger vehicles, light commercial trucks under 3,000 kilograms, motorcycles, and mopeds are exempt from the renewal fees. Owners of heavy commercial vehicles—those weighing over 3,000 kilograms—and snowmobiles must still pay for licence plate stickers every one or two years

Drivers can renew their licence plates on the government of Ontario’s website or by visiting Service Ontario offices. To renew, drivers need to have their licence plate number, vehicle permit, insurance policy number, as well as vehicle odometer reading.