Ontario License Plate Renewal: Stay Legal, Stay on the Road

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Are you a vehicle owner in Ontario? Then it’s crucial to stay informed about renewing your license plate. Whether you’re a seasoned driver or a new one, understanding the process and requirements for license plate renewal is essential. Renewing your license plate is a legal requirement and essential to ensure your vehicle remains registered and roadworthy. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps, deadlines, and important details to ensure a smooth and hassle-free license plate renewal experience in Ontario. Stay tuned to avoid any surprises and keep your vehicle legally registered on the roads. By the end, you’ll have all the information you need to navigate the renewal process confidently and with peace of mind.


What is a License Plate Sticker?

A license plate sticker is a small, colored sticker placed on the back of a vehicle’s license plate that shows when the registration will expire. It proves that your vehicle’s license plate is registered and up to date. The sticker contains essential information, such as the license plate number, expiration date, and other identification details. It is a visual indicator for law enforcement officers and other drivers to verify that your vehicle is legally registered. However, the process of renewing a license plate has changed a little since 2023. You won’t get a physical sticker anymore; no payment is required.


Do I need to renew my Ontario License Plate Sticker?

You surely need to renew your license plate. It’s important for every vehicle owner to renew their license plate every one or two years. This is a requirement under the law in Ontario to ensure that you have valid automobile insurance and have paid any outstanding tolls or fines. As mentioned before, there’s been a change in Ontario’s license plate sticker renewal process since 2023, as they are no longer necessary. However, renewing your license plate is crucial to avoid provincial fines. If caught driving without a valid plate, you could face a fine of $85 or more. The change in the renewal process aligns with the government’s investment in Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) technology, which can quickly read thousands of plates per minute.

Ontario license plate sticker - Stay informed about renewal dates and requirements for your vehicle's registration.Will I be reminded of the renewal dates?

In the past, you may have received a paper reminder in the mail to renew your Ontario driver’s license or license plates. However, the government is now phasing out these mailed notices and promoting digital reminders instead. When renewing online, you will be asked if you want to sign up for digital reminders. These free reminders can be sent via email, text, phone, or a combination of these methods. They will be sent 60 and 30 days before your expiry date, giving you enough time to renew.


How do I renew my Ontario license plate?

You can easily renew your license plate online in just a couple of minutes by visiting the Ontario license renewal website. It’s important to note that you are renewing your plate, not a sticker. As said before, you no longer receive a sticker to attach to your license plate, and it’s not used on passenger vehicles in Ontario anymore. So you won’t have to pay a plate renewal fee.

All you need is some important information ready, like your license plate number, vehicle permit number, odometer reading, and insurance details. The best part is that the process is completely free, and you’ll have the option to receive a reminder via email, text message, or phone call before your license plate expires again.


What Information Is Needed To Renew My License Plate?

Renewing your license plate in Ontario is a simple and convenient process. You have two options to choose from: using Service Ontario’s online service or visiting a Service Ontario location. While some locations may require an appointment, you can renew your license plate up to 180 days before it expires. During the renewal, you will need to provide important details such as your license plate number, vehicle permit number or registration, proof of auto insurance, and your vehicle’s odometer reading. Online renewal is quick, taking just a few minutes, and you’ll receive a confirmation and receipt via email. If you prefer an in-person visit, payments can be made using credit cards (VISA, Mastercard) or debit cards. Ensure your license plate is renewed on time and keep your vehicle registered and roadworthy in Ontario.


When should I renew my Ontario license plate?

You can renew your Ontario license plate online well in advance, up to 180 days before its expiration date. It’s important to plan ahead and allow yourself at least a month to ensure you don’t miss the renewal window. However, once your license plate has already expired, online renewal is no longer available.


How Much Does Ontario License Plate Renewal Cost?

There has been no fee for renewing your license plate in Ontario since March 13, 2022. However, the cost of license plate renewal may vary depending on the type of vehicle and your location. Most passenger vehicles do not require a payment for plate renewal, but certain vehicles, such as motorized snow vehicles, motorized mobile homes, and historical vehicles, may have associated costs.


Can I renew my license plate if I still have unpaid fines?

No, you cannot renew your license plate unless you have paid all the fines you owe. This includes any outstanding tolls, fees, and tickets, such as traffic tickets or red light camera tickets.


How can I get a refund for my Ontario license plate sticker?

The Ontario province will send your refund automatically to the address linked to your driver’s license. Make sure to check your mailbox for the refund. If you haven’t received it, contact ServiceOntario. Please note that certain vehicles, including heavy commercial vehicles, farm vehicles, buses, school buses, motorized snow vehicles, off-road vehicles, and trailers, are not eligible for refunds and will still require a fee for plate renewal.


What is the fine for driving with an expired license plate?

By following the law, it is mandatory to renew your license plate. Failure to do so may result in a penalty ranging from $60 to $1,000, as stated in the Highway Traffic Act. If you have completed the renewal process online but have not received the physical sticker in the mail, it is important to keep a copy of the Extended Vehicle Validation Period Receipt as proof of renewal.


How to Renew a Lost or Damaged License Plate?

If you find yourself in a situation where your license plate is lost or damaged, don’t worry. Renewing a lost or damaged license plate is a straightforward process. To do so, you’ll need to gather a few important documents and visit a ServiceOntario location. Make sure to bring your personal identification, such as a passport or driver’s license, to verify your identity. Additionally, you’ll need to provide proof of active auto insurance to ensure your vehicle is covered. Bring along the original vehicle permit as well, as it serves as a crucial document during the renewal process. Lastly, complete a replacement declaration form to inform the authorities of the lost or damaged plate. With these documents in hand, you’ll be able to renew your license plate and get back on the road hassle-free.



As we end our exploration of license plate renewal in Ontario, we hope this complete guide has given you the knowledge you need to navigate this important task. Remember, renewing your license plate is not just a legal requirement but a crucial step in keeping your vehicle registered and safe for the road. By staying informed and taking action, you can avoid surprises and meet all the necessary deadlines. Take charge of the renewal process today to maintain your driving privileges and comply with the law. This guide serves as a reminder that fulfilling these responsibilities keeps you on the right side of the law and ensures your own safety, and contributes to the smooth functioning of our roads. Drive confidently, knowing that you have taken the necessary steps to keep your vehicle properly registered and ready for all your future journeys.

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