Ontario’s eight million vehicle owners will no longer have to pay licence plate renewal fees and the requirement to have a licence plate sticker for passenger vehicles, light-duty trucks, motorcycles and mopeds, effective March 13, 2022.
Not only that, the province will refund eligible individual owners of vehicles for any licence plate renewal fees paid since March 2020. Upon passage, vehicle owners will receive a cheque in the mail starting at the end of March and throughout the month of April.
The move comes on the heels off last week’s announcement to remove tolls from two highways in Durham that connect the 401 with the 407 highway. Also Transport Minister Caroline Mulroney doubled down on the provinces plans to build more 400-series highways in the GTAH, “For many families, driving is an absolute necessity. Eliminating licence plate renewal fees and stickers is part of our government’s commitment to support drivers as we continue to build Ontario’s transportation network, including by building the Bradford Bypass and Highway 413.”
To receive a refund cheque, vehicle owners who have moved recently will need to confirm that their address information on their vehicle permit or driver’s licence is up-to-date at Ontario.ca/AddressChange by March 7, 2022, and pay any outstanding fees, fines or tolls. For more information and/or assistance with changing an address, vehicles owners can call ServiceOntario’s dedicated line at 1-888-333-0049.
The cash rebates will not apply to businesses, but they will no longer have to pay the sticker fees after March 13.
Vehicle owners will still be required to renew their licence plate every one or two years at no cost to confirm their automobile insurance is valid and pay any outstanding Highway 407 tolls and other municipal fines. The government is working with partners to develop a new, more user-friendly process that will continue to validate automobile insurance requirements, support law enforcement efforts and collect municipal fines and unpaid Highway 407 tolls.
The Ontario government is also investing in Automated Licence Plate Recognition (ALPR) technology as part of its commitment to provide police with the tools they need to do their jobs, improve public safety and strengthen roadside law enforcement efforts across the province. An ALPR system can read thousands of licence plates per minute allowing officers to process more information on licence plates. It also has the capability of capturing vehicles of interest such as amber alerts, drivers with a suspended licence, and stolen vehicles.
Eliminating renewal fees will save vehicle owners $120 a year in southern Ontario and $60 a year in Northern Ontario for passenger and light commercial vehicles.
Vehicle owners should update their address before March 7, 2022 in order to receive a refund for fees previously paid by the end of April 2022.
Physical licence plate stickers have been eliminated in other jurisdictions in Canada including Quebec, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Manitoba and Alberta.
Drivers must continue to renew their driver’s licence every five years online or at a ServiceOntario centre and pay a $90 fee.