Blog Ontario Licence Plate Renewal

Sep 23, 2022

How to renew your licence plate in Ontario

graphic of a licence plate and sticker close up

Whether you drive a commercial vehicle, a motorcycle or an automobile, renewing your sticker is essential to legally drive in Ontario. Even though the province has removed physical licence plate stickers and the associated fees, you still need to renew your plate every two years, free of charge.

It is important to understand how you can receive your full refund and what it means to renew your sticker in the future. We simplified what you need to do when renewing your licence plate sticker and what to do if it's expired.

What is a licence plate sticker?

Before 2022, a licence plate sticker was the smaller coloured sticker on the rear licence plate in Ontario. It represents your plate and registration expiry date. Previously, when you renewed your Ontario vehicle registration, you were provided with a new sticker to add to your licence plates.

The new process of a licence plate sticker is similar, but you will not receive a physical sticker to place on your licence plate, and you do not have to pay.

Ontario eliminates licence plate sticker renewal and fees

Effective March 13, 2022, Ontario will be removing licence plate renewal fees and the requirement to have a valid licence plate sticker for motorcycles, mopeds, light-duty trucks, and passenger vehicles.

All vehicles owned by individuals will receive a direct refund for licence plate sticker fees paid between March 1, 2020, and March 12, 2022. To ensure you receive the refund, check online to ensure your vehicle has the correct address. Make sure you pay any outstanding fees, fines and tolls by March 7, 2022.

Eliminating these fees will save vehicle owners $120 a year in Southern Ontario. Northern Ontario drivers and light commercial vehicles will save $60 per year. Refunds are not eligible for cars registered to a business or company.

How to get an Ontario licence plate sticker refund

The province will automatically send drivers their refunds based on the address they have on file associated with the driver’s licence. Be sure to check your mailbox. If you still have not received your refund, contact ServiceOntario.

Keep in mind that the following vehicles are not eligible for refunds and will still need to pay a fee when renewing their plates :

  • Heavy commercial vehicles (over 3000 kg)
  • Farm vehicles
  • Busses and school busses
  • Motorized snow vehicles (snowmobiles)
  • Off-road vehicles
  • Trailers

Be cautious of licence plate sticker scams

Some residents have received a fraudulent refund link through email or text message offering a refund. Do not open or click the links because they are not approved messages from ServiceOntario and are scams. They will not contact you directly to get a sticker refund.

You can report this message by contacting your local police or call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

Do I still need to renew my licence plate sticker?

Drivers of passenger vehicles will still need to go online or in-person to renew their licence plate free of charge every two years. This process still exists so that the Ministry of Transport (MTO) can ensure your insurance is up to date and all fines or tolls have been paid.

Even with the province offering refunds on stickers, drivers must continue to renew their driver’s licence every five years online or at a ServiceOntario and pay the $90 fee. Your online receipt will serve as legal proof that you renewed it. Keep a copy of your receipt in your vehicle.

What do I need to renew my sticker licence plate sticker?

Once you own a vehicle, much like your Ontario driver's licence, you must renew your licence plate sticker to keep your registration up to date. In Ontario, you must renew every two years. This can be done at a ServiceOntario location near you or online.

To renew, you will need the following information :

  1. Licence plate number
  2. Permit number (RIN number)
  3. A valid insurance pink slip or policy information
  4. Odometer reading
  5. Payment of any outstanding fines

You may also be required to provide your vehicle safety inspection certificate number or Drive Clean security code if you renew a heavy-duty diesel vehicle. If you recently moved, you need to notify the MTO before you apply for a sticker renewal.

How to renew Ontario licence plate online

graphic of a licence plate and sticker close up

If you drive a passenger vehicle, you must visit ServiceOntario or go online to renew your plate every two years. Here’s how to renew your Ontario licence plate online.

  1. Plate and permit : Get your licence plate and vehicle permit number. The permit number begins with a letter, followed by seven digits (example: B1234567).
  2. Policy details : Ensure your Ontario car insurance is up to date and valid. Have it handy just in case you need to provide your insurance company and policy number.
  3. Odometer reading : Input your odometer reading on the website.
  4. Conform Address : Ensure your delivery and licence address are up to date.
  5. Outstanding fees and fines: If applicable, pay any outstanding speeding tickets, parking tickets, or toll fees.
  6. Length of renewal : Choose if you want to renew for one or two years, free of charge.
  7. Payment : Choose to pay with Mastercard, debit, or VISA.
  8. Proof of purchase : You will be redirected back to the site to obtain your digital proof of purchase. There is an option to print it, and it will be emailed to you.
  9. Stickers will not be mailed out : You will not receive a sticker in the mail if you are renewing the plate for a passenger vehicle, light commercial vehicle, moped, or motorcycle.

When should I renew my licence plate sticker?

You can renew your Ontario licence plate sticker online up to 180 days before it is set to expire. Plan for at least a month to ensure you don’t miss the window. You also cannot renew online once it has expired.

Where can I renew my licence plate sticker?

You can renew your plate sticker by visiting ServiceOntario near you or simply online. If you are renewing a farm or heavy commercial vehicle over 3,000 kg, you will need to go in person. It is easy to find a ServiceOntario location close to you to renew your licence plate sticker. Note that not all locations accept cash.

How much does a licence plate sticker renewal cost?

Depending on the vehicle you drive, and where you live, you’ll have to pay for a licence plate sticker. Most passenger vehicles do not have to pay for a plate renewal, but many commercial vehicles do.

Here is a look at the different types of vehicles and their cost :

Type of Vehicle Southern Ontario Northern Ontario
Motorcycle $0 $0
Commercial vehicle (gross weight 3,000 kg and less, commercial use) $0 $0
Commercial vehicle (gross weight 3,000 kg and less, personal use) $0 $0
Mopeds $0 $0
Motorized snow vehicle $15 $0
Motorized mobile home $120 $60
Historical vehicles $18 $18

Ontario sticker renewal for commercial vehicles

graphic of a licence plate and sticker close up

If you drive a commercial vehicle, the rules for renewing your sticker are a bit different. Here are some important notes for drivers :

  • If your heavy-duty commercial vehicle is over seven years old, it needs to pass an emissions test. You will receive a notice in the mail, or you can check online.
  • Make sure your policy is active a minimum of 72 hours before renewing.
  • For international registration plan (IRP) : If it expired on or after March 1, 2020 and you have not renewed, you must renew and will be required to pay a portion of the fees as a one-time payment or through a payment plan.
  • Heavy commercial vehicles operating in Ontario (non-IRP) : You must renew by December 31, 2021.

Can I renew my plate sticker if I have outstanding fines?

No. You will have to pay all outstanding fines to renew your plate sticker and registration. This includes 407 tolls, licensing fees, traffic tickets, red light camera tickets, and outstanding licensing fees.

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

By law, you are required to renew your licence plate sticker. If you neglect to renew your licence plate stick in Ontario, you could face a fine between $60 and $1,000 under the Highway Traffic Act. If you have renewed online, but have not received it in the mail, make sure you have a copy of the Extended Vehicle Validation Period Receipt to prove that you have renewed.

When should I get my licence plate sticker?

You can renew your Ontario licence plate sticker online up to 180 days before it is set to expire. However, you cannot renew online once it has expired. If you renew online, you will receive it within 5 business days. Once you receive it, attach it to the upper right-hand corner of your licence plate.

Where can I renew my licence plate sticker?

You can renew your plate sticker by visiting a ServiceOntario location near you or online. If you are renewing a farm or heavy commercial vehicle over 3,000 kg, you will need to go in person.


Sticker renewal FAQs

Someone else can renew for you online. They will need all the required information to complete the process. However, you are the only person who can renew in person.

No. You cannot complete the renewal process without your Ontario car insurance. You will need the insurer's name and policy number to renew.

As of March 2022, passenger vehicles and motorcycles no longer have to pay for a licence plate sticker. The renewal process takes a few minutes and won’t cost you a dime unless you have a farm or commercial vehicle.

There is no physical licence plate sticker in Ontario, but you still need to renew your licence plate to be a legal driver in the province.

Since there are no fees associated with renewing your licence plate in Ontario, there is no HST charge.

Yes, you need to renew the stick for your snowmobile yearly. However, it is not necessary to provide snowmobile insurance.

Suppose your sticker is going to expire before you receive it in the mail. In that case, you will receive a temporary sticker validation document. It will be valid for 14 days and must be kept in your vehicle while driving.

A final word on Ontario licence plate sticker renewals

Renewing your licence plate is part of being a responsible driver in the province. Don't forget to take a quick minute to find out how you can get the best savings on car insurance to protect you.