Blog How To Renew Your Ontario Licence Plate Sticker

Nov 8, 2021

graphic of a licence plate and sticker close up

Did you know your vehicle must have a valid plate sticker to drive legally? So it's important for you to remember to renew your licence plate sticker before it expires. Whether you drive a commercial vehicle, a motorcycle or an automobile, renewing your sticker is an essential factor to legally drive in Ontario.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the province extended renewal dates for stickers. As of September 2021, those with expired identification must get pieces updated by February 28, 2022. Plate stickers for heavy commercial vehicles, including International Registration Plan cab cards, must have until December 31, 2021, to be renewed. Online validation receipts will be valid for 14 days.

We simplified what you need to do when renewing your licence plate sticker, what you need, and what to do if it's expired.

What Is A Licence Plate Sticker?

A licence plate sticker is the smaller coloured sticker you will see on your rear licence plate in Ontario. It represents your plate and registration expiry date. When you renew your Ontario vehicle registration, you are provided with a new sticker to add to your plates. They are valid for one or two years.

All drivers must put it in the top right corner of their back licence plate. You also need to add the secondary sicker to your green vehicle permit.

Remember, your renewal is not valid until you add the new one to your plate, and don't remove the old one until the new one arrives.

Ontario Licence Plate Sticker Renewal Process

Renewing your plate stickers is a little different than registering your vehicle for the first time. Renewal steps vary based on your vehicle, registration requirements and other factors.

If you renew your online, the new one will be mailed to you. In the meantime, your online receipt will serve as legal proof that you renewed it. Keep a copy of your receipt in your vehicle until you receive the new one in the mail.

What Do I Need To Renew My Sticker At ServiceOntario?

Once you own a vehicle, much like your car insurance, you must renew your licence plate sticker to keep your registration up to date.

In Ontario, you must renew every year at a minimum. You can also renew for two years for an additional cost. 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 Ontario car 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.

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. 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.

ServiceOntario Locations

It is easy to find one close to you to renew your licence plate sticker. Note that not all locations accept cash.

Here are some of the central locations :

How Much Does A Licence Plate Sticker Renewal Cost?

The cost of a new plate sticker depends on where you live. For passenger vehicles in Southern Ontario, the cost is $120 per year. If you live in Northern Ontario, the fee is $60 per year. You can pay the annual fee or opt to pay for two years at a time for $240.

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

Type of Vehicle Southern Ontario Northern Ontario
Motorcycle $42 $21
Commercial vehicle (gross weight 3,000 kg and less, commercial use) $120 $120
Commercial vehicle (gross weight 3,000 kg and less, personal use) $120 $60
Mopeds $12 $12
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 Driving With An Expired Plate Sticker?

By law, you are required to renew your licence plate sticker by your birthday in your renewal month. If you are caught driving with an expired sticker, you are subject to a $110 fine.

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.

Can I Get A Temporary Licence Plate Sticker?

Yes. You can get a temporary sticker at ServiceOntario. It will allow you to drive a registered vehicle for 10 days. You can use it while completing the requirements for a regular sticker or transferring car ownership.

How Much Is a Replacement Plate Sticker?

If you lose your licence plate sticker, you must visit ServiceOntario to get a replacement for a fee. This also applies if it was damaged or stolen. It will cost :

  • Replacement plate : $57
  • Replacement sticker : $7

If you receive your sticker in the mail, and it's damaged, has incorrect information, or is faulty, bring it to ServiceOntario to get a free replacement within 31 days. After that time, you will have to pay the replacement fee if it is lost, damaged, or stolen.

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.

The only way to renew an expired licence plate sticker is to go into a ServiceOntario location with the proper identification - you cannot renew an expired one online.

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

If you've moved out of the province or stopped driving, you can request a refund for the time remaining.

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 motorcycle sticker will cost $42 in Southern Ontario and $21 in Northern Ontario per year.

Your sticker expires annually or bi-annually (depending on the type you have) on your birthday. For example, if your birthday is April 12, it would expire on this date, not at the beginning or end of the month.

A Final Word On Ontario Licence Plate Sticker Renewals

Renewing your sticker 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.

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