Blog Ontario Vehicle Registration : How To Get And Renew Your License Plate Sticker

Aug 7, 2020

Learn About Ontario Vehicle Registration And License Plate Renewal

Vehicle Registration

Have questions about vehicle registration or Ontario license plate sticker renewals? Are you a new driver or new to the province and want to learn more about how car registration works? We have the answers for you here.

If you own or lease a vehicle in Ontario, you are required to abide by all vehicle registration regulations. All vehicles in Ontario must be registered and insured.

This blog takes a look at vehicle registration in Ontario and provides you with information and answers to the most common questions about car registration, licence plate sticker renewal, costs, fees, and more.

You can skip to the main sections by clicking below.

Vehicle Registration Process In Ontario
Ontario License Plate Sticker Renewal Process
License Plate Renewal Rules
Online Vehicle Registration And Renewal Tasks
Changing The Address On Your Vehicle Registration
Registering A Vehicle When Moving To Ontario
Vehicle Registration And Plate Renewal FAQs

What Is Vehicle Registration In Ontario?

All vehicles in Ontario must be registered in order to be legally allowed on the road. Vehicle registration refers to your vehicle permit, license plate and sticker. When you register your vehicle, you will receive these three items. Collectively they are your vehicle registration.

What Is A Vehicle Permit?

A vehicle permit is your proof of vehicle registration. You must have it with you at all times when driving your vehicle. You need a vehicle permit and license plate to register your vehicle in Ontario.

What Is A Vehicle Permit Number or RIN Number?

A registrant identification number (RIN), or vehicle permit number, is either your driver’s license number or a created 9-digit number. A RIN number is used for vehicle transactions, such as vehicle registration.

What Is A License Plate Sticker?

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

Remember, your renewal is not valid until you add the new sticker on your license plate. Don’t remove your old sticker until you receive the new one.

Vehicle Registration Process In Ontario

Motor Vehicle Registration

The steps for registering a vehicle in Ontario vary based on whether your car is new or used.

How Does The New Car Registration Process Work?

If you purchase a new vehicle from a car dealership in Ontario, they will complete the vehicle registration for you. A fee may apply for the dealership to perform this service. The dealership will provide you with all the necessary car registration paperwork, license plates (if needed), and plate sticker. The vehicle will be registered and ready to drive off the lot.

How Does Used Car Registration Work?

Buying a used vehicle involves a number of steps. If you are purchasing a used vehicle from a car dealership, they can handle vehicle registration for you (note – some dealerships and car lots may require you to complete registration). Otherwise, you will have to complete the car registration process yourself. The vehicle will need to be registered within 6 days of purchase.

What Do You Need For Vehicle Registration In Ontario?

Here are the Ontario car registration requirements, as outlined by Service Ontario :

  1. Driver’s license
  2. A completed used vehicle information package
  3. Proof of purchase such as a receipt or bill of sale
  4. Proof of auto insurance from a licensed insurance company in Ontario
  5. The original vehicle permit from the seller with the transfer portion completed
  6. The plate portion of the permit, if you have the plates already

How Much Does Car Registration Cost In Ontario?

Car Registration Ontario

The average car registration cost is the same for most drivers. Here is how much it costs to renew car registration and get your license plate sticker in Ontario :

  • Southern Ontario : $120 for 1 year, $240 for 2 years
  • Northern Ontario : $60 for 1 year, $120 for 2 years
  • Motorcycle registration : $42 in Southern Ontario, $21 in Northern Ontario

Ontario License Plate Sticker Renewal Process

Vehicle registration renewal or renewing your plate stickers is a little different than the step to register your vehicle. Renewal steps vary based on your vehicle, registration requirements and other factors.

Here are some common questions about renewing vehicle registration and license plate sticker :

How Do You Renew Your License Plate Sticker In Ontario?

License Plate Sticker Renewal

Once you own a vehicle, much like your Ontario car insurance policy, you are required to renew your registration. Car registration renewal in Ontario comes in the form of your license plate sticker.

This is also referred to as renewing your license plate sticker. In Ontario you must renew your licence plate every year at a minimum. You can also renew your sticker for a two year period for an additional cost.

This can be done at a ServiceOntario location near you or you can renew online.

To renew your car registration in Ontario and plate sticker, you will need the following information :

  1. License plate number
  2. Permit number (RIN number)
  3. Insurance company name and policy number
  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.

Where Do I Renew My License Plate Sticker?

Car registration sticker replacement is simple. You can renew your plate sticker and car registration in Ontario by visiting a ServiceOntario location near you. You can also renew online through the ServiceOntario website.

When Should I Renew My Car Registration And Plate Sticker?

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

Where Can I Find A ServiceOntario Sticker Renewal Location Near Me?

There are 67 ServiceOntario locations so it should be easy to find one that is close to you where you can renew your license plate sticker. Note that not all locations accept cash.

Here are some of the main ServiceOntario locations :

Rules About License Plate Renewals

Vehicle Registration Renewal

Here some important things to know about the rules for renewing your vehicle registration and license plate in Ontario :

Are You Required To Always Have Your Vehicle Registration And Renewal?

Yes. If you are pulled over by the police, you can expect a car vehicle registration check. Make sure you have your vehicle registration, along with your car insurance card and driver’s license with you at all times.

How Often Do I Need To Pay Sticker Renewal Fees In Ontario?

You have two choices. You can pay the annual car license plate renewal fee or you can opt to pay for 2 years at a time. You can pay online using a credit card, or you can pay in person using a debit or credit card at any ServiceOntario location or online.

Why Is It Important To Renew License Plate Stickers In Ontario?

Ontario license plate sticker renewal is something all drivers need to stay on top of. Sticker renewal is required to keep your vehicle on the road legally. You must renew your sticker annually or bi-annually.

Once you receive your new plate sticker, you must put it on your rear license plate and append the other sticker on your vehicle registration papers.

What If I Do Sticker Renewal Online?

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

How Much Does An Ontario License Plate Sticker Renewal Cost?

The cost of a new plate sticker in Ontario 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.

What Is The Fine Driving With An Expired Plate Sticker In Ontario?

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

If you have renewed your sticker online, but have not received it in the mail, make sure you have a copy of the Extended Vehicle Validation Period Receipt. This is acceptable proof of sticker renewal.

Can Someone Else Renew My License Plate Sticker In Ontario?

It’s possible for someone else to renew your license plate sticker for you online. They will need all the required information to complete the process. However, you are the only person who can renew your license plate sticker in person at Service Ontario.

What Is The Penalty For Not Renewing Your License Plate Sticker?

As long as your vehicle is not driven on the road, there is no penalty. You can store a vehicle on your driveway without renewing your plate sticker.

Can I Get A Temporary License Plate Sticker?

Yes. You can get a temporary sticker. It will allow you to drive a registered vehicle for 10 days. You can get a temporary sticker at Service Ontario. You can use this sticker while you are completing the requirements for a regular sticker or if you are transferring ownership of your vehicle.

How Do I Recover Lost Car Registration Or Plate Stickers In Ontario?

If you lose your vehicle registration papers or license plate sticker, you must visit Service Ontario to get a replacement sticker for a fee. This also applies to damaged or stolen stickers. The costs to replace a lost or stolen vehicle permit, license plate, or sticker are as follows :

  • Replacement vehicle permit : $32
  • Replacement license plate : $57
  • Replacement plate sticker : $7

What If I Have Issues With My Licence Plate Sticker?

When you receive your sticker in the mail, if there is an issue with the sticker, such as it’s damaged, there is incorrect information, the date is wrong, or it’s faulty, bring it to Service Ontario to get a free replacement.

Can I Renew My License Plate Sticker Without Insurance Information?

No. You cannot complete the renewal process without your insurance information. You will need your insurance company name and policy number to renew your plate sticker. If you do not have insurance, you cannot renew your plate sticker.

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, and red light camera tickets.

Do I Put My Ontario License Plate Sticker On The Front Or Back Plate?

All drivers must put their driver’s license sticker on the rear license plate in the top right corner. You also need to add the secondary sicker to your green vehicle permit.

Online Vehicle Registration And Renewal Tasks

Ontario Vehicle Registration

Online vehicle registration is a convenient way to change car registration details, pay vehicle registration fees and more.

Here are some of the common questions associated with online car registration in Ontario :

How Can I Pay My Car Registration Online?

You can pay your car registration and license plate sticker online by logging into your account. You can pay via credit card or Interac online through the Service Ontario website.

Can I View My Car Registration Online?

Yes. You can check your car registration online and view your current status, renewal date, and more. You can also sign up for an email reminder, and Service Ontario will email you when it’s time to renew your plate sticker.

How Do I Renew My Vehicle Registration And License Plate Sticker Online?

You can first check to see if you can renew online by entering your license plate and permit number. If you have the option to renew online, you simply need to follow the steps on the Service Ontario website.

Then you pay online and your will receive your new license plate sticker in the mail.

Can You Print Vehicle Registration Online?

No. if you change your address and require a new vehicle registration permit, you will need to pick up your updated permit at a Service Ontario location. You will also need to bring you old permit.

Changing The Address On Your Vehicle Registration

Do I Need To Change Vehicle Registration Address?

People move all the time. When you do, you are required to update your address on your vehicle registration.

How Do You Change Your Car Registration Address?

You can change your car registration address online through the service Ontario website. You are required by law to notify the Ministry of Transportation within 6 days of changing your address. If you have recently moved, you must change your address before you renew your license plate sticker.

If you change your address online, you will need to pick up your new permit at a Service Ontario location. You must bring your old permit.

What Is The Cost To Change Car Registration Address?

There is no fee for changing your address on your vehicle registration.

How Do You Register Your Vehicle When Moving To Ontario?

If you are moving to Ontario on a permanent basis from another province or country, you will need to register your vehicle in Ontario.

To register an out of province vehicle in Ontario, you will be required to provide personal identification. You will also be required to show :

You will be required to pay a fee for new license plates and a license plate sticker.


Ontario Vehicle Registration And Plate Renewal FAQs

Here are some additional questions drivers frequently ask about the Ontario vehicle registration and plate renewal process :

Your permit paper (the green piece of paper provided to you when you purchase the vehicle) is proof of vehicle registration in Ontario. This is what you will be asked to provide if pulled over by police or if you are in the process of buying or selling a vehicle.

Your vehicle registration sticker expires annually on your birthday. For example, if your birthday is March 12th, then your sticker would expire on this date, not at the beginning or end of the month.

Yes. You must show proof of auto insurance before you can register a vehicle in Ontario and get the plate stickers.

You will need to visit a Service Ontario location to replace your vehicle registration.

Yes. The VIN (vehicle identification number) and VRN (vehicle registration number) refer to the same thing.

If you move out of Ontario, you can apply for a refund for the unused portion of your plate sticker. A $5.00 administration fee applies. You will need to register your vehicle in your new province of residence.

The vehicle registration sticker should be place on the upper right hand corner of your rear license plate.

You can renew your car registration every year or every other year. The choice is up to the driver.

You can get a copy of your vehicle registration through ServiceOntario.

Yes. You are required to renew your vehicle registration.

This is a document that outlines information about a registered vehicle in Ontario. You can order copies of a vehicle abstract online.

You should visit a Service Ontario location right away to renew your registration in person.

The person leasing the vehicle pays for the registration on the vehicle.

Yes. You must provide the buyer with the vehicle registration as part of the sale when selling a car in Ontario. You must complete and sign the application for transfer section on the registration permit.

Your vehicle registration number is located on your vehicle in the lower driver side area of your windshield. It may also be located under your hood at the front part of the engine. It is also located on your vehicle permit on the top right portion of the document.

This document allows another person to take care of your vehicles administrative tasks on your behalf. They will be able to register your vehicle on your behalf.

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