Blog What You Need To Know About Registering A Vehicle In Ontario

Oct 28, 2021

graphic of Ontario registration permit

If you own or lease a vehicle in Ontario, you are required to abide by all registration regulations. In fact, Over 4.7 million driver's licences are issued or renewed every year.

Are you a new driver in the province and want to learn more about how car registration works?

This blog looks at vehicle registration in Ontario. It provides you with information on the most common questions about costs, fees, and what to do if your registration is expired. It’s another piece to consider when you are calculating how much it costs to drive a car.

What Is Vehicle Registration?

All vehicles in Ontario must be registered in order to be legally allowed on the road.

Your permit paper (the green piece of paper provided to you when you purchase the vehicle) is proof of 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.

Vehicle registration refers to your vehicle permit, license plate and sticker. When you register, you will receive these three items. Collectively they are your vehicle registration and it’s important to always have them and your ownership with you.

How Do You Register A Vehicle In Ontario?

Whether you register a new or used vehicle, the process will look a little different. Here’s how they work :

New Car Registration Process

If you purchase a new car from a car dealership in Ontario, they will complete the process 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.

Used Car Registration

Buying a used vehicle involves several steps. If you are purchasing a used vehicle from a car dealership, they can handle the process 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. It will need to be registered within 6 days of purchase.

What Do You Need To Register A Vehicle In Ontario?

Motor Vehicle Registration

Before you go online or in person to register your vehicle, you should have these items ready :

  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 car insurance from an Ontario insurer
  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 It Cost To Register A Car In Ontario?

The average car registration cost is the same for most drivers. Here is how much it costs to register your car 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

How To Pay Vehicle Registration Online

You can first check to see if you can renew your licence plate sticker online by entering your plate and permit number. If you can renew online, you simply need to follow the steps on the website. After you pay, you will receive it in the mail or pick it up. You can check registration online, and you can view your current status, renewal date, and more. There is an option to sign up for email reminders that alert you when renewing.

How Do I Change The Address On My Vehicle Registration?

graphic of Ontario plate

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

You can change the address online through the ServiceOntario website. You are required by law to notify the Ministry of Transportation within 6 days of changing your address. If you change your address online, you will need to pick up your new permit at a location. You must bring your old permit.

There is no fee for changing your address on your 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 registered 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.

How Can I Replace A Lost Vehicle Registration?

Registration can easily be lost, stolen, damaged, or misplaced. Getting a replacement is quite simple - you will need to visit a ServiceOntario location to replace the registration. Also, keep in mind :

  • If you suspect the original was stolen, you should report it to the police.
  • If you happen to find the original after you have received the new one, destroy the old copy.

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 pay for the vehicle registration permit, new plates and sticker. If you have outstanding fines in the province you are moving from they will need to be paid.


Ontario Vehicle Registration FAQs

If you have been driving with an expired licence during the pandemic, the provincial government is requiring vehicle owners to update their registration by February 2022.

Yes. You must show that you have car insurance before you can register your automobile.

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.

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.

A Final Word On Ontario Vehicle Registration

When it comes to registering a vehicle in Ontario, it’s important to remember that you must have valid insurance that suits your needs. Try our car insurance calculator to find great rates and save more!


Here Are Some Other Articles You May Be Interested In

How To Renew Your Ontario Licence Plate Sticker
Car Accident Reporting And What Do After You've Been In An Accident
What Are The Cheapest Cars To Insure?
Drivers Abstract And Ontario Driving Record

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