Blog A Guide To Getting Ontario Custom Licence Plates

Oct 14, 2020

How To Get Personalized Licence Plates In Ontario

An Ontario custom licence plate

Thinking about getting a custom licence plate in Ontario? It's something thousands of drivers have. Most people at least consider it at one time or another. And many continue to get them personalized. But, just as many have been rejected because they do not meet the criteria set out by the MTO.

In this guide, we’ll tell you what you need to know about ordering and applying for a custom plate, learn the do’s and don’ts, what to do with your auto insurance and get answers to common questions.

What Is A Personalized Licence Plate?

Personalized licence plates allow you to use your own combination of letters and numbers rather than the combination provided by the MTO. For a fee, you can create a message or slogan using almost any combination of letters and numbers. Some restrictions and rules are in place to ensure the content is appropriate.

You can get them customized for personal or commercial vehicles. This personalization is also referred to as vanity plates.

How Much Is A Custom Licence Plate In Ontario?

It is $310 for a custom licence plate (2 to 8 characters). It is $336.40 for one with 2 to 6 characters and a graphic. If you have a motorcycle, it will cost $310 for 2 to 5 numbers/letters without a graphic. You can pay by VISA, Mastercard, or Interac Online.

How Do I Personalize My Plate?

Purchasing a personalized licence plate is a fairly straightforward process. You can buy it online, at a ServiceOntario location or by calling 1-800-AUTOPL8 (2886758). You will need your drivers licence number or registrant identification number (RIN). Before your order, you must also pay any outstanding fines and highway 407 toll fees.

You can start your online order on the website. You will need to follow these steps :

  • Enter your drivers licence number or RIN.
  • Choose the type you want (personal, commercial, motorcycle).
  • Choose if you want one with or without a graphic.
  • Enter the characters you want (choose 3 options).
  • Check availability
  • If the custom plate is available, select it and confirm your purchase.
  • Complete the purchase process.

You can expect to receive your vanity plate in the mail in about 4 weeks.

Personalized Licence Plate Ideas That Will Get Rejected

People have a lot of custom ideas. But not all of them are considered acceptable. In fact, thousands of custom applications get rejected annually. 3,877 plates were rejected over the past year (between May 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020) for being too political, rude, or sexual. All variations of COVID are also rejected.

Here is the full list of rejected plates.

Plates are likely to be rejected if they contain objectionable content. Here’s a list of topics that commonly are not accepted :

  • Sexual messaging or meanings
  • Abusive, obscene, or derogatory slang
  • Religious meaning or messaging
  • Reference to drugs and alcohol
  • Political figures or dignitaries
  • Violence or criminal activity
  • Human rights discrimination
  • Intellectual property

They also need to have clarity and be easy for law enforcement to read.

Nearly a third of the 3,315 rejected applications were refused on the criterion of clarity and readability.” You may enjoy this list of 0UTLAW3D customizations from Toronto Star.

Rejectional are chosen by provincial staff. The Personalized Licence Plate Review Committee reviews questionable suggestions. They are approved or denied unanimously or it gets escalated to a manager at the MTO.

Ontario Custom Licence Plate Rules

An Ontario personalized licence plate

Here is the criteria they must meet :

  • Your combination of numbers and letters cannot already be in use.
  • It is between 2 and 8 characters.
  • You cannot have more than 4 identical numbers or letters in a row.
  • Interchangeable numbers and letters are not allowed (for example S/5, A/4).

How To Check Personalized Licence Plate Availability In Ontario

You can check availability when ordering personalized plates in Ontario. You will be able to look up options as part of the purchase process.

Custom Licence Plates With A Logo Or Graphic

Drivers can also purchase custom plates that included an approved logo or graphic. There are over 60 graphics to choose from several categories :

  • Arts and Entertainment
  • Charity
  • Community Organizations
  • Environment
  • Government
  • Heritage
  • Novelty
  • Professional
  • Sports Teams
  • Universities and Colleges

See the complete list.

Personalized Licence Plate FAQs

A vanity licence plate is another name for a personalized or custom plate. It’s a great way for you to add your personal touch on your vehicle and to show off your interests or personality.

People get vanity licence plates for many reasons. Some equate it to being like a tattoo for your vehicle. It's something distinct that makes your vehicle stand out. People also get custom plates to show support for a favourite sports team or organization or to say something about themselves.

Customer plates work just like regular ones. Once you have them on your vehicle, you’ll need to renew your licence plate sticker and follow all provincial rules regarding licencing.

It only takes a few minutes to complete the application process. You can receive your custom plates in the mail in as short as four weeks from the date you order them.

Yes. You purchase a plate online, or choose a gift certificate. A personalized plate can only be transferred once to anyone before being attached to a vehicle. You can also help them out by comparing Ontario car insurance rates before.

Express Yourself With A Personalized Vanity Plate

Getting a vanity plate is a great way to express yourself or support a cause. The only question left is, what are you going to get on yours?