Blog Driver’s Licence Renewal in Ontario

Dec 1, 2022

How to renew your Ontario driver’s licence

Ontario drivers license graphic

Is it time to renew your Ontario driver’s licence? Not sure how or when you need to do it? We have you covered.

Provincially, Ontario has the highest number of motor vehicles registered at 8.7 million! That’s a lot of licences; every driver must renew their licence by the expiry date. It’s part of the process of owning a vehicle. Here we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about renewing your Ontario driver's licence.

In this blog, you will learn about :

  • What the renewal process looks like and what the deadlines are.
  • Costs and fees for driver's licence holders.
  • How to renew an expired licence.
  • Get answers to common questions about the renewal process.
  • If you need to do anything for your car insurance quotes.

What you need to know about the ServiceOntario driver’s licence renewal process

The renewal process is straightforward. Here are some important things you need to know before you renew your licence :

  • You need to renew every five years and a new photo every 10 years
  • You cannot renew if you have outstanding fines or penalties
  • Not everyone can renew online, such as if you have a G1 or G2 licence
  • You have to renew in person if you’re licence has expired or has been suspended or cancelled for more than 12 months

What do you need to renew your Ontario driver’s licence?

If you need to visit a ServiceOntario centre in person, you will need to bring your driver's licence number, the 7-digit trillium number found on the back of your licence, and a postal code.

You will also need a personal identification document. It needs to verify your name, date of birth and signature. You may be able to renew your health card at this time too.

ServiceOntario online driver’s licence renewal

Drivers can renew their driver's licence online by completing the steps on the ServiceOntario website. You will need to enter your postal code and driver's licence number nearby.

However, not everyone is eligible to renew online. You can move forward with online renewal if :

  • You have a full class (G, M) that is not suspended or cancelled.
  • You have a combination driver's licence class of G1M, G2M, GM1, GM2, M1 or M2 (only the full portion will be renewed online).
  • Do not need to remove a vision condition or have no new medical conditions that prevent you from driving.
  • Have not updated your address within 90 days.
  • You do not have any outstanding fines or penalties.

You will also need to answer questions about whether you need glasses or have medical conditions that may affect your driving ability. The process only takes a few minutes to complete.

service Ontario building

What is a temporary driver's licence validation?

When you renew your licence online, you will receive a temporary driver's licence validation document. You will get this if your licence was already expired. You will also get it if your licence is within 28 days of the expiration date. Download, print and keep this with your old licence until you receive your new one.

You may have to visit a ServiceOntario in person if you are unable to download and print the document, you lose or need to replace it, or your new licence has yet to arrive and the document is going to expire.

How much is the driver’s licence renewal fee?

An Ontario licence renewal costs $90 for a five years. You can pay using Visa, Mastercard and Interac. If the renewal is not for a full five years, you may see a different cost. This may happen if the date on your licence is changed to match the expiration of your health card. There is no extra payment for postage and mailing costs.

What happens if I drive with an expired licence in Ontario?

If you don’t renew your driver's licence in time, it will no longer be valid. You are not legally permitted to drive with an expired licence in the province. You could face a fine from $200 to $1000. You can still renew after it expires, but if you wait more than one year, you may need to take a vision test and additional testing may be required if you wait an extended period of time.

How to renew an expired Ontario driver's licence

Depending on how long your licence has expired, you can still renew online. Here is an overview of the process of renewing your Ontario licence even if it is expired.

You can renew your licence online if you meet the following conditions:

  • You have a full G licence. If you are a novice driver, and your permit expired, you cannot renew it, you will need to start the process over.
  • You do not need to have your photo or address updated and haven’t updated your address in the last 90 days.
  • You do not need to take any tests (vision, written, road) or update a restriction.
  • You do not have any outstanding fines or penalties.

If it has expired more than one year ago, the process will look a bit different. Here is what to expect if it expired more than 12 months ago :

  • 1 to 3 years : You will need to take a vision test.
  • 3 to 10 years : You will need a vision test, written knowledge test, and road exams you had to pass for your G2 test and G level licence.
  • 10 years or longer : You have to complete the entire Graduated Licensing Program from the beginning.

6 Steps for renewing an expired licence

If you are planning to renew an expired licence in Ontario, here is what the process will look like :

  1. Visit a ServiceOntario or DriveTest center : If your G Class or M is expired for less than 12 months, you can visit a ServiceOntario. If you need a test or have a commercial licence, you will need to visit a DriveTest Centre.
  2. Bring identification : Bring original, acceptable identification that shows your legal name, DOB, and signature.
  3. Take required tests : This may include a vision, knowledge or road test.
  4. Get a new photo : You may be required to get a new photo from the customer service agent.
  5. Pay renewal fee(s) : Pay any fees and additional tests that apply.
  6. Obtain temporary licence : You will receive a temporary driver’s licence that is valid for 90 days while you wait for your new one. If you don’t receive the new licence in 90 days, visit ServiceOntario.

Ontario commercial licence expiries and renewals

If you have a commercial licence (Class A, B, C, D, E, F) that has expired, it means your Class G is also expired. If it’s been longer than three years, you will need to reapply and meet all the requirements of the licencing program. Once you have successfully completed that, you can reapply for commercial classes. You’ll need to get new commercial vehicle insurance at this time too.

Here is what the renewal process will look like for a Class A, C, D, and F licence that was expired :

  • Visit a DriveTest Centre.
  • Re-apply for and then obtain your Class G licence.
  • Re-apply for your commercial licence.
  • Take a vision test.
  • Pass a written knowledge test.
  • Pass a road/practical test.
  • Submit a medical examination report.
  • If you are applying for a Class B or E licence, participate in a criminal record search.

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What happens if I don’t renew my driver’s licence?

If you don’t renew your driver's licence by the expiry date, it will expire. You are not legally permitted to drive with an expired licence in the province. You could face a fine from $200 to $1000.

Can I renew my driver’s licence early?

You can renew once you receive your renewal notice in the mail or email. You will typically get the notification 2 to 3 months prior to the expiry date.

It is highly recommended to sign up for ServiceOntario digital reminders because they will no longer be sending paper renewal notices to most Ontarians (unless you fall in the exemptions) with products expiring after February 2022. You can also sign up for reminders by automated voice calls or text messages by calling toll-free at 1-800-267-8097.

Ontario driver’s licence renewal FAQs

Yes. Most driver’s licences will expire on the card holder's birthday, not at the end of the month. However, you should always double-check the date on the card as it may have a different date.

You can renew an expired licence online up to a year after the expiration date. After one year, you will need to visit one of the in person ServiceOntario locations to renew. You cannot drive if is expired and you risk being fined.

Yes. It’s possible for another person to renew for you online. They will need access to your driver’s licence and other required documentation. Another person cannot renew for you at an in-person ServiceOntario location.

You can replace your lost driver's licence at ServiceOntario. You will need to bring proof of identification and pay a $35.75 fee. You can then renew your licence following the normal process.

You can renew your licence at any location in the province. Find the nearest in person ServiceOntario location here.

Yes. You are required to pay a $90 fee to renew your driver's licence.

Renewing your licence is a quick and easy process. It only takes a few minutes to renew online. How long it takes to renew in person depends on the number of people at the ServiceOntario location when you visit.

Renew your Ontario licence and insurance

When it's time to renew your licence, don't forget to look at your driving habits - letting your insurer know a how many kilometres you drive yearly can help lower car insurance in Ontario.