Dec 21, 2021
How to renew a driver’s licence in Ontario
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 and every driver is required to 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
Drivers licence and health card renewal extension coming to an end
During the pandemic, the provincial government suggested that residents with expired health cards and identification cards did not have to renew to help keep people away from visiting ServiceOntario.
If you've been driving with an expired licence or licence plate sticker since the pandemic, you will now need to renew your licence and health card by February 28, 2022. If you didn't renew during the extended period, you will need to pay the fees associated with the previous year.
Those who drive heavy commercial vehicles, including International Registration Plan (IRP) cab cards, must be renewed by December 31, 2021. You can easily renew online or book an appointment in advance for your nearest location.
After you’ve completed the process, you will be sent a temporary validation document if your licence has already expired or you renew within 28 days of your current expiration date. Download, print and keep this document with your old licence until your new one arrives in the mail.
If you are a new driver with an expired or soon-to-be expired G1, G2, M1 or M2 licence with an expiration date falling between March 1, 2020 to December 31, 2022 - you will be required to complete your courses/driving school and be fully licensed by the end of December 31, 2022.
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 expired or has been suspended or cancelled for more than 12 months
What do you need to renew your 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. At this time, you may be able to renew your health card 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 if you need glasses or have medical conditions that may affect your ability to drive. The process only takes a few minutes to complete.
What is 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 care. 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 long do you have to renew your driver's licence after it expires in Ontario?
Yes. You can renew an expired licence as long as you don’t have any outstanding fines or penalties. You can renew it anytime online up to a year after expiry.
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 :
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.
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.