A staggering number of drivers in Ontario are reportedly taking to the roads with unregistered licence plates since the Ontario government scrapped licence plate stickers and renewal fees almost two years ago.
Effective March 13, 2022, drivers of passenger vehicles, motorcycles, mopeds, and light commercial vehicles are no longer required to pay for license plate renewals or place a sticker on them either. Removing the fee-based system was brought in as a cost savings for Ontario drivers, but it didn’t eliminate the requirement to renew the licence plate itself.
No more renewal notices
Historically, drivers would get a renewal notice in the mail sometime around their birthday to renew their plate and their driver’s license. Unfortunately, with the elimination of the renewal fees, the government no longer mails out reminder letters. As a result, many drivers forget to renew and are driving in violation of the Highway Traffic Act.
According to the Ministry of Transportation, in 2021, the year before licence plate stickers were eliminated, there were 372,438 unregistered plates. In 2022, the year that they were removed, there were 814, 224 and as of June 2023, there were 573,974.
If you forget, it could cost you.
While these numbers are a huge headache for the Ontario Provincial Police, there are potential ramifications to your auto insurance coverage. You aren’t legally permitted to drive with either an expired plate or driver’s license and if you get caught and ticketed, you face a fine from $200 to $1000 and it may impact your auto insurance premiums for the next three years.
Save yourself the headache and sign up for renewal reminders with Service Ontario.