Over the past few years, many reports have been published about the changes Ontario drivers need to be aware of when renewing their Ontario driver's licence and licence plates. Where can I renew my driver's licence? How will I remember when to renew my driver's licence and plates? Do I still receive a sticker to put on my licence plates?
These are all questions asked in comment sections of websites and to Service Ontario employees. We at Morison Insurance have created this page to answer frequently asked questions about renewing your Ontario driver's licence and the licence plate themselves and how these may impact your auto insurance.
In the past, you may have received a notification in the mail reminding you to renew your Ontario driver's licence or licence plates. The Ontario government is now phasing out mailed paper renewal notices for licence plates, driver's licences and health cards. Instead of notice by mail, the government is encouraging residents to sign up for its Service Ontario digital reminder notices. If you choose to renew any document online, users will be prompted with a pop-up asking if they would like to sign up for digital reminders.
Digital reminders are free and can be sent by email, text, phone or a combination of these three. These reminders can be sent 60 and 30 days before the expiry date to allow for adequate renewal time.
Yes, Ontario drivers must renew their licences every five years. The Highway Traffic Act of Ontario requires all drivers to have a valid driver's licence while operating a motor vehicle. Not having a valid licence with you while driving may result in a fine of $200 or more.
If you are unsure if you need to renew your driver's licence, the expiration date is listed on the front of your licence, just to the right of the issuing date.
It is also important to note an expired driver's licence can impact your auto insurance if the insurance company runs a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) at the time of your policy renewal. Be sure to check your expiry dates, set reminders in your calendar, or sign up with Service Ontario to have digital reminders sent to you before expiry. In many cases, expiry dates for individuals are on their birthdays. You can also visit a Service Ontario location with your vehicle permit to learn more about your plate's expiry date.
When renewing your driver’s licence through the Service Ontario website or visiting a location, the only required item is your Ontario driver's licence. However, if the following information has changed since your last renewal, you will need to update this when you renew your licence. These pieces of information include:
Any outstanding fines or penalties will need to be paid along with any updates to your information. More information will be required if you’re trying to renew a licence that has been suspended or cancelled. Please visit Service Ontario’s website for more information on what is required.
As of 2023, the cost to renew an Ontario driver's licence is $90. If you are over 76 years of age or your driver's licence renewal is for less than 5 years, including being a new G licence driver, the fee may differ. Payment can be made online or at a Service Ontario location by credit card - VISA, Mastercard - or Interac. Your new licence should arrive by mail in 4 to 6 weeks.
Licence plate renewal is still required. Every vehicle owner must renew their licence plate every one or two years. This confirms the owner's valid automobile insurance, which is required by law under the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario. The renewal also ensures outstanding tolls and other fines are paid. The most significant change to Ontario licence plates is that stickers are no longer required or provided.
Provincial fines may be incurred if you do not renew your licence plate. If the police stop a driver without a valid plate, the fine is $85 or more.
The change to Ontario's licence plate renewal process coincides with the government's investment in Automated Licence Plate Recognition (ALPR) technology which can read thousands of plates per minute. This is expected to improve roadside safety and law enforcement. Police forces in Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories are already using ALPR.
Licence plate renewal can be done quickly through Service Ontario's online service or by visiting a Service Ontario location across the province. However, some locations may require an appointment. Licence plate renewals can be done up to 180 days before the plate's expiry date.
When doing your licence plate renewal, you will be asked to provide the following:
Online renewal takes only a few minutes, and upon completion, you will receive a renewal confirmation and receipt by email. Whether online or in person, payments can be made by credit card - VISA, Mastercard - or debit card.
Licence plate renewal in Ontario is free for passenger vehicles, light-duty trucks, mopeds and motorcycles. Licence plate renewal fees and sticker requirements have yet to be eliminated for commercial motor vehicles and snowmobiles. Fees for these vehicles vary.
You can renew your Ontario driver's licence or licence plate online at www.serviceontario.ca or by visiting a Service Ontario location. Your Ontario driver's licence is valid for five years, with the fee being $90, as of 2023. This fee may vary if your renewal period is less than 5 years, if you are over 76, or are a new full G class driver. Your driver's licence photo needs to be retaken every 10 years. However, an updated photo will be taken for any driver’s licence renewal if you renew at an in-person Service Ontario location.
The information about renewing your Ontario driver’s licence and licence plates can be confusing as most only require this information once a year. The insurance experts at Morison Insurance can assist with any questions or concerns you may have about your auto insurance or your driver’s licence or licence plate renewal process. Our qualified brokers are here with years of knowledge and up-to-date information. Contact us by calling 1-800-463-8074 or filling out the contact form on this page. We look forward to speaking to you!
This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. All information posted is merely for educational and informational purposes. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Should you decide to act upon any information in this article, you do so at your own risk. While the information on this website has been verified to the best of our abilities, we cannot guarantee that there are no mistakes or errors.