If you’ve recently purchased a vehicle in Ontario for the first time you probably have some questions about the vehicle registration process.
One of the most popular questions we get is, “Can I register my car without insurance?” In Ontario, you must have proof of insurance, usually in the form of an insurance pink slip, to register your vehicle.
Below we’ve outlined and answered some of the most common questions we receive about registering a vehicle in Ontario. Feel free to skip ahead using our table of contents to find the answers you’re looking for.
A vehicle permit is proof that your vehicle is registered. In order to drive legally in Ontario, you must carry it with you at all times in your car (keep it in your glove box with your insurance pink slip). To register your vehicle in Ontario, you’ll need a vehicle permit and licence plates.
What is a Vehicle Permit Number or RIN number?
A vehicle permit number, or registration identification number (RIN) is a unique 9 digit number this is used by businesses to register a vehicle.
Vehicle Registration Process in Ontario
In order to drive your car legally in Ontario, you’ll need three pieces of authorization and your vehicle must meet two conditions. They are:
- The vehicle must have licence plates with an up-to-date licence plate sticker
- An ownership permit verifying you as the owner of the car
- Proof of insurance, usually in the form of a pink slip
- The car must pass its safety
- The car must meet provincial emissions standards
When you go to your local ServiceOntario to register your vehicle, you’ll receive your vehicle permit, licence plate and your plate sticker.
What documents do you need for vehicle registration?
As outlined by ServiceOntario, you’ll need the following documents for vehicle registration in Ontario:
- Valid driver’s licence
- Proof of purchase or bill of sale
- Proof of car insurance from an authorized insurance company
- Completed used vehicle information package (UVIP)
- Original vehicle permit with the transfer portion completed
- Licence plates, if you have them already
How much does vehicle registration cost in Ontario?
The price of vehicle registration is roughly the same for all drivers in Ontario. The price fluctuation comes from where you live in the province. Here is how much it costs to renew your vehicle registration and get your licence plate stickers:
|Type of Vehicle||Southern Ontario||Northern Ontario|
|Passenger||$120 for 1 year|
$240 for 2 years
|$60 for 1 year
$120 for 2 years
|Commercial (less than 3,000kg for commercial use)||$120||$120
|Commercial (less than 3,000kg for personal use)||$120||$60|
|Motorized snow vehicle||$15||$0
|Motorized mobile home||$120||$60|
How does the vehicle registration for a new car work?
Purchasing a new car from a dealership usually means they take care of the registration process. Typically, they charge a fee to perform this service but when you drive your car off the lot it comes with all the registration paper work, licence plates and plate stickers!
How does the vehicle registration for a used car work?
When you buy a used vehicle in Ontario, you’ll have to handle all of the administrative stuff yourself. This includes insurance and registering your vehicle. When you buy a used vehicle, you to go register your vehicle within 6 days at your local Ministry of Transportation office.
Do you need to change your vehicle registration address?
Yes, if you move to a new address you are required to update on your address on your vehicle registration.
How do you change your vehicle registration address?
In Ontario, you are required by law to report an address change to the Ministry of Transportation within 6 days of the address change. You can either change your address online at the ServiceOntario website, or visit your local ServiceOntario. If you change your address online, you’ll have to pick up the new permit at a ServiceOntario location.
Licence Plate Sticker Renewal Process in Ontario
In order to ensure you’re operating your vehicle legally, you’ll need to stay on top of your sticker renewal. If you’re pulled over without up-to-date validation stickers you could get a fine.
Below, we’ve outlined and answered some of the top questions we receive about licence plate renewals:
How do you renew your licence plate sticker?
Now that you’re a vehicle owner, you need to renew your registration much like your insurance policy. This comes in the form of licence plate stickers. In Ontario, you need to renew your licence plate stickers every one or two years.
You can renew your licence plate stickers at your local Service Ontario or you can renew online.
In order to renew your vehicle registration, you’ll need to provide the following information:
- Licence plater number
- Permit number (RIN number)
- Odometer reading
- Insurance company name and policy number
- Pay any outstanding fines
- Sometimes you’re required to provide your vehicle safety inspection certificate
- An emissions test if you’re renewing a heavy-duty diesel vehicle
How much does your licence plate sticker renewal cost?
How much it costs depends on if you live in Northern or Southern Ontario. If you live in Northern Ontario it’ll cost you $60/ year, if you live in Southern Ontario it’ll cost you $120/ year.
How often do I need to pay sticker renewal fees?
In Ontario, you have two options: you can either pay annually or choose to pay for 2 years at a time. To pay the fees, you can pay online or go to your local ServiceOntario and pay in person. Licence plate stickers must be renewed annually by your birthday.
What is the fine for driving with an expired plate sticker?
In Ontario, it is required by law that you have up-to-date licence plate stickers. This means if you get pulled over and they are expired you’ll get a fine. If you’re pulled over and you’re caught with an expired sticker, you can expect a fine of $110.
If you renewed your stickers online but are still waiting for it in the mail, you’ll have to make sure you have a copy of the Extended Vehicle Validation Period Receipt which acts as proof of sticker renewal.
Can someone else renew my licence plate sticker?
Yes, it is possible for someone else to renew your licence plate sticker – but only online. You are the only person who can renew your plate sticker at a ServiceOntario location. The person renewing your licence online will still need all of the required information.
How do I get a licence plate sticker if I've lost mine?
If you lose your licence plate sticker or car registration you’ll have to go to your local ServiceOntario centre to get a replacement sticker. Like all things at ServiceOntario, you won’t get it for free. The costs to replace a lost, damaged or stolen vehicle permit are:
- Replacement Plate Sticker: $7
- Replacement Licence Plater: $57
- Replacement Vehicle Permit: $32
Can I renew my licence plate sticker if I have outstanding fines?
In Ontario, you’ll have to pay any outstanding fines in order to renew your vehicle registration and plate sticker. This includes any traffic tickets, licensing fees and 407 tolls.