It’s a necessary evil for anyone who wants to drive without getting a fine: you have to renew your license plate sticker in Ontario every year.
You might be asking this question just like many other Canadians who feel it’s an unnecessary additional expense to driving on top of car insurance. But the reality is, the Ministry of Transportation uses those funds to keep our roads in good condition and safe for us all. Nobody wants to pay $120 every year, but at least it helps.
We’ve answered a few questions like these in our time:
- Is it based on your birthday?
- Do you have to pay fines to renew?
- Is there a grace period for having an expired sticker?
You’ll find all of the answers right here.
What do I need to renew my license plate sticker?
Don’t just walk into Service Ontario empty handed. There are several things you’ll need to bring with you in order to fill out the license plate renewal form:
- Your license plate number (no-brainer).
- Your vehicle permit number (the permit number starts with a letter followed by 7 digits).
- Your insurance company name and policy number.
- Your odometer reading.
- An emissions test (only if you are renewing for a heavy-duty diesel vehicle).
You’ll also need to be able to pay for the renewal plus any outstanding traffic tickets and fees you may have—unpaid parking tickets, speeding tickets, and stuff like that.
Pro tip: Have you moved recently? You’ll need to notify the Ministry of Transportation of your new address before you apply for a license sticker renewal.
How do I renew my license plate sticker in Ontario?
Follow these steps and you shouldn’t have any trouble renewing your license plate sticker this year:
- Choose whether you want to renew online or in person. Try to leave yourself at least a month before expiry to ensure it’s delivered in time.
- Head to your nearest ServiceOntario Centre or go here to renew online.
- Fill out the license plate sticker renewal form with the necessary information (be sure to bring the information with you to ServiceOntario if you do it in person!).
- Submit the form and pay the fee of $120 for Southern Ontario or $60 for Northern Ontario.
- You’ll also have to pay any other outstanding tickets, toll fees, and parking tickets in order to renew.
- Your new sticker will arrive within 14 days and you’ll be given a temporary Extended Vehicle Validation Period Receipt to carry on your person in the meantime.
- Once your sticker arrives, place it on the upper right-hand corner of your rear license plate (front plate for commercial vehicles) and the other sticker over the old one on your vehicle permit.
License plate sticker online renewal form is a question-based process to ensure you don’t miss anything.
Have questions about renewing your license plate sticker in Ontario? We’ve got answers.
Where do I find my nearest ServiceOntario location?
If you’d like to renew your license sticker in person, you can locate the nearest ServiceOntario location and hours here. Be aware it may be very busy, so set aside a good amount of time to visit. Most locations are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Some are also open Saturday mornings until 1pm, but they’re always closed on public holidays. You can also contact ServiceOntario with your questions at 1-800-267-8097.
Can I renew my license plate online in Ontario?
Yes you can. You can renew online up to 180 days before your sticker expires. If you live in Ontario, you can renew online right here.
Can someone else renew my license plate sticker?
If someone has all of the required information, they could renew your license plate sticker online. If you want to renew in person at a ServiceOntario location, you must do it yourself. (It also must be done in person for farm equipment or heavy commercial vehicles over 3,000kg.)
Does my license plate sticker expire on my birthday?
Yes, your license plate sticker will always expire on your birthday. You can purchase a one-year or two-year sticker and you can renew within 180 days of expiry. You can sign up to receive an email reminder 60 and 30 days before expiry.
What happens if you drive with an expired license?
You are required by law to renew your license plate sticker. Failure to do so will result in a $110.00 fine (in Ontario). If you have renewed it but haven’t received it in the mail yet, you need to carry your Extended Vehicle Validation Period Receipt.
Do I have to renew my license plate sticker for my snowmobile?
Yes you do. The process for renewing is the same, with the exception that you do not need to provide insurance information.
How much does it cost to renew your license plate sticker?
Renewing a license plate sticker costs $120 in Southern Ontario and $60 in Northern Ontario, but you’ll also need to pay off any outstanding fines if they’re still unpaid. This cost was increased from $108 for Southern Ontario and $54 for Northern Ontario in 2016.
What kind of fines do I have to pay when I renew my license sticker?
Outstanding fines you’ll have to pay to renew your license plate sticker in Ontario can include:
- Speeding ticket fines.
- Highway tolls
- Vehicle licensing fees
- Parking tickets
- Red light camera ticket fines
- Failing to stop for a school bus fines
- Fines for operating an unlicensed taxi
Can you pay for a license sticker renewal with a credit card?
You can pay with VISA, Mastercard, and Interac Online.
What happens if I’ve changed my address?
You need to notify the Ministry of Transportation within 6 days of moving. Update your change of address before applying for your license sticker renewal. You can change your address online right here.
Don’t forget to update your vehicle permit, too! The license will be delivered within 4-6 weeks, but the permit needs to be picked up at your local ServiceOntario centre.
What if my license plate sticker is expiring in less than 14 days?
If your license plate sticker is going to expire before you will receive it in the mail, you will receive a temporary license sticker validation document that is valid for 14 days. You must keep this document on your person while driving.
When should I renew my license plate sticker?
You can purchase one-year or two-year stickers, but we recommend you renew at least one month before expiry.
Can I renew my license plate sticker without insurance?
No. It is illegal to drive in Ontario without valid insurance. If they cannot validate your insurance information (company and policy number), then you will not be able to renew. As mentioned above, snowmobiles are exempt from this rule.
What if I need a new sticker for the same year?
If you need a new sticker within 30 days of receiving your new one, you can get a free replacement. After 31 days, you’ll have to pay $7.00 for damaged, stolen, or lost stickers.
Can I get a refund on my license plate sticker?
Maybe you moved to a different province, or maybe you don’t use the vehicle anymore. Sometimes there are situations where you want your money back. If you’re deemed eligible for a refund, you can get a debit/credit refund or a cheque in the mail. Find out more here.
That covers just about everything, folks. The process is pretty painless these days, thankfully. Happy driving!