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Ontario Vehicle Registration : Learn About Car Registration Renewals, Costs And FAQs

Jan 30, 2018

FAQs About Registering A Motor Vehicle in Ontario

Have questions about vehicle registration in Ontario? Are you a new driver or new to the province and want to learn more about how car registration works? We have the answers for you here.

If you own or lease a vehicle in Ontario, you are required to abide by all vehicle registration regulations. All vehicles in Ontario must be registered and insured.

This blog takes a look at vehicle registration in Ontario and provides you with information and answers to the most common questions about car registration, renewals, costs, fees, and more.

What Is A Vehicle Permit?

A vehicle permit is your proof of vehicle registration. You must have it with you at all times when driving your vehicle. You need a vehicle permit and license plate to register your vehicle in Ontario.

What Is A Vehicle Permit Number? What Is A RIN Number?

A registrant identification number (RIN), or vehicle permit number, is either your driver’s license number or a created 9-digit number. A RIN number is used for vehicle transactions, such as vehicle registration.

How To Register A Vehicle In Ontario

The steps for registering a vehicle in Ontario vary based on whether your car is new or used.

How Does The New Car Registration Process Work?

If you purchase a new vehicle from a car dealership in Ontario, they will complete the vehicle registration for you. A fee may apply for the dealership to perform this service. The dealership will provide you with all the necessary car registration paperwork, license plates (if needed), and plate sticker. The vehicle will be registered and ready to drive off the lot.

How Does Used Car Registration Work?

Buying a used vehicle involves a number of steps. If you are purchasing a used vehicle from a car dealership, they can handle vehicle registration for you (note – some dealerships and car lots may require you to complete registration). Otherwise, you will have to complete the car registration process yourself. The vehicle will need to be registered within 6 days of purchase

What Are The Requirements For Car Registration?

Here are the Ontario car registration requirements, as outlined by Service Ontario :

  • Driver’s license
  • A completed used vehicle information package
  • Proof of purchase such as a receipt or bill of sale
  • Proof of auto insurance from a licensed insurance company in Ontario
  • The original vehicle permit from the seller with the transfer portion completed
  • The plate portion of the permit, if you have the plates already

How Does Ontario Car Registration Renewal Work?

Once you own a vehicle, much like your car insurance policy, you are required to renew your registration. Car registration renewal in Ontario comes in the form of your license plate sticker.

Here are some of the common questions about how to renew car registration in Ontario:

Where Do I Renew My Car Registration?

Car registration sticker replacement is simple. You can renew your car registration in Ontario by visiting a Service Ontario location near you. You can also renew online through the Service Ontario website.

When Should I Renew My Car Registration?

You can renew your license plate sticker online up to 180 days before it is set to expire. You cannot renew online once it has expired. If you renew online, you will receive your license plate sticker within 5 business days. Once you receive it, attach the sticker to the upper right hand corner of your license plate.

What Are The Requirements For Car Registration Renewal?

To renew your car registration in Ontario, you will need the following information :

  • License plate number
  • Permit number (RIN number)
  • Insurance company name and policy number
  • Odometer reading
  • Payment of any outstanding fines

You may also be required to provide your vehicle inspection certificate number or Drive Clean security code.

How Much Does Car Registration Cost?

  • Southern Ontario : $120 for 1 year, $240 for 2 years
  • Northern Ontario : $60 for 1 year, $120 for 2 years
  • Motorcycle registration : $42 in Southern Ontario, $21 in Northern Ontario

How Often Do I Need To Pay Car Registration Fees In Ontario?

You have two choices. You can pay the annual car registration fee or you can opt to pay for 2 years at a time. You can pay online using a credit card, or you can pay in person using a debit or credit card at any Service Ontario kiosk.

Moving To Ontario Car Registration Requirements

If you are moving to Ontario on a permanent basis from another province or country, you will need to register your vehicle in Ontario.

To register an out of province vehicle in Ontario, you will be required to provide personal identification. You will also be required to show :

  • Proof of Ontario insurance
  • Your new Ontario driver’s license (you can get this from any Drive Test office)
  • The vehicle title/registration papers from your previous province
  • Safety Standards certificate

You will be required to pay a fee for new license plates and a license plate sticker.

How Does Online Car Registration Work?

Online vehicle registration is a convenient way to change car registration details, pay vehicle registration fees and more.

Here are some of the common questions associated with online car registration in Ontario :

How Can I Pay My Car Registration Online?

You can pay your car registration online by logging into your account. You can pay via credit card or Interac online through the Service Ontario website.

Can I View My Car Registration Online?

Yes. You can check your car registration online and view your current status, renewal date, and more. You can also sign up for an email reminder, and Service Ontario will email you when it’s time to renew your plate sticker.

How Do I Change My Car Registration Address?

You can change your car registration address online through the service Ontario website. You are required by law to notify the Ministry of Transportation within 6 days of changing your address. If you have recently moved, you must change your address before you renew your license plate sticker.

If you change your address online, you will need to pick up your new permit at a Service Ontario location. You must bring your old permit.

What Is The Cost To Change Car Registration Address?

There is no fee for changing your address on your vehicle registration.

Car Registration Laws

If you are pulled over by the police, you can expect a car vehicle registration check. Make sure you have your vehicle registration, along with your car insurance card and driver’s license with you at all times.

Driving With An Expired Plate Sticker Fine

By law, you are required to renew your license plate sticker by your birthday in your renewal month. If you are caught driving with an expired plate sticker, you are subject to a $110 fine.

If you have renewed your sticker online, but have not received it in the mail, make sure you have a copy of the Extended Vehicle Validation Period Receipt. This is acceptable proof of sticker renewal.

What Is The Penalty For Not Renewing Plate Stickers?

As long as your vehicle is not driven on the road, there is no penalty. You can store a vehicle on your driveway without renewing your plate sticker.

Can I Get A Temporary License Plate Sticker?

Yes. You can get a temporary sticker. It will allow you to drive a registered vehicle for 10 days You can get a temporary sticker at Service Ontario. You can use this sticker while you are completing the requirements for a regular sticker or if you are transferring ownership of your vehicle.

How Do I Recover Lost Car Registration In Ontario?

If you lose your vehicle registration papers or license plate sticker, you must visit Service Ontario to get a replacement sticker for a fee. This also applies to damaged or stolen stickers. The costs to replace a lost or stolen vehicle permit, license plate, or sticker are as follows:

  • Replacement vehicle permit : $32
  • Replacement license plate : $57
  • Replacement plate sticker : $7

What If I Have Issues With My Licence Plate Sticker?

When you receive your sticker in the mail, if there is an issue with the sticker, such as it’s damaged, there is incorrect information, the date is wrong, or it’s faulty, bring it to Service Ontario to get a free replacement.


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