The following media release was distributed by the province on Feb.22:
The Ontario government is making life more affordable and convenient for nearly eight million vehicle owners by eliminating licence plate renewal fees and the requirement to have a licence plate sticker for passenger vehicles, light-duty trucks, motorcycles and mopeds.
The government is introducing red tape legislation later today that would enable the province to refund eligible individual owners of vehicles for any licence plate renewal fees paid since March 2020. Upon passage, vehicle owners will receive a cheque in the mail starting at the end of March and throughout the month of April.
If you have moved recently: To receive a refund cheque, vehicle owners who have moved recently will need to confirm that their address information on their vehicle permit or driver’s licence is up-to-date at Ontario.ca/AddressChange by March 7, 2022, and pay any outstanding fees, fines or tolls. For more information and/or assistance with changing an address, vehicles owners can call ServiceOntario’s dedicated line at 1-888-333-0049.
Company-owned vehicles: Under the proposal, renewal fees will also be eliminated for passenger, light duty commercial vehicles, motorcycles and mopeds that are owned by a company or business. However, no refunds will be given for the period of March 2020 to March 2022.
Renewal still required: Vehicle owners will still be required to renew their licence plate every one or two years at no cost to confirm their automobile insurance is valid and pay any outstanding Highway 407 tolls and other municipal fines. The government is working with partners to develop a new, more user-friendly process that will continue to validate automobile insurance requirements, support law enforcement efforts and collect municipal fines and unpaid Highway 407 tolls.
The Ontario government is also investing in Automated Licence Plate Recognition (ALPR) technology as part of its commitment to provide police with the tools they need to do their jobs, improve public safety and strengthen roadside law enforcement efforts across the province. An ALPR system can read thousands of licence plates per minute allowing officers to process more information on licence plates. It also has the capability of capturing vehicles of interest such as amber alerts, drivers with a suspended licence, and stolen vehicles. Renewal fees and requirements for licence plate stickers for heavy commercial vehicles and snowmobiles remain unchanged.
- Eliminating renewal fees will save vehicle owners $120 a year in southern Ontario and $60 a year in Northern Ontario for passenger and light commercial vehicles.
- Vehicle owners should update their address before March 7, 2022 in order to receive a refund for fees previously paid by the end of April 2022.
- Physical licence plate stickers have been eliminated in other jurisdictions in Canada including Quebec, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Manitoba and Alberta.
- Drivers must continue to renew their driver’s licence every five years online or at a ServiceOntario centre and pay a $90 fee.
- ALPR is tested technology already being used by a number of Ontario police services.
Additional resources: Renew your licence plate for free after March 13, 2022
Yelich,I.,Premier’s Office(2022,Feb.22) Ontario Eliminating Licence Plate Renewal Fees and Stickers Province is cutting costs and making life more convenient for millions of vehicle owners [media release]