Select Page
HomeBlogNew Rules for Ontario Driver’s Licences and Plate Renewals

Summary

Insurance Store helps you understand the recent changes to renewing Ontario driver’s licences and licence plates. Jamie Mingay, our president, answers common questions about the renewal process, digital reminder notices, required information, and costs. You'll learn about the shift from mailed renewal notices to digital reminders, the need to renew your driver’s licence every five years, and the ongoing requirement to renew licence plates without receiving stickers. You can also learn how these changes affect your auto insurance and provide guidance on where to find more information or get help.

Over the past few years, many reports have highlighted changes Ontario drivers need to be aware of when renewing their driver’s licence and licence plates. Common questions include:

  • 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 for my licence plates?

These questions are frequently asked on websites and to Service Ontario employees. We at Insurance Store have created this page to answer frequently asked questions about renewing your Ontario driver’s licence and licence plates and how these changes may impact your auto insurance.

Will I Receive a Reminder About Renewal Dates?

Previously, you might have received a notification by mail reminding you to renew your Ontario driver’s licence or licence plates. The Ontario government is phasing out mailed paper renewal notices for licence plates, driver’s licences, and health cards. Instead, the government encourages residents to sign up for Service Ontario digital reminder notices. If you renew any document online, you will be prompted with a pop-up asking if you 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. In addition, reminders can be sent 60 and 30 days before the expiry date to allow for adequate renewal time.

Driver’s Licences

A graphic of an Ontario Driver's Licence

Do I Need to Renew My Ontario Driver’s Licence?

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 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.

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 receive digital reminders 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.

What Information Is Needed to Renew My Driver’s Licence?

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 it when you renew your licence. These pieces of information include:

  • Recently completed Ministry of Transportation-issued vision, road, or written tests
  • Updates to your vision condition
  • New medical conditions that may prevent or impair your driving
  • Changes in address

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.

How Much Does a Driver’s Licence Renewal Cost?

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 five 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 four to six weeks.

Licence Plates

An Ontario Licence plate with the letters "INSURSTR", meaning Insurance Store, on it.

Do I Need to Renew My Ontario Licence Plates?

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. If you are unsure if the licence plate has expired, check out Service Ontario’s Licence Plate Expiry Checker.

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.

What Information Is Needed to Renew My Licence Plate?

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 renewing your licence plate, you will be asked to provide the following:

  • Your licence plate number
  • Vehicle permit number or registration
  • Proof of auto insurance information through a physical document or mobile application
  • Your vehicle’s odometer reading

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.

How Much Does a Licence Plate Renewal Cost?

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.

Where Can I Renew My Ontario Driver’s Licence or Licence Plate?

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 five 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.

Where Can I Find More Information or Clarification on Driver’s Licence or Licence Plate Renewals?

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 Insurance Store 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 1.833.745.0299 or filling out the contact form on this page. We look forward to speaking with you!

 

author avatar
Jamie Mingay President/CEO
20+ years of experience in the insurance industry, with almost 15 of those leading a brokerage. As President and CEO of Insurance Store, I'm dedicated to driving our organization forward with a focus on dynamic leadership and strategic planning, fostering innovation and growth every step of the way.
Open for business, and ready to help with all your insurance needs by phone or email. Contact Us Now
X