An Ontario licence plate sticker. (Photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn Media)An Ontario licence plate sticker. (Photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn Media)
Chatham

Ontario launching automatic licence plate renewals

The provincial government is striking a pesky task off the to-do list of Ontario drivers.

As of Canada Day, licence plate renewals will be automatic for drivers in good standing in the province. This applies to passenger vehicles, light-duty trucks, motorcycles, and mopeds. Plates will be automatically renewed 90 days before expiry, as long as the vehicle owner has valid insurance and no outstanding fines or tolls.

If a vehicle's plate cannot be automatically renewed, the owner will be notified and required to manually renew, either online or in person at a ServiceOntario location.

"The automatic licence plate renewal program stems from our government's unwavering commitment to deliver modern, seamless and time-saving services," said Todd McCarthy, Ontario's minister of public and business service delivery and procurement. "By utilizing innovative technological solutions to streamline and improve government services, we are saving Ontarians precious time and money."

The automated renewal system comes two years after the province scrapped the sticker renewal fee. Prior to that, drivers in southern Ontario had to pay $120 for the sticker, while those in northern Ontario paid $60.

The provincial government stated at a news conference on Wednesday that it is the first jurisdiction in North America to introduce automatic licence plate renewals. It estimates the new system will save the more than 8 million drivers in the province over 900,000 hours every year.

Until the new automatic system takes effect, vehicle owners requiring a plate renewal will have to renew it manually. The status of licence plates in the province can be checked at ontario.ca/platerenewal.

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