Being informed can go a long way. The Ontario provincial government has recently made a decision that will impact Ontario drivers (as well as cause some confusion) – regarding license plate renewal fees. Effective March 13, 2022, the province has eliminated license plate renewal and sticker fees, even going so far as to provide reimbursements to those who already purchased stickers (retroactive to as far back as March 2020.)
Despite that this new rule will put roughly $240 back into the pockets of those who paid renewal fees as far back as March 1, 2020, there is still some confusion regarding the new rule. Ontario drivers seem to think that because a fee is no longer charged, a plate renewal is no longer required. This has caused an uptick in ticketing by police for individuals with expired license stickers.
We want to alleviate the confusion. Read on for an Excalibur PSA regarding license plate renewal and sticker fees in Ontario.
License Plate and Sticker Fees as a Household Expense
Did you know, on average, Ontario drivers pay up to $120/year on licence plate renewal and sticker fees? This is applicable for passenger vehicles, motorcycles, mopeds, and light duty trucks. Now, with the new rule, drivers who paid their renewal fees after March 1, 2020, are entitled to a refund. In total, renewal and sticker fees brought in roughly $1.95 billion in revenue for the provincial government in the years 2018-2019, but that money falls back into the hands of Ontario drivers under the new rule.
Drivers are not obligated to apply for a refund for the fees that they have already paid, but if you have moved recently you will need to update your mailing address as well as pay off any outstanding fines or tolls. You can update your address with ServiceOntario at http://www.Ontario.ca/addresschange.
As a note, business owners will not receive similar retroactive payments for their license sticker renewal fees already paid (unlike individual drivers.) Small businesses will still no longer be required to pay their license fee renewals, of course – but they just won’t be partial to the refund project.
ServiceOntario’s New Notification and Reminder System
As much of the way we live our day-to-day becomes increasingly digital, so does the way we receive our reminders from ServiceOntario. No longer will drivers receive paper reminders for us to renew our license plate stickers, health cards, or even driver’s licenses. Now, you can get automated emails, phone calls, or text message reminders 60 and 30 days before it is time to renew your driver’s license, health card, or even your license plate.
With this new change, courtesy paper renewal notices have terminated after February 28, 2022. In order to receive reminders for important renewal deadlines, you are required to sign up to receive a digital reminder.
Set yourself up for ServiceOntario’s digital reminders here.
You can also sign up for reminders through text message or automated voice calls by calling toll-free at the number: 1-800-267-8097.
License Plate Renewals are Still Obligatory
The confusion with the latest rule change has caused a lot of drivers to mistake the removal of a license plate renewal fee for the absence of the need to renew their license plates altogether. Vehicle owners in Ontario will still be required to renew their license plates, either once every year or once every two, to ensure that they still have valid insurance, as well as to pay any outstanding tolls or fines.
Having valid auto insurance is a legal obligation in the province of Ontario, as well as throughout much of Canada. Discuss with Excalibur’s Insurance experts if you have any further questions about the recent changes about your policy, and stay tuned for further PSAs. Knowledge is power, and Excalibur always believes in keeping its policyholders and happy customers as informed as possible.