Here's How To Renew Your Ontario Licence Plate If You Own A Car, Truck, Or Bus

Did you know the renewal periods are different?

Cars and trucks driving down a Toronto highway.
Toronto Associate Editor

Cars and trucks driving down a Toronto highway.

The Ontario government scrapped licence plate stickers and its renewal fees for most vehicles in the province but not all of them.

Anyone who owns a passenger vehicle, moped, motorcycle or light-duty truck is free of the sticker system but heavy commercial vehicles and snowmobiles still need to throw one on their licence plate (and pay for them, too).

Here's what you need to know about licence plate stickers and the renewal process, whether you drive a car, a massive truck, or a bus in Ontario.

What to do if you own a car

While you don't have to pay licence plate renewal fees for your car anymore, you still need to make sure that your plates are up to date — and this needs to be done every one to two years.

There are three ways that Ontarians can renew their licence plates for their cars: online, in-person at a Service Ontario location, or through the mail.

All you need is your plate number, car permit number, mileage, insurance company, and policy number. Drivers will also need to pay any fines, tolls, or fees they owe. The same rules apply to drivers of light-duty trucks, motorcycles and mopeds.

Licence plates are usually due for renewal right around your birthday if you're wondering when they will expire. If you're missing those mailed-in reminders, Service Ontario can send a digital one to you if you sign up for it.

Failing to renew your plates can lead to a hefty fine, too, which could set you back up to $1,000.

What to do if you own a heavy commercial truck

Anyone who drives a massive truck — we're talking something that weighs more than 3,000 kilos — still needs to shell out money to renew their plates. Plus, they still need to throw on a licence plate sticker on their vehicle too.

Heavy commercial vehicle owners can either renew their licence plates online or at a Service Ontario, and they need to do this every 3 to 12 months. Ontarians who operate these vehicles can renew their plates up to 90 days before it expires.

Just like car owners, the expiry date typically happens around birthdays. Heavy commercial truck drivers also need the same documents as car drivers to renew their plates, like their insurance policy, and permit number.

According to the Ontario government website, renewal fees vary, and it is largely based on what kind of vehicle you drive (and how heavy it is, too).

To find out how much you owe, you can use the government's validation fee calculator, which can help you figure out how much you need to pay for your registration fee. All you need to do is plug in how much your vehicle weighs, the number of vehicles that you want to register for, and the number of months.

What to do if you own a bus

Ontario's bus drivers follow the same sort of rules as heavy commercial truck drivers. They need to pay for their renewal fees, slap on licence plate stickers, and get their plates renewed every 3 to 12 months.

The biggest difference, however, is the information that they need to provide Service Ontario when it's time to renew.

On top of having their licence plate number, vehicle permit number, insurance company name, and odometer reading, bus drivers need to show how many people can sit on board.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Alex Arsenych
Toronto Associate Editor