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Ontario eliminating licence plate renewal fees and stickers

The Ontario government is ending licence plate renewal and sticker fees by March 13 and will refund the cost of stickers purchased from March 2020 onward.

Premier Doug Ford announced Tuesday the province is eliminating licence plate renewal fees for nearly eight million vehicle owners “and scrapping the requirement to have a licence plate sticker for passenger vehicles, light-duty trucks, motorcycles and mopeds.”

Drivers must continue to renew their driver’s licence every five years online or at a ServiceOntario centre and pay a $90 fee.

He said to get a refund, drivers will need to make sure the address on their licence is up-to-date by March 7 online or by phone with ServiceOntario at 1-888-333-0049. Refunds are expected by the end of April, by cheque in the mail.

Any outstanding tickets or fines must be paid for before receiving a refund.

Renewing a licence plate sticker would cost drivers $120 for the year in southern Ontario for passenger vehicles or $240 for two years. For those in northern Ontario, it would cost $60 for a year or $120 for two years.

No refunds will be given for the period of March 2020 to March 2022 for passenger, light-duty commercial vehicles, motorcycles or mopeds owned by a business, the government said.

Renewal fees and requirements for licence plate stickers for heavy commercial vehicles and snowmobiles remain unchanged.

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit the province in 2020, the government suspended renewal requirements for various documents and the licence plate sticker in an effort to prevent crowds at ServiceOntario.

Ford said licence plates will still need to be renewed every one or two years — to ensure car insurance and any outstanding tolls or municipal fines are paid — but that it will be free to do so with no sticker required.

The elimination of the sticker fee program will cost the province $1.1 billion a year in revenue. Ford stated “Eliminating the fee to renew your licence plate and refunding the cost of doing so for the past two years is a concrete way we can put and keep more money in the pockets of hard-working Ontarians.”

The provincial election is set for June in Ontario.

The government is introducing the red tape legislation later today. It is  also investing in Automated Licence Plate Recognition (ALPR) technology 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.

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  1. Kevin says:

    Anyone who thinks Doug won’t be recouping the $1.1 billion and more from tax payers with other “fees” is foolish. You get nothing for nothing.

  2. Bruce Nicholson says:

    It would be nice if the “political blinders” could be set aside when taxpayer benefits are passed along by government.

  3. Fred says:

    Striving to always politicize any goodwill helps no one.

  4. Dennis Fox says:

    Doug Ford proved what he considers to be the most important – when seniors were dying off like flies in the LTC home from COVID, he passed a law stopping any family member suing the private owners of these facilities – even when they were found to be negligent! Or did having Mike Harris as a Board Member of Chartwell Homes get in the way of honest government? Just like Ford’s cancelling the new sex ed. program got in the way of good education for our young people? Did his cutting back of nurses and PSWs just before COVID contribute to so many deaths in Ontario? It is highly likely it did. Go ahead take your license rebate, but please don’t try to justify it by claiming it is a result of good government and that you deserve it. Good old Buck-a-Beer Doug knows his audience! He can buy them cheaply!

  5. Chuck says:

    No one blatantly buys votes in this new era. This was a genuine effort to help Ontarians who have been stressed to the limit the last 2 years. He cares and has shown it. No place here for suspect politics.

  6. Keith says:

    If Ford is buying votes then I guess you never heard a Liberal or NDP promise LOL…so now who you gonna vote for???

  7. Fred says:

    This goodwill gesture to assist 0ntarions has nothing to do with health care. For some anything the Premier does will be met with cynicism.

  8. Dennis Fox says:

    If some people need the $120/yr so badly that they are prepared to sacrifice the healthcare and educational system for it, then truly poverty has overtaken Ontario.

    Hopefully this government that some claim to be so wise and giving will address the issue of poverty – rather than auto licence rebates and vote buying.

  9. Bruce Nicholson says:

    I agree that this is a positive step by the provincial government. If you are concerned of cutbacks in provincial funding, use the equivalent of your sticker fees and donate to that sector.

  10. Rob says:

    I guarantee you that you will soon hear that Doug Ford announces that he and his government have agreed to $10 a day child care with the Federal Government and “saying my friends we have negotiated the best deal for Ontario Families” that’s why we were the last Province to sign up

  11. Susan says:

    I don’t see loss of jobs or fewer Service Ontarios as you will still be required to renew your licence for insurance verification and unpaid tickets. Just no fee. I think it is positive and puts more dollars back into our hands.

  12. Bob says:

    Another Ford step to cut, but cut what. This cut will lead to fewer Service Ontario locations due to more centralization of locations and online practices. Most Service Ontario locations are independently owned with service agreements with Ontario. Another pock in the eye for the little guy. SAD!

  13. Kurt says:

    If Doug Ford bought your vote for $120, you were probably going to vote for him anyway. Fools.

  14. Dennis Fox says:

    It is obvious that for some, Ford can do no wrong. However, if he was really trying to help those who need it – he has missed the target by a mile. Once it passes the legislature, this cancelled licence fee will only benefit those rich enough to own a car. It does nothing to help those who do not drive, nor does it help those making minimum wage, or for those looking for affordable housing and it does nothing to protect food security for others. This act by Ford is totally irresponsible.

    Once again, this lost revenue of over $1 BILLION will have to come from somewhere – what services will be lost or reduced? Healthcare? Education? Care for Seniors? Roads and infrastructure? It has to come from somewhere! The fact that Ford has delayed the budget process by over a month shows that he is afraid to have his budget scrutinized before Queen’s Park shuts down due to the upcoming election. This licence ploy is nothing more than an election tactic – one that far too many will buy into because of – of???

  15. Fred says:

    Those with a vehicle that are struggling get a well deserved break.Every government offering should not be looked at cynicaly.

  16. Phil says:

    Oh, please. People who can afford to own, insure, maintain, and drive a car, aren’t going to be helped by their extra $10 a month per car. And the $1.1 billion shortfall in government revenue will be tripled in the first year due to the 2 year retroactive refunds. This seems insane to me. Ah, but Conservatives are the best money managers, right? Wrong. The Fords have always been blatant about buying votes. Not the first time DF has tried to buy votes.

  17. Michelle says:

    The rebate of $240 – $300 for a single vehicle family and $480 – $600 for 2 vehicles approx will help Ontarians who have struggled and will add stimulus to the economy.

  18. Andy says:

    Great. Everybody who can afford a car gets money, and those who can barely afford anything will get less because government income goes down. Bribing people with their own money is an old trick, but it still fools some people.

  19. Dennis Bond says:

    I dont know how this become an issue that required solving. Seems that there are a number of issues that would better benefit the people of Ontario. $10 dollar child care, affordable housing, hydro rates, fuel costs, etc. all of which have been previously identified even by Ford and the government. The savings of $10 a month resulting from this is too small for all the hoopla going into it.

  20. Susan says:

    If you are unhappy receiving your rebate you can easily return it or donate it.

  21. Dennis Fox says:

    I don’t believe the government’s announcement is a responsible one. It will create a $1.3 Billion gap that will need to be filled from somewhere. As we have already seen with this government, they pay for such gaps by under paying nurses, PSWs
    and teachers, etc… What I am trying to say is that it will cost the taxpayers – nothing comes for free.

    Anyone thinking that this has nothing to do with trying to buy votes for the election – well they are wrong! This is exactly what Doug Ford is trying to do.

    Ford goes from being remembered as “Buck-A-Beer Doug” to “Free Wheeling Dougy Boy!” Not a good reputation for our Premier.

    After what this province has been through over the past two years, I would hope that the public would think much deeper about who they vote for and refuse anyone who thinks he/she can buy their vote.

  22. George says:

    Ah someone said it cost more to administer the program than it brought in as revenue, so actually saving tax payers money

  23. Vic Alyea says:

    Hmm! I see here this will cost Ontario $1.1 billion in lost revenue. Think about it. Money has to come from somewhere to pay for health care for all of us, education for our kids, infrastructure money for municipalities, paying down the provincial covid debt, supports for seniors- this list goes on and on. Every time a politician like Doug Ford and Todd Smith tells me his government is going to cut taxes e.g. licence fees then I ask what I’m going to lose because there will most certainly be cuts elsewhere to cover this election promise.

  24. Kevin says:

    Recently Service Ontario told me I HAD to pay my sticker renewals from the last two years, if I wanted to continue driving. So I paid, and then renewed for another year. Now I find out I’m getting a refund. So, how much money is this costing Ontarians to boost his election campaign? How much money is being spent to provide “refunds”? Ontarians have a right to know. This tactic is old and worn out. Watch out because the government will find a way to recoup the losses by increasing costs in other areas. Absolute waste of money. All smoke and mirrors. Give some of us credit Doug, I can see through this.

  25. Chuck says:

    Great news Doug. This will help Ontario citizens.

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