Ontario drivers will soon no longer have to renew their licence plates, the premier announced Tuesday, as the province moves to automate the process.
Premier Doug Ford made the announcement at a press conference in Mississauga on Tuesday morning, in response to a reporter’s question about the high number of unregistered licence plates in Ontario.
As previously reported by Global News, the number of unregistered licence plates in Ontario spiked significantly in the years since the Ford government scrapped renewal fees and stickers.
“I’m here to announce today, actually, that we’re getting rid of that totally — registering your vehicle,” Ford said.
“We did the first step: getting rid of the sticker. Now, we’re getting rid of the re-registration. They’ll be automatically re-registered. So people won’t have to worry about that at all.”
The changes are meant to be part of upcoming omnibus legislation, which will be tabled when MPPs return to Queen’s Park after the Family Day long weekend.
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Police have said they’ve been dealing with an “overwhelming” number of unregistered licence plates as drivers forget to regularly renew.
The cost to renew licence stickers was previously set at $120 for a year in southern Ontario, with the decision to scrap the fee costing the province around $1.1 billion per year.
The change came into effect in March 2022.
While the Ontario government cut the fee, it did not eliminate the requirement to renew the licence plate itself. Without the financial reminder, many appear to be forgetting they still need to regularly update their plates.
In 2021, the year before Ontario eliminated the licence plate fee, there were 372,438 unregistered plates. The next year, that number more than doubled to 814,224 in 2022 as the province dropped renewal fees.
The Ministry of Transportation confirmed that as of January 2024, there were 1,015,139 expired plates in Ontario.
It is not yet clear when the automatic renewal process will come into effect. Speaking on Tuesday, the premier said it would be “very soon” and come as part of a new law.
“It will be legislated when we get back,” Ford said.
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