Car Ownership in Ontario

Ontario Car Ownership

Owning a car is an important milestone in a person’s life, as it signifies a lot of things, such as an upgrade in your lifestyle. Having a car has also become a necessity, especially in a busy and dynamic province like Ontario. And, last but not the least, owning a car entails a lot of responsibilities, not only in maintenance but also in the rules of the road. For instance, there are specific requirements in Ontario that you have to abide by when purchasing a car.

What Determines a Vehicle’s Ownership in Ontario?

Vehicle ownership in Ontario is oftentimes determined by a copy of the vehicle permit or the green slip of paper issued by the Ontarian government. It is acquired by either buying a car from a dealership or transferring it through a private sale. The permit includes the necessary information about the vehicle and its owner, such as:

  • The vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • The vehicle’s make and model
  • The licence plate number
  • The owner’s name and address

It’s important to note that while a vehicle permit is an important necessity in owning a car, it is separate from a vehicle registration. A vehicle registration is a requirement by the Ontario government in order for you to be able to drive your vehicle on the road legally. If you are buying through a dealership, they are expected to assist you with acquiring the vehicle permit and other necessities. If that’s not the case, you’ll need to go to a ServiceOntario center to apply.

Types of Vehicle Ownership in Ontario

Parental Ownership

This occurs when parents purchase vehicles for their children and list themselves as the owner. It’s a common case for young adults who are not eligible for a loan.

Joint ownership

A joint ownership is a viable option, especially for vehicles purchased through loans, as costs can be split by both parties. In a joint ownership, both must sign all the required documents, and they must also sign off should the vehicle be sold or transferred.


While you will still be given a vehicle ownership and other necessary documents by the dealership if you lease a vehicle in Ontario, you are still not considered as its owner. Legally, the dealership company, or its parent company, is still listed as the owner.

Vehicle Ownership Transfer in Ontario

The transferring of vehicle ownership is usually done during used vehicle transactions, either through a dealership or through a private sale. A used vehicle information package (UVIP) from the government is required when buying or selling a used vehicle under the Highway Traffic Act. You can purchase it through Service Ontario for $20. The UVIP, however, is not required when transferring ownership to family members or when purchasing through a dealership. Apart from the UVIP, a safety standards certificate (SSC) may also be required in transactions. An SSC is used to determine if the vehicle meets the required minimum safety standards in Ontario. The certificate is valid for 36 days and can be acquired by passing a safety inspection at an inspection station licenced by the Ministry of Transportation (MTO).

Transferring Ownership of Your Vehicle as a Gift

You can also transfer ownership of your vehicle to a close family member as a gift. A close family member is defined in Ontario as your parents, grandparents, siblings, spouse, children, siblings, and in-laws. Doing so in Ontario means that you’re safe from any retail sales tax. To apply for this, you must visit a ServiceOntario location. The following are the requirements for a vehicle ownership transfer to a family member:

  • Accomplished “Sworn Statement for a Family Gift of a Used Motor Vehicle” form
  • Vehicle permit
  • Driver’s licence
  • Emissions test
  • Proof of insurance
  • Safety standards certificate (not required for spouse)
  • Completed plate transfer declaration (if you are transferring licence plates)



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