Prior to 2022, a licence plate sticker was one of the most important requirements when registering your vehicle in Ontario. It is a small, colored sticker found on your rear licence plate and indicates your plate and its registration expiry date. It is also used to see if the person who owns the car has renewed the registration for the plates.
What is a Licence Plate Sticker?
The issuance of a licence plate sticker, or a validation sticker, was an essential part of vehicle registration in Ontario, as it allowed the identification as well as the registration status of the vehicle. The fees for this process vary per location and must be paid annually by the stagger date. For individuals, it will be their birthday, and for non-individuals, such as corporations, the date could be designated by the registrant.
The stickers are placed depending on what type of vehicle you are driving. For passenger vehicles, a sticker with blue letters on a white background should be placed on the rear plate. For commercial vehicles, a sticker with black letters on a white background must be placed on the front plate. In addition to this, the registrant will also get a paper sticker, to be placed at the back of the plate portion of the registration, for it to be considered valid. The sticker will expire at the stroke of midnight on the staggered date.
Licence plate stickers have played an important role in road safety. For example, they have helped authorities in various traffic situations, such as determining if a vehicle is suspicious of potential delinquency or stricter illegal acts. These include unregistered or unlicenced drivers, illegal substances inside the vehicle, or stolen automobiles. These, together with other registration safety measures, have been pivotal in enforcing traffic regulations across Ontario.
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Ontario Scraps Licence Renewal Fees and Stickers
However, since March 13, 2022, Ontario has removed the requirement for licence plate stickers for passenger vehicles, light-duty trucks, motorcycles, and mopeds, as well as licence renewal fees. This action was made in support of Ontarian drivers as the cost of living continues to rise, as well as a step forward in building Ontario’s transportation network.
Why Ontario Licence Plate Renewal Was Eliminated?
“For many families, driving is an absolute necessity. Eliminating licence plate renewal fees and stickers are part of our government’s commitment to supporting drivers as we continue to build Ontario’s transportation network, including by building the Bradford Bypass and Highway 413.” Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation, said in a statement.
Refund Amount and Policy
Refunds for those who have paid for their licence plate sticker since March 2020 have been available since April, sent in the form of a refund cheque through the mail. To get a refund, you must ensure that you have paid defaulted fines and fees, as well as updated your address before March 7. Failure to comply means that you will receive your refund check in the summer or fall. The amount of refund you will be receiving will depend on the date and amount of your payment. Renewal fees vary per location. In northern Ontario, licence plate sticker renewal cost $60, while it was priced at $120 in southern Ontario. It should also be noted that heavy vehicles and motorized snow vehicles were not part of the eligible vehicles for a refund. Requests for snow vehicle refunds are handled at a ServiceOntario center, along with a snow vehicle validation and the original vehicle (green) permit.
The Ontario government has called the attention of the public to be aware of a text message phishing scam that involves scammers sending eliminated validation sticker refund links to victims. It is advised to refrain from opening the said links, and report them to your local authorities or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.