If you either own or lease a vehicle in Ontario, one of the first and most important requirements you need to do is to have it registered. All cars in Ontario must be registered to be able to drive them legally on the road. You will be given an Ontario vehicle permit; a green piece of paper, once you are able to purchase the vehicle. If your address or vehicle information is in need of a change, you should update your permit within six (6) days.
How to register a new vehicle
If you are buying a brand-new vehicle, the registration will mostly be processed by the dealer, as well as other essentials in vehicle registration, including licence plates, if needed. Other necessary documents include:
- Certificate or proof of ownership
- A passed Drive Clean emissions test, which will depend on the year of the vehicle
- Insurance papers
- An Ontario safety standards certificate, if the vehicle is used
How to register a used vehicle
If you are buying a used vehicle, you will need to have it registered at a ServiceOntario center. Some dealership companies also offer to process the paperwork for used vehicles. Make sure that your used vehicle must be registered within six (6) days of the purchase.
Here are some of the requirements needed to register a used car at a ServiceOntario station:
- Bill of sale, together with a full used car information package
- Proof of coverage from your insurance company
- Valid driver’s licence, or your registrant identification number (RIN) if you don’t possess a driver’s licence
- Filled-up transfer portion of the original vehicle permit by the seller
- The permit’s plate portion, only if you have licence plates ready to be attached to the vehicle
The Digital Dealership Registration (DDR)
In March 2022, the Ontario government launched the Digital Dealership Registration (DDR), in an effort to help Ontarians achieve a faster, easier, and more convenient way to process vehicle purchasing transactions. At the full implementation of this initiative, over 7,000 car dealerships across Ontario will have access to an online program that will lessen the burden of paperwork and appointments to ServiceOntario centers. At the moment, the program is available only to select dealerships. The process will also allow dealerships to provide registration and licence plates directly to customers. At full implementation, the DDR will also cover the processes of registration of pre-owned vehicles, vehicle transfers, and vehicle permit replacements. Lastly, the process aims to improve the accuracy of vehicle registrations while not compromising the data security and privacy of Ontarians.
How much does a vehicle registration cost in Ontario?
The cost of a vehicle permit for all vehicles is $32. It is important to note that the retail tax for the vehicle’s sale will be collected as you register. Permits, once approved, are issued immediately.
How to recover a lost, stolen, or damaged vehicle permit
If ever you encounter a problem such as a lost or damaged vehicle permit, you can go to a ServiceOntario center and have it resolved there. The cost would be $32, and you would be required to bring the following:
- Proof of identification (example: passport, Ontario Photo Card, driver’s licence, etc.)
- One of these two documents:
- Licence plate number
- Vehicle identification number (VIN)
- You must be the vehicle owner. If not, a Letter of Authorization from the vehicle owner will suffice.
Applying for a special permit
If you need to drive in Ontario for a short time but don’t want to register your car, you can apply at a ServiceOntario center for a ten-day special permit.
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