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Ontario drivers soon won’t be required to renew their licence plates: Premier Ford

Premier Doug Ford says drivers in Ontario will soon be able to skip the annual registration of their licence plates as the province works to make this process automatic.

Ford made the announcement at a news conference in Toronto on Tuesday morning.

“We are getting rid of that totally. Registering your vehicle, we did the first step, getting rid of the stickers. Now we are getting rid of the re-registration,” the premier said in response to a question about a surge in expired plates on Ontario roads.

“It will be automatically re-registered so people won’t have to worry about that at all.”

The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) confirmed to CTV News Toronto that as of January 2024, there are 1,015,139 expired plates in Ontario.

A spokesperson for the ministry said the automatic renewal will only be available for drivers “in good standing,” meaning that individuals with parking tickets or toll bills will have to do it manually.

OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt previously said that more and more motorists are forgetting to renew now that the process is free.

The Ford government previously eliminated all fees associated with the annual registration of licence plates in 2022.

As of March 13, 2022, drivers of passenger vehicles, motorcycles, mopeds and light commercial vehicles were no longer required to pay to renew their licence plates or put a sticker on them. The cost to renew licence stickers for the year was previously $60 in northern Ontario and $120 in southern Ontario.

In December, Ontario Provincial Police confirmed to CTV Toronto that there were hundreds of thousands of drivers across the province with unregistered licence plates following the move by the province. Drivers are currently required to renew their plates on their birthday each year. Motorists who fail to renew their plate could face a $500 fine for the violation under the Highway Traffic Act.

When asked when renewals will officially be scrapped, Ford could not provide specifics but noted that it will happen “extremely soon.”

“It will be legislated when we get back,” he said.

The premier’s office confirmed to CP24.com that the licence plate renewal changes will be part of a larger bill that includes a requirement that a future provincial carbon pricing plan be put to a referendum.

The bill is expected to be tabled Tuesday when MPPs return to the Legislature.