The Ontario government is gearing up to scrap licence plate registrations and offer an automatic renewal process instead.
Premier Doug Ford made the announcement at a news conference on Tuesday morning, saying that licence plates in the province will be renewed automatically, meaning drivers will no longer be required to re-register their vehicles.
“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,” Ford said.
“It will be automatically re-registered so people won’t have to worry about that at all. We’re going to make sure that’s very soon, extremely soon,” he added.
The announcement comes just after a Toronto Star report revealed that there were over one million expired licence plates in the province last month.
The provincial government previously scrapped all fees related to the annual registration of licence plates in 2022.
Starting on March 13, 2022, drivers of passenger vehicles, motorcycles, and light commercial vehicles no longer had to pay to renew their licence plates or attach a sticker. In northern Ontario, the cost to renew licence plate stickers was $60, and $120 in southern Ontario.
In 2020, the Ford government scrapped its redesign of the classic white-and-blue Ontario licence plates after an onslaught of criticism.
“Folks, you can now choose whether to use a license plate or not… it really doesn’t matter – no one can see them anyway.” pic.twitter.com/3Nni3LBTQY
— TDot Resident (@TDotResident) February 13, 2024
The updated plates, which used the slogan “A Place to Grow” were almost immediately rejected by drivers and local authorities who said that the plates were nearly impossible to read at night thanks to their reflection.
“After thorough testing by law enforcement and other key stakeholders, we are following their advice and will not be moving forward with the new plate for passenger vehicle use,” a statement released by the Premier’s Office in 2020 read.
The statement, which cited safety concerns surrounding the usage of the blue licence plates, said drivers could voluntarily exchange them for the classic “Yours to Discover” plates.
As of January 2023, there were still approximately 170,000 of the defective licence plates in circulation.