Sunday, July 21, 2024

Millions of unregistered license plates in Ontario

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Ontario Provincial Police says millions of Ontario drivers are driving with unregistered license plates after eliminating license plate stickers and renewal fees

Millions of Ontario drivers are driving with unregistered license plates after eliminating license plate stickers and renewal fees, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) said. From March 2022, drivers of passenger cars, motorcycles, mopeds and light commercial vehicles are no longer required to pay license plate renewal fee. That year license sticker renewals cost $60 million in Northern Ontario and $120 million in Southern Ontario.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation said the Ontario government has made life more affordable and convenient for 8 million car owners by eliminating the license plate renewal fee.

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While the Ford government scrapped the renewal fee, it did not scrap the license plate renewal requirement. OPP Sergeant Kerry Schmidt said in an interview with CP24 that the number could be in the hundreds, thousands or even millions.

During patrols with officers, Schmidt said, after the automatic license plate reading system detected the issue during a traffic stop, they spotted several dozen vehicles without license plates within minutes.

It becomes a matter of concern when these unregistered license plate vehicles ring alarm bells and alert officials. It often drives them to take action. Driving without proper registration is definitely punishable and a violation of highway traffic laws.

According to the ministry, there were 372,438 unregistered license plates in 2021, the year before license plate stickers were cancelled. And in 2022, the year it was cancelled, this number increased to 8 lakh 14 thousand 224. And as of June 2023, the number of vehicles with unregistered license plates in Ontario stands at 5,73,974.

Schmidt said one reason behind the large number of unregistered license plates may be that Ontarians are no longer being reminded to renew license plates by mail. I think historically people used to get this mail all the time especially on their birthdays. They would receive a renewal notice and go to ServiceOntario or complete the registration online.

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