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Motor Vehicle Registration Works in Ontario

Did you recently buy a car? Have you had it registered? If you have not, it would be illegal to drive that car. Why? Because the Canadian authorities would have cause to believe you are not the rightful owner or you’re attempting to avoid taxes. So, what is the right thing to do? Register the car with the state. Well, in this case, Ontario.

Now that we have that out of the way, how can you successfully perform vehicle registration in Ontario? The process is quite simple if you understand it. It could also be daunting if you don’t fully grasp how it works. In this post, we simplify the complexities so you can have a hitch-free vehicle registration. Continue reading to learn how vehicle registration is done – easy-peasy.

Also Read: What You Need to Know About Tinting Your Car Windows in Canada


What Do I Need to Complete my Vehicle Registration?

There are certain requirements or documents every car owner needs to present to have their car registered. You need to visit a ServiceOntario centre with these documents. Don’t worry about not having any of these, we’ll show you how to get them?


Car Insurance

Insurance cover for your car is not just a necessity, it is a law. You need to buy insurance before you can register your car. 

Auto insurance can be for several possible outcomes which include, but are not limited to car damage from an accident, fire, loss of vehicle, and third party property damage. Ensure that your insurance plan covers the driver (you), the passengers, pedestrians and any property involved in an accident.

Unlike Quebec, which offers a public insurance plan, Ontario, on the other hand, doesn’t. So if you live in Ontario, you’d have to obtain an insurance package from a private insurance company. 


Insuring Your Vehicle

Now that it is obvious that you need to have car insurance, how do you go about it? What are the steps to take?

First things first, choose a reliable and reputable insurance company. You want to make sure the company you buy insurance from has a good reputation for paying claims. You also want to check for a good history and how easy it is to get in touch, report claims, and generally get help.

When that is out of the way and you’ve chosen a good company, buy an insurance plan. Keep in mind that the province requires that every vehicle must be insured for third party liability for not less than 200,000 CAD. 

This package could come in very handy if you have a collision and injure someone or worse; it also covers third party property damage.

Interestingly, it is not compulsory to purchase collision insurance to cover damage to your vehicle. That said, it’s a great idea to buy it anyway. 

When you buy the third party liability insurance coverage you would be given a pink slip. It’s necessary to carry this slip along when driving. The glovebox is a good place to keep it. Hopefully, you won’t ever have to use it.


Drivers License

It is equally important to have a drivers license if you’re looking to have a successful vehicle registration. Your driver’s license is proof that you can drive a car and is also a means of identification. If you don’t have a license yet, continue reading to learn how to get one.


How to Get a Drivers License in Ontario

To legally drive in Ontario and to complete vehicle registration, you need a drivers license. There are different classifications of licences but for this post, we’ll focus on licencing to drive a car, a van or a small truck. The class for these types of vehicles is Class G.

To obtain a class G license, you would have to go through a graduated licensing program. You must be at least 16 years old to be admitted. When you’re ready, head over to a DriveTest or a ServiceOntario centre to apply.

The first step to getting a drivers license to use for your vehicle registration is to take a driving knowledge test. This test evaluates your knowledge of basic driving rules. To ace the test, preparation is key.

Once you pass the knowledge test you get a G1 license. This license has some restrictions. Notably, you are not allowed to drive any vehicle without the presence of a fully licensed driver who has not less than 4 years of driving experience. You’re also not permitted to drive between midnight and 5 a.m. 

To get full licensing, you need to pass 2 road tests. If you pass the first one you get a G2 road license which gives you more driving privileges. However, there are a few restrictions. Once you pass the second road test, you are awarded a full G license. This is what you are to present to facilitate your vehicle registration.

RElATED: 10 Tips to Ace Your Ontario G2 Road Test

It takes about 2 years to finish the whole process. The timeframe could be less depending on how fast you learn and the number of times you take the tests. Note that you have 5 years to obtain the full G license. If not, you’d have to start all over again.


Used Vehicle Information Package

What is a used vehicle information package? It is a document that the seller of a used car is required by law to present to a buyer. The UVIP contains a relevant description of the vehicle as well as its Ontario history. If you’re buying a used car or plan to, remember to collect this document. It is a vital piece to be used for vehicle registration.

However, if you’re buying directly from a registered used car dealer, it is not necessary to obtain this document. You also don’t need it if it is a family transaction, or if the car was sold/bought outside Ontario. 


What Should be in the Vehicle Information Package?

The UVIP should contain the following necessary details to ensure a seamless vehicle registration process:

  1. Details of the vehicle, which includes the year, make, model, power, colour, body type.
  2. Information on vehicle registration history in Ontario. This should include the address of all previous owners and odometer reading.
  3. The Retail Sales Tax data and the average wholesale price of the car.
  4. The mechanical condition of the car and whether it has been awarded a Safety Standards Certificate.
  5. Finally, a bill of sale section.


Vehicle Permit from Seller

Last on the list of documents you need is the original vehicle permit from the seller of the car. This doc should include a completed transfer section.


Important Points to Note

  1. You don’t have to worry about vehicle registration if you are buying a new vehicle from a dealership. Vehicle registration should be done by the dealer. 
  2. If you’re buying a used car, the onus is on you to go about the registration process yourself. But the good news is, it doesn’t have to be stressful. If you follow the guides contained in this post you should have no problems at all.
  3. You need to register your new-used vehicle within 6 days of purchase at a ServiceOntario centre. Keep this a the back of your mind.
  4. On completing your vehicle registration, you get a vehicle permit and license plate. Both should cost you around 60 CAD. 


A Summary of What You Need to Complete Your Vehicle Registration

  • A driver’s license. You may have to go through the graduate licensing program if you don’t have one. Remember that you have 5 years to complete the entire program. Ideally, it should take about 20 months to complete.
  • Get the used vehicle information package (UVIP) from the seller. You need this as part of the requirements to register your car.
  • You should also get proof of insurance by a private insurance provider licensed in Ontario. It has to be in Ontario, not anywhere else in Canada. Even if you already have one outside of Ontario, you have to get one from a private insurance company in Ontario.
  • You need the original vehicle permit from the seller with the transfer portion filled out. This document helps the authorities know that the car was indeed sold to you and there is nothing shady about your being in possession of the car. To avoid any kind of suspicion like this, best to ensure this portion of the vehicle permit is filled out.


Final Words

As you have gleaned from this post, vehicle registration in Ontario is pretty straightforward. Whenever you have cause to register a car, this guide should serve you well. Meanwhile, ensure you have all the required documents needed for the process. But if you don’t, follow the processes above to get them. It is that simple. Have any questions, comments, or just want to share a personal experience about vehicle registration, feel free to share with us below.

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