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Ontario Vehicle Licence Expired...how to get it back without the safety required


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My understanding is when one wants to return a vehicle to Ontario after the license sticker has expired, one must obtain a new valid sticker. One cannot get a temporary 14 day sticker as this requires the vehicle to be "fit" (in other words it must pass a safety test in Ontario) and must pass an emission test in Ontario (one can get a one time 6 month exemption for this) but I don't know how to get around the "safety" requirement. ( we contacted the MTO by phone to get this information today)

Has anybody successfully taken a "expired sticker vehicle" to Ontario and how did you do this? Any help appreciated.

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The practical advice?

Drive it up as is, "don't get stopped", (no one outside Ontario will really care anyway in MX or the US), get the Drive Clean emissions test & plate renewal done once you are there. Worst case scenario is a ticket for expired registration.

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I agree, this is about all you can do. MTO's computers are linked tightly with Drive Clean's as well as all of the insurance providers selling auto insurance in Ontario. You need to have valid insurance as well as pass the smog check before you can update the registration. You should not need to get a "safety" inspection though unless you are changing owners, just the smog test if it is not current.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you wish some insurance against getting stopped on the way through the USA just go to the county clerk in Laredo as soon as you get across the border with registration and insurance. Ask for a temporary paper tag for 2 week or one month transit to go sell vehicle. It wil cost you $25 but put it in a plastic bag and tape over the regular tag. No one will stop you with the Texas Temporary tag. Take you TIP (make copy) and show Ontario you have been out of the country the whole time.

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But are you not "uninsured" when you cross the border into Canada?

If your sticker has expired it does not necessarily mean your insurance coverage is expired. If you have kept a policy in force on the vehicle while it was in Mexico (which was a requirement of the Mexican Tourist insurance policy you should have had) then you are still covered. In Ontario, you must have valid insurance coverage before you can renew your sticker. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation is tied into all of the databases of the Insurance Companies that are allowed to sell auto insurance in the Province (and they know!!).

If you DON'T have an Ontario insurance policy on the vehicle, you will need it before you can get your sticker updated and you are then really in a Catch 22 unless you can arrange it on-line before you cross into the USA/Canada. The policies you buy from an Ontario insurance provider covers you for travel throughout the USA and Canada (but NOT Mexico).

As far as the sticker goes, you don't have to have the car physically in Ontario to do this. Just have someone (family member?) take the ownership into a Service Ontario office or kiosk and get it for you unless of course your smog certification is also expired.. Again, you do NOT need a safety check if you are renewing, just proof of insurance, a current smog test pass and money.

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OK Interesting topic. My information from Service Ontario/MTO Supervisor in Prescott On, Nov 2013. Cross the bridge turn left to our offices, show your current ownership & receive a temporary permit pending Drive Clean Certification & Insurance. No Fit Certification req'd as vehicle is still in original owners name. Proceed down Main St to CTC, get Drive Clean tested! Or, continue to home base & get tested & get your renewal sticker. I will be contacting our insurer of record for 13 odd yrs on this vehicle to provide US/CAN auto insurance pending Drive Clean retesting (We still have another vehicle on their files). Failing that we will contract for 1 or 2 weeks of US Insurance & take the 2-3 block risk down Main St in Prescott. I suspect that there are many Service Ontario/MTO facilites near the the border. Best of Luck!

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Good idea!! There should be Service Ontario offices in most of the border towns they are likely to cross at - Prescott, Fort Erie, Windsor, etc.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Does anyone ever check the MTO web site? I obtained this simple information just minutes ago under "Renew or replace a licence plate sticker: outside Ontario" An expired plate sticker

If your vehicle does not require a Drive Clean test, you may be eligible to change your renewal date.

Call ServiceOntario at 416-235-2999 or toll-free at 1-800-387-3445 (within Canada) to find out more about eligibility.

If your vehicle requires a Drive Clean test, you can request a one-time, 6-month extension (without completing the Drive Clean test). You may be required to complete the test, when you return to Ontario.

To request an extension, please provide a written request by mail with:

  • the date of your return to Ontario
  • the reason for the waiver
  • the plate owner signature
  • a completed vehicle licence plate renewal application. Or, if you do not have the renewal application, include the following in your signed letter:
    • the odometer reading
    • the insurance policy number
    • the name of the insurance company that is insuring the vehicle
    • the licence plate number you are renewing

Mail this information and payment to:

Ministry of Transportation

Licensing Administration and Support Office

Special Enquiry Unit

Building A, Room 178

2680 Keele Street

Downsview ON M3M 3E6

Fax: 416-235-4414

Cost

$41

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