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Renewing your licence in Ontario

Published on Feb 1, 2021 | Last updated Feb 1, 2021 6 minute read

Renewing your licence in Ontario

For many, a driver’s license is an important thing to have. Especially if you live in a remote area. Once you have your license, it’s important to always keep it up to date. This will ensure you are legally allowed to be on the road. The rules for obtaining and renewing a driver’s license are different in each province and territory. In this article, we’ll help you understand how to renew, replace, or reinstate your driver’s license if you live in Ontario.

When do I need to renew my driver’s license in Ontario?

In Ontario, it is a requirement that you renew your driver’s licence card every five years. Usually, you will get a renewal notice in the mail or by email about two or three months before your licence expires. It is extremely important to renew your license before it expires. It is illegal to drive with an expired, cancelled or suspended driver’s licence.

Driver’s Licence Renewal Process In Ontario

If you are looking to renew your licence, there is a general process to follow. First, you must visit your local DriveTest centre or ServiceOntario. Remember to bring a piece of identification that shows your legal name, date of birth and your signature. Once there, you may be required to pass tests such as vision, written or road. You will also have to pay a $90 fee, plus the cost for any tests you may have to take.

When your license is due for renewal, you will receive a notification in the mail around 90 days before the expiration date. If it is required that you take a driver’s license test or provide any additional documentation during your visit, your renewal letter will have additional instructions for you to follow.

Online Driver’s Renewal Process

Did you know that you can also renew your driver’s license online in Ontario? Not everyone is eligible to renew online. For example, if you need a new photo or you need to take a vision test, you cannot renew online. To see if you are eligible to renew online, check the restrictions on the Government of Ontario’s website.

If you are able to renew your license online, you will receive a temporary driver’s licence validation document if your driver’s licence has already expired, or is within 28 days of its expiry date. You can download and print the temporary driver’s license. This will be your official license until you receive a new one in the mail, so be sure to take it with you when you’re on the road!

If you cannot print and download your temporary license, you should visit Service Ontario in person to renew your license.

If you’re eligible, renewing online is a great option. It means no waiting in line at Service Ontario! There is no additional cost to renewing online.

Driving license rules in Ontario

Ontario has a graduated licencing system, which means there are different levels each driver must pass in order to obtain their full licence. Each level has certain rules and restrictions.

In order to be eligible to drive in this province with any level of licence, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Residents of Ontario must be at least 16 years old and have a valid Ontario driver’s licence
  • New residents to Ontario with a valid driver’s licence from another province, state or country can use it for 60 days after you move here. You will then need to get your own Ontario licence.
  • If you become a permanent resident of Ontario, you must get an Ontario driver’s licence.

Driver’s License Classification

As we mentioned above, Ontario has a graduated licence system. There are 12 different classes of licences you can hold. Each one qualifies you to drive a different type of vehicle. The class of licence that you have must match the type of vehicle you are driving.

The three most common levels of driver’s licenses in Ontario are G1, G2 and G. Your G is your “full” licence, and has essentially no restrictions. You must pass the G1 and then G2 levels in order to obtain this class of licence.

There are also speciality licences you can obtain. These are for vehicles that are more difficult to operate than your standard car. Here are the other 7 classes of licences in Ontario:

  • Class A allows you to drive any tractor-trailer combination
  • Class B allows you to drive a bus for any school-related purposes
  • Class C allows you to drive any other type of bus
  • Class D allows you to drive a motor vehicle exceeding 11,000 kilograms gross weight or registered gross weight or any truck or combination provided the towed vehicle is not over 4,600 kilograms
  • Class E allows you to drive a bus for any school-related purposes, but with a maximum capacity of 24 passengers
  • Class F allows you to drive any other type of bus or ambulance, but with a maximum capacity of 24 passengers
  • Class M allows you to drive any motorcycles, including motor tricycles, limited-speed motorcycles (motor scooters) and motor-assisted bicycles (mopeds)

Get The Right Insurance For Your Driving Safety

Renewing your driver’s license is one of the primary responsibilities of being a driver. Another important responsibility is getting the right insurance coverage. Having car insurance is not only the law, but it will also bring you additional peace of mind while you are behind the wheel.

At BrokerLink, our brokers are experts when it comes to insurance. We have extensive experience in creating custom and tailored insurance policies that will fit you and your lifestyle. If you’re interested in learning more about car insurance, or even just your insurance options in general, we’re here to help!

There are a few different ways to get in touch with a BrokerLink insurance broker:

Renewing your License in Ontario FAQs

What happens if I don’t renew my driver’s licence in Ontario?

Every single driver in Ontario must renew their driver’s licence every five years. If you do not renew your licence, and it expires, you will be unable to drive, as your licence is no longer valid. It is illegal to drive with an expired, cancelled or suspended driver’s licence. If you are caught driving with an expired license, you will be charged with an offence of the Highway Traffic Act. Some of the consequences you could incur include: a fine of up to $1,000, your vehicle being impounded and your license being suspended. Driving without a license could also cause an increase in your insurance premium.

Can someone else renew my driver’s license for me?

No, unfortunately not. If you are planning on renewing your licence in person at a ServiceOntario or DriveTest centre, you must be there yourself. This is because you are required to present valid identification. You also may need to take a vision, written or road test in order for you licence to be renewed.

Is it possible for a driver to not pass a driver’s renewal in Ontario?

Yes, it is possible to fail to pass your driver’s licence renewal in Ontario. When it is time to renew your licence, you may be required to take a vision, written or road test. If you do not pass your test, you may not be eligible to hold your licence anymore. However, you may be allowed to re-take your test in order to pass and then reclaim your licence.