How To Renew Your Ontario Driver’s License: Here Are What You Need To Know

by Sep 22, 2023Car tips0 comments

How To Renew Your Ontario Driver’s License: Here Are What You Need To Know


Is it time for you to renew your Ontario driver’s license? Unsure about when to renew and how? We have you covered. Here’s a comprehensive guide for you to learn how to renew a driver’s license in Ontario.


At 8.7 million, Ontario has the greatest number of registered cars in Canada. There are a lot of licenses there, and each driver needs to renew theirs before it expires. The good news is that you are usually able to do your renewal online.



Renew Your Ontario Driver’s License Online

Most drivers can renew their licenses conveniently online through the provincial government’s ServiceOntario website, provided they meet certain qualifications.


Online renewal is available for G licenses (allowing you to drive most vehicles) and M licenses (for motorcycles). If you hold a G1 or G2 (or M1 or M2) license, which are part of Ontario’s graduated licensing program, online renewal is not an option.


However, if you possess a G1M, G2M, GM1, or GM2 license (indicating a full license for either cars or motorcycles while still in the graduated program for the other), you can renew the full license portion online.


Online renewal eligibility hinges on several factors:

  • No change of address within the last 90 days.
  • No requirement for written, road, or vision tests.
  • No outstanding tickets or fines.
  • Absence of medical conditions that hinder driving.
  • Not removing a vision condition from your license.
  • Current license not canceled or suspended.
  • You must be under 80 years old.

Renew Ontario Driver’s License

What You Need for Your Ontario Driver’s License Online Renewal

To initiate the online renewal process, ensure you have your current driver’s license on hand and your current postal code. You’ll need the 15-digit license number, which typically starts with the first letter of your last name followed by numbers.


Additionally, you’ll require the “Trillium” number, a seven-digit figure surrounded by asterisks, such as 1234567. Additionally, take note of your license’s expiration date before visiting the ServiceOntario center or renewing online. Renewing your license more than six months before its expiration is not permissible.


Streamline your renewal process by ensuring all these documents are readily available prior to your visit to a ServiceOntario center or before initiating the online renewal process. Failure to provide the requisite documentation can lead to delays or even the rejection of your renewal application.


Renew Your Ontario Driver’s License In Person

Online renewal of your Ontario driver’s license might not always be an option. You can go to a ServiceOntario location to renew in person if you prefer or need to.This is applicable to people who only have a G1 or G2 license or who need to pass a vision exam.  Additionally, some people just prefer the in-person renewal procedure to reduce the possibility of mistakes on their renewal application.


The process for renewing in person is quite similar to renewing online, with the exception that a ServiceOntario representative enters your information on your behalf. You will need to present the required documents as we discussed for online renewal, complete any mandated tests, such as a vision test, and pay the required fees.


When compared to the online renewal process, renewing your driver’s license in person often takes longer and involves more processes. However, when certain tests that cannot be performed online, you will have to renewal of your Ontario driver’s license in person.


Costs of Ontario License Renewal

A five-year Ontario license renewal costs $90. Visa, Mastercard, and Interac are accepted forms of payment. You might see a different price if the renewal is not for the entire five years. If the date on your license is updated to coincide with the expiration of your health card, this could occur. Postage and mailing fees are not additional fees.


Drivers aged 80 and above must renew their licenses every two years, at a cost of $36. If your license renewal date aligns with that of your health card and doesn’t cover the full five years, the fee will be prorated. Accepted online payment methods include Mastercard, Visa, or Interac Online. Debit cards or cash can only be used in-person at a ServiceOntario location.


Renewal After Ontario Driver’s License Expiry

Has your driver’s license expired because you forgot to renew it? There may still be an opportunity for renewal. If it has been less than 12 months since your license expired, you can renew it in person without incurring any penalties; online renewal is not an option in this case.


However, if more than 12 months but less than three years have passed since the expiration,  you’ll need to visit a ServiceOntario location. Depending on the length of its expiration, you may need to complete certain tests.


For licenses expired for one to three years, a vision test is required. For three to ten years of expiration, a written knowledge test, along with both G1 and G2 road tests, is mandatory. If your license has been expired for more than ten years, you’ll need to start anew in the graduated licensing program. This entails passing all written and road tests, including accumulating months of mandatory driving experience. There are no shortcuts, even if you previously held a full and valid license before its expiration.


Driving with an Expired License in Ontario

It is against the law to drive a car with an expired driver’s license in Ontario. The fines for doing so might be anything from $200 to $1,000. It is crucial to renew your license before it expires in order to prevent these consequences and make sure you are operating a vehicle in accordance with the law.


If you want to use your driver’s license as identification, be aware that some circumstances, like booking travel or creating bank accounts, may also prevent the use of an expired license. 


You will be given a temporary driver’s license validation document if you renew your license after it has expired. This document serves as evidence that your license is still in effect until it is issued a new one within 28 days.


Plan Your Ontario Driver’s License Renewal

It’s important to pay any outstanding traffic fines, fines, or highway tolls before considering renewing your license. Before renewing your license, you must pay any reinstatement fees you owe if your license is suspended. You might be able to make these payments online, depending on the amount outstanding; if not, a trip to a ServiceOntario facility will be required.


Your driver’s license is good for five years after being renewed. For digital reminders regarding your renewal date, visit the ServiceOntario website. Furthermore, you have the option to renew your driver’s license up to 180 days before it expires, which is useful if you’ll be out of the province at the time of renewal.


When you renew or make changes to your license, you will be given a temporary permission. Make sure print the confirmation document if you renewed your subscription online. For you to be recognized as a licensed driver, this printed paper and your license card are necessary. Within four to six weeks, you should receive your replacement card in the mail.


Whether you choose an online or in-person renewal, you are now knowledgeable with the Ontario driver’s license renewal procedure. Since most Ontarians (with the exception of those who qualify for an exemption) will no longer receive paper renewal notices for items that expire after February 2022, it is strongly advised that you sign up for ServiceOntario’s digital reminders. Call 1-800-267-8097 toll-free to sign up for automated voice calls or text message reminders. Two to three months before the expiration date, you will normally receive the notification. Once you have a renewal notice in the mail or by email, you can renew your Ontario driver’s license. 


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