How to Register a Used Vehicle in Ontario

30 Nov 2016


More often than not, people buying a car for the first time opt for a used model. But for so many of us, the red tape involved can seem daunting. How to register your used car in Ontario? It’s simpler than you think!

Here we run you through the steps you need to take to properly and quickly register your pre-owned vehicle.

Where to Register

If you’re purchasing a used car from a dealership, your worries about registering it likely stop right there. For the most part, the dealer will take care of the paperwork and complete the registration for you. If you’re buying a used car from an individual, you have a bit more legwork ahead of you. In Ontario, you have six days from the moment of sale to register it; you can do so at any ServiceOntario centre. There you will not just register the vehicle but also get a permit and obtain the licence plate.

Documents Needed

Make sure you have everything you need before you go. To avoid a lost hour or two waiting in line only to be told you’re missing one or more documents, follow this checklist:

  • Your driver’s licence or registrant identification number (RIN)

  • A used vehicle information package (UVIP) (needed for passenger vehicles, light commercial vehicles, motor homes and motorcycles); this must by law be provided by the seller

  • Proof of purchase, such as a receipt from the vendor, or the portion of the information package that can be used as a sales bill

  • Proof of insurance from an Ontario-licensed insurance provider

  • The original vehicle permit, provided by the seller and with the transfer portion filled out

  • The plate portion of the permit, if you have a licence plate already

Getting a Licence Plate Sticker

If you don’t have a licence plate sticker, you’ll need a Safety Standards Certificate. This document is issued by a government-certified Motor Vehicle Inspection Station once your vehicle has passed its mandatory inspection. In Ontario, all used vehicles changing ownership must be inspected again. Certified service centres are identified by a distinctive green and white sign. You’ll also need to show proof that the vehicle has passed the Drive Clean test, which certifies that the vehicle meets Ontario emissions standards.

Cost and Payment Methods

As of 2016, here are the costs associated with registering a used vehicle in Ontario: Vehicle permit - $20 Licence plate, with permit - $20 Licence plate sticker - $120 in Southern Ontario, $60 in Northern Ontario Any retail sales tax due on the purchase of the used car Any outstanding fines in the licence plate holder’s name In addition to cash payments, payment by debit card as well as by credit or charge card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) is accepted, as are certified cheques.

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