expired plates ontario

Toronto cops pull over driver with licence plates that expired 31 years ago

It's common knowledge among Ontario drivers that you can't renew your vehicle's licence plate validation sticker until you pay off all your parking tickets.

In cities like Toronto, where such tickets are common, and the cost of updating the sticker alone is $240 every two years — on your birthday, no less! — people sometimes drive around with expired plates longer than they should.

There's no formal grace period for drivers who "forget" to renew their validation stickers, but cops tend to be pretty understanding if you get pulled over with plates that expired two weeks ago.

THIRTY-ONE YEARS, though? I mean... damn. How does one even go three decades years without getting pulled over once?

I'd love to ask the person who just got busted driving in Toronto with a license plate sticker from August of 1989 displayed on their vehicle.

TPS Traffic Services shared a photo of the sticker in question on Wednesday night, noting that the Vision Zero Enforcement Team officer who had pulled the car over was only eight years old when the validation expired in 1989.

"30 years expired," wrote Halton Police Constable Marc Tarasol in response to the tweet. "I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that has got to be a Provincial record for most expired validation resulting in a charge."

Hard as this may be to believe, it's actually not.

Kingston Police Constable Richard Hough weighed on the thread to show off an even older sticker that was found on a plate by someone in his department.

"Hold on to your hat. Our CMV inspector got this beauty," he wrote. "I was still in college when this expired!"

Toronto Police have not revealed the identity of the driver, what they tried to use as an excuse, or if they were penalized for, you know, not renewing their stickers since 1989.

At the municipal level, cars found parked on the street with expired or absent stickers can be charged $30. The provincial penalty is a $110 ticket for violating Ontario's Highway Traffic Act.

At least, that's what it normally is: Right now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier Doug Ford has given drivers who can't get their stickers replaced a free pass — but this only applies to plates that expired after March of 2020.

Funny as the thought of someone driving around undetected with expired plates for three decades may be, that person has also skipped out on more than $3,700 in requisite MTO fees.

"This is the craziest thing I've seen on here in a while," remarked one Twitter user. "I'm dying to know the killer excuse they had!"

"Must have been on a vanity plate that read: CHUTZPAH," joked another.

Lead photo by

TPS Traffic Services


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