licence plate renewal

Toronto driver busted after using marker to draw new expiry date on licence plate

Today in life-lessons-by-proxy you've likely never had to consider learning: You can't simply use a black Sharpie to "renew" the validation sticker on your plates.

This is especially true if your skills are on par with that woman in Spain who botched the restoration of a 20th century Ecce Homo Jesus painting in 2012, turning it into a portrait of Monkey Christ as a potato.

While their replication of two numbers on a tiny Ontario licence plate sticker has yet to spark a global phenomenon, one Toronto driver's weak attempt at faking out the cops is prompting chuckles.

Toronto Police Traffic Services Detective Constable Scott Matthews shared a photo of the botched licence plate validation in question on Tuesday, noting that an officer had "quickly noticed the hand written year on the validation sticker" after pulling the vehicle over.

"He then noticed the front plate was a different number," said Matthews on Twitter. "Neither plate was registered to the vehicle being driven."

The driver was subsequently charged with two counts of "use plates not authorized," as well as for operating a vehicle without insurance, altering validation, and failing to apply for a permit upon becoming the car's owner.

All in all, if convicted, the minimum fine they'll pay is $5,465 (plus surcharges, according to Matthews) — far more than the $120 per year they'd have paid to actually obtain a valid sticker in the first place.

You may not know it, based on the recent TPS bust of someone driving a car with plates that expired in 1989, but police in Ontario take licence validation stickers pretty seriously.

"When is the last time you circle checked your vehicle?" wrote Traffic Services on Twitter this morning when sharing an image of the brutal handwritten "21 July" licence plate.

"Thieves have been known to steal number plates to use on stolen vehicles and toll roads," warn police. "It's all in the details and we're paying attention so you should too."

Lead photo by

Toronto Police Service

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