plate sticker

Not everyone in Ontario thinks scrapping licence plate stickers is a good idea

With everything else going on, it's kind of nice that something as seemingly inconsequential in the grand picture as licence plate stickers have been the talk of Ontario lately, but the topic has still garnered its fair share of heated responses in recent days.

The province has moved to eliminate the stickers — which show that a motorist holds up-to-date and valid vehicle registration —and also the associated $120 annual fee as we approach election time this spring.

And, while some are happy about having one less step (and expense) to worry about when it comes to driving, many are wondering about the somewhat random move, especially seeing as it will cost the government $1 billion in lost revenue per year.

Though stickers aren't completely necessary anymore given that authorities can run plates to determine valid registration, many see them and their cost as somewhat of a "use tax," and also a key part of a legal plate.

A missing sticker could signify that a driver isn't licensed and thus isn't eligible to acquire one, that they haven't paid outstanding parking tickets or road tolls, that a vehicle is stolen or uninsured, and more.

Due to the pandemic and resulting Service Ontario closures, the provincial government decided to permit residents to drive with old stickers and photo ID cards that expired as far back as March 1, 2020, but announced it would be ending the grace period and reinstating its renewal requirements by the end of this month.

Then came the announcement that the stickers would be scrapped altogether to help "cut costs for families to make life more affordable" as the cost of living, especially in and around Toronto, continues to skyrocket. And, of course, ensuing conversation on the topic.

Many are noting the huge loss in potential revenue during a time when the provincial deficit is slated to rise another $5.1 billion to a whopping $21.5 billion this year, as well as the fact that those who drive should have to pay for the privilege to encourage greener modes of transportation.

Others are seeing it as a campaign tactic that will, in reality, benefit most residents very little...

...especially when there are more important and impactful things that the public has been calling for from Doug Ford and his team for some time now.

Along with the fact that drivers no longer have to worry about plate stickers, refunds will also be offered to anyone who has already paid to renew.

Lead photo by

CJ Burnell

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