Starting Nov. 29, a new system will help keep uninsured drivers off Ontario’s roads by providing on-the-spot confirmation of insurance when drivers go to renew their licence plate.
In Ontario, it is mandatory for all vehicles to have valid insurance coverage. Currently, drivers are required to provide proof of insurance when renewing a vehicle’s licence plates.
A new electronic verification system, will allow the province to confirm directly with the Insurance Bureau of Canada if a vehicle has mandatory insurance coverage during the licence plate renewal process.
Partnering with the Insurance Bureau of Canada to check for valid insurance in real-time will ensure that drivers have insurance that is valid and up-to-date. It is also expected to help keep Ontario’s roads safe by ensuring there are fewer uninsured vehicles on the road and lower risks to other drivers.
There are approximately 13.6 million registered passenger vehicles in Ontario.
All vehicles on Ontario’s roads must be insured. There are tough penalties for driving without insurance: including a fine of up to $25,000 for a first offence and a fine of up to $50,000 for a second offence, and the possibility of a driver’s licence suspension for up to one year.
The Uninsured Vehicles Project (UVP) is a joint initiative between the Ontario government and the Insurance Bureau of Canada to allow the verification of mandatory automobile insurance coverage at the time of plate renewal in an effort to reduce the number of uninsured vehicles on Ontario’s roads.
Under the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act, it is the law for all vehicles in Ontario to have valid insurance coverage. Drivers are required to provide proof of valid insurance when renewing their vehicle’s licence plates.
Starting this month, Ontario will be able to electronically verify, with the Insurance Bureau of Canada, if a vehicle has valid insurance coverage during the licence plate renewal process.
The authority of the Ministry of Transportation to verify insurance information is provided under the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act.
UVP will create a real-time electronic query between the Ministry of Transportation and the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s insurance database, using the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to determine if a vehicle has mandatory insurance coverage.
Those who do not have valid insurance will not be eligible for licence plate validation renewal unless they have obtained the required mandatory vehicle insurance coverage.
Drivers whose insurance cannot not be confirmed should contact an insurance provider or broker for further details or clarification.
As part of the Ministry’s insurance verification process, vehicle owners who have unconfirmed insurance or Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) issues will be notified in writing 120 days prior to their licence plate expiration date, allowing time to correct or bring up to date their information.
Those notices will direct customers with either a VIN or insurance information issue on how to correct their information prior to their plate renewal in order to avoid problems when processing their plate renewal transaction.