Renewing your driver's licence in Ontario: Everything you need to know

Having a driver’s licence is like having a passport to the open road, and it’s also the ultimate convenience. That’s why ensuring your driver's licence is up-to-date is a must! Renewing your Ontario driver's licence is a fairly simple process, but there are still some key things to keep in mind when it comes to certain requirements, costs, and steps involved to avoid any inconvenience or unwanted legal implications. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the renewal process from A to Z so that you can avoid any bumps in the road!

Eligibility & requirements for renewal

While renewing your Ontario driver's licence is generally a breeze, there are certain eligibility criteria that need to be met. Whether you opt for online renewal or prefer an in-person visit, it’s best to understand these requirements before you get started. To help simplify the process and save you time, we’ll go over the key things you need to know in this article.

Can I renew my Ontario driver's licence online?

Online renewal is probably the most convenient option for Ontario drivers, but not everyone is eligible. Generally, individuals with a valid Ontario driver's licence can renew online if their licence has not expired for more than 180 days and meets the following specified conditions.

First, you need to have a full driver's licence that isn’t cancelled or suspended. You also need to make sure you haven’t updated your address within the last 90 days and aren’t due to take any tests including a vision test, written knowledge test, or a road test. It’s also important to make sure that you’re not removing a vision condition, and don’t have any new medical conditions that may prevent you from driving. Lastly, be sure that don’t have any outstanding fines or penalties, and you’re good to go!

Meeting these eligibility requirements will allow you to conveniently renew your Ontario driver's licence online through the ServiceOntario website.

What are the necessary tests for driver's licence renewal?

As we touched on above, you may need to undergo some tests as part of the renewal process. These will depend on factors like your age and licence type, and include things like vision and road tests. A vision test is typically required to make sure that your vision meets the minimum standards for driving safely, and a road test may be required for certain licence classes, or if there are concerns about your driving ability. These tests help ensure that drivers maintain the necessary skills and capabilities to drive safely.

Understanding costs and fees

When you renew your Ontario driver's licence, there are some standard fees that come along with it, but it’s also important to note that additional costs may apply in certain situations.

What are the standard renewal fees?

In Ontario, the standard renewal fee for a driver's licence is $90 for a 5-year licence. The fees may vary if the renewal period is less than 5 years. This can happen if the expiry date on your driver’s licence is changing to match the expiry date on your health card, for example.

Special cases and fee adjustments

As we know, renewing your Ontario driver's licence costs $90, but for those getting their G1 licence (learner’s permit), the cost of the test is $159.75. In some cases, extra fees may also apply during the renewal process. Anyone who needs to take a road test will have a fee of $53.75 to pay. Plus, while a new driver’s licence photo is generally taken every 10 years, you can also have your photo retaken at any time for a fee of $35.75. The renewal fee can also differ for those over the age of 76.

Step-by-step process for renewing your licence

Whether you choose to renew your Ontario driver's licence online or in-person, the process is designed to be easy and efficient.

Online renewal process

When renewing your licence online, all you need to do is follow a few simple steps. Firstly, ensure that meet the eligibility requirements, then make sure have your driver’s licence number and credit card on hand. Once you’re on the ServiceOntario website, the whole process should take around 6 – 8 minutes. Log in to your account (or create one) to get started, follow the prompts to enter your personal information, verify that it’s accurate, pay the renewal fee, and voila! Once it’s been processed, all you need to do is wait for your new driver's licence to arrive in the mail within 4 to 6 weeks.

In-person renewal at Service Ontario Centres

Whether you’re not eligible to renew your driver’s licence online, or simply prefer to do the process face-to-face, in-person renewal is always an option at Service Ontario Centres. In-person renewal applies to those who may have a suspended or cancelled driver's licence, require tests, have a medical condition, or have changed their address within the last 90 days. Don’t forget that if you have any outstanding fines or penalties, you’ll also need to be physically present.

Handling expired driver’s licences

Driving with an expired licence carries legal and insurance implications that every driver should be aware of, so we’re here to give you an overview of what you need to know.

Consequences of driving with an expired licence

One of the reasons why keeping your driver’s licence up-to-date is so important is that driving with an expired licence is illegal and can result in fines, penalties, and even insurance complications. These fines can vary depending on the circumstances and may increase for repeat offences. You may also get demerit points on your driving record, which can lead to further penalties and even potential licence suspension.

Did you know that driving with an expired licence can have implications on your car insurance coverage? For example, if you get into an accident while driving with an expired licence, your insurance company may deny coverage or limit the benefits provided under your policy. This means you could be financially responsible for damages and liabilities incurred during the accident, and even see an increase in your insurance premiums. This is why it's crucial to renew your driver's licence before it expires to avoid these issues!

Renewing an expired licence: what you need to know

If ever your licence expires before you’ve had the chance to renew it, don’t panic. Know that under some circumstances, there may be grace periods, and you may still be eligible to renew it quickly and easily online. You should receive a notice in the mail 2 – 3 months prior to your licence expiring, so be sure to tend to it as quickly as possible to avoid any delays or expiration periods.

Get on the road to driving in a few simple steps

Luckily, renewing your Ontario driver's licence is a simple task. By understanding the eligibility criteria, costs, and renewal process, you can renew your driver's licence easily and with peace of mind. Remember to take action before your licence expires to avoid any inconvenience or legal complications. Stay informed, and drive safe!