Didn’t pay your speeding ticket? Might not be able to renew your plates in Ontario.

Starting in May 2017, motorists in Ontario who want to renew their plates might want to be sure they have no outstanding tickets. None, what so ever.  May is the month when the Ontario Government expects the system will be in place to cross reference outstanding driver-based offenses, such as speeding and careless driving along with vehicle-based offenses such as parking and red light camera tickets.  What does that mean for you?  It means if you have an unpaid speeding ticket, you won’t be able to renew your plates until you paid up.

Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca said that currently there is a system in place to suspend a driver license for an unpaid speeding ticket but the addition of not being able to renew their plates adds greater motivation for paying their fines.

“A person might be theoretically out there driving with an expired or suspended licence, therefore they’re not going forward to get it renewed, but you have the visual sticker on your licence plate, you have all that stuff that is easier for law enforcement to recognize at a glance,” he said.

Municipalities in the province are owed about 1.4 billion dollars in unpaid fines for provincial offenses including those under the Highway Traffic Act.  Some fines going back over 50 years.  This new system will go back seven years and will capture about one-third of outstanding fines.

This is the final bit of change to be enacted under the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act which passed in 2015.  The Act included increased fines for distracted driving, making driving under the influence of drugs an offense, as well as adding new rules for pedestrian cross walks and school crossings among other things.

The regulation would not apply to jointly owned vehicles or those registered to a company.