Pay Early Options Available to Avoid Final Phase of Licence Plate Fee Hike

Another installment of  MTO licence plate fee increases  goes into effect on December 1, 2014, completing the 70% plate fee hike originally introduced in 2011 by MTO. (Click here for fee schedule details: 140827-HTAReg 628-Commercial Licence Plate Fee Costs )

However, there are some options for carriers with both Ontario-only and IRP plates who may wish to mitigate the impact of the fee changes by paying their plate fees early.

Information for Ontario only commercial plate holders:

Ontario-only heavy commercial vehicle plate holders have options in very specific circumstances to pay MTO ahead of their plate renewals in order to avoid the planned 2014 fee increases starting December 1. The option to pay early and the lower fee will be displayed on the notice carriers receive from ServiceOntario.  Plate holders can renew licence plate validation up to 90 days prior to their expiry date. Before this 90-day window, MTO’s system will not allow the renewal. Renewal notices are sent out to carriers 60 to 90 days prior to plate expiry, however, a carrier can renew their licence plate validation at a ServiceOntario centre without presenting the renewal notice.

Those licence plates that are up for renewal in December, January and February are all within the 90 day timeframe listed above and would be eligible for the lower fee ONLY if the carrier pays the renewal fees before December 1st. Carriers who attend a ServiceOntario centre on December 1 or after would be required to pay the higher fee. March renewals are outside of the 90 day timeframe. Carriers with additional questions about plate renewal cycles should contact a ServiceOntario centre.

Information for IRP Plate Holders:

IRP plate holders (Ontario carriers who operate outside Ontario with km travel in other jurisdictions) also have options in very specific circumstances to pay ahead of their renewals to avoid the additional fee increases for their Ontario mileage starting December 1st.   Like Ontario only plates, IRP plate holders can also renew licence plate validation up to 90 days prior to their expiry date as long as they have submitted a completed IRP Renewal Application, however IRP plate holders must present the IRP Fee Notice they have received from MTO at the time of payment to MTO to be eligible for the lower fee structure on their Ontario mileage.   Information regarding pay early options for IRP is also included in the renewal documentation received from MTO’s IRP office, for fleets expiring on November 30, 2013 and December 31, 2013.

Those carriers who have renewal dates after the December 1st fee change date (e.g. December 1, 2013, January 1, 2014  and February 1, 2014) that are able to complete their plate renewal packages and pay their renewal prior to December 1st will be eligible for the lower Ontario mileage rate. Carriers who attend an MTO office on December 1 or after would be required to pay the higher fee. Carriers base-plated in other jurisdictions should contact their IRP representatives to determine if similar options are available.

Please note that the IRP Program has very specific rules around existing fleet expiry dates.  These dates were chosen when the carrier first registered for IRP and will remain the carrier’s expiry date henceforth and the carrier’s renewal will always be for a 12 months period.  IRP does not allow renewals for periods less than 12 months.  For new fleets, carriers have the ability to enter the date they would like their new fleet to expire (minimum 3 months, maximum 12 months). This expiry date will remain their expiry date henceforth and the renewal will always be for a 12 months period. IRP does not allow renewals for periods less than 12 months.  Carriers with additional questions about plate renewal cycles should contact an MTO IRP office.

In both cases Drive Clean requirements are unchanged.

For a complete listing of vehicle plate fees by gross vehicle weight category, please refer to Schedule 1, contained in Highway Traffic Act Regulation 628 — http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/regs/english/elaws_regs_900628_e.htm#BK10

Questions from member carriers can be directed to jonathan.blackham@ontruck.org

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