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Miriam Katawazi CTV News Toronto Multi-Platform Writer | May 12, 2022

An Ontario driver who got a $495 ticket is warning people about a rule he says he didn’t know still existed after the province dropped licence plate renewal fees.

Mathias Rousseau, who lives in Brampton, Ont., says he received a $489 ticket while driving in Gatineau, Que., with an expired licence plate in April. He said that when the province dropped the fees and sticker requirement, he assumed renewal was also no longer needed.

“I didn’t know that I had to still go through the process,” Rousseau said. “They could have been more clearer. I thought it was no longer required because there was no longer a fee attached.”

“We probably could have been informed a little bit better on this.”

The province dropped the fees and stickers back in March, saying the change would save Ontario drivers about $120 a year. The government clarified at the time that while the province would be dropping the fees, residents would still need to renew their plates.

“It is the law for vehicle owners to renew their licence plate every one or two years at no cost to confirm their automobile insurance is valid and pay any defaulted fees, fines or tolls,” a spokesperson from the Ministry of Transportation said in an email to CTV News Toronto on Wednesday.

“Expired licence plates will remain subject to enforcement action.”

Rousseau said he plans to fight the ticket he received because he feels the government left residents confused about whether or not they needed to renew their licence plates with the new changes.

The province recently stopped mailing paper renewal notices to people with expiring driver’s licences, licence plates and health cards, saying that people who wanted to be reminded needed to sign up for a digital reminder.

The spokesperson for the ministry stressed that drivers in Ontario still need to renew their plates, adding they have the option to apply for a one or two-year renewal. There is no cost to renew.

Ontario drivers can renew their licence plate at a ServiceOntario location, online or by mail.