How to Apply for a HOT Lanes Permit

How to Apply for a HOT Lanes Permit
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HOT Lanes Permit Timeline

  • Aug. 1 to 21, 2016: Applications open online through A draw will follow to determine the limited number of applicants who can purchase an High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lane permit.
  • Sept. 1, 2016: All successful applicants will have been advised via email about their application to purchase a permit. If an applicant was not successful, they can enter a future draw for the next three-month HOT permit term. For this first term only (Sept. 15 to Dec. 31, 2016), customers can take advantage of the additional two weeks of HOT lane use from Sept. 15 to Sept. 30, 2016. Permits must be purchased by Sept. 5 to ensure they are received by Sept. 15.
  • Sept. 15, 2016: HOT lanes begin on 16.5 kilometres of the QEW, in both directions, from Trafalgar Road in Oakville to Guelph Line in Burlington.
  • Nov. 1 to 30, 2016. Permit renewals open for existing permit holders and applications open for the next three-month HOT permit term (Jan. 1, 2017 to March 31, 2017). Applications will be accepted each Feb., May, Aug.t and Nov. of the pilot project.

HOT Lanes Permit Stickers

Permit purchasers will receive permit stickers in the mail. Two permits will be affixed to the vehicle, one inside on the front windshield on the left side of the vehicle, and the second outside the vehicle on the rear windshield on the right side of the vehicle.

Who can use HOT lanes?

  • vehicles with an HOT permit
  • vehicles with two or more people
  • buses
  • vehicles with green licence plates
  • emergency vehicles
  • licensed taxis and airport limousines

Details about the Pilot

This pilot project will last two to four years and will help the province learn about and plan for a more efficient highway network in Ontario. During the pilot, the province will explore and test innovative technology to support electronic HOT lanes in the future, including tolling, compliance and performance.

The QEW was selected for the pilot because it has the most free capacity available during peak traffic hours of the three existing HOV lanes in the Greater Toronto Area and will provide travel benefits in both directions throughout the day. No existing general purpose lanes on provincial highways will be removed for HOT lanes, nor will drivers be required to pay to use any lanes on the QEW that they are currently allowed to use for free.

HOT permits can be used by eligible single occupant vehicles to access HOV lanes on the QEW only. These permits are not valid for travel on other provincial or municipal HOV lanes.

Ontario continues to work with the Ontario Provincial Police to plan enforcement. If an HOT lane user is found in violation, they may be fined or issued a penalty. There are two options for issuing penalties:

  1. HOV offence – the penalty for improper HOV lane use is a fine of $110 and three demerit points
  2. Pilot offence – a fine of not less than $250 and not more than $2,500

July 28, 2016, Ministry of Transportation


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