Starting February 1, 2020, all new passenger Ontario licence plates issued have the new plate design, which is widely called “blue licence plate”.

According to the Toronto Star (March 6, 2020), Ontario government abandons defective, hard-to-read double-blue licence plates, which “will soon be consigned to the dustbin or survive as curious”. Premier Doug Ford personally involved in picking failed licence plate design.

They “blue” it, and now going back to the white design.

What happened after Ontario’s new licence plates hit the road

New Ontario licence plates have visibility issues

As we’ve said above, all new vehicles in Ontario registered after February 1, 2020, are required by law to carry the new plates.

More than 10 days have passed since Ontario’s new licence plates hit the road, and it looks like the new plates were never tested in the field before the rollout. Mass media and social networks are flooded with photos of the blue plates which are almost unreadable at night.

“We take this feedback seriously, value the input of Ontario drivers and law enforcement stakeholders and are currently looking into this,” Ontario government said.

Then, the Minister of Government Consumer Services stated that the plates are “actually very readable.”

A day after defending the plates’ design, on February 19, the government admits that new Ontario licence plates have visibility issues: Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s office told CTV News Toronto that they are “frustrated” by the situation.

What was promised

As Ontario government said in a news release issued in April of last year,

Ontario Passenger Plates will feature the tagline “A Place to Grow” harkening to Ontario’s unofficial “A Place to Stand, a Place to Grow” anthem first debuted at Expo 67. Ontario Commercial Plates will feature the slogan “Open for Business” which reflects the province’s renewed commitment to economic growth and job creation across the province,”

Ontario Licence Plates

In Ontario, you have to register your car fist to get a vehicle permit, licence plate and licence plate sticker. Plates are currently issued by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO). The location of plates and renewal stickers is specified by the Highway Traffic Act and Regulation 628 under the Act.

Costs are the following:

  • Vehicle permit (all vehicles): $32
  • Licence plate (new and replacement), with permit: $59
  • Licence plate sticker (passenger vehicles): for Northern Ontario – $60, for Southern Ontario – $120

Interesting Facts about Ontario Licence Plates

  • In Ontario, the motor vehicles registration started in 1903, and registrants used their own licence plates until 1911.
  • The symbol of a crown representing the Crown of Canada has appeared on almost all Ontario licence plates, due to the fact that the monarchy of Canada is at the core of Canada’s constitutional federal structure and Westminster-style parliamentary democracy. This symbol was first used in 1937, to commemorate the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
  • All Ontario licence plates are manufactured at the Central East Correctional Centre (a medium/maximum security prison) in Lindsay, Ontario. It is operated by the Ministry of the Solicitor General.

To be honest with you, AllOntario Team’s favourite plate’s slogan is “YOURS TO DISCOVER”, which has been in use since 1982. Just to the point, just the best!


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