Having a valid Ontario driver’s licence not only lets you commute to work and around town, but it also gives you the freedom to travel across the country and visit all Canada has to offer. But you can’t do that with an expired driver’s licence. This is why it’s critical you understand the licence renewal process in Ontario.

Below, we outline how to renew a driver’s licence in Ontario to help keep you on the road.

What Are the Necessary Documents to Renew Your Ontario Driver's Licence?

You must provide a few necessary documents when renewing your Ontario driver's licence. These documents help verify your identity and ensure you’re eligible to continue operating a motor vehicle on Ontario roads.

First and foremost, have your current driver's licence on hand, as it serves as your primary form of identification, and you need the seven-digit trillium number from it to complete the renewal process. Also, check your licence’s expiration date before heading to the ServiceOntario centre or renewing online, as you cannot renew your licence more than six months before its expiry date.

In addition to your driver's licence, you’ll need your current postal code.

If you hold a G1 or G2 licence, you must also prove you completed a driver’s education course. This course helps new drivers learn the rules of the road and develop the skills necessary to operate a vehicle safely. Completing this course demonstrates your commitment to safe driving practices and your readiness to graduate to a full G licence.

Ease your renewal process by having all these documents ready before visiting a ServiceOntario centre or renewing your licence online. Failure to provide the necessary documentation can result in delays or even the rejection of your renewal application. So when you’re ready to renew your Ontario driver's licence, gather all the necessary documents ahead of time.

With the right paperwork in hand, the renewal process is quick and easy.

How Do You Renew a Driver's Licence in Ontario Online?

Ontario has eased the licence renewal process for drivers by introducing an online renewal option. This convenient renewal option allows you to renew your licence from the comfort of your home, without visiting a ServiceOntario centre.

Keep in mind, you must meet the following specific eligibility requirements to renew your Ontario licence online:

  • You must be under 80 years old.
  • You have a full licence (G, M, or GM) that hasn’t been cancelled or suspended and is not more than 12 months expired.
  • You have not updated your address in the last 90 days.
  • You don’t require a vision test, written test, or road test.
  • You are not removing a vision condition.
  • You have no new medical conditions that impact your ability to drive.
  • You have no unpaid fines.

To renew your licence online, you head over to the ServiceOntario website and follow these steps.

  1. Scroll to the “Renew your products online” section and click “your driver’s licence.”
  2. Click “Renew driver’s licence and health card” or “Renew driver’s licence.”
  3. Review all the information on this next page, then click “Order now” at the top of the page.
  4. Enter all the information requested on the “Online driver’s licence renewal” page, such as driver’s licence number, trillium number, postal code, and others, then agree to the certification at the bottom of the page and click “Add to my order.”
  5. Follow all remaining prompts and enter your payment information to complete the renewal process.

Renewing your Ontario driver's licence online is a convenient and straightforward process that saves you time and the stress of driving to the ServiceOntario centre. The steps outlined above can help you renew your licence as easily as possible. Remember to have all the necessary documents and information before starting the renewal process to avoid delays.

How Do You Renew an Ontario Driver's Licence in Person

Sometimes, you cannot renew your Ontario driver’s licence online, such as if you have only a G1 or G2 license or require a vision test. Also, some people simply prefer renewing in person to minimize the risk of them making a mistake on their renewal application.

If you want or need to renew in person, you can visit a ServiceOntario centre. The in-person renewal process isn’t much different from the online one, except that representative at the ServiceOntario centre will enter all your information instead of you doing it.

To renew your licence in person, you will need to:

  1. Bring your necessary documents outlined above
  2. Pay the required fees
  3. Complete any necessary tests, such as a vision test
  4. Have your photo taken (optional in many cases)
  5. Wait for your new driver's licence to be printed and issued to you

Renewing your driver's licence is typically more time-consuming and often requires more steps than renewing it online, but it may be necessary if you require a test that cannot be completed online.

How do Seniors Renew their Driver’s Licence in Ontario

When you reach 80 years old, the driver’s licence renewal process in Ontario changes to account for the physical changes we all go through as we age. These include new medical conditions, worsening vision, diminished reaction times, and more.

First, you cannot renew your licence online — you must do so at a ServiceOntario centre. You’ll receive a driver’s licence renewal application and a letter explaining the renewal process in the main approximately 90 days before your licence expires. Complete this application at your convenience.

Next, watch the senior driving educational video and review the Official Ministry of Transportation Drivers’ Handbook.

Then, you can call the contact centre between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday at 1-800-396-4233 or 413-235-3579 if you're within the Greater Toronto area to schedule your Senior Driver Group Education session and licence renewal. When you call this number, you will provide your driver’s licence number, any language barriers, and if you need special accommodations.

When you attend the Senior Driver Group Education session, make sure to bring your driver’s licence, renewal application, vision correction needs, and hearing aids (if needed). During the session, you’ll watch the educational video again, complete a vision test, and complete a five-minute in-class screening exercise.

The screening exercise includes three steps:

  1. Drawing a large circle
  2. Arranging numbers so they look like the face of a clock.
  3. Drawing hands on the clock so they show the time as 10 minutes after 11.

After completing the session, you can renew your licence by paying the $36 renewal fee, but keep in mind the ServiceOntario representative may note any problems in your session and ask you first to pass a road test, visit your doctor for a check-up, or visit an optometrist for vision correction.

Fees Associated With Renewing Your Ontario Driver's Licence

Renewing your driver's licence in Ontario, Canada comes with fees, which can vary depending on the licence class and the length of the renewal term.

Renewing a Class G driver's licence — Ontario's most common licence class — requires a $90 fee for a five-year renewal term. This fee covers processing your renewal application and issuing a new driver's licence card.

The fee may be less if you opt for a shorter renewal term, such as a three-year renewal. These fees are always subject to change, so check the latest fee schedule on the Service Ontario website before renewing your Ontario driver's licence.

Aside from the renewal fee, you may encounter other fees when renewing your Ontario driver's licence. For example, if you have any outstanding fines or fees related to driving offences, you must pay those before you can renew your driver's licence. Additionally, if you need to update any information on your driver's licence, such as your address or name, there may be additional fees for processing those changes.

Some exemptions and discounts are available for certain groups of drivers in Ontario. For example, a senior citizen over 76 may be eligible for a reduced driver's licence renewal fee. Additionally, if you are a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, you may be exempt from certain fees associated with renewing your driver's licence.

When You Should Renew Your Driver's Licence in Ontario

In Ontario, there are specific timelines that drivers must follow when renewing their driver's licences. The two important things to remember are that most driver’s licences expire every five years. Two exceptions to this are people over 80, which have two-year licence expiry dates, and those who opted for a shorter licence term — typically to match their health card expiration date.

You can renew your driver’s licence up to 180 days before its expiry date. If you will be out of the province and unable to renew, you can request a one-time extension from ServiceOntario.

Renewing your driver's licence before the expiry date is essential to avoid driving with an expired licence and being subject to penalties.

Can I Renew an Expired Ontario Driver's Licence?

Did you forget to renew your driver’s licence, and it’s now expired? You may still be able to renew it.

If it’s been less than 12 months since your licence expired, you can renew it in person — online renewal is not an option — using the steps above without penalty. However, If it’s been more than 12 months but no more than three years since it expired, you must pay the $90 renewal fee and pass a vision test. If it’s been over three years, you must retake your written and road tests and pass a vision test.

Do I Need a New Photo When I Renew My Driver's Licence?

No, you don’t always need a new photo when renewing your driver’s licence. However, you may need a new one if it’s been 10 years since your last photo. If this is the case or you want a new photo, you must visit a ServiceOntario centre and pay a $35.75 photo fee.

You may wear headwear during the photo for religious or medical purposes only. However, this headwear may not obstruct your face in any way. You may be asked to remove headwear, including glasses, for the photo.

Can I Drive With an Expired Ontario Driver's Licence?

You cannot legally drive with an expired Ontario driver's licence. Driving with an expired licence can result in a fine of $200 to $1,000. It's important to renew your licence before the expiry date to avoid these penalties and ensure you drive legally.

If you renew your licence after it’s expired, you’ll receive a temporary driver's licence validation document. This will prove your licence is valid until you receive your renewed licence within 28 days.

Got a New Licence? How About a Quality Used Car From Clutch

You now know how to renew a driver’s licence in Ontario and are ready to take this relatively straightforward task online or in person. Now that you’re about to get a new driver’s licence, is it also time to consider upgrading your vehicle?

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