Vehicle registration plates of Ontario
The province of Ontario first required its residents to register their vehicles and display licence plates in 1903. Along with regular series plates, the province also offers graphic plates and vanity plates with a maximum of 8 digits. Plates are currently issued by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
The symbol of a crown, representing the Crown of Canada, has appeared on almost all Ontario licence plates since 1937, when it was first used to commemorate the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Exceptions include the 1951 plates, and farm series plates issued in the 1980s and '90s. Toronto politician and Orange Order leader Leslie Saunders led protests against a proposal to remove the crown in 1948, a decision the government overturned.
Passenger plates 1950 to present
In 1956, the U.S. states and Canadian provinces came to an agreement with the Automobile Manufacturers Association that standardized the size for licence plates for vehicles, except those for motorcycles, at six inches in height by twelve inches in width, with standardized mounting holes. The 1955 (dated 1956) issue was the first Ontario licence plate that complied with these standards
All Ontario licence plates issued since 1972 are still valid for display today, provided they have been continuously registered.
Green vehicle plates 2010 to present
Serial numbers reserved for government officials
|This section requires expansion. (December 2010)|
|Serial(s)||Political Office of Holder(s)||Level of Government|
|CAN-001||Prime Minister of Canada||Federal|
|CAN-002 to CAN-999||Federal Cabinet Ministers||Federal|
|SEN-001 to SEN-999||Members of the Senate||Federal|
|MHC-001 to MHC-999||Members of the House of Commons||Federal|
|FCJ-001 to FCJ-999||Federal Court Judges||Federal|
|FDA-001 to FDZ-999||Federally Owned Vehicles||Federal|
|ONT-001||Premier of Ontario||Provincial|
|ONT-002 to ONT-999||Provincial Cabinet Ministers||Provincial|
|MPP-001 to MPP-999||Members of Provincial Parliament||Provincial|
|SCO-001 to SCO-999||Ontario Superior Court of Justice||Provincial|
|PJO-001 to PJO-999||Ontario Provincial Judges||Provincial|
Commercial Plates 1980 to present
General registration licence plates
In Ontario, motor vehicle dealers licenced under the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act use a single portable plate with the word "DEALER" on the left side and red alpha-numeric characters on a white background. It is for exclusive use by motor vehicle dealers only on motor vehicles owned as part of the dealer's inventory of vehicles for sale. It may also be used for private use vehicles that are owned as part of the dealer's inventory of vehicles for sale.
Service providers, including anyone who repairs, customizes, modifies, manufactures or transports motor vehicles or trailers use yellow and black DLR series plates (Dealer and Service Plate).
A service plate may be used:
- on a trailer or motor vehicle other than a motorcycle or motor-assisted bicycle for purposes related to the repair, road testing, customization or modification of the vehicle, if the vehicle is in the possession of the person to whom the service plate is issued, or
- for the purpose of transporting the vehicle by a person engaged in the business of transporting vehicles, or
- for purposes related to the manufacturing or sale of a trailer, or
- for the purpose of towing the vehicle by a person engaged in the business of transporting vehicles, or
- to tow a vehicle to a location where its load will be removed or to an impound facility.
Private use of motor vehicles or trailers with a service plate is not permitted.
- Leslie Howard Saunders. An Orangeman in public life: the memoirs of Leslie Howard Saunders. Britannia Printers, 1980 pg. 97