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car license plate

A damaged license plate might not seem like a big deal, but it certainly is a problem for the law. License plates work as a car’s official identification, and every moving vehicle in every country is required to have one.

If a license plate has been damaged, then it will need to be replaced. The cost for this service is $59, and drivers must bring the following information to obtain one:

  • Identification
  • Vehicle permit
  • Damaged plates
  • Proof of insurance

Those who do not have a vehicle permit can be issued another one at a Service Ontario center. This service will require an extra charge.

Bubbling License Plates  


A license plate that is bubbling will have to be replaced at a Service Ontario center.

Drivers should note that even if only one license plate is bubbling, they will still need to bring in both plates for replacement.

Keep an eye on license plates, to ensure that they are in their best condition. If they are falling apart, drivers might notice signs such as:

  • Peeling around the license plate
  • Peeling/bubbling around the letter or numbers, making them hard to read
  • Paint is fading or worn off making the plate number hard to read

Drivers who notice any of these visual problems will need to bring the following items to a Service Ontario location:

  • Identification
  • Proof of insurance from Ontario license provider
  • Vehicle permit

Peeling License Plates 

Peeling license plates are hard to see and often unidentifiable. In these cases, it is required that the owner of the vehicle has the plate replaced.

Keep in mind, that any plate that is younger than 5 years old will be replaced for free. Unfortunately, peeling plates that are older than 5 years will have to be replaced and paid for by the motorist.

The process of replacing peeling plates is rather fascinating, especially in the province of Ontario.

Every single license plate in Ontario is made by a company known as Trilcor Industries. It was established in 1991, and the name comes from a combination of “Trillium” and “corrections”.

All of the plates are made by prisoners who reside at the Central East Correctional Center in Lindsay. Making the plates is a five-step process, and the plates are made for Ontario vehicles only.

The cost to make the plates is unknown. However, drivers can expect to pay $40 to have the peeling plate replaced. Later this year, that price is expected to hike up to $50 per plate.

Anyone with a personalized plate will have to pay significantly more, with prices set at $310 each. It’s ideal to keep in mind, that plates need to match. This means that if one plate is being replaced, the other one will need to be replaced as well.

Cost to Replace a Lost License Plate

License Plate

License plates that have been lost can also be replaced at a Service Ontario center. Similar to a damaged plate, the cost is $59.

The following items will need to be presented at the center:

  • Identification
  • Valid insurance
  • Other plate (if possible)
  • Vehicle permit
  • Replacement declaration, completed

If a driver’s license plates have been stolen, then the same procedure will take place. The cost to replace the plates is $59 each, and drivers will need to bring the same items.

Personalized Plates

Personalized plates have a much longer waiting time for replacement, and they cost much more to replace as well. While a driver waits for their unique plates, they will be given generic license plates to substitute.

It can take up to 6 months for personalized plates to be replaced.

At the time that the plates arrive at a Service Ontario center, the driver will be notified. They will be required to come into the center with the following information:

  • Interim plates
  • Vehicle and plate portions of permit-for interim plates
  • Insurance company name and policy number
  • Replacement plates notification letter
  • A completed and signed application for registration

The cost to replace a personalized plate is approximately $99, while the cost to replace a graphic license plate is approximately $54.

What You Need to Get a License Plate in Ontario  


Persons who are seeking a new license plate for their cars will need to have the vehicle registered first. Cars that have been purchased new from the dealership usually have their registration completed by the dealer.

However, a person who has purchased a used car will have the register the car themselves within six days of the sale.

The following are the things a person will need, in order to obtain a license plate:

  • Driver’s license or RIN
  • Proof of purchase
  • Proof of insurance from an Ontario license company
  • The original vehicle permit from the seller and completed transfer portion
  • Plate portion of the permit, if the vehicle already has a license plate

The cost to obtain a vehicle permit is $32, while the price of a license place with a permit is $59.


Drivers who like to take care of their cars will often find time to clean their car as well as the license plate. This is a great idea since it can help to keep the plates in top condition and free of bubbling, peeling and fading.

For those who don’t know how there are some steps to cleaning license plates that should be followed. By using the right materials and cleaners, drivers can avoid doing more harm than good to their plates over time.

Oftentimes, road patrol officers will pull cars over for having license plates that are hard to see. To avoid this kind of situation, it’s ideal to clean license plates as often as necessary or to have them replaced as soon as it’s needed.

About the Author: Ashley Miller

Ashley is an insurance content professional and very knowledgeable on all related subjects. Ashley has over 12 years of insurance content writing experience working with various insurance companies throughout her career.