Automotive

ONTARIO - Driving private used vehicle purchase home with current plates

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 12th, 2020 10:38 am
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
2964 posts
1947 upvotes
Toronto

ONTARIO - Driving private used vehicle purchase home with current plates

I've read online that you can use the plates from your old car (parked/sold/scrapped etc) to drive another car home that you've purchased. Suggests it can be driven for 6 days on the old plates.

https://www.toronto.com/news-story/7043 ... -car-home/

I'm looking at buying a used car from a private seller, over an hour away. Will be doing the deal in the evening, so no opportunity to take the paperwork to a local MTO to get fresh plates/sticker.

I'll have the ownership signed over, UVIP, Safety Cert, my own insurance on the new car. Everything needed to transfer ownership, pay HST and get new plates.

A call to MTO landed me with an incredibly helpful agent who actually dug up a Covid related email and quoted it to me, along with her first name and Agent ID. It states that people can do exactly that - use their existing plates from the same class of vehicle to drive a new vehicle. It was written May 6, while I guess MTO offices were still closed.

The article above suggests this has always been the case, but does not cite the Highway Traffic Act. I've searched with no luck.

I'm going to do it - take my current plates with valid sticker, and drive the car home if I buy it to save myself a second trip. However, it would be nice to have the HTA section that specifies this is allowed in the event I'm pulled over, or worse in some accident and insurance becomes an issue.

Anybody have the specifics on this?
14 replies
Sr. Member
Oct 22, 2006
626 posts
271 upvotes
I don't know the exact regulations, but i suspect Scraped or Sold would be valid to use it for 6 days (10 days in some provinces). You would need a proof of that. I don't think you can use Parked plates as everyone would do that with season cars.

You could interpret the meaning of 'Sold' as it doesn't need to be transferred i would say. Check with the insurance company.
Deal Addict
Nov 12, 2004
2188 posts
829 upvotes
Hometown
Try not to drive a route that is not patrolled by local Barney Fife's they tend not to know or care about all the nuances of driving a vehicle where the plates have not been registered to it. If their camera says pull you over then that is all they care about....
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2004
27702 posts
8067 upvotes
Plates are one thing, insurance is another. You will also need insurance on the vehicle in order to drive it--don't forget that.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
2964 posts
1947 upvotes
Toronto
From my OP: ...my own insurance on the new car.

Car is safe at home now and I'll get to the MTO office tomorrow for new plates for it.

I think this is the key section, although I haven't traced back all the references. I might ask at MTO tomorrow just to confirm for future use, but this coincides with the 6 days mentioned in the article I found and what the MTO agent told me.

Temporary use of plates
(3) Despite section 12, a person to whom number plates have been issued under subsection 7 (7) for a vehicle the person no longer owns or leases may affix the number plates to a similar class of vehicle that the person owns or leases where it is done in accordance with the prescribed requirements. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 11 (3).

Idem
(4) Despite section 7 and clauses 12 (1) (d) and (e), a person may drive a motor vehicle or draw a trailer on a highway within six days after becoming the owner of the motor vehicle or trailer where the person complies with the prescribed requirements. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 11 (4).
Temp. Banned
Apr 5, 2013
4848 posts
1931 upvotes
markham
ES_Revenge wrote: Plates are one thing, insurance is another. You will also need insurance on the vehicle in order to drive it--don't forget that.
dont know about current day specifically...but going back a few years,,,my insurance would automatically cover a bought vehicle for up to 30 days provided the vehicle was previously was licenced insured and roadworthy (not branded)...they said i didnt even need to call
Jr. Member
Sep 13, 2008
176 posts
43 upvotes
cardguy wrote: dont know about current day specifically...but going back a few years,,,my insurance would automatically cover a bought vehicle for up to 30 days provided the vehicle was previously was licenced insured and roadworthy (not branded)...they said i didnt even need to call
Can someone familiar with insurance please comment on this? I'm buying a motorcycle and wanted to modify few things before inspection/registration. Anyways there is a wait time due to Covid. Wondering if I have to modify the insurance to even drive it home? I'm actually replacing the vehicle, meaning the insurance on current vehicle will cancel. Otherwise insurance wants double the money to have it effective on both vehicles though I wont be driving the second other than bringing home for now. (Same day as buying/UVIP transfer date).
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
2964 posts
1947 upvotes
Toronto
I've never heard of this insurance coverage and the only answer that means anything is what your insurance company tells you. Call them.

That being said, you can insure any vehicle you have a VIN for - you don't have to own it. I got the VIN for the car I just bought on the CarFAX report. Insured it online with Desjardins, went and bought the car.

If I hadn't bought the car, I would have just cancelled the policy and paid the 1 day of coverage. About $4.
Jr. Member
Sep 13, 2008
176 posts
43 upvotes
Called up later in the day and another agent was able to help properly and doing exactly what you said. Coverage started with VIN and might cancel within the day if I don't buy the vehicle. Also prorated instead of full year commitment. Anyways planning to cancel the insurance on the first vehicle when its sold. Thank you again for the reply.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 4, 2004
5724 posts
1783 upvotes
Ottawa
FWIW, I had to call Ontario Ministry of Transport today (for something unrelated) but while I was on the phone, I asked and I was told that COVID or NO COVID, you absolutely cannot take plates from one vehicle and simply put them another vehicle until they are transferred properly through ServiceOntario.

Also, I have asked my insurance broker (Cooperators) on more than 1 occasion and he told me that your insurance is automatically extended for up to 14 days on any new vehicle you purchase. I was told the reason is that this allows purchasing a vehicle on the weekend and buying able to have insurance immediately (that said, I always call or email my broker to explicitly add coverage to any new vehicle I acquire).
Deal Addict
Oct 13, 2014
2048 posts
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Just Moved To Somewh…
michelb wrote: FWIW, I had to call Ontario Ministry of Transport today (for something unrelated) but while I was on the phone, I asked and I was told that COVID or NO COVID, you absolutely cannot take plates from one vehicle and simply put them another vehicle until they are transferred properly through ServiceOntario.
What was the exact question you put the agent at MVB? The legal requirements explicitly state that the old plates can be used, if they are still current and the vehicle is no longer leased or owned by the R.O. Keep in mind that depending which branch of Service Ontario you go to most are sub-contracted private agencies doing this work for the government and really have no legal knowledge.
“Before one can have a Clue they must first accumulate 10 Inklings. That said, all it takes is one bad post and you erase all Inklings & Clues accumulated'"
Deal Fanatic
Jul 4, 2004
5724 posts
1783 upvotes
Ottawa
rcmpvet wrote: What was the exact question you put the agent at MVB? The legal requirements explicitly state that the old plates can be used, if they are still current and the vehicle is no longer leased or owned by the R.O. Keep in mind that depending which branch of Service Ontario you go to most are sub-contracted private agencies doing this work for the government and really have no legal knowledge.
I called Service Ontario on the number on their website (1-800-387-3445 for outside Toronto) and I asked "I heard that because of COVID and reduced hours at ServiceOntario locations you were allowing buyers of new vehicles to take the plate off their old vehicle and put it on a replacement vehicle instead of requiring them to go to ServiceOntario and do the transfer first." They replied: "This is absolutely false and you CANNOT put plates that are registered on another vehicle even temporarily and if you do and you are caught, you will get ticketed. Plates have to be registered on the specific vehicle (either new plates or old plates that are transferred) before you can use them on a vehicle."

I'm not sure which legal requirements you are referring to so can't comment on that.

Just so it's clear, I didn't call a ServiceOntario location, I called ServiceOntario itself (https://www.ontario.ca/page/temporary-l ... te-sticker - phone number is in the Contact Us section at the bottom of the page). It's certainly possible that there's a new rule that the person wasn't aware of but I believe I was speaking to someone in "Vehicle Licensing".
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 1, 2005
5524 posts
3102 upvotes
Toronto
michelb wrote: I called Service Ontario on the number on their website (1-800-387-3445 for outside Toronto) and I asked "I heard that because of COVID and reduced hours at ServiceOntario locations you were allowing buyers of new vehicles to take the plate off their old vehicle and put it on a replacement vehicle instead of requiring them to go to ServiceOntario and do the transfer first." They replied: "This is absolutely false and you CANNOT put plates that are registered on another vehicle even temporarily and if you do and you are caught, you will get ticketed. Plates have to be registered on the specific vehicle (either new plates or old plates that are transferred) before you can use them on a vehicle."

I'm not sure which legal requirements you are referring to so can't comment on that.

Just so it's clear, I didn't call a ServiceOntario location, I called ServiceOntario itself (https://www.ontario.ca/page/temporary-l ... te-sticker - phone number is in the Contact Us section at the bottom of the page). It's certainly possible that there's a new rule that the person wasn't aware of but I believe I was speaking to someone in "Vehicle Licensing".
You got the wrong answer because you asked the wrong question.

The regulation has been in place long before Covid, so it has nothing to do with it, and you didn't specifically quote the sections in the HTA for clarification.
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Deal Addict
Oct 13, 2014
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Just Moved To Somewh…
michelb wrote: They replied: "This is absolutely false and you CANNOT put plates that are registered on another vehicle even temporarily and if you do and you are caught, you will get ticketed. Plates have to be registered on the specific vehicle (either new plates or old plates that are transferred) before you can use them on a vehicle."

I'm not sure which legal requirements you are referring to so can't comment on that.
Thank you for the prompt response. To be clear their answer appeared to be very specific "CANNOT put plates that are registered on another vehicle even temporarily" . If that vehicle(old) is sold or the lease expired and possession is now with someone else then that vehicle is no longer registered. As to which legal requirements I refer to is here and was previously posted by @torontotim however I have included the actual link:

Temporary use of plates

(3) Despite section 12, a person to whom number plates have been issued under subsection 7 (7) for a vehicle the person no longer owns or leases may affix the number plates to a similar class of vehicle that the person owns or leases where it is done in accordance with the prescribed requirements. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 11 (3). https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90h08#BK18

Section 7(7) referenced in the applicable section just refers to the powers of the Ministry to issue plates. and Section 12 is in the link I provided, however due to the length I will not cut & paste. Just note the phrase "Despite section 12" is telling you to ignore the provisions of Section 12 for this specific purpose. Section 11 (4) specifically states that the clause of Section 12(1) (d) & (e) are ignored for this purpose.

That is the best I can explain this in layman's terms.Smiling Face With Open Mouth

EDIT The above is not to say you would not be charged by the police, they will just let the courts decide. Reasoning for this is as follows:
In the past when the police chose to issue a warning/request to later provide proof of proper registration they have found that the compliance rate was extremely low whereby they then had to track down the person and essentially waste time to verify compliance or issue a summons. Now they just issue the violation/summons and let the person bring proof to the courts to settle the matter. Much more efficient use of their time.
“Before one can have a Clue they must first accumulate 10 Inklings. That said, all it takes is one bad post and you erase all Inklings & Clues accumulated'"

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