Police give drivers tickets for expired licence plates despite it not being allowed

TORONTO — Some Ontario drivers were surprised to get a $110 ticket for having an expired licence plate sticker, even though the Ontario government says it was okay to have one.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep people out of Service Ontario offices, the province’s Ministry of Transportation has said licence plate stickers that expired on or after March 1 will remain valid until further notice.

But it seems not all police forces in the province got the message.

“I have also talked to people who have been charged by officers who were not aware of this extended validation period,” Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said.

Police officers in Hamilton and in York Region have also handed out the tickets for having an expired licence plate, which is a $110 fine.

A spokesperson for York Regional Police told CTV News that officers “issued 58 tickets for licence plate stickers that expired on or after March 1, 2020. Unfortunately, these tickets were issued in error.”

Schmidt says it’s important for all officers to be aware that the ministry is allowing vehicle owners to drive with an expired sticker at this time.

“They (Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation) have extended the period of validity, so anyone with a sticker that has expired after March 2020 should know their sticker is still valid even today.”

Anyone who has been issued a ticket incorrectly can have it withdrawn or dispute it in court. If the ticket was already paid they can seek a refund.

Drivers with licence plate stickers that expired prior to March 2020 can still face a fine.

Some drivers say they want to get their stickers now so they won’t have to worry about it later.

Elisabete Silva was at a Service Ontario office in Mississauga to update her expired licence sticker.

“I wanted to get it done because it is my obligation as a driver to get it renewed,” Silva said.

Expired stickers will remain valid until there is an update from the ministry of transportation. There have also been extensions put in place for drivers licence, health card and Ontario photo card renewals.

When it comes to your licence plate sticker, you don’t have to stand in line as you can order your sticker through the Service Ontario website.

Commercial vehicles weighing more than 3,000 kilograms must be registered in person at a Service Ontario centre.

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