In the age of “going paperless,” Ontario’s Ministry of Government and Consumer Services has introduced a modern digital model for optional key renewal reminders. Eligible residents can now choose to have their licence plate sticker, driver’s licence and Ontario health card renewal reminders sent digitally. You can choose to be reminded by way of email, SMS/text or automated voicemail reminders, 30 and 60 days in advance of their renewal date. (Click here to sign up for ServiceOntario digital renewal reminders!)
In September, the province reinstated renewal requirements for driver’s licences, licence plate stickers, Ontario photo cards, Ontario health cards and other products that were temporarily extended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’ve been affected, you will receive a final letter in the mail alerting you that it’s time to renew.
The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services confirmed that residents with the aforementioned documents that are set to expire on or after March 1, 2022 will no longer be mailed paper renewal notices and will instead receive digital reminders. “To serve Ontarians better, our government has introduced this fast and user-friendly option that will help Ontarians stay on top of the renewal dates for their driver’s licences, licence plate stickers and health cards,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Government and Consumer Services.
Once you receive the ServiceOntario digital renewal reminders, Ontarians can then renew these documents through ServiceOntario.ca, where over 40 transaction services are available online, 24/7.
The move is said to save $29 million over five years in postage costs, and it will also save paper. The government issued a news release on Thursday to highlight the benefits of the new, “greener” system. “Further, it will benefit the environment by saving approximately 80 million pieces of paper – roughly 16,000 boxes or 362 tonnes – over five years, reducing unnecessary waste and protecting our forests.”
Mr. Romano went on to explain improvements to in-person visits as well. “For those Ontarians who must complete their transactions in person, ServiceOntario has introduced online appointment booking for many of its busy locations to ensure people aren’t waiting unnecessarily in lines.”
Who is eligible for digital renewal reminders?
Digital renewal reminders will be sent to you if you are currently enrolled in the old email system. You will be automatically migrated to the new digital platform and notified via email. You will also be afforded the opportunity to choose the products to receive reminders for:
- Drivers who have any combination of class G or M (Class types: M, G, or a combination of G/M, G1/M, G2/M, M1/G, M2/G) are eligible to sign up for digital reminders
- Registrants under ownership type as ‘Individuals’ (i.e. vehicle must be owned by an individual vs. a company)
- Photo health card holders aged 16 and older with a valid card
Digital renewal reminders will not be sent to you if:
- An individual’s driver’s license is suspended after they sign up for digital reminders
- An individual’s driver’s license was already renewed at least 30 days prior to signing up
- The license plate sticker status changes from individual to joint or non-individual after they sign up
- The vehicle plate sticker is reported to be not attached to the vehicle after an individual signs up for digital reminders
- An individual’s plate sticker was renewed at least 30 days prior to signing up
- The health card was not valid at the time the notice would be sent, including if it was reported lost or stolen
- An individual’s health card was renewed at least 30 days before they signed up for digital reminders
- Digital reminders set-up is too close to the expiry date (i.e., less than 30 days before expiry)
Some Ontarians will continue to receive paper renewal letters in the mail for these products, such as individuals with driver’s licence class A, B, C, D, E, or F, and those individuals that have jointly-owned vehicles.
For a full list of exceptions, visit Ontario.ca/Reminders.
This is one of several steps the Ontario government is taking to make more services digital. “Our government is taking another big step in our digital-first approach by shifting away from snail mail to a modern alternative, saving taxpayer dollars and eliminating excess paper waste,” stated Minister of Government and Consumer Services Ross Romano.
You can register here to receive courtesy digital renewal reminders by email, text message and/or phone.