HOW TO RENEW OR REPLACE YOUR DRIVER'S LICENSE IN ONTARIO, CANADA

RENEW

If you need to have your Ontario driver’s license renewed, replaced, reinstated or you just need to update your personal information, you might not know how to do it or what options are available to you. The good news is that whether you want to renew or replace your driver’s license in Toronto or a smaller town, the process is the exact same. We outline the various scenarios you can encounter below to help figure out what you need to do.

When It Expired Less Than 1 Year Ago (or Will Soon Expire)?


First, when your license is due for renewal you will receive a notification in the mail around 90 days before the expiration date. If you need to take a driver’s license test or provide any additional documentation during your renewal letter will have additional instructions to follow.

If your driver’s license expired less than 12 months ago, or has yet to expire, you can either renew your license online if you meet the following conditions:

  • You have a full G license and not a G1 or G2
  • You do not need to have your photo or address updated and haven’t updated your address in the last 90 days
  • You do not need to take any tests (vision, written, road) or update a restriction on your vision
  • You do not have any fines that you still owe

To renew your license online you will need your Driver’s License number (red box below), the 7-digit Trillium number (green box), postal code, and a valid credit card to pay the renewal fee.

license

If you are not eligible for online renewal then you will need to visit a ServiceOntario Centre and bring the following:

  • Original ID that has your legal name, date of birth and your signature such as your current driver’s license
  • The renewal letter you received in the mail
  • $81.50 in cash, credit, debit, money order, or personal check for the renewal fee

If you want to find the nearest ServiceOntario Centre you can use their Locations Finder.

Useful Tip! The 7-digit Trillium number contains no dashes or letters and is surrounded by an asterisk on either side. It will either be on the front of the license card (at the bottom and under the Restriction field) or on the back of the card above the scanner strip.

When It Expired More Than 1 Year Ago


If your driver’s license expired more than 12 months ago, you will have to go through a different process to have it renewed. The exact process you have to complete depends on how long your license has been expired:

  • 1 to 3 years — you must take a vision test
  • 3 to 10 years — you must take a vision test, written knowledge test, and the same two road tests you had to pass to get your G2 and G level license
  • 10+ years — you have to complete the entire Graduated Licensing Program from the very beginning as if you were a new driver

If your license expired more than a year ago then you cannot renew it online, and you must visit a DriveTest Centre or the ServiceOntario location in Toronto at College Park. You must bring an original ID with your legal name, date of birth and signature. The cost to renew is the standard $81.50 renewal fee plus the cost to complete any required tests. You can find a list of all the DriveTest Centre locations here.

When my G1 or G2 License Expired?


If you only have a G1 or G2-level driver’s license, you cannot renew it once it has expired. Instead, you will have to restart the Graduated License Program from the very beginning, which includes:

  • Passing a written test to obtain your G1 license then waiting 8-12 months
  • Passing a driving exam to get your G2 license then waiting 12 months
  • Passing another driving exam to get your full G license

For more information you can consult our guide on Ontario’s Graduated License Program.

When I’m More than 80 Years Old?


In Ontario, if you are 80 years old or older then you must complete a new process when renewing your driver’s license. When your renewal is coming up, you will receive a notice in the mail informing you of the upcoming expiration date as well as instructions on the renewal process. You will have to renew their license every 2 years instead of every 5 years, and complete a 90 minute Renewal Session that includes:

  • Completing a vision exam
  • Attending a 45 minute group session covering new traffic laws, road signs, and tips for older drivers
  • Reviewing your driving record
  • Completing a screening exercise

You might also be asked to pass a driving test or follow up with your doctor if there are any new medical concerns. These will depend on the results of your mandatory tests and screening exercises. If you need to also complete these further requirements you will be notified through the mail or have a counselor speak with you at the Renewal Session.

Useful Tip! You can find more details on what is involved in these Renewal Sessions here, including information about the eye exam, screening exercises, and group education session.

When I’m Outside Ontario?


If you are going to be outside of Ontario when your license would normally expire, you can renew it up to 180 days before the expiry date. There are two different ways to renew your license in this scenario, depending on how long your license will have been expired by the time you return to Ontario.

If you will return within 6 months and your license was not suspended, you can get a one-time temporary extension for your current license that lasts 6 months. You can apply online for the extension here, otherwise you will have to mail a signed letter to the Ministry of Transportation along with:

  • Your Driver’s License Number
  • The length of time you have been out of the province and why (travel, business, etc)
  • Your mailing address while you are out of the province
  • A phone number and/or email address where you can be reached
  • A photocopy of your driver’s license card

If you will be returning to Ontario more than 6 months after your license’s expiration date, you will have to call Service Ontario at 416-235-2999. They will run you through alternative options in regards to renewing your license.

Did You Know? If you moved out of the province, or just stopped driving at all, but your Ontario driver’s license will still be valid then you might be eligible for a partial refund of your license fee. You can find out more here.

When My License Was Stolen or Lost?


If you lost your driver’s license or it was stolen, you can get it replaced for a replacement fee. You will have to visit a ServiceOntario location with an ID that has your legal name, date of birth, and signature. They will issue you with a temporary paper driver’s license until you receive your new license card in the mail, which usually takes between 4 and 6 weeks.

If you are outside of Ontario when it was lost or stolen you will have to go through a different process. If you will return to the province within 6 months you can contact ServiceOntario and arrange to have a temporary paper license mailed to you. Once you return to Ontario you will have to visit a ServiceOntario location to have a new license issued. If you will return to the province later than 6 months you will have to pay, through mail, for a new full license card to be mailed to you.

When I Need to Update My Personal Information?


If you need to update your personal information that is on your current license card, you can do so for free. Your address you can change online here, but other types of information require you to visit a ServiceOntario location or a DriveTest location. You should visit a ServiceOntario location if you want to change the following:

  • Your legal name
  • Your date of birth
  • Your height
  • Your sex designation

If you want to change any condition or restriction on your license, such as the need to wear corrective lenses or glasses, you will have to visit a DriveTest Centre and pass any required test. For any change of information you will need to present your current driver’s license along with any supporting documentation necessary for the specific change.

When My License Was Suspended?


If your license was suspended and you want to have it reinstated, there are three steps you need to complete: pay all fines that you still owe, complete all court processes and programs to have the suspension cleared, and then collect all necessary legal documents that prove the suspension was cleared.

After those steps are completed you can get a new license by visiting a DriveTest location along with an ID that has your legal name, date of birth and signature. If your license has been suspended for more than 1 year, you will also have to complete various testing:

  • 1 to 3 years — you must take a vision test
  • 3 to 10 years — you must take a vision test, written knowledge test, and the same two road tests you had to pass to get your G2 and G level license
  • 10+ years — you have to complete the entire Graduated Licensing Program from the very beginning as if you were a new driver

If your license was not suspended for non-medical reasons, you will have to pay a fee as well. Regardless of the reason, you will have to pay any fees for tests you must complete.

Did You Know? You can submit your request for the reinstatement fee using the Ministry of Transport’s online application form here.

Summary


There are many different types of scenarios where you would have to renew, replace, or reinstate your Ontario driver’s license, with a different process for each depending on your exact situation. This guide will hopefully help you figure out what you have to do or at least point you in the right direction. If you have any questions not answered in the guide you can contact a ServiceOntario Centre. Good luck!

You might also be interested in these guides:


Getting Your Ontario Driver’s License
Exchanging Your Foreign Driver’s License
Guide to Ontario Driver’s License Tests