If your licence plate looks like this, you are advised to visit a Service Ontario location to have it replaced.
My Ontario licence plate is peeling. What should I do?
If your licence plate is less than five years old, they will replace it free
Ontario licence plates must be kept clean and free of obstruction by any device that prevents digits from being accurately photographed, under Section 13(1) of the Highway Traffic Act. But what should you do if the outer layer of your plate is bubbling or peeling, making it difficult to read?
We asked the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services why “delamination” of licence plates appears to be more common and what’s being done about it. Ministry spokesperson Harry Malhi responded to our query.
Why are licence plates bubbling or peeling?
“The government is aware that some individuals have experienced an issue with the reflective lamination bubbling or peeling off of their current licence plates. According to independent studies that examined the delamination issue and the root cause of plate delamination, several factors, like climate, pH extremes, cleaners used in industrial car washes, and free chloride ions may affect the longevity of the plates,” Malhi said.
What are the driver’s responsibilities?
“Customers should visit a ServiceOntario centre if peeling has caused the characters on the plate to not be plainly visible,” said Malhi. For example, if the laminate is worn off in some areas of the plate or if there is bubbling around the characters, the plate should be replaced.
What is the cost of replacement licence plates?
Current licence plates are guaranteed by the manufacturer for up to five years, said Malhi. For plates older than five years, the cost is $59.
What do I need to get new plates?
Visit a ServiceOntario location with your identification, proof of insurance, the original vehicle permit (plate and vehicle portion) and the damaged plates (both front and rear).
What is being done to reduce delamination?
“The province is enhancing the quality, design and production of licence plates at no cost to taxpayers,” said Malhi. Starting Feb. 1, 2020, all new passenger and commercial licence plates issued will have the new design. Ontarians will be able to voluntarily purchase the new licence plate.
Malhi said the new licence plate is a materially enhanced, effective product that will last longer. It uses high definition, heavy-duty sheeting that is stronger, brighter and lasts longer than current plates.
Licence vs. license
Licence isn’t used in American English, and license is both a noun and a verb. For example, one who is licensed to drive has a driver’s license. In all the other main varieties of English, licence is the noun, and license is the verb. So, for instance, one who is licensed to perform dental surgery has a dental surgeon’s licence.
In both the UK and the US, license is a verb, as in, “I am licensed to drive.” However, in the United States, it can be used as a noun, as in, “I have a driver’s license.”
Licence, on the other hand, is a strictly British usage. In the UK, English speakers use licence as a noun, in the same way that Americans use license as a noun.
So, where do Canadians come in? Do we side with Americans as we do with tire and curb, or do we side with the British as we do with colour and metre?
Well, in this case, in Canada, we use “licence” as a noun and “license” as a verb, just like the Brits.
Now, keep in mind, as with some other words, this usage is changing. Just as how the American spelling of color and pronunciation of zee are starting to gain popularity in Canada, so is the American usage of license. In time, Canadians may end up favouring the simpler approach.
But for now, in Canada, use licence as a noun and license as a verb. An easy way to remember it is that your driver’s licence is a card, and licence and card both contain a C. Also, Canada starts with a C, and we use licence, which also has a C.
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