Proof of car insurance is a key step in the vehicle registration process in Ontario, and there is no way to register a car without insurance to obtain a vehicle ownership green card without first obtaining an insurance pink slip.
Vehicle Registration in Ontario
Before you can drive a car on roads in the province, you must have three pieces of authorization and your car must meet two conditions. These are:
- The car must be insured and a pink certificate of insurance must be obtained as proof
- You must have an ownership permit that identifies you as the owner of the car
- The car must have licence plates with up-to-date validation stickers
- The car must meet basic safety standards as checked by a qualified mechanic
- The car must meet provincial emissions standards by passing Drive Clean testing
Ontario uses a regulated private insurance system with minimum amounts of insurance required by law. All cars on the road must be insured for at least $200,000 of third-party liability coverage. A full $1 million in coverage is quite common and many insurers will recommend this as a practical amount. In addition, you can add collision, comprehensive and a host of other options to enhance your coverage. Once you’ve chosen your insurance package and paid your premium, the insurance company will issue a pink slip, proof that your vehicle is insured. Note that this pink slip has your car’s vehicle identification number on it. This insurance is only valid for this vehicle and it cannot be transferred.
Register a Car
To obtain an ownership registration, you need the following:
- Your driver’s licence
- A completed used vehicle information package
- Proof of the vehicle’s purchase, such as a receipt or bill of sale
- Your pink insurance slip for that car
- The vehicle permit from the original owner
Car Licence Sticker
Ontario car licence plates are validated by placing a sticker on a corner of the rear plate. This sticker displays the year and month of expiry, so it’s easy for police to spot violators. In most cases, the month will be that of the car owner’s birthday. As well as all the other insurance and ownership proofs, you must have two vehicle certifications.
The Safety Standards certificate is obtained from a government approved Motor Vehicle Inspection Station, usually identified by a green and white sign. This shows that the mechanic completing the safety inspection is a certified inspector, knowledgeable in the minimum vehicle safety standards required to declare a car fit for driving in Ontario.
The Drive Clean Emissions test checks your car for greenhouse gas emissions exceeding Ontario standards. This is generally required for vehicles seven years or older, once every two years. Drive Clean certified service centres aren’t as common as Motor Vehicle Inspection Stations. You can look up Drive Clean service centres online here.