At one time, “pink slip” was a phrase synonymous for losing one’s job, as final paperwork was typed on pink paper and included with a final paycheque. Now, it has a far more benign definition and it’s a much more important piece of paper. When it comes to your pink slip nowadays, it’s usually proof that your car is carrying the auto insurance required to drive legally on Ontario roads.
Do You Need a Pink Slip to Drive Your Car?
Particularly in the Internet age, you can set up and purchase car insurance without actually visiting your insurance company or broker. Whether you call or submit data online, insurance providers can readily provide coverage when you purchase a car. This can be done quickly with a basic amount of information, and then sorted in more detail after you’ve taken possession of your car.
Your insurer can issue a temporary pink slip, also known as a liability card, valid for 30 days, while the company gets your permanent card ready. It’s called a liability card because it shows proof that the vehicle indicated on it carries the minimum amount of third party liability insurance required by the Ontario government.
Once you have a policy number from the insurance company, you can notify the car dealer that you have insurance, and with the policy number, the dealer may be able to complete registration. Despite all this ability to arrange your coverage remotely, it’s up to you to get a copy before you pick up your vehicle.
How Is the Liability Card Used?
Before you can drive your car in Ontario, you need three things to be in or on your car, and they are connected even before that, as you acquire each. There’s a definite running order.
The pink slip comes first. You must have it while you’re driving to prove that your car is insured to the minimum level of the law. Without the pink slip, you will not be able to register the purchase of your vehicle. This is the green document commonly referred to as your ownership. It, too, must be in the car with you when you’re driving. It verifies that you are the legal owner of the vehicle in case of a traffic stop. You also need to have your ownership to purchase license plates or validation stickers for license plates, and of course these must be attached to your vehicle when you’re on Ontario roads.
Any time you change, update or renew your insurance, your company will likely issue a new pink slip. It’s important to have the current slip in your car. Even if your policy number doesn’t change, the new pink slip represents your updated coverage and you’re responsible under the Ontario Auto Insurance Consumer’s Bill of Rights to have current proof of insurance as you drive. If your pink slip is lost or damaged, contact your insurer immediately to obtain another.