Ontario to send digital reminders over mail for renewing driver’s licence, stickers, health cards

Service Ontario office in Kingston, Ont., on March 23, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Lars Hagberg

The Ontario government says it is shifting to digital alerts from paper or mailed out notices when it comes to reminding residents to renew their driver’s licence, licence plate stickers or health cards.

The provincial government said the move to digitize the reminder system will save up to $29 million over five years in postage and mailing costs.

“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,” the government said in a news release Thursday.

Ontarians can sign up for courtesy renewal reminders via email, text, and/or phone.

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The government had already provided a digital option for reminders 30 and 60 days in advance of the expiry date.

Typically, a renewal notice is not required to renew IDs with Service Ontario as most driver’s licenses, plate stickers and health cards expire on a person’s birthday, the government said.

There will be exceptions made for people over the age of 70 who will continue to receive mailed notices, among other groups.

Exemptions for driver’s licence holders and vehicle owners

Paper renewal notices for driver’s licence holders and vehicle owners will continue for:

  • Individuals aged 70 years and older.
  • Individuals with a driver’s licence class A, B, C, D, E, or F.
  • Individuals with endorsements that require additional testing (i.e airbrake).
  • Individuals who have a licence plate sticker associated with a company/fleet vehicle.
  • Individuals who have jointly owned vehicles.
  • Heavy Commercial Vehicles.

Exemptions for health card holders

Paper renewal notices for health card holders will continue for:

  • Individuals age 16 and under.
  • Individuals age 70 and above.
  • Individuals living in remote locations or isolated communities (e.g. no in-person ServiceOntario locations are available) and where renewals are done by mail with the assistance of nursing stations.
  • Individuals residing in a publicly funded long-term care facility where renewals are done via fax or by mail.
  • Individuals with a health card that has a definite end date, temporary foreign workers, homeless, foreign clergy, migrant farm workers, temporary resident permit holders, applicant for permanent resident, applicant for citizenship, or where coverage has otherwise been ended where renewals are done at public offices only and need to provide additional documents in order to renew.

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