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Can I Drive a Used Car I Just Bought Without Plates in Ontario - Greenway Auto Recycling

Can I drive a Used Car I just bought without plates in Ontario?

September 8, 2023

Buying a used car comes with its share of exhilaration and queries. In the midst of all the enthusiasm, one question frequently asked is, “Can I drive a used car I just bought without plates in Ontario?”

In Ontario, like in many other jurisdictions, there are specific regulations in place for driving a newly purchased used car without plates. To address this critical query comprehensively, we need to unpack several aspects, including temporary plates, insurance, and legal prerequisites before you can finally hit the road with your new acquisition.

Let’s delve deeper into the intricacies to ensure that you enjoy a smooth ride without facing any legal hurdles.

Understanding the Rules: Temporary and Permanent Plates

In the province of Ontario, driving a car without plates is generally illegal. The law mandates that a vehicle must be registered and insured before it can be driven on the road. However, there are mechanisms in place that allow a buyer to legally drive their newly purchased car home or to the ServiceOntario centre for registration.

Temporary Plates

Temporary plates come to the rescue when you find yourself in a situation where you have just bought a used car and are yet to receive your permanent plates. These are available from ServiceOntario and are valid for a period of ten days from the date of issue. To obtain these, you must provide:

  • Proof of insurance
  • Proof of ownership or a signed bill of sale
  • The current odometer reading

Permanent Plates

After successfully transferring the ownership of the vehicle, the next step is to acquire permanent plates. This process includes presenting the necessary documents and paying the applicable fees at the ServiceOntario centre.

Navigating Through the Insurance Maze

Before you can even think of plates, it is essential to sort out the insurance. Driving without a valid insurance policy is a serious offense in Ontario, and it can result in significant fines.

Insurance Before Plates

You would need to purchase an insurance policy before getting your vehicle plated. The insurance policy must be from a company licensed to operate in Ontario.

Ensuring Coverage during Transfer

When transferring ownership, ensure the vehicle remains insured to avoid potential gaps in coverage, which can lead to penalties. Coordinate with the seller to ensure continuous insurance coverage during the transfer process.

Deciphering the Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP)

The UVIP is a crucial document in the purchase process. The seller is legally obligated to provide this package, which contains essential details about the vehicle’s history and is imperative for transferring ownership.

What is Inside the UVIP?

The UVIP contains a plethora of information, including:

  • The vehicle’s description
  • Registration history in Ontario
  • Outstanding debts on the vehicle
  • Wholesale and retail values for the vehicle’s make and model
  • Odometer readings

Getting the UVIP

In scenarios where the seller does not provide the UVIP, the buyer can obtain it from any ServiceOntario centre by providing the vehicle’s VIN or plate number.

The Golden Six-Day Rule for Transfer of Ownership

One of the pivotal regulations to remember is the six-day rule for transferring the ownership. Both the seller and the buyer are mandated to ensure the transfer of ownership is completed within six days from the sale date.

Documents Required

To adhere to this rule, the following documents are generally required:

  • The UVIP
  • A signed bill of sale
  • A valid Safety Standards Certificate

What Happens in Case of Delays?

In case the transfer is not completed within six days, you might encounter complications, including potential fines.

Understanding the Safety Standards Certificate (SSC)

An SSC is mandatory to register a newly purchased used vehicle. Let’s delve into the details of obtaining this certificate and why it is necessary.

Validity of the SSC

The SSC is valid for 36 days from the issue date, and it certifies that the vehicle met the minimum safety standards on the date the certificate was issued.

Inspection Points

During the inspection for the certificate, several points are checked, including but not limited to:

  • The vehicle’s braking system
  • Steering mechanism
  • Lights and signals
  • Fuel system


As we conclude, it becomes evidently clear that driving a newly purchased used car without plates in Ontario is not permissible under the law. The province has put forth a structured process that involves procuring temporary plates initially, followed by permanent plates once the transfer of ownership is consummated. The journey to becoming a legitimate car owner includes adhering to the golden six-day rule for the transfer of ownership, understanding the indispensability of the UVIP, and navigating the complexities of obtaining the right insurance coverage.

Furthermore, the acquisition of a Safety Standards Certificate stands as testimony to the vehicle’s adherence to the minimum safety requirements, thereby ensuring your safety on the roads of Ontario.

In the excitement of owning a new car, it can be tempting to overlook these rules. However, strict adherence to the province’s regulations not only safeguards you against potential legal complications but also promises a safe and secured driving experience in your new car.

As we navigate the road of understanding the rules of driving a used car without plates in Ontario, we understand that it is a journey that involves several meticulous steps designed to ensure your safety and adherence to the law.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

In our journey to explore the avenues of driving a used car without plates in Ontario, several questions might arise. Let’s address some of the frequently asked questions to help you navigate this path seamlessly.

1.      Can I drive a used car I bought without plates in Ontario?

No, driving a used car without plates is not allowed in Ontario. You need to get temporary plates for the interim period until you secure permanent plates.

2.      How can I get temporary plates in Ontario?

To get temporary plates, visit a ServiceOntario centre with the necessary documents such as proof of insurance, a signed bill of sale, and the current odometer reading.

3.      What is the role of a Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP) in the transfer process?

The UVIP contains vital information about the vehicle’s history and is essential for transferring ownership. It contains details like the vehicle description, its registration history in Ontario, any outstanding debts, and more.

4.      Is insurance mandatory before getting the plates?

Yes, before you get your vehicle plated (either temporary or permanent), you must have a valid insurance policy from a company licensed to operate in Ontario.

5.      What is a Safety Standards Certificate, and is it necessary?

An SSC is mandatory for registering a newly purchased used vehicle. It is valid for 36 days from the date of issue and certifies that the vehicle met the minimum safety standards on that date.

6.      How long do I have to transfer the ownership of the vehicle after purchase?

The transfer of ownership should be completed within six days from the sale date to avoid complications and potential fines.

7.      Can I get the UVIP if the seller does not provide it?

Yes, in such cases, the buyer can obtain the UVIP from any ServiceOntario centre by providing the vehicle’s VIN or plate number.

8.      What if I don’t adhere to the six-day rule for transferring ownership?

Not adhering to this rule might lead to complications, including potential fines, during the transfer process.

9.      Can I use my old car’s plates on the newly purchased vehicle?

No, using plates from another vehicle on your newly purchased vehicle is not allowed. You must obtain new plates or legally transfer your old plates.

10.  Can I drive a car without plates if I purchased it over the weekend or on a holiday?

No, you should wait to drive the vehicle until you can visit a ServiceOntario centre to obtain temporary or permanent plates.

11.  What documents are inspected during the process of obtaining a Safety Standards Certificate?

During the inspection, various points such as the vehicle’s braking system, steering mechanism, lights, and signals, and the fuel system are checked.

12.  Where can I find more information on the legal procedures involved in buying a used car in Ontario?

For detailed information, you can visit the official website of ServiceOntario or consult with a legal expert specializing in automotive regulations.

13.  Are there any service providers who can aid in the seamless transfer of ownership and other legal formalities?

Yes, there are service providers who specialize in facilitating a smooth transfer process. It’s advisable to conduct a thorough research to find a reliable service provider.

14.  Can I obtain temporary plates online?

As of the last update in September 2021, you are required to visit a ServiceOntario centre in person to obtain temporary plates.

15.  What if my temporary plates expire before I get permanent plates?

If your temporary plates expire, you must refrain from driving the vehicle until you obtain permanent plates. It is advisable to plan and coordinate efficiently to avoid such situations.

Having navigated the comprehensive pathway of understanding the rules and regulations of driving a used car without plates in Ontario, we hope to have equipped you with the knowledge to embark on this journey seamlessly. Remember, while the path may seem laden with intricate details, each step is designed to ensure your safety and legal compliance.

Your Trusted Partner in Auto Recycling

As we draw this exploration to a close, we invite you to explore the vibrant world of opportunities with Greenway Auto Recycling. Stepping into the auto recycling world, we bring to you a plethora of services that promise reliability and trust.

Whether you are looking to part ways with your old car or find yourself in possession of a junk car, we stand as your trusted partner in offering top-notch scrap car removal and junk car removal services. Our commitment resonates with trust, as we have positioned ourselves as the premier scrap car buyer and junk car buyer in the Ontario region.

Here’s why choosing us makes sense:

  • We Pay Top Dollar: Rest assured, you will receive the best price for your vehicle, irrespective of its condition.
  • We Pay Cash: Experience a hassle-free transaction with instant cash in hand.
  • Get Up to $15,000: Yes, you heard it right! Depending on the various factors such as the make, model, and condition, you can get up to $15,000 for your vehicle.

At Greenway Auto Recycling, we understand that every vehicle tells a story, and we are here to give it a fitting end, bringing value to you in the process. Give us a call at (416) 875-3215 to open doors to unmatched services and the best deals in the market.

Join hands with us as we pave the way for a greener future, one recycled car at a time.


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