Ontario now allows drivers to renew their licences online. The new digital service is a first among Canadian provinces and is expected to net Ontario about $700,000 in savings over the next five years.
According to the ServiceOntario Web site, drivers registered in the province can renew their licence card online as early as six months before the expiry date and up to one year after its expiry date. With about 1.6 million renewals each year in the province, the government hopes to cut down on wait times in service centres with the new online system.
The province previously had automated kiosks in various public locations which enabled drivers to renew their licences and pay fees using their debit or credit cards among other things. The kiosks, which became very popular among residents, were shut down permanently in 2012 after ServiceOntario learned of an organized attempt to get debit and credit card information from the machines.
The ServiceOntario Web site itself was hit by a computer bug early this year which knocked out the service for several hours.
With the new online system, five-year renewals can be done online. However, drivers still need to update the photo on their licence every 10 years. This will have to be done in person.
When renewing their licence online, drivers must have the following:
- Driver’s licence number and Trillium number from current driver’s licence
- Current residential postal code
- Valid credit card or the ability to use Interact online payment
- A printer to print transaction receipt and temporary driver’s licence
ServiceOntario also said personal information will be collected from the driver on behalf of the Ministry of Transportation under the authority of the Highway Traffic Act.