Vehicle Registration Requirements
In Ontario, an operator may register commercial vehicles (power units) with a wide range of registered gross weights and or different declarations. Each type of plate provides for different uses and exemptions. It is crucial that operators register their vehicles appropriately. Failure to do so may result in the operator being charged with an offence and/or having their vehicle detained until proper registration is obtained.
The following is a summary of what uses are authorized under each type of plate. This is an unofficial version of Government of Ontario legal materials. For accurate reference, refer to the official volumes. The Highway Traffic Act and regulations made under the act may be viewed at: www.e-laws.gov.on.ca
Ontario Regulation 628, Vehicle Permits, can be found at: www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/regs/english/elaws_regs_900628_e.htm
Commercial Vehicle Registration
A commercial vehicle is defined in Section 1(1) of the Highway Traffic Act as:
"...a motor vehicle having permanently attached thereto a truck or delivery body and includes ambulances, hearses, casket wagons, fire apparatus, buses and tractors used for hauling purposes on the highways.”
Most commercial motor vehicles must display a plate that has a white background and black lettering. These plates will normally contain two alpha characters with four or five numeric characters. You can use personalized or graphic-design plates, but need to ensure that they are classified as commercial on the registration.
The plates for a commercial motor vehicle have to be displayed on the front and rear of the vehicle in a clear and conspicuous location. The validation device must be put on the front plate in the upper right corner. The crown on the plate cannot be covered or obscured by any material.
Unlike personal vehicles, a commercial motor-vehicle validation device expires the last day of the month that is shown on it.
If the commercial motor vehicle is used to travel outside of Ontario, the operator may be required to obtain prorated plates. Prorated plates are similar to regular commercial motor- vehicle plates, but display the letters PRP on them. More information on prorated plates and the International Registration Program can be found at: