Amateur Radio License Plates in Ontario, Canada

The Province of Ontario, Canada, like many jurisdictions worldwide, offer personalized license plates to licensed amateur radio operators. I’ve had conversations with several at the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario as well as ServiceOntario (the organization that contracts out service centers where you can go to get your license plates, health card, etc.) and I thought it’d be a good resource for the amateur community to share my experiences. We will build a new building with the help of flatbed towing this summer so stay on the news about us.

How do I get amateur radio license plates in Ontario?
Simply visit any ServiceOntario location that offers the personalized license plate ordering service. Bring your Certificate of Proficiency in Amateur Radio (your license) with you.

Can Ontario amateur radio license plates be ordered online?
No, a copy of your license is required, which is why you need to visit a ServiceOntario location in person.

What is the cost of an amateur radio license plate in Ontario?
The cost is $30 + tax (as of April 23, 2013 – subject to change at any time).  The grand total with taxes, fees, etc. which was charged to me was $31.30. This is a very steep discount from the over $250 regular fee for personalized license plates in Ontario.  There are no other fees for amateur radio plates other than the $30 + tax fee to purchase the plates.

What should I expect when I visit the ServiceOntario location to order my amateur radio license plates?
From my experience ordering a few sets of plates, expect your transaction to take longer than usual.  Amateur radio plates are something they don’t do very often so it may take them some time to find out how to process it through their systems.  Once they are ordered (and paid for), you’ll get a receipt and you’ll need to wait up to 8 weeks (as per ServiceOntario) for them to be manufactured and shipped to you.

What if the person who previously held my call sign had amateur radio license plates, but never returned them to the Ministry of Transportation?
If the plates are not attached to any vehicle, you should still be able to order them.  Advise the ServiceOntario representative that these are a special series of plates with very specific rules.  Specifically, recommend that they contact their support team who should be able to assist them with placing the order.  This kind of order needs to go through differently than if the plates do not already exist – this process is called “special handling.”

What if the plates for my call sign are listed as attached to someone else’s vehicle?
As mentioned, amateur radio license plates are a special series with very specific rules as to who can order them and transfer them.  A member of my local club has discovered that the spouse of the amateur that previously held his call sign, who passed away. had the plates transferred into her name.  As this is a violation of the rules of the amateur radio license plate series (unless the spouse is also an amateur radio operator and holds the call sign on the license plate), the Ministry of Transportation should be contacting the current registrant of the plates to advise them that they will need to return the plates as they are in contravention of Ontario law.  In the case of the member I referred to, the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario advised that the transfer to the spouse should have never taken place due to the policy.

How can I find out the history and status of my desired amateur radio call sign license plate?  (In other words, how do I find out if it’s attached or not?)
You can purchase, for $12, a Vehicle Plate History from the ServiceOntario website using a major credit card.  The report is immediately produced and you can review it instantly.  To order the report, go here and select the Vehicle Plate History abstract.  If the report says STATUS: ATTACHED then you will need to get the Ministry to follow the process above, otherwise, you should be able to order the plates.


11 thoughts on “Amateur Radio License Plates in Ontario, Canada

  1. Thanks for that article about plating. I have been debating getting my call sign on my plates but have been putting it off.


    • Hi,Rob..was it hard to get the amateur radio plates on when you apply,bud?
      I’m thinking to get mine soon.

  2. It’s time for my renewal my sticker,I’d like to ensured if the fee for amateur radio plate is still the same ($30+) as I’d like to replace my regular plate (that already ripped, and it might be much better to put on my callsign on the new plates).I’m wondering if you can help me with the updated information.
    Thanks for your kindly concerned.

  3. Great site,good information.I found out today when I was trying to get my callsign
    Plates that someone has it would I be able to get it.

    • Hi Bobby,

      Go back to the ServiceOntario centre and demand (politely) that they follow their processes. If they keep giving you problems, ask them to call their support line. Be sure to have your amateur radio license certificate with you. The process in this situation (where someone else has plates with your call sign) is that the Ministry of Transportation will contact the person who has the plates and require them to return them. Once that is done, you should be able to order them.

      Only the holder of the callsign is entitled to the associated license plates in Ontario. One of my club’s members ran into this situation and had to go through this process. Please keep us updated on the progress.

  4. What are the current fees for the Plates? The local Service Ontario wanted to charge me the going rate for personalised Plates’ , more than $300 for the plates. I didn’t have time to argue, and left.

    • Hi Barry,

      To my knowledge, the fee is still in the area of $30. I recommend going back to ServiceOntario when you have time (perhaps a different location if possible) and insisting. If they continue to tell you that they’re over $300, ask that they contact their support team by phone for assistance as these plates are not ordered that often so most ServiceOntario personnel are not really familiar with them. I believe they call their support team “helpdesk” so using that term may also help.

      Hopefully this information helps, Barry. Please write back and let us all know how you make out.

  5. Hi Matt!

    Do you have any experience with RAC-image license plates? How does the pricing work on them?

    Do they charge the standard image plate rate ($80-something) and give you free lettering?

    • Hi Matthew,

      Sorry for the late reply. If you want a graphic (including RAC graphic), you would pay the $30 plus the image fee which when all is said and done comes to around $110 or so. Hope this helps.

  6. Thanks for this write-up!

  7. I applied for a set of call letter licence plates today. The final price including taxes is still $31.30, amazing!

    I went into a larger Service Ontario centre at an off peak time. The clerk had heard about them, but had to get another person to help find the form on their computer system.

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