Ontario is allowing drivers to renew their licences online – the first jurisdiction in Canada to do so.
The digital service, which was officially launched Wednesday, is expected to save the province about $700,000 over five years while also allowing drivers to renew without going in person.
Moving some of the 1.6 million renewals that happen in the province every year is also certain to cut down on waiting times at government service centres.
“It’s a very important service. It’s one that always happens on your birthday, and I think people would rather be doing other things on their birthday than standing in line,” Government Services Minister John Milloy said. “We do anticipate some savings from it … it’s a win-win.”
Drivers will still have to update the photo on their licence every 10 years, which they will have to do in person. But the renewal during the five-year period between photos can now be done on the Service Ontario website.
When renewing their licences online, drivers can also get licence plate stickers and other vehicle-related things at the same time. Service Ontario now takes Interac as well as major credit cards.
The development is part of the government’s long-term plan to move most services online. Currently, such things as applying for birth certificates and renewing licence-plate stickers are already offered on the Web.
There are a handful of exceptions to the new service. Those with outstanding fines, suspended licences or enhanced drivers licenses will not be able to renew online.
Mr. Milloy said the online service will not affect any jobs at Service Ontario.