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With one westbound lane closed, traffic leaving downtown Toronto along the Gardiner Expressway is bumper to bumper on April 28, 2014.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

While the big news for Ontario drivers on Tuesday was the drastic increase in set fines for distracted driving or dooring a cyclist, the province raised another fee that will affect everyone who owns a car in the southern part of the province, not just a select few offenders.

The government raised the fee for renewing validation stickers from $98 to $108. While the $10 jump is not much, there has been a 46 per cent increase in the fee since the middle of 2012.

  • Sept. 1, 2011 - $74
  • Sept. 1, 2012 - $82
  • Sept. 1, 2013 - $90
  • Sept. 1, 2014 - $98
  • Sept. 1, 2015 - $108

According to the government, the increased fees are needed for the rising costs of maintaining roads, bridges and highways and improve infrastructure.

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"While cost of maintaining roads, bridges and highways has risen over time, fees have not, so in keeping with the recommendations of the Drummond Commission, since 2012, the government has been gradually increasing fees to help recover the costs required to deliver the service or product to customers," said Ajay Woozageer, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation.

The ministry said in 2013, that until 2012 fees for driver's licences and renewals, licence replacements, exams and vehicle permits hadn't increased in 15 years.

"By making gradual changes to vehicle licence fees we can keep costs down for families and industry, while maintaining the safe roads and bridges that Ontarian's travel on," said Woozageer. "Many fees, including those for driver and vehicle licences, do not allow the government to fully recover the cost of delivering services or products. These increases will help the government recover more of these costs."

Ontario has about 12.1 million registered vehicles meaning the increase will generate more than $120 million.

The Ministry has said in past years that the fees in Ontario remain lower than other provinces, but comparing the rates isn't simple. In some provinces like Quebec the fee includes a contribution to insurance, road improvement and public transportation. However, in Quebec the registration fee portion will drop in 2016.

Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia also have public insurance like Quebec and the annual fee includes an insurance fee.

In Alberta, they capped the renewal fee at $75. Residents in Nova Scotia renew every two years at a cost of $143.30 for vehicles weighing less than 1,000 kilograms, however the fee is higher if your car weighs more. In Newfoundland and Labrador the annual fee for a passenger vehicle is $160, which was an increase of $20 this year. In New Brunswick, drivers pay $57 a year for passenger vehicles that weigh less than 1,000 kilograms and in P.E.I. the annual fee is $100.

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In northern Ontario, the fee is now $54, up from $49.

If you want to avoid the possible increase next year, renew for two years even though there is no initial break - the two-year cost in Ontario as of Tuesday is $216.

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