Every vehicle in Ontario that is used on the road is required to have a registered vehicle ownership, or the green piece of paper most of us keep in our glove box. However, many owners are unsure of what a vehicle ownership is used for, why we need it and how to transfer the ownership if you sell your vehicle. The ownership is more than just a green piece of paper that sits in your car and we want to make sure you understand the ins and outs of your vehicle ownership.

What is a vehicle ownership?

A vehicle ownership or permit is a green document you receive when you purchase a vehicle. The ownership shows the vehicle information including the VIN, the license plate number and the owner information including name and address. This document is used by law enforcement to verify information should you be pulled over. The ownership is also used in the insurance claims process as the owner of the vehicle is the one who will be reimbursed if there is damage to the vehicle. This is why it is very important when you are buying a vehicle in a private deal to make sure you transfer the ownership to your name.

How to transfer vehicle ownership in Ontario?

There are a few different scenarios that would lead to the need to transfer an ownership in Ontario and we will outline them as the process is slightly different for all of them.

Gifting a vehicle to a family member

Transferring the ownership of a vehicle to a family member is common in Ontario. It is important to note that the family member must be a spouse or partner, parent, child, grand parent, sibling or in-law in order to be eligible for this form of transfer. The benefit to this transfer is the buyer does not need to pay retail sales tax to transfer the ownership into their name. In order to complete the transfer you will need the following items:

  • Proof of auto insurance in Ontario
  • A valid drivers license for the new owner
  • The vehicle ownership permit
  • A safety standard certificate within the last 36 days (please note: this is not required if the transfer is to a spouse)
  • Emissions test completed
  • The plate transfer declaration, you can download the form here or receive from Service Ontario
  • Sworn Statement for a Family Gift, you can download the statement here or receive from Service Ontario

Typically the easiest way is when you bring all these items and both family members go together to Service Ontario to sign the ownership over. That’s it!

Buying from a dealership

If you are purchasing a used vehicle from a dealership the process is typically made quite easy as the dealership handles the ownership transfer, getting a vehicle safety complete and registering the vehicle with new plates (you can also transfer your existing ones). Essentially everything you need to do will be handled at the dealership.

Private sale

If you are purchasing a vehicle in a private transaction there is a bit more action required from both parties.

Seller Steps:

  1. Purchase a Used Vehicle Inspection Package. This document will need to be provided to the buyer.
  2. Fill out the bill of sale portion of the Inspection Package with the name of the buyer, purchase price, sale date and your signature.
  3. Sign the Application for Transfer portion of the vehicle permit, this is on the back of the vehicle ownership.
  4. Remove your license plates from the vehicle.
  5. Keep the vehicle portion of the ownership, you will be giving the plate portion to the buyer.
  6. Notify the Ministry of Transportation that your vehicle is sold.

Buyer Steps:

  1. Complete the Application of Transfer section on the vehicle ownership, the seller will have completed the top portion.
  2. Complete the bill of sale portion of the Inspection Package.
  3. Ensure the information in the package and on the ownership is correct including the VIN for the vehicle.
  4. Bring the Inspection Package to Service Ontario within 6 days of the sale.
  5. At Service Ontario you will need to pay the licensing fees for new plates, permit and sticker as well as the retail sales tax.
  6. Provide your proof of automobile insurance. Need auto insurance? Get a quote here.


That’s a wrap! Make sure to keep your ownership with you in your vehicle along with your license and insurance. You can now store this information digitally as well through our MyMcDougall platform. Easy to access to all of your documents electronically through your phone, tablet or computer.

COVID-19 Update

Sorry our offices are now closed to the public.

We are doing our utmost to protect our customers and our staff and following the Province wide lockdown protocols.

Business can still be conducted online, through email or over the phone. For a list of staff emails go to: Staff Profiles