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Someone handing over the keys and ownership to a new vehicle owner

How to Transfer Vehicle Ownership in Ontario?

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.

In Ontario, the exchange of cars is a routine occurrence, with residents frequently buying and selling vehicles. When you engage in this process, whether acquiring a new or pre-owned automobile, a significant transition occurs – you assume ownership. At this juncture, you acquire the vital car ownership documents, and the vehicle’s registration undergoes the transfer procedure, officially designating you as the rightful owner.

Understanding the nuances of car ownership in Ontario is essential, particularly when it comes to the transfer of vehicles. Whether you’re selling your car to another individual, buying a vehicle from a private seller, or transferring ownership within your family, there are specific procedures to follow and documents to submit.

What is a vehicle ownership in Ontario?

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 number – vehicle identification number
  • Make and model of the car
  • Name and address of the car owner
  • The license plate number

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.

Reasons for Transferring Car Ownership

There are a Several reasons to transfer car ownership in Ontario. The most common reasons include:

  • Gift: You’ve chosen to present a vehicle as a gift to someone special.
  • Private Sale: You’ve sold your vehicle to a private individual.
  • Private Purchase: You’ve acquired a vehicle through a private sale.

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 a vehicle 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.

Steps for Seller When Transferring Car Ownership in Ontario:

  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 plate portion of the ownership, you will be giving the vehicle portion to the buyer.
  6. Notify the Ministry of Transportation that your vehicle is sold.

Steps for Buyer When Transferring Car Ownership in Ontario:

  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.


Transfer Car Ownership FAQ’s


How much does it cost to transfer car ownership in Ontario?

It will cost $32 to transfer car ownership in Ontario. This is applicable to all types of vehicles. This fee is often lumped into the total buying cost and will be listed on the car bill of sale.

How to get a new ownership in Ontario?

  • Purchase a Vehicle
  • Complete a Bill of Sale
  • Visit a Service Ontario Centre
  • Pay the Fees
  • Receive the New Ownership Document

If you own a vehicle and you change your name or address, Do you must notify the Ministry of Transportation within?

Yes, if you own a vehicle in Ontario and you change your name or address, it is typically required to notify the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) within 6 days of the change.

Can Car Ownership Be Registered Under Two Names?

Absolutely, you can register car ownership under two names. Many individuals opt for this to become eligible for car loans and to make vehicle ownership more cost-effective. It’s a growing trend for friends, roommates, and relatives to jointly own vehicles.

Can Car Ownership Be Held Under Parents’ Names?

Yes, it’s possible to register vehicle ownership under your parents’ names. Often, parents buy vehicles for their children and register them in their own names. In some cases, the child’s name can also be added to the vehicle title.



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.

3 thoughts on How to Transfer Vehicle Ownership in Ontario?

    In Ontario, If a car is registered under two names, what are the steps to remove one name/owner. And how much would it cost?


    how do I get insurance if the car isn’t in my name yet?


    I am buying a used car do I need to do a safety inspection before changing ownership?

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