How to Reinstate a Suspended License in Ontario: All You Need To Know

Have you ever heard the phrase “driving is a privilege, not a right”? 

Ontarians rely heavily on cars to get where they need to go, whether to the grocery store, work, hospital or school. But with that privilege comes the responsibility of adhering to traffic laws and regulations.

Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to find yourself on the wrong side of the law and facing a suspended driver’s license. If you’re in this situation, don’t panic! 

X-COPS will provide all the information you need to know to reinstate your driver’s license in Ontario and get back on the road legally. So buckle up, and let’s dive into the world of license suspensions in Ontario.

Reasons for Driver’s Licence Suspension in Ontario

Reinstating a suspended license can be a complex process, as each type of suspension may have unique circumstances and requirements. 

Understanding the exact reason for your license suspension is crucial. It ensures that you meet all the necessary conditions for reinstatement. Failing to do so can result in longer suspensions or additional penalties. 

Take the time to know the specifics of your suspension to navigate the reinstatement process successfully and avoid complications. Knowledge is key to regaining your driving privileges without delays.

The most common reasons for licence suspension in Ontario include:

1. Unpaid Fines

This is the most frequent cause of license suspension in Ontario and often leads to charges of driving while under suspension. To get your license back, you must pay all fines in full. You can ask the court about payment plans if you can’t pay the fines.

After you’ve been approved for a payment plan, you can apply for reinstatement from the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO).

2. License Suspensions Imposed by the MTO

The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) may also suspend your license for various reasons, including violations of the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario or the Criminal Code of Canada. 

Such license suspensions have specific peculiarities that drivers should be aware of. Here are some of them:

  • Demerit points: The MTO can suspend a driver’s license if they accumulate too many demerit points in Ontario. This type of suspension depends on the severity of the offence and the number of demerit points accumulated over a certain period.
  • Medical conditions: Drivers with medical conditions that affect their ability to drive safely can have their licenses suspended by the MTO. The driver will be required to submit medical reports from their doctor and may need to pass a medical examination before their licence is reinstated.
  • Mandatory suspensions: Certain offences, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, have mandatory licence suspensions imposed by the MTO. These suspensions are typically longer and may require the driver to complete a remedial program or attend a hearing before their licence is reinstated.
  • Administrative suspensions: The MTO can suspend a driver’s licence for administrative reasons, such as failing to pay fines or not renewing their licence on time. Licence suspensions are not typically issued for parking tickets but rather for more serious traffic offences.
  • Court-ordered suspensions: If a driver is convicted of a driving-related offence, such as dangerous driving or failing to remain at the scene of an accident, the court may order a licence suspension as part of their sentence.

In most cases, you’ll need to wait out the suspension period prescribed by the MTO to reinstate driver’s license Ontario.

3. Family law matters 

Family law matters can also lead to licence suspension, handled by the Family Responsibility Office (FRO). 

In these cases, the most common reason for licence suspension is non-payment of child or spousal support. 

To reinstate your licence, you’ll need to make arrangements with FRO to deal with your outstanding support obligations, after which FRO will notify the MTO to restore your licence.

4. Medical Reasons

Medical reasons can also lead to license suspension. If your doctor suspends your license due to a medical condition, you’ll need to work with them to address the issue and ensure you can drive safely. Once your doctor is satisfied, they’ll contact the MTO to reinstate your license.

There are also many other reasons for your license suspension that we haven’t covered here.

Other reasons for driver’s licence suspensions in Ontario

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Refusal to provide a breath sample for testing
  • Reckless driving or street racing
  • Failure to stop at a red light or stop sign
  • Excessive speeding 
  • Causing an accident with bodily injury or death
  • Failing to report an accident or provide assistance
  • Driving without insurance or failing to produce proof of insurance
  • Failing to appear in court
  • Driving with a suspended or revoked license
  • Refusal to take an alcohol or drug test when requested by a police officer
  • Possession of illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia in a vehicle
  • Criminal convictions, including those that are not related to driving etc.

To make sure that you meet all of the specific requirements for reinstatement, it’s always best to contact the MTO to confirm why your license is suspended and what steps you need to take to get it back and legally drive again.

How to Reinstate a Suspended License in Ontario

Reinstating a suspended driver’s license in Ontario can be complicated, but understanding the steps involved can make it easier to navigate.

Here is a structured guide on how to reinstate a suspended license in Ontario:

  1. Understand the reason for your license suspension: Before taking any steps towards reinstatement, it is crucial to know why. As mentioned, there are many reasons for suspension, including unpaid fines, medical reasons, family law matters, and suspension periods imposed by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO).
  2. Take action to address the reason for suspension: There are different steps to take depending on the reason. For instance, if the suspension is due to unpaid fines, the fines must be paid in full, or a payment plan must be arranged with the court. In cases where the suspension is due to a medical issue, a person must work with their family doctor to address the underlying problem.
  3. Wait out suspension period: If the suspension is due to a suspension period imposed by the MTO, the driver must wait out the period before being eligible for reinstatement. The period of suspension depends on the reason for suspension and can range from 30 days to several years.
  4. Provide necessary documentation: After addressing the reason for suspension, the driver must provide documentation to the MTO, including proof of payment of fines, a doctor’s note confirming fitness to drive, or proof of compliance with family law obligations.
  5. Pass required tests: In some cases, the MTO may require drivers to take additional tests, such as a written test or a road test, before reinstating their license.
  6. Pay reinstatement fee: A reinstatement fee must be paid to the MTO before a suspended licence can be reinstated.
  7. Receive new licence: Once all requirements are met, the MTO will issue a new driver’s licence, and the driver can legally operate a motor vehicle once again.

By following the process, drivers can reinstate their licence and legally operate a motor vehicle again. Here you can also check how long does a suspended license stay on your record in Ontario.

Where to Reinstate License Ontario?

You can reinstate your driver’s licence in Ontario at any ServiceOntario centre. Find the nearest ServiceOntario centre by visiting the ServiceOntario website and entering your location. 

Is it Possible to Reinstate License Online in Ontario?

Yes, it is possible to reinstate your license online in Ontario. The MTO has an online service called ServiceOntario that allows drivers to check their licence status and initiate reinstatement if their licence has been suspended. 

However, not all types of licence suspensions can be resolved online, and some may require additional documentation or in-person visits to a ServiceOntario centre or a court. 

Here are some examples of licence suspensions that cannot be reinstated online in Ontario:

  • Suspensions for medical reasons: If your license was suspended due to a medical condition, you must provide medical documentation to the MTO before your license can be reinstated. This documentation cannot be submitted online and must be sent by mail or in person.
  • Suspensions for legal reasons: If your license was suspended due to a legal matter, such as a criminal conviction or unpaid fines, you may need to attend a hearing or provide additional documentation to the MTO. These suspensions cannot be lifted online and require in-person attendance or submission of documentation.
  • Suspensions due to a probationary period: If your license was suspended due to being on probation, you would need to wait until the end of the probationary period before applying to have your license reinstated. This process cannot be completed online and requires an in-person application at a ServiceOntario location.

It’s always best to confirm the specific requirements for your situation with the MTO.

How Much Does it Cost to Reinstate License in Ontario?

The cost of reinstating a driver’s license in Ontario varies depending on the reason for the suspension and any associated fees. Here is a breakdown of the costs:

  • Driver’s License Reinstatement Fee: The standard fee for reinstating a driver’s license in Ontario is $281. This fee applies to most types of suspensions.
  • Other Associated Fees: Depending on the reason for your license suspension, you may need to pay additional fees before your license can be reinstated. For example, if your suspension was related to a conviction for an impaired driving Ontario offence, you may need to pay for a remedial program, ignition interlock device installation and removal, and a license reinstatement fee for a total cost of over $2,000.
  • Hidden Costs: It’s important to note that additional costs associated with license reinstatement may not be immediately obvious. For example, you may need to pay outstanding fines or fees related to the suspension, such as fees for towing or impounding your vehicle. Additionally, the suspension may affect your insurance rates, resulting in higher premiums once your license is reinstated.

In summary, the cost of reinstating a driver’s license in Ontario can range from $281 to several thousand dollars, depending on the reason for the suspension and any associated fees.

Which Tests Do I Need To Take For Reinstating License After Suspension in Ontario?

To reinstate a suspended licence in Ontario, the tests required depend on the length of the suspension.

  • If your license has been suspended for 1-3 years, you will only need to take an eye test.
  • If your license has been suspended for 3-10 years, you must take a written knowledge test, an eye test, and two road tests (G1 and G2). You can book your first road test once you pass your knowledge and eye tests and your G2 road test once you pass your G1 road test.
  • If your license has been suspended for 10 or more years, you must re-apply as a new driver and re-take all required tests. There is no fast-track option, and you must serve all mandatory waiting periods.

If you have been convicted of dangerous driving, you must complete a driver improvement interview and a re-examination. You will also need to pay the correspondent fees.

Reinstating a suspended license in Ontario is a process that requires careful understanding, adherence to specific requirements, and timely action. 

By familiarizing yourself with the reasons for the suspension, gathering the necessary documentation, exploring the available reinstatement options, being aware of the associated costs, and following the required tests and appeals process, you can navigate the path to license reinstatement Ontario successfully. 

Remember, it’s essential to prioritize legal compliance and responsibility on the road to ensure your safety and the safety of others. 

If you face a license suspension, consult the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario or seek professional legal advice to receive personalized guidance and support throughout the reinstatement journey.


Here we've prepared a short list of frequently asked questions in order to provide quick answers to anyone who's looking for information associated with the topic. If you need more clarification, please don't hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.

👉How do I get my suspended license back in Ontario?

In short, to reinstate your suspended license in Ontario, follow these steps:
- Determine the reason for your suspension.
- Serve the suspension period as required.
- Fulfill all necessary requirements, such as paying fines or completing programs.
- Gather the required documentation.
- Visit a ServiceOntario center and inform them of your intention to reinstate your license.
- Pay any applicable reinstatement fees.
- Await confirmation of your license reinstatement from the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario.
Consider that each case has its specifics, and there could be a different process in some circumstances.

👉How long does a suspended license stay on your record in Ontario?

In Ontario, a suspended license will generally stay on your driving record for 3 years from the reinstatement date. After three years, it will no longer appear on your driving record.

However, it's important to note that certain serious offences or convictions may stay on your record for extended periods, as determined by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) and the case's specific circumstances.

Thank you!