About My Guarantee
About Terminated Plates
About Restorations and Colours
About The War Years
About General Items
About The Program
Q1: What is the Year of Manufacture (YOM) program?
A: Year of Manufacture (YOM) plates are license plates that can be registered to a vehicle that was manufactured in the same year as the plates. For example, a pair of Ontario 1967 plates can be registered to a 1967 Mustang. The year of the license plates MUST match the year indicated on your vehicle's registered ownership - no exceptions. The last year Ontario produced date stamped plates was 1973. As a result, any car or truck manufactured after 1973 is not eligible under the YOM Program. However, if you have a 1974-1980 model year car, there is a neat loophole that would allow you to use a vintage “Keep It Beautiful” pair, complete with a 1974 to 1980 sticker to give your car that authentic look. Please read see Q2 below for more information. The one exception is that date stamped motorcycle plates were produced until 1975. Therefore motorcycles can be registered under the YOM program until 1975. You can read more about the program on the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario’s (MTO) website.
A: Yes, there is a fully legal loophole using the Personalized Plate Program to achieve that period look. Many customers like the older 6-digit painted plates rather than the current 7-digit reflective pairs - which look kind of odd on a classic car. The older pairs also come complete with the vintage “Keep It Beautiful” slogan rather than the newer “Yours To Discover” slogan. This is how it works:
1) Browse our 1974-1980 inventory, select and buy a pair you like. The vintage sticker showing the year is visible within the bottom right sticker box. Depending on the pair you choose, the desired sticker year may already be on it. If not, I have some mint left over stickers that I can apply to any “Keep It Beautiful” pair you choose.
2) Then, order a personalized plate with the same license plate number as the vintage “Keep It Beautiful” pair you selected above. Call 1-800-AUTO-PL8 or place the order on-line at Service Ontario and, without mentioning the YOM program or loophole simply order the personalized pair. They will take a credit card over the phone or on-line and charge you a fee of $310.00 (slightly more than the YOM program fee of $251.65).
3) Wait a couple of weeks until your new personalized plates arrive in the mail, with the registration paper that shows that the license plates and corresponding plate number is now yours. Bring your new personalized plates to your local Service Ontario office and have them registered to your car (leave your vintage “Keep It Beautiful” pair at home).
4) When you get home, mount your vintage “Keep It Beautiful” pair to your car. Hang the brand new personalized pair on your garage wall for decoration. The end result is that you have a pair bearing the license plate number registered to you with that car, but the vintage “Keep It Beautiful” pair attached. This is totally okay since plates issued from 1973 onwards were never withdrawn from service. As pictured below, some remaining pairs are still out there and have 30+ years of stickers piled high on them since you can legally keep bringing the plates forward when switching to a new car. In fact, one could easily assume you have been the original owner of those “Keep It Beautiful” plates since day one.
Modern stickers are now discontinued as of March 13, 2022. If desired, just keep the 1974-1980 sticker in the old sticker box at the bottom right to capture that original look!
Q3: Are there fees associated with registering YOM plates to my vehicle other than my cost of buying the plates from you?
A: Yes. The MTO has a $251.65* application fee per vehicle (less than the fee of buying personalized plates which is $310.00).
*Please note: Some plate applications may also require an additional $32 MTO fee in order to transfer a pre-existing plate ownership record in the MTO database. Please read more about Terminated plates here.
UPDATE: As of March 13, 2022, the MTO no longer requires a license plate sticker to be purchased annually - they have been eliminated. Follow the MTO’s website for this news release. The YOM Program is not associated with the Historic Vehicle Program. With this latest change, this places the YOM Program on par, or even ahead of the Historic Vehicle Program on an annual basis. Previously, YOM Program registrants had to pay the full $120 annual sticker fee because it came without any driving restrictions. Meanwhile, the Historic Vehicle Program had an $18 annual sticker fee, but came with driving restrictions. Now with both programs being free on an annual basis, the YOM Program without it's driving restrictions certainly looks more appealing.
A: I enclose detailed instructions on how to complete the process after purchase, however below is a brief overview:
- Once you receive the plates from me, you will send the plates, original vehicle registration (not a photocopy), and your payment for the YOM application fee of $251.65 to the Kingston MTO office for inspection and approval. Please note that some pairs will require an extra fee of $32 to transfer an existing record on file. Read more about this under Q11 (Terminated Plates). Kingston is the only office in Ontario that processes YOM applications. Plates must be mailed as there is no in-person service counter.
- After being approved, the MTO will mail your plates back along with a letter of approval which serves as your plate ownership. A response can be expected within 2-4 weeks (see note below).
- Bring all of this to your local MTO service counter and have the plates registered to your classic. You can also follow the MTO’s website for more information on these steps.
Note: If it's been longer than 4 weeks and you’re still waiting for your plates, we can only refer you to the main call centre at 1-800-387-3445. They will route you to the appropriate staff member in Kingston who can hopefully give you a status update as to where your plates might be. Due to recent high staff turnover/shortages, we unfortunately no longer have a reliable contact in that office to inquire about processing status.
A: Not any longer. The MTO eliminated licence plate renewal fees and the requirement to have a licence plate sticker for passenger vehicles, light-duty trucks, motorcycles and mopeds, effective March 13, 2022. This change also includes Year of Manufacture (YOM) registrations.
If you previously purchased a StickerTAB from us, these are no longer required to be used or displayed. Unfortunately, we are not offering refunds on past StickerTAB purchases. This latest announcement caught everyone off-guard, including ourselves and we are still sitting on thousands of dollars worth of unused inventory.
To read more about the changes and potential sticker fee refunds, please follow the MTO's news announcement here:
Q6: I have a pick-up truck that I’d like to register with YOM plates. Do I have to find truck plates from that year for this use?
A: No. The MTO will register normal YOM passenger plates of that year to your pick-up truck such as the ones I have posted. If you’re really looking for that authentic look, sometimes I may have what would have been a truck pair back in the day available for purchase. However, they are typically harder to find with available numbers since most of these plate combinations were coincidentally issued as permanent trailer plates in the 1980s and 1990s.
Using a passenger pair for 1965 and earlier makes is pretty well 99% accurate. This is because pick-up truck plates used the same colour scheme and layout as passenger plates for every year. The only thing that would've been different was letter in the plate number. Typically, trucks were issued the following letters:
1930-1942: letter "C" in the last position only (ie: 12345C)
1943-1950: letter "C" in first and last position only (ie: 12345C and C12345)
1950-1954: letters "C" and "B" in first and last position only (ie: 12345C, 12345B, C12345 and B12345)
1955-1964: letters "A", "B", "C" and "D" in last position only (ie: 12345A, 12345B, 12345C and 12345D)
1965: letter "B" and "C" in first and last position only (ie: 12345B and B12345)
Starting in 1966, Ontario exclusively switched to the "Quarterly System" for truck registrations and used completely different looking plates, issued by calendar year quarter and stamped with a month and year (ie: MAR-68, SEP-69, JUN-70, DEC-71 etc). These quarterly plates are NOT allowed under the YOM Program since there are just too many variations and colours for the program staff to handle. Instead, the MTO allows regular passenger plates for 1966 to 1973 pick-up trucks. For the purist, it's not historically correct, but that's the government policy and the best that can be done for 1966-73 makes.
About My Guarantee
Q7: What is your 6-month guarantee?
A: I offer a 100% guarantee for 6 months after purchase. If the MTO refuses to register your YOM plates during the 6-month guarantee period, just send them back in the same condition as you received them. I will issue a full refund or offer to exchange for other plates free of charge – your preference. After 6 month’s time, the purchaser assumes the risk of the YOM plates being approved and registered by the MTO.
A: In most cases plate numbers on old YOM plates have unfortunately been reissued onto other vehicles, such as snowmobiles, motorcycles, trailers and trucks. Further, the MTO continues to reissue these numbers for current registrations. The MTO only allows one plate number to be registered in their system, regardless of use - no duplicates. Hence the reason I cannot guarantee the YOM plates and number will remain valid for life if left unregistered.
When you register your YOM plates through the Kingston MTO office, you’ve registered the plate number to you for life, never to be reissued again. That’s why I highly recommend you register them within the 6-month period to guarantee that you have no issues in the future.
A: Absolutely! That’s what I specialize in, and base my reputation on. All YOM plates I offer for sale have been verified with the MTO and are available for use under the YOM program. If you feel more comfortable, you can re-verify by calling the MTO at 1-800-387-3445 from 8:30am to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.
Q10: My car is undergoing restoration and won’t be ready within the 6-month timeframe – what should I do?
A: Provided you have your Ontario vehicle ownership registration, you can still send the plates and registration to the MTO for inspection and approval within the 6-month guarantee period. By doing this, they will register the plate number to you for life. You will receive the plates back with a letter that will serve as your plate ownership. At your leisure and once your car is ready for the road, simply take the letter of approval and YOM plates to your local MTO office and have the plates registered and licensed to your classic car. There is no time limit on this second step.
About Terminated Plates
A: These license plate numbers were issued to someone between 1980 and now and were properly returned and placed in an inactive, “Terminated” state. When the plate numbers were surrendered properly back to the MTO, all outstanding fines and fees (if any) were resolved and cleared from record. As such, the MTO has declared them “Terminated” and are once again available for use.
Two examples of terminated plates are pictured below. The first example shows a motorcycle plate issued in 1981, properly returned to the MTO in 1983, and the 1939 YOM plate coincidentally containing the same number that can be transferred and re-issued. Similarly, the second example shows a trailer plate issued in the early 1990s, properly returned in 1996, and the 1969 YOM plate that can be transferred.
A: Please look under the "Terminated Transfer Fee" heading when viewing the plate description page. It will either say "$32.00" or "Not Applicable". The full description will also state the following in bold: "Please note, this submission will require an additional $32.00 fee payable to the MTO in order to transfer a terminated plate number".
Q13: How are Terminated plates different than the rest of your stock?
A: Other plates I sell bear license plate numbers that have never been reissued in the modern age (post 1980) and there is no record in the MTO’s digital database for them. As such, the additional Terminated step does not apply since a transfer is not required. Terminated plates have one extra step as detailed below.
The Declaration Form acknowledges that the license plate number is being transferred to you, and that you will have to pay for your own traffic fines and fees after the transfer. This absolves the previous person who used the plate number from having to pay your fines. After you complete this extra step, you will receive the approved plates back with a letter of approval. As usual, bring all of this to your local MTO office, purchase a validation sticker and have the plates registered to your classic.
A: Yes. For faster service for Terminated plates, send all of the items in as usual (your YOM plates, original vehicle registration, and $251.56 YOM application fee), plus the $32 transfer fee with your package in one of two ways:
1) If paying by cheque, enclose one cheque for the above mentioned $251.65, and a second cheque for the $32 transfer fee, both payable to the Minister of Finance. Two separate cheques are required since another branch of the MTO handles the transfer; or
2) If paying by credit card, enclose a printed and completed ServiceOntario Payment Authorization Form, and clearly indicate on the form that you are authorizing both the above fees. For ease, I provide a blank form upon purchase.
Further, if you use e-mail you can enclose a written note indicating your correct e-mail address with a request that the Declaration Form be sent to you via e-mail. You can complete it, scan it and e-mail it back. This will cut down on processing time as well. Otherwise you will be sent a paper copy of the Declaration Form via regular postal mail.
Q16: How long does this extra step take?
A: If not choosing the expedited method outlined above, the MTO affords you 6 weeks to sign and return the Declaration Form and send the $32 transfer fee via postal mail. Once the MTO receives the form and $32 back, it takes about 3 weeks for them to process the transfer. The whole YOM application process, including the extra termination step, should take about 4-6 weeks from start to finish. Alternatively, by using the expedited method it can usually save about 2-3 weeks of processing time.
A: No. If there are outstanding fines, the MTO will not allow the plates to be transferred. The MTO performs a check on the database before the plates are transferred to ensure there are no outstanding fines or fees from the previous owner.
About Restorations and Colours
A: Yes. All the plates I have posted on this website will pass MTO inspection. The YOM Program is the only program the MTO allows re-painted plates so long as they are neatly done and match the original colours. Most of my sales are generated from restored plates. With well over 2,000 YOM pairs sold to date, my customers' approval success rate is over 99%! You can also view my meticulous restoration process here.
A: Unfortunately, at present I do not. I have many plates in my own possession that I need to restore along with a growing young family and simply don’t have the time to take on additional work.
A: Unfortunately no. The plates must be the same colours as initially issued by the Ministry. If they do not match, the MTO will reject the submission.
A: Unfortunately, no. The YOM plates must match the same year as your car manufacture date and the plates must be the same colours as initially issued by the Ministry. If they do not match, the MTO will reject the submission.
About The War Years
A: Due to metal shortages caused by WWII and later the Korean War, Ontario validated 1943 & 1951 plates with 1944 & 1952 windshield stickers respectively. The MTO will still allow 1944 & 1952 classic vehicles to be registered under the YOM program by affixing 1943 or 1951 YOM plates to your car along with sending a photo of an original 1944 or 1952 windshield sticker with your submission. The windshield sticker does not need to be applied to your car – it is simply for MTO approval purposes. I will send you a photo of the windshield sticker if you have a 1944 or 1952 submission. An example of the stickers are pictured below. Although Ontario did issue 1944 and 1952 trailer plates, they will not accept these under the program.
Q23: I only see single plates for sale for 1943, 1945, 1946 and 1947 – why is this?
A: During and after WWII metal was in short supply. As such, Ontario only manufactured one plate for each of these years. The MTO will still allow classic vehicles to be registered under the YOM program for 1943, 1945, 1946 and 1947 makes by affixing one rear plate. The same registration costs apply.
About General Items
Q24: Do you fabricate custom plates with a plate number of my choice?
A: Unfortunately no - I do not provide this service. I only restore original plates that were manufactured by the Ministry way back when. Further, the MTO does not allow reproduced plates under the YOM Program. Your submission would be rejected if so.
Q25: I don’t see any YOM plates available for the year I’m looking for or I want a certain plate number combination. What should I do?
A: Check back regularly. If a year is out of stock I re-focus my restoration efforts there, so rest assured more will eventually be posted. Sometimes I'm just completely out as finding plates is a completely haphazard process; but I'm always looking. I no longer keep waiting lists or specific plate number requests as they are too cumbersome to maintain due to the amount of volume. If there's a special number you really want, check back frequently and maybe something might pop up that fits the bill.
Something to keep in perspective in terms of wanting a certain plate number. Ontario was and still is the most populous province. As a result, the volume of plates produced on an annual basis was enormous, even in early years. Finding a certain plate number is essentially a needle in a haystack scenario. Below are the historical annual vehicle registration figures:
1970s: 3.3M* pairs
*on average, produced each year
Q26: I’ve noticed that some YOM plates have letters instead of just numbers – are they special?
A: Generally, no. Typically most plates offered for sale would have been for passenger cars when originally issued – including most plates with letters. Depending on the letter position, some notable exceptions over the years would have been the following:
“X” – Station Wagon
In all instances, the MTO will register these plates since they do not differentiate between their historical uses so long as the colour scheme matches the passenger plates of that year. If you are really looking for that authentic look, sometimes I may have what would have been a ‘station wagon’ pair for your 1960 Chevy Suburban for example.
In any event, all my YOM plates offered for sale will pass MTO inspection and are sold as regular YOM plates regardless of their past use. Further, they are sold without any expectations of matching a past use to your classic. I think you’ll find that once they’re on your car, no one will know the difference unless they’re a true license plate enthusiast (and there’s not too many of us around)!
A: Please keep in mind that plates manufactured from 1962 to 1980 were much thinner than their predecessors and due to the original manufacturing process a natural warp or bend in the plate developed. This is completely normal and the plates are sold as such. Once attached to your vehicle the plates do lie flat.
A: Unfortunately no. In Ontario we have a "plate-to-owner" licensing system which means any plates registered in your name are done so for life and are non-transferrable. The MTO allows ONE EXCEPTION for YOM license plates: they will transfer the plates with the sale of the car in the SAME transaction if your buyer is interested in maintaining them on the vehicle. Both parties must be present at the service counter to do this and a waiver must be signed in front of the agent. There is also a $32 transfer fee to do so. Otherwise, there is no ability to sell the YOM plates to another party afterwards. Unless you buy another vehicle with the same year of manufacture as the plates in the future, they essentially become wall art.