In 2005, we moved from Quebec City to Toronto. My husband decided to get semi-custom “veterans” licence plates for our vehicle. When we moved to Montreal in 2006, we registered the vehicle in Quebec. The veterans licence plates were still registered to us but “unattached” to a vehicle. We figured we would use them when we moved back to Ontario.
In 2009, we returned to Ontario. Because my husband was in Afghanistan at the time, I had to register our vehicle in my name. Because I am not a veteran, I could not use the veterans licence plates. However, we kept them because we figured with 2 teenagers, sooner or later we’d need a second car. However, we did not purchase a second car and in 2013 we sold the one car we did have, and moved to England.
Fast-forward to March 2014. We received a letter from the City of Belleville stating that we had not paid a parking violation on February 6, 2014. Since we were not in Belleville on February 6, we assumed it was a clerical error.
I called (phone via Skype) the City of Belleville and spoke to a very nice woman. After I explained that we were a military family who had moved to England in July of 2013, she cancelled the traffic ticket. She also commented that it was a veterans licence plate that had the parking violation so she figured it was a military family.
That was when I started to panic! I looked through several bins in our storage area and I COULD NOT FIND THE LICENCE PLATES!! I called the Ontario Provincial Police (Quinte West Detachment) to report the licence plates as stolen or missing. They provided me with a report number to give to the Ontario Ministry of Transport.
I phoned (thank goodness for Skype) the Ministry of Transport and they sent an email with the documentation to make a report for the missing licence plates. The report has been sent to the Ministry and they have confirmed that they have received it.
Learn from my experience:
- Always return licence plates to the province of origin by registered mail so they are guaranteed to arrive. Keep the documentation until you’re sure the Ministry of Transport has received them.
- If you do decide to keep old licence plates, be sure to keep them in a safe place such as a locked filing cabinet.
- If licence plates go “missing”, report them “lost or stolen” to the police at the address they were last seen or to the provincial police in the province to which they belong as well as that province’s Ministry of Transport. For example, if we had Quebec licence plates that went missing from our Ontario address, we would report to the Quebec police as well as the SAAQ (Société d’assurance d’automobile de Québec).
- If you ever find licence plates, DO NOT USE THEM!!! Return them to the Ministry of Transport or the provincial police.
And to the person/people driving around with our old licence plates:
The police are looking for you!!!