Fail to Surrender Permit for Motor Vehicle

Drivers are required to surrender the permit or true copy of it upon demand by a police officer

Fail to Surrender Permit – Highway Traffic Act s7.1

Fail to Surrender Permit When stopped by a police officer the driver is required to surrender the permit for the vehicle or a “true copy” of the document to the officer.

The document is divided into two parts:

  • plate portion
  • vehicle portion

The permit links the number plates to a vehicle. The plate portion of the permit links the number plate to a person or company.

The permit may also be called:

  • the ownership, or
  • the registration

This requirement includes surrendering the permit for any trailer attached to the vehicle.


In requesting the document officer wants to see that:

  • the permit is validated
  • the licence plates attached to the vehicle are authorized by the Ministry
  • the vehicle matches the description of the vehicle being driven

Where the driver is unable to surrender the document the officer can issue traffic ticket to the driver of the vehicle, regardless if they are the owner or not.

The permit includes the plate portion and the vehicle portion of the document.

Related offences: Use Plate not Authorized

Insurance Implications

A conviction for failing to surrender permit may appear on a driving abstract but not always.

As convictions can affect insurance rates drivers are recommended to obtain the proper permit and appear at the court with the traffic ticket.

Many times the prosecution will consider withdrawing a fail to surrender permit ticket where the driver produces the document.

Demerit Points

There are no demerit points for failing to surrender a permit.


Demerit Point Interviews

If you have to attend an interview, you will get a letter (Notice of Interview) to notify you of the time, date and location of the meeting. If you do not attend your licence could be suspended.

The fee for a demerit point interview is $50 and must be paid in person at any Service Ontario Centre.

You can pay the fee when you receive the Notice of Interview or within 10 business days of attending the interview.

Failure to pay the interview fee will result in the cancellation of your driver’s licence.

Insurance Implications

Where any traffic ticket appears on a driving record the conviction can affect insurance rates.

Many times convictions for failing to surrender the permit, usually do not appear on driving records

Drivers should where possible seek to have the ticket canceled thereby removing any threat of a conviction on the record.

Licence Suspensions

Drivers are not suspended for a conviction for failing to surrender a permit.


Unpaid Fines

Any driver maybe suspended where any fine goes into default.  Where the licence is suspended for an unpaid fine, the licence will be suspended until the payment is made to the court.

The accumulation of demerit points can result in a licence suspension.

Licence Suspensions

The provincial government adds a victim fine surcharge (VFS) to every non-parking fine imposed under the Provincial Offences Act.

The money is deposited into a special fund to help victims of crime, to which:

  • The amount of the VFS is usually 20 per cent of the imposed fine.
    • For example, a $100 fine would result in a $20 surcharge.
    • Fines over $1,000 carry a surcharge of 25 per cent.

Legal Definition

Permit requirements

7 (1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway unless,

(a) there exists a currently validated permit for the vehicle;

(b) there are displayed on the vehicle, in the prescribed manner,

(i) number plates issued in accordance with the regulations showing the number of the permit issued for the vehicle, or

(ii) number plates described in subsection (7.2) if the vehicle is an historic vehicle and the Ministry has issued a currently validated permit for it; and

(c) evidence of the current validation of the permit is affixed, in the prescribed manner, to,

(i) one of the number plates mentioned in subclause (b) (i) displayed on the vehicle, or

(ii) to a mini-plate attached to the number plate exposed on the rear of the vehicle, if number plates described in subsection (7.2) are displayed on the vehicle.

(c) if required under the regulations, evidence of the current validation of the permit is affixed to a number plate in the prescribed manner.

Historic vehicle

(1.1) In this section,

“historic vehicle” means a motor vehicle that,

(a) is at least 30 years old, and

(b) is substantially unchanged or unmodified from the original manufacturer’s product.

Self-propelled implement of husbandry

(2) Subsection (1) applies to a self-propelled implement of husbandry that is operated on a highway other than when travelling from farm to farm in relation to the specific use for which it was manufactured, designed, redesigned, converted or reconstructed or in travelling to or from such places as may be necessary for the maintenance or repair of the vehicle. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 7 (2).

Exemptions for cls. (1) (b, c)
(3) Clauses (1) (b) and (c) do not apply in respect of a motor vehicle for which the permit is an IRP cab card.

Permit for trailer

(4) No person shall draw a trailer on a highway unless,

(a) there exists a permit for the trailer; and

(b) there is displayed on the trailer, in the prescribed manner, a number plate showing the number of the permit issued for the trailer.

Permit to be carried

(5) Subject to subsection (6), every driver of a motor vehicle on a highway shall carry,

(a) the permit for it or a true copy thereof; and

(b) where the motor vehicle is drawing a trailer, the permit for the trailer or a true copy thereof,

and shall surrender the permits or copies for inspection upon the demand of a police officer.

Case Law

R. v. Basic, 2017 ONCJ 243 (CanLII)
2017-04-04 | 18 pages
operator of a motor vehicle — plate — fail to surrender — contract of automobile insurance — owner
[…] [5] The offence of “fail to surrender permit for motor vehicle”, is defined by paragraph 7(5)(a) of the H.T.A., as follows: […] (i) The charges of “fail to surrender permit for motor vehicle”, driver – fail to surrender licence” and “fail to surrender insurance card” […] Accordingly, I find Damir Basic guilty of the subject offences of “fail to surrender permit for motor vehicle”, contrary to paragraph 7(5)(a) of the H.T.A., “driver-fail to surrender licence”, contrary to subsection 33(1) of the H.T.A., and “fail to surrender insurance card”, contrary to subsection 3(1) of the C.A.I.A., as […]

R. v. Sirianni, 2010 ONCJ 725 (CanLII)
2010-01-28 | 18 pages | cited by 3 documents
service plate — motor vehicle — beyond a reasonable doubt — ownership — evidence
[…] S 7(5) (a) HTA Fail to surrender permit for motor vehicle. S 11(2) HTA Fail to apply for permit on becoming Owner […] 2. S 7(5) (a) HTA Fail to surrender permit for motor vehicle 3. S 11(2) HTA Fail to apply for permit on becoming Owner […] He submitted that fail to Surrender Permit for Motor Vehicle, even though the defendant was not able to show the permit right way but it was shown later on at the shop. […]