Transfer vehicle ownership between family members in Ontario

by Lon on September 5, 2012

It’s crazy how un-well documented the process is for transferring car ownership between family members in Ontario. My dad is passing off his car to me, and there was an unbelievable amount of conflicting information online.

Here’s the process transferring ownership tax free between linear family members (with no UVIP, Used Vehicle Information Package)

1. Download the Family Gift of used vehicle sworn statement. Both parties need to be present to and have it signed before a commissioner or a notary public (what a pain, supposedly ‘most’ vehicle offices have a commissioner on site)

2. Sign the green slip on the back of vehicle ownership.

3. If you would like to keep the same plates, sign the Plate declaration form available at MTO counter.

4. Safety standards certificate – May cost $50-80 dollars from an inspection station (if it doesn’t pass you’ll need to perform the repairs before acquiring the SSC – it’s valid for 36 days. Note, that transfer between spouses is the only scenario in which no safety test is required.

5. Proof of valid insurance. You will need to transfer the ownership before your transfer the insurance so make sure your current insurance will be valid after the transfer and up until you create a new policy.

6. You may possibly also need a Drive clean certificate. Not required for current model years. e-Tests are good for one year. Most garages should also be able to do this for $30-40 dollars, they should have your record on computer so you know if you need it or not.

Six steps. Not as simple as I thought. In Toronto you can call 416-235-2999 and follow up if there are any changes to the process.


{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Jason February 14, 2013 at 8:24 am

Hi there,

I have a question regarding this as I’m in this situation at the moment but we want to transfer the vehicle as-is. Do I still require a Safety Inspection on the vehicle if it is given as a gift? Also it will not be returning onto the road but will be sold immediately after, as is.

Any information would be GREATLY appreciated.


DF April 2, 2013 at 2:09 pm

This was SUPER helpful, thank you! The online resources on government websites are confusing as hell. Thanks for summarizing what we’re actually supposed to do. 🙂

Cristina May 14, 2013 at 3:46 pm
Kevin May 30, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Good job thanks.

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Nick July 4, 2013 at 10:12 am

Just came back from Service Ontario – transferred car from father to son. Some tips I learned:

1. For the Drive Clean certificate – it is needed, unless your car is less than 7 years old AND you are passing a car to an immediate family member, then you are likely exempt. However, to qualify for the Drive Clean exemption, you MUST fill out an exemption form that BOTH immediate family members must sign.

The form can be found here:$File/TXT_SR-LV-148E.html

Unless the transfer is between spouses, then the form is this:$File/SR-LV-139E.pdf

Here is an example of family transfer from the Drive Clean website (it also lists the definition of “immediate family member”:

If Dad gives his son his seven-year-old car, the car may need to be tested, not because of ownership transfer but because it is seven years old. If the car has already had its Drive Clean test, then it doesn’t need to be tested again now. But, if Dad didn’t get the test done prior to transferring the ownership, then one IS required now because the car is seven years old.

If Dad gives his son that same car next year, the car will not need a test. That’s because:

The car was tested when it was seven years old
A test is not required for family transfers.

2. There was a $10 fee – not sure if it was for the ownership change or plate transfer. Make sure you have already printed out the family member plate transfer form (see the link from Cristina above) and have BOTH parties sign it, especially if only the car recipient is going to Service Ontario.

General G August 12, 2013 at 6:26 pm

Anyone know whether the vehicle transfer is tax excempt if the transfer from father to daughter is also a vehicle registration transfer from Quebec to Ontario?

Kathleen August 17, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Does a safety test need to be done on the vehicle if its being transferred from father to son?

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J W Rose May 29, 2014 at 12:11 pm

I am transferring the ownership of my car here in Ontario to my adult son who is living in Montreal.The car is only two years old.
Can anyone tell me the procedure to do this and the associated costs?
I assume no provincial sales tax would need to be paid.
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JP THornhill August 18, 2014 at 11:48 am

Ontario rule: Service Ontario has advised that when transferring used car between siblings, the plates cannot be transferred (personalized plates can be, but there are administrative rules involved…didn’t listen as not applicable to me). Therefore, either:
-buy new plates in the office, take them out and put them on in the parking lot, then bring in old plates.
-or take plates off at parked location in private area (e.g. your garage), bring them in and return. Buy new plates and then put them on.

Jos P September 9, 2014 at 10:44 pm

To the person who asked the question about gifting a car between Ontario and Quebec (sorry, I couldn’t find your email address) – did you figure out how best to do it? I live in Montreal and my grandmother in Ontario is gifting me a car. I’m trying to figure out how to avoid paying taxes. It appears that you are only exempt in Quebec if the car is already registered here. I’d love any advice! Thanks!

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B August 25, 2015 at 5:41 pm

My son who lives in BC, inherited a Porsche from his father who died in Ontario. He is not interested in putting the car on the road at the current time but would like to “park” it until such time as he is able to finance repairs or sell it as is. It won’t pass the safety test as is. He has been told that he cannot transfer the vehicle to his name until it passes the safety test. This seems to be a “catch 22”. He can’t sell it until it is registered in his name, and he can’t afford to repair it so how can it be transferred to him?

Krityers February 8, 2016 at 4:44 pm

Would I have to pay overdue parking tickets when transferring plates from my mom to me? Or it’s only the plates that are being transferred that are looked into?

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Ash March 24, 2016 at 11:54 am

Can I transfer my cars ownership to my dad if there is an existing loan on the car?

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Interesting piece . Coincidentally if others are looking for a Sworn statement for family gift word doc form , my friend filled a blank version here

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Joshua Kearse December 5, 2016 at 9:18 pm

What if my grandfather wants to give me the car as a gift but he is ill and cannot appear before a commissioner of oaths? How can we proceed?

Carol December 11, 2016 at 6:55 am

Same situation as the person above. My mother wants to transfer ownership to me but she is currently ill and getting treatment back home. How do I proceed it?

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Brandon May 24, 2017 at 10:34 pm

Got a question I was gifted a atv father bought it hurt his self can’t ride it I was gifted the atv a year ago did the paperwork paid the 10 dollar fee now I don’t have anywhere to store the atv or ride the atv and now I wanna sell it any rules about selling a gifted atv

nelca September 18, 2017 at 4:07 pm

Thanks…very helpful. An update: The safety certificate will now run you closer to $150. Within the last year (2016-2017), the government has required more items to be checked on a safety inspection so it takes more time. And, according to Service Ontario, there is NO SET AMOUNT – the mechanic can charge whatever he wants, so ask him first what cost will be. NOTE: The fee is for the inspection and issuance of the certificate. It does NOT include the cost of any repairs that may be required to get the certificate.

Re insurance – The original post implies that you have to transfer car before the new owner gets insurance on it. Just to be clear – if you are the new owner, you have to get insurance BEFORE you go to Service Ontario to do transfer ownership, as you will be required to provide them with proof of insurance to get the ownership transferred and new plates (if plates required). Ask your insurance company to email or fax to you the proof of insurance coverage before you go to Service Ontario office.

nelca September 18, 2017 at 4:11 pm

Question: Does anyone know if the Plate Declaration Form (to transfer plates) can be used for an estate transfer as well? i.e. when you inherit the car from a deceased parent pursuant to a Will. I’ve gotten two different responses from Service Ontario on this.


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