Ontario – Year of Manufacture Plates

In Ontario your are allowed to plate “vintage” vehicles with licence plates made in the same year as your vehicle (yearly plates were manufactured in Ontario until 1973) under the “year of manufacture” program.

Obviously to do this you need to track down a plate made in the same year as your vehicle (reproductions are NOT acceptable), then make sure that the plate you’ve found isn’t already assigned to something (they provide a 1-800 number to call to verify that the plate is clean).

1972 Ontario Motorcycle Plate

There are a few outfits that specifically cater to people hunting for these plates OntPlates.com and YOMPlates.ca both seem to have favourable reviews on forums dealing with vintage cars and bikes.

You then have to send the plate(s) along with the fee for vanity plates ($261) to the ministry for inspection and approval. If approved they’ll send them back to you with some papers you need to bring with you to the MTO on your next visit.

The rest of the process is the same as for normal plates – safety inspection, government fees and the like.

I have not yet decided if I can justify the $261 expense for the plates, but I have ordered a ’72 plate anyway (worst case it can hang on the wall above the project whiteboard).


  1. Madeye says:

    It really is nice touch to plate a vintage vehicle with contemporary plates.

    A bit easier in the case of a motorcycle, because for a car both plates are required and must be in acceptable condition. Lots of people kept one plate; not so many kept both.

    My little British sports car is disadvantaged, as a 1976 model … some several years after Ontario went to ‘permanent’ plates. I need to interrogate the MOT to see whether 1976 commercial ‘fractional year’ plates can be approved.


    But, at the moment, I don’t have any of those plates, don’t have the $261 cash, and certainly don’t have the patience to try and deal with the Ministry on an ‘exception.’

  2. Mugwug says:

    According to the place I bought the motorcycle marker it is do-able;

    “Can I use YOM plates if my car is 1974 or later?

    Yes, but it’s not technically a YOM registration, although it is fully legal. Here’s how it works:

    Buy a pair of ’73 plates (ABC-123 format). Let’s assume they’re going on a ’78 Camaro. I’ll put a ’78 sticker on what will be the rear plate (lower right sticker box) beforehand, to match your car.

    Call ServiceOntario at 1-800-AUTO-PL8 and order the same ABC123 plate number as an own-choice vanity plate. This costs $251.65 (same as the YOM registration fee).

    When your new plates arrive, take them to your local ServiceOntario outlet and have them legally attached to your car. Don’t bring the old plates that you bought from me– don’t even mention the old plates that you have… it’ll scare the clerk, and I find they are quick to tell you something can’t be done if they don’t grasp it the first time. If an over-eager clerk offers to affix your expiry sticker on your plates, insist that you’ll do it at home.

    Affix new exipry sticker on the top right of one of the old plates. Mount them on the car and legally drive. Hang the new plates in your garage for fun. This is OK because 1973 plates were never withdrawn from service. Someone who got a plate in ’73 and has kept renewing it can still be using the original ’73 plate in the 21st century. They’re allowed to be on the road, and legally, they’re the same as new plates. Occasionally, we still see sets of these on the road, as pictured. ”


    Sounds like a work around, but seems like it would work.

  3. Madeye says:

    ‘Well, close, but no cigar’ :-(

    As he writes, it’s not YOM plate for ’76. It’s a 1973 plate, with ’76 sticker – and a current sticker, as well. Not quite the same thing, is it? ;-)

  4. Mugwug says:


    It’s close. Not sure close is worth $300.

  5. Jon Upton says:

    Hi– I’m the guy whose site you’re referencing. I honestly get very few customers who go this route because most of them would rather have a plate that actually has the year embossed in the metal. However, the “fractional year” plates referenced above by Madeye cannot be used for YOM– not even if the number on the plates is available. Those month+year plates (called “quarterlies” by collectors) have been excluded outright from the YOM program. ServiceOntario specifically lists those types as being ineligible, whether they’re March, June, September, or December. In any case, those plates went on trucks, and to find them mounted on a car, even just for show, is historically inaccurate. There were so many extras of those plates made– garages and antique shops across Ontario are littered with them. They’re worth maybe a buck each, but collectors mostly avoid them because they’re so common.

  6. Madeye says:

    Jon … I hadn’t got around to checking into those ‘quarterlies’ yet, so you just saved me some time and effort. Thanks!

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