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How to Change Trailer Ownership in Ontario, Canada

by Leslie Kasperowicz

When you buy a trailer from someone else in Ontario, you will be required to transfer ownership of the vehicle and register it with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. You will need to provide the appropriate documentation as well as pay the required fees for licensing and new plates if required. Transferring ownership of a trailer is similar to the process for a used car, but there is less documentation required and the fees are generally lower.

Obtain a bill of sale.
1

Obtain a bill of sale from the previous owner of the trailer stating the date of sale and the amount of the purchase price. It should also list the year, make and model of the trailer as well as the vehicle identification number. Ensure that the previous owner signs this document. You can write up a simple bill of sale yourself, or use a free online template like the one you can find at the Business Form Template website.

Complete the application for transfer of the registration.
2

Complete the application for transfer portion of the vehicle registration permit and ensure it is dated and signed. If you are transferring plates you already own to the trailer, you should also make sure to bring the plate portion of the permit with you to transfer the vehicle.

Bring the necessary documents to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Office.
3

Bring the bill of sale, vehicle permit with all necessary parts completed, your identification and your payment to the Driver and Vehicle License Issuing Office.

Retail tax is determined from the purchase price.
4

Present all of the documentation to the staff at the licensing office. Pay all of the appropriate licensing fees as well as the retail tax. Retail tax on a used trailer is determined from the purchase price of the trailer or the wholesale value of the trailer, whichever is greater. Fees for a trailer plate and permit are $35, or $10 if you are using plates you already own.

You will need to attach the license plates to the vehicle.
5

Attach the new or used plates to the vehicle along with the validation sticker obtained from the licensing office. You should keep the vehicle registration permit with you whenever you are towing the trailer.

Tip

  • In circumstances beyond the ordinary sale of a trailer such as when the previous owner is deceased or there has been a divorce, you should contact the Service Ontario Driver and Vehicle Contact Centre toll free at 1-800-387-3445 for instructions.

Warning

  • Before buying a trailer, ensure there are no outstanding liens (loans) on the trailer. If the previous owner does not pay off the lien, the trailer can legally be repossessed from you.

Items you will need

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

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