Q: Are "historic vehicle" licence plates no longer available? I checked the MTO website (mto.gov.on.ca) and all that comes up when you search "historic plates" is YOM (year-of-manufacture) plates.
A: Alan Cairns of the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services replies:
Licence plates with the "historic" designation are available at Driver and Vehicle licensing offices and Service Ontario centres. To qualify, vehicles must be at least 30 years old and substantially unchanged or unmodified from the original manufacturer product.
Eric Lai adds:
YOM plates are Ontario licence plates that can be attached to a passenger vehicle, motorcycle or commercial vehicle under 3,000 kg made in the same year as the plates. For example, original plates issued in 1959 may be attached to a vehicle made in 1959. To attach privately-acquired YOM plates (the ministry does not provide these scarce relics), the vehicle must meet the same criteria for "historic" plates, as above, and the plates must be from Ontario.
Upon application, the plates will be examined by ministry staff to verify authenticity. Only full sets of original plates dating from 1903 onward are allowed. Replica plates, no matter how realistic, will not be approved. Ontario licence plates were last manufactured showing the year 1973. These were circulated until 1976, when superceded by "Yours to Discover" plates with no imprinted year.
Prior to purchasing number plates or applying for authentication, collectors are advised to call the ministry at 416-235-2999 or 1-800-387-3445 to ensure the plate's alphanumeric combination is available.
If already registered in the MTO system, not in relation to the plates in question, your request will be denied.
Q: Does fuel type affect a vehicle's insurance rate? For example, will converting a gasoline vehicle to run on propane or natural gas affect its premiums?
A: James Geuzebroek, manager of media relations with the Insurance Bureau of Canada (ibc.com), replies:
Fuel type is not an underwriting factor (when determining auto insurance rates). However, the possible rating effect would be if the value of the vehicle itself is increased by the conversion and, therefore, the repair and/or replacement costs are up.
The conversion itself is a material change in the vehicle and would have to be declared to the insurer.
Q: If objects attached to the windshield are an offence, what about 407-ETR (Express Toll Route) transponders? You have to mount them on the windshield according to policy.
A: Section 73 of the provincial Highway Traffic Act prohibits non-transparent objects on the windshield that obstruct the driver's view of the highway.
If you mount your transponder above your rear-view mirror or in the upper right or left corner of the windshield, for example, it doesn't block your view of the road and isn't considered a violation, say police.
GAS REBATE UPDATE: In addition to issuing Air Miles, Shell also now offers a no-fee BMO Mosaik MasterCard that provides cash back. Cardholders receive an introductory 2.5 per cent rebate for the first three-months on purchases made at Shells across Canada. Beyond three-months, the rate is fixed at 1.5 per cent.
Premium Mosaik MasterCards, with an annual fee, offer 5 per cent (introductory) and 3.5 per cent (after three-months) rebates on Shell purchases. Alternatively, premium cardholders can opt for accelerated collection of Air Miles instead of cash back.
For full details, visit www.shell.ca and click on "Mosaik MasterCard" on the right side Quick Links menu.
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