Ontario woman who hasn't driven in 10 years said she got licence plate refund

An Ontario woman who hung up her vanity licence plate 10 years ago when she stopped driving said she was confused to receive a licence plate sticker refund cheque in the mail.

“Why am I getting one? I haven’t driven in 10 years,” Carolyn Johnston of Whitby, Ont. told CTV News Toronto. “I know it’s only $110, but it’s the principle of the thing. I think it’s very wasteful.”

A decade ago, Johnston said she lost vision in one eye and decided it was time to stop driving and sell her car.

Once the car was gone, she took her vanity licence plate, which had the letters “MAA NAA” printed on it as an ode to the name her grandchildren call her, and hung it in the basement.

But recently, she received a letter from the province with a refund inside.

The province started refunding vehicle owners earlier this year for licence plate renewal fees paid since March 2020, but Johnston’s last renewal dates back to August 2009, which is labeled on the top right corner of her now ornamental plate.

CTV News Toronto has viewed the cheque, which is dated April 2, and states “Licence Plate Sticker Refund.”

After CTV News Toronto flagged the issue to the Ministry of Transportation, they said they would look into Johnston’s situation.

They said they were not able to confirm what occurred in this situation for privacy reasons, but added they would reach out to her directly.

“Vehicle owners will get back what they paid for individually-owned vehicles since March 2020. Refund amounts will vary depending on when plates were last renewed and how much was paid,” a spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation said.

Johnston said she hasn’t cashed in her cheque. “My concern is if I got one, how many hundreds of people got them that don’t deserve them?”