How Do I Register An ATV Without Ownership in Ontario

An all-terrain vehicle is very popular in every corner of the United States. Atv is the modern off-road vehicle that gets you riding into rough terrains and all kinds of trails where a normal car would get totalled very soon. The experience of riding into the woods or on the rocky trails is very unique and thrilling at the same time. Most states like Ontario have various types of trails to experience based on your preferences.

The never seen viewpoints give you a rare view into the natural beauty of Ontario with a feeling very similar to internal freedom. People who are new to the world of all-terrain vehicles and off-road riding sometimes just wonder that just buying an ATV lets you ride into the wild nature but that’s not true.

You need to get your ATV registered to ride legally through the government-owned trails and other public areas. Buying from a registered dealer in your area saves you from lots of hassle as they handle all the paperwork including atv registration and obtaining ownership for you.

ATV Legal Requirements in Ontario

Whether you have bought an atv in Ontario or any other state, according to the off-road vehicles act the atv must be titled, registered and own a plate on it always issued by the ministry of transport. To get your atv registered whether you have an ownership or not you will definitely need insurance proof. When talking about an ATV in Ontario you will need a legal and valid automobile insurance policy.

 Insurance of the rider doesn’t count as the insurance of the ATV neither does the insurance of the property you are riding in. The penalty fees for not having insurance and riding is colossal. A huge amount of five thousand dollars is issued for the rider which is quite difficult to be paid by most people.

The Ontario authorities strictly maintain the rule of not registering an ATV to anyone less than sixteen years of age. There are certain rules and regulations too which you need to abide by after getting your ATV registered. Check the MTO website of the Ontario state for going through it at least once before venturing into the wild.

Details of registering your ATV without ownership

Any type of ownership documentation is necessary for proving your entitlement to the all-terrain vehicle. Whenever you are buying an atv whether new or old you should obtain a certificate of sale from the seller. When you are buying a used atv privately from a person you need to be extra careful. Many times criminal activities have shown their colours in the ATV reselling industry.

Stolen ATVs have been often sold through third-party websites to innocent customers. Many people have got in trouble by buying stolen ATVs at a low price offered by scammers. So always verify the owner whenever you are planning to buy an ATV privately. A new owner needs to get the signed vehicle portion of the permit from the prior owner. The registration plate that you will get needs to be placed in front of the vehicle along with the expiration sticker.

The plate should be prominently visible and the other registration licensing documents should be kept along with the ATV at all times of riding. Whenever an all-terrain vehicle gets a new owner then the person who is the new owner needs to start the registration process within six days in the Ontario transport department.

The essential documents you would need to provide to register your newly bought atv are as follows:

  • Proof of buying the atv is absolutely necessary. This can be part of the used vehicle information package or the original receipt from the seller of the vehicle.
  • The driving license of the new owner or the registrant identification number of the person is required.
  • The automobile insurance papers are very important to get registration and title for your ATV.
  • The plate of the permit or details of the plate attached to the ATV if present during reselling.
  • The actual vehicle permit from the seller with completed transfer documents.
  • Other vehicle detailed documents with previous owner details and essential vehicle numbers and models.
Picture of a vehicle being handed over to a new owner.
Picture of a vehicle being handed over to a new owner.


The importance of vehicle identification numbers for ATV’s without ownership

The VIN or vehicle identification number for your all-terrain vehicle can be found in the vehicle permit if you have one. The VIN can be also found on the dashboard of the vehicle and is unique for every all-terrain vehicle. Many times this occurs for many reselling ATVs that the VIN on the dashboard does not match the vehicle license documents. In such cases, you need to visit the service Ontario centre with some necessary paperwork.

The most essential ones will be the vehicle permit and the motor liability insurance card. Then other documents which might be needed are the invoice from the manufacturer or the warranty card. If you don’t have these then you can provide the original safety standard certificate or affidavit from the vehicle owner with an explanation of the error in the VIN.

In rare cases, the permit of the ATV gets lost or damaged. In that case, you will need to spend thirty-two dollars at the service Ontario centre along with a few documents. Any identification card will work well like a passport or driver’s license. You will also need the actual license plate number of the all-terrain vehicle and the actual VIN.

If everything is approved by the service Ontario centre then the permit of the all-terrain vehicle and even the license plate is sometimes issued immediately or within a few days. Even an amazing fact is that customized license plates are mailed by the Ontario transport department to the address you provide in the office. Getting a new license plate or a replacement will cost you about sixty dollars.

A group of <a href=
atv riders in a trail resting.” width=”413″ height=”310″ /> A group of atv riders in a trail resting.

Experience information from ATV forums

In most of the online atv forums, atv riders have shared experiences about getting their atv registered which they bought without ownership and privately from a yard sale or online website. From their experiences in Ontario and neighbouring states, riders have stated that it is nearly impossible to get legal insurance for an atv without any kind of registration for it.

The riders have also stated that the most crucial document you will have to get is proof of purchase of the prior owner along with the vehicle identification number. Sometimes private dealers might ask for extra cash for providing this kind of documents but you will have no choice but to spend that money. The smart trick is to make the prior owner do the running to the offices for you.

Ask them that you will pay some extra bucks if they can provide you with the ownership details along with the vehicle in your name. It’s being resold are quite inexpensive so using this trick would save you lots of trouble but you might have to still visit the service Ontario office a few times with the prior owner. People buy old atvs all the time and in many places. Riders have even shared experiences of buying atvs without registration in estate auctions and race track sales.

A few riders have even shared real-life steps to getting the registration done after you buy an atv without ownership. First, you need to get the bill of sale from the seller and along with a valid identification card visit the MTO office nearby to you in Ontario. You would have to get an affidavit done by a lawyer or a public notary person to make you the correct affidavit. In the affidavit, you need to make some official declarations.

A license plate of an atv.
A license plate of an atv.

If you don’t know whether the atv has any other ownership or not you would need to mention that along with the purchase details. You would have to notify the place and the previous known owner according to you. This would be required for making the indirect acclimation that the atv is not stolen.

The affidavit might cost you around a hundred dollars. When you provide this to the service Ontario office them your atv’s registration process would start. But providing the essential vehicle details like the VIN and model of the vehicle is absolutely important otherwise the service Ontario office wouldn’t be able to start the registration process of your atv


The Ontario service offices for the registration of atvs are very cooperative and kind. They would always try to help you get the registration of your atv done even if you are aware of the ownership. The problems with atv registration mostly occur when you are buying an atv from a private seller.


Whenever you are buying your atv privately extra caution and verification are necessary from your side. If you don’t verify a stolen ATV can be sold to you without your knowledge. In such a case you will have to face a loss of huge money and also a lot of legal trouble. Getting the right documents and the forms filled starts the registration process of your vehicle quite immediately in Ontario.


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