Delegates to the Ontario Federation of Agriculture’s recent Annual General Meeting discussed the criteria for the allocation of “farm plates” for vehicles. They have asked the OFA to work with the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) to establish clear protocols for Service Ontario offices to require proof of “farm status” when issuing or renewing farm plates.
The OFA is concerned the lax validation process and inappropriate issuance of farm plates may threaten the program for bonafide farmers.
The Ministry’s eligibility criteria is found in Highway Traffic Act Regulation 628 (Vehicle Permits), and in the Ministry’s Application for (Vehicle) Registration. Regulation 628 describes the criteria necessary to be eligible for FARM plates, while the Application for Registration requires the prospective applicant to sign a declaration attesting to their eligibility. The simple declaration process is not adequate.
We recommend the presentation of an OFA membership card (or that of another general farm organization or proof of Farm Business Registration) would offer simple and sufficient evidence of operating a farm business when applying for farm plates. It would validate the applicant as a farmer in the province of Ontario.