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Muskoka Post Staff
Today March, 19 Ontario officials announced they are extending the validity period of driving products, services and health cards in order to protect the health and safety of all individuals and families.
These changes reduce the need for in-person visits to ServiceOntario, International Registration Plan offices and DriveTest centres during the COVID-19 outbreak, helping to promote social distancing and contain the spread of the virus.
These new regulations include extensions for;
licence plate validation,
Ontario Photo Cards,
Commercial Vehicle Operator Registration certificates, among others.
Expiring and expired health cards will continue to provide access to health services.
The Ministry of Transportation is also automatically extending the due dates for medical or vision reports, which both reduces the need for in-person visits, but also ensures that patients do not need to visit their doctors, helping the health system to focus on containing COVID-19.
"We have a responsibility to Ontarians to ensure that we take every possible step to enable social distancing and stop the spread of COVID-19," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "By implementing these additional measures, Ontarians can avoid putting themselves at risk and will continue to have access to the services that they need, when they need them."
Officials said the extension will be in place until such time that, based on the advice of Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and public health officials, the current situation improves.
"We're working with all partners across the system to do everything we can to contain this virus and ensure that the system is prepared to respond to any scenario," said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. "These changes will help relieve the burden already faced by Ontarians and businesses by providing more time to renew their licences and permits without being penalized, while also reducing the need for in-person visits."
The Ministry of Transportation will continue to deliver time-critical services, including Motor Vehicle Inspection Station Stock orders and Single-Trip Oversize/Overweight permits.
"We urge our customers not to visit a ServiceOntario centre unless absolutely necessary," said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. "We encourage people to complete transactions online or use the extended validation period, and to follow the advice of our medical professions and stay at home."
As per advice from the Chief Medical Officer, the province is encouraging everyone to take appropriate measures to protect themselves from the novel coronavirus. This includes staying home if you are sick and avoiding contact with people who are sick.