Automated Licence Plate Recognition

Many police forces in Ontario have implemented the use of Automatic Licence Plate Recognition (ALPR). This technology uses cameras to scan licence plates.

How does it work? There are cameras mounted on police cruisers, usually one or two on the front and one in the back. The cameras can scan licence plates in multiple directions.

When a police officer is assigned to ALPR enforcement, the scanned license plates will be cross referenced to the Ministry of Transportation Ontario (MTO) and Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) hot list. If the license plate is on the hot list, the police officer will receive an alert that the plate is in poor standing.

The categories that licence plates in poor standing fall under are:

  • Plates that are expired (not renewed).
  • Plates that belong to a driver with a suspended licence.
  • Plates belonging to stolen vehicles or reported stolen or missing.
  • Plates that have been suspended.
  • Plates associated with a person with an outstanding warrant or who is reported missing.

ALPR is capable of scanning 2,000 to 3,000 licence plates per hour in ideal conditions.

Ontario drivers need to renew their licence registration even though stickers are no longer required. If you don’t renew, you could face fines if the ALPR flags you and a police officer tickets you.