Things You Should Know About Ontario's Improved Air Brake (z) Endorsement Program


This program, improved as of March 31, 2003, is a result of joint industry/government consultations aimed at raising the training and testing standards and enhancing driver skill and knowledge with respect to air brake systems.

To take into account that not all commercial drivers require training/testing on tractor-trailer air brake sub-systems, the ministry developed three versions of the written test and two versions of the practical tests:


Knowledge Tests

Version 1: 20 questions, includes questions related to trailer air brake systems.
Version 2: 20 questions, excludes questions related to trailer air brake systems.
Version 3: 10 questions, only questions related to trailer air brake systems.

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Practical Tests

The Ministry has modified the practical test and introduced two versions. Version 1 includes trailer air brake systems and Version 2 excludes trailer air brake systems.

Important: The driver must come equipped with the following items for a practical test or the test may be cancelled:

  1. Wheel chocks or blocks.
  2. A watch with a second hand or a stopwatch.
  3. Awareness of the size and type of all the brake chambers on their vehicle.
  4. A means of holding the brake pedal in the applied position.
  5. A means of marking the pushrod (chalk or similar).
  6. A device for measuring pushrod stroke (tape measure or ruler).
  7. A chart of brake adjustment limits. (optional)
  8. Protective headgear (such as a hard hat).
  9. Protective eyewear.

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Air Brake Endorsement Courses

The Air Brake Endorsement Course is provided as follows:

Vehicle Fleet Owners
  • 12-hour course is offered for drivers upgrading to class AZ licence
  • 10.5-hour course is offered for drivers holding class B,C,D,E,F or G licences wishing to obtain a Z endorsement.
Community Colleges & Safety Organizations
  • 12-hour course only is offered

Upon successful completion of the Air Brake Endorsement Course, please present the referral envelope which you will receive to a DriveTest Centre, within six (6) months, in order to add the Z endorsement to your licence.

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Testing Locations

DriveTest Centres
All versions of the knowledge and practical tests.

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Recognized/Signing Authorities

Vehicle Fleet Owners
  • All versions of the knowledge and practical tests, as per course requirements.
Community Colleges & Safety Organizations
  • Only Version 1 of the knowledge and practical tests, as per course requirements.

Note: You must present your test results at a DriveTest centre to add the Z endorsement to your licence.

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Handbook

Photo of Official Air Brake Handbook

The Official Air Brake Handbook has been revised to reflect the changes to the program. The Handbook is available in English and French and may be purchased on line at the ServiceOntario Publications Web site, from a DriveTest centre, selected Driver and Vehicle Licence Issuing Offices or at selected retails stores such as Canadian Tire or Indigo/Chapters.

Please note that in addition to air brake knowledge and practical tests drivers must continue to meet all licensing requirements for the class of licence desired.

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Questions?

I hold a Class B,C,D,E,F, or G licence. What air brake tests will I be required to take to obtain a Class AZ licence?
Version 1 knowledge test, Version 1 practical test

I hold a Class B,C,D,E,F, or G licence. What air brake tests will I be required to take to obtain a Z endorsement?
Version 2 knowledge test, Version 2 practical test.

I hold a Class B,C,D,E,F, or G licence with a Z endorsement. What air brake tests will I be required to take to upgrade to a class AZ licence?
Version 3 knowledge test, No practical test.

I hold a Class B,C,D,E,F, or G licence with a Z endorsement but hold a valid 12 hour air brake course certificate. What air brake tests will I be required to take to obtain a Class AZ licence?
No air brake knowledge or practical tests required.

I have a Z endorsement on my licence and wish to renew. What air brake tests will I be required to take?
For renewal, driver must complete the applicable knowledge test only, no practical test is required.

I am 65 (or older), what do I need to do to renew my Z endorsement?
Annual knowledge and practical air brake endorsement tests applicable to the licence class must be taken. Class D or G licences with a Z endorsement must complete the knowledge test only.

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