Ministry of Transportation / Ministère des Transports
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Frequently Asked Questions
Restricted Class A Licence - FAQ

  1. Why are you doing this now? Are you not doing this just because of bad publicity?
  2. If you are grandfathering existing drivers how will this help ensure safety?
  3. I already have my Class A licence. Will these new regulations affect me?
  4. When will the ministry begin issuing the new restricted Class A licence?
  5. What combination of vehicles should I bring in for a road test in order to receive a full Class A licence?
  6. What if I arrive for a road test with a vehicle that does not meet the minimum requirements for a full Class A but would like a full Class A licence?
  7. What if I decide to continue with the road test and I pass but my vehicle can't be driven with a restricted Class A licence?
  8. Will I be required to take a different road test if I bring in a vehicle combination that requires a restricted condition?
  9. How can I remove the "R" restrictive condition code from my Class A driver's licence?
  10. Is a Class A driver with the restrictive condition code allowed to drive any combination of vehicle that requires a Class A licence?
  11. Will reciprocal licence exchange agreements be affected?
  12. Are there any other restrictions that restricted Class A licensed drivers should be aware of?
  13. How will the government enforce the restricted Class A licence regulations?

1. Why are you doing this now?  Are you not doing this just because of bad publicity?

Improving the safety of Ontario's trucking industry and all road users is a top priority for this ministry.

In recent years the ministry has focused its attention to finalize improvements to Beginner Driver Education. Our attention is now shifting to develop options to improve how commercial drivers are trained, tested, and licensed.

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2.  If you are grandfathering existing drivers how will this help ensure safety?

There are about 180,000 Class A licence holders in Ontario. It is impractical for the ministry to retest all the current Class A holders, the majority of which having already been tested on a large tractor-trailer. Doing so, would cause considerable hardship and expense for Class A drivers.

Ontario's roads are among the safest in North America. We have one of the lowest injury and fatality rates on the continent, and have some of the most stringent truck safety laws, as well as the highest fines and sanctions for commercial vehicle-related offences in North America.

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3.  I already have my Class A licence. Will these new regulations affect me?

Effective June 16, 2008, if you require a road test to renew your driver's licence, or for driver improvement reasons, you will need to follow the new rules for Class A licensing and testing.

To maintain your full Class A licence you will need to pay the appropriate fees and pass a road test using a vehicle that meets the requirements for a full Class A licence. If you pass your road test on a vehicle that does not meet the full Class A requirements, you will receive the restricted Class A licence.

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4. When will the ministry begin issuing the new restricted Class A licence?

The applicant will be given the option of forfeiting half of their pre-paid fee and rescheduling the test or proceeding as scheduled with the understanding that if successful on their road test, the restrictive "R" condition code will be applied to their Class A licence.

Drivers with a restricted Class A licence may obtain a full Class A licence at any time by passing a road test using a full Class A vehicle configuration.

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5. What combination of vehicles should I bring in for a road test in order to receive a full Class A licence?

In order to receive a full Class A licence, applicants must bring a tractor-trailer for the road test that has all the following:

  • A tractor equipped with automatic or a manual transmission;
  • A fifth wheel coupling;
  • A single trailer having an overall length of 45 feet; and,
  • A full air brake system on both the tractor and the trailer.

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6. What if I arrive for a road test with a vehicle that does not meet the minimum requirements for a full Class A but would like a full Class A licence?

The applicant will be given the option of rescheduling the test or proceeding as scheduled with the understanding that the restrictive "R" condition code will be applied to their Class A licence.

The applicant will be required to pay an additional fee if he or she decides to reschedule the test.

Drivers with the restricted Class A licence may obtain a full Class A licence at any time by passing a road test using a larger vehicle configuration.

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7.  What if I decide to continue with the road test and I pass but my vehicle can't be driven with a restricted Class A licence?

In this situation the applicant has brought in a vehicle that does not meet their needs. To drive this vehicle the applicant must pass a road test using a vehicle that meets the requirements for a full privilege Class A licence.

Applicants who choose to proceed and pass will receive a Class A licence with the restrictive "R" condition code but will not be licensed to operate this vehicle unless being taught by an accompanying driver who holds a full privilege Class A licence.

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8.  Will I be required to take a different road test if I bring in a vehicle combination that requires a restricted condition?

No.  Regardless of the vehicle used, the road test and fees remain the same.  The only difference is that drivers who use a small vehicle configuration for their road test will have the "R" restrictive condition applied to their licence.

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9. How can I remove the "R" restrictive condition code from my Class A driver's licence?

Drivers who received a restricted Class A licence and wish to remove the "R" condition code will have to pay the appropriate fees and pass a Class A road test in a vehicle that satisfies the new requirements.  A written, vision, or a medical test is not required.

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10. Is a Class A driver with the restrictive condition code allowed to drive any combination of vehicle that requires a Class A licence?

No.Under the HTA it is an offence for a Class A driver with a restriction to operate a vehicle which requires a Class A licence. This includes:

  • a motor vehicle pulling double trailers; or,
  • a motor vehicle pulling a trailer with air brakes.

As such, the new restrictive condition prevents holders from driving full-size tractor-trailers. Vehicle owners are also prohibited to permit a person to operate a motor vehicle in contravention of a licence condition, including the "R" condition.

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11. Will reciprocal licence exchange agreements be affected?

Ontario drivers who previously held an Ontario Class A licence with the restrictive condition code "R" and return from another jurisdiction will be reissued a Class A licence having the "R" condition code regardless of having a full privilege equivalent licence from another jurisdiction.

In order to remove the restriction the applicant will have to pay the appropriate fees and pass the Class A road test in a vehicle combination that satisfies the new requirements.  Drivers from other jurisdictions will receive a licence equivalent to the one they held in their home jurisdiction.

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12. Are there any other restrictions that restricted Class A licensed drivers should be aware of?

Yes. Restricted Class A licence holders should be aware that they may not act as an accompanying driver for the purpose of giving driving instruction on a vehicle requiring a full Class A licence.

Additionally, Ontario drivers returning from another jurisdiction will be reissued a Class A licence with the same restrictive conditions as when they left.

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13. How will the government enforce the restricted Class A licence regulations?

Truck owners are responsible for making sure that their drivers have the right licence for the vehicle configuration they operate. The licence condition code will appear on the appropriate documents, i.e. the driver's licence and driver record searches, see below for a sample driver's licence with the "R" condition code.

Trucking companies and other organizations that hold Class A licence training and testing authority will be monitored for compliance through the ministry's routine inspection process. The enforcement community is responsible for enforcing the Highway Traffic Act, therefore normal enforcement efforts will continue.

All applicants who come into a DriveTest Centre will receive a licence appropriate to the vehicle they brought in for the road test.

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The front of a Class A drive's licence showing the "R" (Restriction) code in the licence Restrictions / Conditions field. The back of the driver's licence having an "R" condition will also have a brief description (VEH. RESTRICTION, RESTRICTION VÉH.)
The front of a Class A drive's licence showing the "R" (Restriction) code in the licence Restrictions / Conditions field. The back of the driver's licence having an "R" condition will also have a brief description (VEH. RESTRICTION, RESTRICTION VÉH.)

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