Air brake (Z) endorsement program

Anyone who drives a vehicle fitted with an air brake system or an air-over-hydraulic brake system is required to have a Z endorsement on their driver's licence. This information will help you learn more about how to get the Z endorsement on your licence.

Study for the knowledge test

Ontario's Official Air Brake Handbook will help you prepare for your knowledge test. It will introduce you to the knowledge and skills you need to drive a vehicle with air brakes. You can buy the handbook:

To take into account that not all commercial drivers need testing on tractor-trailer air brake sub-systems, there are three version of the air brake knowledge test:

  • Version 1: 20 questions, including questions related to trailer air brake systems
  • Version 2: 20 questions, excluding questions related to trailer air brake systems
  • Version 3: 10 questions only related to trailer air brake systems.

You can take your air brake knowledge test at a DriveTest centre.

Fees

You will need to pay a fee to apply for the air brake (Z) endorsement and take the knowledge test. See the list of fees.

Booking a Practical Test

To book a practical test appointment, you will need to provide:

  • your valid Ontario driver's licence number
  • a preferred location for taking the test
  • a second and third choice of location
  • a preferred date and time.

You can book, cancel or reschedule a practical test appointment:

You need to cancel a test at least 48 hours ahead of your appointment to avoid a cancellation fee.

To take into account that not all commercial drivers need testing on tractor-trailer air brake sub-systems, there are two version of the air brake practical test:

  • Version 1: includes trailer air brake systems
  • Version 2: excludes trailer air brake systems

You need to bring the following to your practical test:

  • wheel chocks or blocks
  • a stopwatch or watch with a second hand
  • knowledge of the size and type of all brake chambers on the vehicle in which you're being tested
  • a means of holding the brake pedal in the applied position
  • a means of marking the pushrod (doesn't apply to motor coaches)
  • a device for measuring pushrod stroke (doesn't apply to motor coaches)
  • protective eyewear (doesn't apply to motor coaches)
  • a chart of brake adjustment limits (optional).

Air brake endorsement course

There are two versions of the air brake endorsement course provided as follows:

By vehicle fleet owners:

  • 12-hour course for drivers upgrading to Class AZ licence
  • 10.5-hour course for drivers holding class B, C, D, E, F or G licences wishing to obtain a Z endorsement

By community colleges and safety organizations:

  • 12-hour course offered for drivers upgrading to Class A (Z) licence

Once you have successfully completed the endorsement course, you will receive a referral envelope. Present this envelope to a DriveTest Centre within 6 months to add the Z endorsement to your licence.

Renewing

To renew your Z endorsement, you only need to take the applicable knowledge test. No practical test is required unless you are 80 or older.

Once you reach age 80, you will need to take annual knowledge and practical air brake tests.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How do I renew the Z endorsement on my licence?

For renewal, you only need to take the applicable knowledge test. No practical test is required unless you are 80 or older.

Once you reach 80, you will need to take annual knowledge and practical air brake endorsement tests.

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