Commercial vehicle

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How can I find a Motor Vehicle Inspection Station?
Q2: When do I need an oversized overweight permit?
Q3: Who needs a CVOR certificate?
Q4: What do I need to operate a truck or bus or start a truck or bus company in Ontario?
Q5: Who needs to take the CVOR test?
Q6: Who can take the CVOR test?
Q7: Do I need to put my company name or CVOR number on my truck?
Q8: Is a CVOR transferrable?
Q9: How do I request a voluntary facility audit?
Q10: How do I get a CVOR Level II report (abstract)?
Q11: How can I improve my conditional safety rating?
Q12: Why is my safety rating conditional?
Q13: Why do I have points on my CVOR record when the charge is being fought in court?
Q14: Do I need to fill out a daily log?
Q15: Is my pickup truck a commercial motor vehicle and does it need a CVOR?
Q16: How do I determine registered gross weights for trucks towing trailers?
Q17: What is the Road User Safety Modernization Program?
Motor Vehicle Inspection Station sign

Q1: How can I find a Motor Vehicle Inspection Station?

There are more than 12,000 stations across Ontario - just look for the green and white sign that says "Ontario Motor Vehicle Inspection Station."


Q2: When do I need an oversized overweight permit?

Carriers must apply for permits to operate or transport oversized or overweight vehicles and loads. Carriers are responsible for following all permit conditions to ensure their vehicles operate safely on Ontario's King's highways.

You will need an oversize/overweight permit if the dimensions or weight of your vehicle and/or load exceed the limits set out in the Highway Traffic Act.

For more information see Oversize-Overweight Permits


Q3: Who needs a CVOR certificate?

Operators of trucks and buses plated in Ontario, the US or Mexico require a CVOR.

These vehicles include:

  • trucks with a gross weight or registered gross weight over 4,500 kg
  • buses with a seating capacity of 10 or more passengers

Vehicles plated in other Canadian provinces or territories don't need a CVOR certificate. They require a safety fitness certificate from the province or territory in which the vehicle is plated.

Commercial vehicle operator's registration


Q4: What do I need to operate a truck or bus or start a truck or bus company in Ontario?

The requirements to operate a truck or bus in Ontario vary depending on the type of vehicle.

Generally, you will need:

  • a Commercial Vehicle Operator's Registration (CVOR)
  • an annual or semi-annual inspection certification
  • the appropriate driver's licence for the type of vehicle

Additionally the following Acts & regulations may apply:

  • Highway Traffic Act:
    • Regulation 629 Accessible Vehicles
    • Regulation 199/07 Commercial Motor Vehicle Inspections
    • Regulation 424/97 Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators' Information
    • Regulation 577 Covering of Loads
    • Regulation 340/94 Drivers' Licences
    • Regulation 587 Equipment
    • Regulation 555/06 Hours of Service
    • Regulation 11/04 International Registration Plan
    • Regulation 611 Safety Inspections
    • Regulation 612 School Buses
    • Regulation 363/04 Security of Loads
    • Regulation 381/98 Special Permits
    • Regulation 618 Specifications and Standards for Trailer Couplings
    • Regulation 628 Vehicle Permits
    • Regulation 413/05 Vehicle Weights and Dimensions - For Safe Productive and Infrastructure-Friendly Vehicles
  • Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act
  • Fuel Tax Act
  • Public Vehicle Act

Q5: Who needs to take the CVOR test?

All new, Ontario-based Commercial Vehicle Operator's Registration (CVOR) applicants are required to complete a written test demonstrating knowledge of Ontario's safety rules prior to being issued a certificate.

It is a multi-choice written test and based on the content of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator's Safety Manual. You can also prepare by completing the CVOR practice test.

The following operators are exempt from the CVOR test:

  • an operator renewing a CVOR certificate
  • an operator that held a valid CVOR certificate at any time within the previous three years
  • an operator whose principal place of business is not in Ontario

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Q6: Who can take the CVOR test?

The CVOR test must be completed by an individual on behalf of an operator applying for the CVOR. This individual must be the owner, sole proprietor, corporate officer or director of a corporation.


Q7: Do I need to put my company name or CVOR number on my truck?

Carriers are required to have their company name on each side of their truck, if the truck has a registered gross weight of more than 8,164 kg. They don't need to display their CVOR number.


Q8: Is a CVOR transferrable?

No, a Commercial Vehicle Operator's Registration (CVOR) is not transferrable. Each legal entity must apply for its own CVOR that includes individuals, partners or corporations.

For example, if you hold a CVOR in your personal name and you are changing your business to a corporation, you must apply for a new CVOR under the corporate name as a new legal entity.


Q9: How do I request a voluntary facility audit?

To request a voluntary facility audit please complete the form and send to:

By mail:

Facility Audit Administrator
Carrier Enforcement Program Office
Ministry of Transportation
301 St. Paul St., 3rd Floor
St. Catharines, Ontario L2R 7R4

By fax: (905) 704-2467

By email:CEPO@Ontario.ca


Q10: How do I get a CVOR Level II report (abstract)?

A Level II CVOR abstract can be purchased by the individual CVOR holder, or a corporate officer currently listed on the CVOR record of a corporate CVOR.

An abstract may be purchased at any Service Ontario Centre or Licensing & Issuing Office for a $5 fee. You can also order a Level II abstract online. It will be mailed to the address noted on the CVOR record.

Commercial vehicle operator products


Q11: How can I improve my conditional safety rating?

All conditional ratings are assigned for a minimum of six months. This rating is not eligible for improvement during this six-month period, but it could be further downgraded if your safety performance continues to deteriorate.

After six months you may be eligible for a better rating if your on-road performance has improved your overall safety violation rate to 60% or less. If a previous facility audit resulted in failing score, you will also need to pass a new audit.


Q12: Why is my safety rating conditional?

A carrier is considered for a Conditional Safety Rating if any of the following circumstances occur:

  • the carrier's on-road performance level exceeds 70% of its overall safety violation rate
  • the carrier fails a facility audit
  • upon the expiry of a suspension or plate seizure
  • a person or company related to or affiliated with a carrier has an on-road performance level that exceeds 70% of its overall safety violation rate or fails a facility audit

All Conditional ratings are in effect for a minimum of six months, except when a carrier rating is proposed for a rating downgrade to Unsatisfactory.


Q13: Why do I have points on my CVOR record when the charge is being fought in court

A charge will not appear on a carrier's CVOR record until a conviction is registered with the courts.

If the charge issued was a result of a CVSA inspection or a motor vehicle collision, the inspection or collision will appear on the CVOR record with the corresponding points for that type of event.

If the related charge results in a conviction, the conviction and any points assessed for the conviction will also appear on the CVOR record.

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Q14: Do I need to fill out a daily log?

Ontario's hours-of-service regulation governs the maximum driving times and minimum off-duty times of commercial vehicle drivers (bus and truck) who require a Commercial Vehicle Operator's Registration (CVOR). They are based on the National Safety Code Standard 9.

Driver's must:

  • keep records of their daily driving and other work activities in a set format
  • provide these records to enforcement officials upon request

Commercial vehicle safety

Commercial Vehicle Operator's Registration


Q15: Is my pickup truck a commercial motor vehicle and does it need a CVOR?

The Highway Traffic Act considers all pickup trucks to be commercial motor vehicles, but a pickup truck only needs a Commercial Vehicle Operator's Registration (CVOR) certificate if it has an actual or registered gross weight of more than 4,500 kg.

A personal-use pickup truck means a pickup truck that:

  • is being used for personal purposes without compensation
  • has a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating of 6,000 kg (13,227 lb) or less, and is fitted with either:
    • the original box that was installed by the manufacturer, which has not been modified, or
    • a replacement box that duplicates the one that was installed by the manufacturer and has not been modified
  • is not carrying or towing a trailer carrying commercial cargo or tools or equipment of a type normally used for commercial purposes

Q16: How do I determine registered gross weights for trucks towing trailers?

The registered gross weight (RGW) determines the fee paid for commercial licence plates (black and white). The truck's RGW is based on and must be at least equal to the actual weight of the truck, or the truck, trailer(s) and load(s).

The RGW is indicated in kilograms (kg) on the right portion (plate portion) of a truck's ownership, to the right of "REG. GROSS WT." One kilogram equals 2.204 pounds and one pound equals 0.4536 (kg).

A trailer permit does not have a RGW. Generally the weight of a towed trailer and its load are added to the RGW of the truck. Load includes the driver, passengers, fuel, equipment, tools, cargo, equipment, etc. carried in the truck and trailer.

"Truck" includes pickups and business-type vans with commercial licence plates. Farm plated trucks are subject to the same RGW rules.

Light trailers that transmit to the highway a total weight of 2,800 kilograms (6,173 lb.) or less are not included in determining registered gross weight.

To determine how much an attached trailer transmits to the highway and how much a truck should be registered for:

  1. Weigh the truck only, with the trailer attached.
    Illustration One - Weighing a truck only - Weight A
    Illustration of weighing a truck only, with the trailer attached
  2. Weigh the trailer only, with the trailer attached to the truck.
    Illustration Two - Weighing a trailer only - Weight B
    Illustration of weighing the trailer only, with the trailer attached to the truck

If the trailer weighs more than 2,800 kg (6,171 lb.):

  • register the truck for at least the combined weight of the truck and trailer, weights A and B

If the trailer weighs 2,800 kg (6,171 lb.) or less:

  • register the truck for at least the weight of the truck (weight A), which includes trailer tongue weight
  • weight transmitted directly to the ground by the trailer is not included in the RGW

Q17: What is the Road User Safety Modernization Program?

Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation is undertaking the Road User Safety Modernization Program (RUSMP) to replace its driver, vehicle and carrier computer systems to streamline processes and meet demands for more efficient and accessible services. The ministry is implementing this transformation in phases. The first segment of RUSMP focuses primarily on Carrier and Motor Vehicle Inspection Station (MVIS)-related business programs.

RUSMP will build a new computer system for licensing and registration business programs to better serve Ontario’s 12,000 MVIS and 55,000 commercial motor vehicle carriers called the Registration and Licensing System of Ontario.

The Motor Vehicle Inspection Station (MVIS) page has more information on the implementation of RUSMP enhancements to the MVIS Program.

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