Commercial vehicle operator's registration (CVOR)

Commercial vehicle operators in Ontario must have a valid Commercial Vehicle Operator's Registration (CVOR) certificate and carry a copy. The CVOR system monitors commercial carrier safety to improve road safety for all road users.

** UPCOMING: Attention Tow Truck Operators

Effective January 1, 2017, all tow truck operators must possess a valid CVOR certificate.

This applies to tow trucks, including:

  • A motor vehicle commonly known as a tow truck;
  • A commercial motor vehicle with a flatbed that can tilt to load and that is used exclusively to tow or transport other motor vehicles; and
  • A motor vehicle that is designed, modified, configured or equipped so that it is capable of towing other motor vehicles.

All tow truck operators should allow sufficient time to prepare for and obtain a CVOR certificate, before the requirement comes into force on January 1, 2017.

When submitting an application, write the word "TOWING" at the top of the CVOR application or renewal forms to receive updates relevant to the towing industry in the future.

Operators that need a CVOR certificate

Carriers that operate certain types of vehicles require a CVOR certificate, including commercial motor vehicles that are plated in Ontario, the U.S. or Mexico. 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
  • effective January 1, 2017 tow trucks - regardless of gross weight or registered gross weight

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.

Operators that don't need a CVOR certificate

Carriers that operate certain types of vehicles do not need a CVOR certificate. These vehicles include:

  • truck or buses plated in another Canadian province or territory
  • trucks with registered gross weight and gross weight of 4,500 kg or less, whether towing a trailer or not
  • trucks or buses leased by an individual for 30 days or less to move personal goods or to carry passengers at no fare
  • ambulances, fire trucks, hearses, casket wagons, mobile cranes
  • unladen trucks or buses operating under the authority of dealer plates or in-transit permits
  • buses used for personal purposes without compensation
  • motor homes used for personal purposes
  • pickup trucks that:
    • have a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating of 6,000 kg (13,227 lb)
    • are being used for personal purposes without compensation
    • are fitted with either the original, unmodified box installed by the manufacturer, or an unmodified replacement box that duplicates the one installed by the manufacturer
    • are not carrying or towing a trailer carrying commercial cargo or tools, or equipment of any type normally used for commercial purposes

CVOR operator responsibilities

A CVOR operator (carrier) is the person responsible for the operation of a commercial motor vehicle. Operators are responsible for all the drivers and vehicles in their operation, including:

  • the conduct of the driver
    • employing qualified and licensed drivers
    • monitoring the safety performance of drivers, including hours of service
    • resolving driver safety issues when they are identified
  • the mechanical safety condition of the vehicle
    • keeping vehicles in good, safe condition at all times
    • ensuring that daily and annual/semi-annual inspections are completed
  • the shipping of goods or passengers in the vehicle
    • ensuring load security
  • keeping records on file (e.g. vehicle repairs, kilometres travelled per year, annual inspection reports, etc.)
  • notifying the Ministry of Transportation of changes to names, addresses, telephone numbers, fleet data, kilometric travel, changes in corporate officers, etc.
  • renewing your CVOR certificate and not allowing your CVOR to expire

The operator does not need to be the vehicle owner but must hold a valid CVOR certificate when using vehicles that are leased or contracted.

How CVOR works

The CVOR system monitors an operator's safety record over a 2-year period. The CVOR record contains information such as:

  • operator information (e.g. fleet size, kilometres travelled, commodity transported, overall violation rate, Safety Rating)
  • convictions
  • reportable collisions
  • Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) safety inspections
  • ministry interventions (e.g. letters, interviews, audits and sanctions)

The CVOR certificate identifies the operator and contains a unique 9-digit ID number. The certificate (or a copy) must be carried in each commercial motor vehicle operated under the CVOR certificate. Operators must surrender the certificate when requested by an MTO enforcement officer or police officer for inspection purposes.

Evaluating a operator's performance

The CVOR system evaluates an operator based on the events on its CVOR record. An operator's on-road performance is evaluated based on 3 safety indicators:

  1. collision
  2. convictions
  3. roadside inspection

Interventions and sanctions

An operator will be reviewed when poor safety performance is identified based on the operator's overall violation rate.

At predetermined stages, operator interventions such as disciplinary letters, interviews, audits or sanctions will be considered. When an operator reaches one of these stages, ministry staff will determine the appropriate intervention.

A sanction is the most severe disciplinary measure that the ministry may impose. It may result in:

  • a fleet limitation
  • plate seizure
  • suspension or cancellation of a operator's privileges

Sanctions may also result in an operator receiving an unsatisfactory safety rating.

Sanctions imposed by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles take effect throughout Canada.

As part of the sanction process, the operator will have an opportunity to show why the sanction should not be imposed.

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