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Commercial Vehicle Operator's Registration (CVOR)


General Information

The CVOR system tracks the on-road safety performance of the following vehicles:

  • Trucks that have a gross weight or registered gross weight over 4,500 kg (9,920 lb) and
  • Buses that have a seating capacity of ten or more passengers.

The goal of the CVOR system is to improve road safety for all users of Ontario highways by having an effective monitoring and intervention system for all carriers. Poor performance may result in the loss of privileges to operate commercial motor vehicles.

Vehicles that require a CVOR

A CVOR certificate is required for commercial vehicles that are:

  • Plated in Ontario,
  • Plated in the USA, or
  • Plated in Mexico.

Vehicles that are plated in other Canadian provinces or territories (not Ontario) do not need a CVOR certificate. They require a safety fitness certificate from the province or territory in which the vehicle is plated.

Note: For-hire operators of buses, including motor coaches and school/school purpose vehicles, may also require an operating authority under the Public Vehicles Act and Motor Vehicle Transport Act. Contact the Ontario Highway Transport Board at (416) 326-6732 for more information.


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

  • A truck or bus that is plated in another Canadian jurisdiction
  • A truck with a registered gross weight (RGW) and a gross weight of 4,500 kg or less, whether towing a trailer or not - see Determining RGW
  • A truck or bus leased by an individual for 30 days or less to move their personal goods, or to carry passengers at no fare
  • An ambulance, fire apparatus, hearse, casket wagon, mobile crane or tow truck
  • A truck or bus operating under the authority of a dealer plate or an in-transit permit
  • A bus used for personal purposes without compensation
  • A motor home used for personal purposes
  • A pickup truck used for personal purposes

Note: For current exemptions, please refer to the Highway Traffic Act.

CVOR responsibilities

A CVOR operator (carrier) is the person who is responsible for the operation of a commercial motor vehicle. The carrier is responsible for:

  • The conduct of the driver
  • The mechanical safety condition of the vehicle, and
  • The shipping of goods or passengers in the vehicle.

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

Carriers are responsible for all the drivers and vehicles in their operation. For example, these responsibilities include:

  • Employing qualified and licensed drivers;
  • Monitoring the safety performance of drivers, including hours of service;
  • Resolving driver safety issues when they are identified;
  • Keeping vehicles in good, safe condition at all times;
  • Ensuring load security
  • Ensuring daily and annual/semi-annual inspections are completed;
  • Keeping records on file (e.g. vehicle repairs, kilometres travelled per year, annual inspection reports, etc.); and
  • Notifying the Ministry of changes such as name, address, telephone numbers, fleet data, kilometric travel, and changes in corporate officers, etc.

Carriers must comply with all regulations and legislation under the Highway Traffic Act in order to operate a business in Ontario. Failing to comply may result in sanctions or loss of operating privileges.

Applying for an ORIGINAL CVOR certificate

To apply for a CVOR Certificate, a carrier must complete a "Commercial Vehicle Operator's Registration Certificate Application" form and pay the required fee. Carriers can get this form by contacting MTO Carrier Sanctions and Investigation Office.

A CVOR application may also be viewed and downloaded from the Ministry website.

The application requests information about the carrier such as the type of operation, corporate officers, directors and partners, fleet size, kilometres travelled, and authorized signature. Additional documentation may be required for new applicants (e.g. corporate papers).

After the Ministry receives the completed application and processes it, the CVOR certificate will be mailed to the carrier. The carrier must put a photocopy of the certificate in each of the trucks and buses operating under that CVOR certificate.

CVOR Checklist

  • Trucks and/or buses plated in Ontario, the USA, or Mexico
  • Trucks more than 4,500 kg gross weight or RGW (9,920 lb)
  • Buses more than 10 passenger seats
  • $250 is required for the application and issuance of an original CVOR certificate.

Remember: If you operate vehicles plated in other Canadian jurisdictions, you do not need a CVOR certificate. Instead, you must have a valid Safety Fitness Certificate issued by your home jurisdiction.

Renewal of Your CVOR Certificate

Effective December 1, 2008 all CVOR certificates are assigned an expiry date. Existing (non-expiring) certificates are being assigned an expiry date over a two-year transition period. New applicants for CVOR certificates will be assigned an expiry date at time of issuance.

Renewal will be required annually after the transition period. Carriers converted in the first year of the transition period will receive an expiry date of two years. Carriers converted in year two will have a one year expiry assigned. After transition, annual renewal will be required for all operators except those operators with carrier safety ratings of "satisfactory" or "excellent". These operators will only be required to renew their certificate every two years.

Operators will be sent a notice of expiry 60 days prior to expiry (90 days during the transition period). A carrier that does not renew prior to the expiry date is liable to a fine and possibly to imprisonment, under section 21(2) of the Highway Traffic Act, if one or more of its commercial motor vehicles is found operating on an Ontario highway.  In addition, subsection 20(2) authorises a police officer to detain the vehicle and seize the permits and number plates of the vehicle until it can be moved in compliance with the Act.


1) Application for and Issuance of an original CVOR certificate
2) Re-instate a CVOR certificate after it has been invalid for more that 12 months
3) Re-instate a terminated CVOR certificate after its expiry date.
A one-time fee to convert a non-expiring certificate to an expiring certificate, during the two-year transition period.
Annual Renewal fee after the two-year conversion period.

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The CVOR System: How it works

The CVOR system monitors a carrier's CVOR record over a two-year period. This automated computer system contains information that includes:

  • Carrier information (e.g. fleet size, kilometres travelled, commodity transported, overall violation rate, Safety Rating, etc.)
  • Convictions
  • Reportable collisions
  • CVSA safety inspections
  • Ministry interventions (i.e. letters, interviews, audits and sanctions)

The CVOR certificate identifies the carrier and contains a unique nine-digit identification number. The certificate (or a photocopy) must be carried in each commercial motor vehicle operated under the CVOR certificate. Carriers must surrender the certificate when requested by an MTO enforcement officer or police officer for inspection purposes.

Other Canadian Jurisdictions

Carriers operating commercial motor vehicles in Ontario that are plated in other Canadian jurisdictions must provide a safety fitness certificate issued by that jurisdiction in place of a CVOR certificate.

Jurisdictions outside Canada

Since January 1, 2006, carriers operating commercial motor vehicles in Ontario that are plated in any jurisdiction outside Canada may no longer substitute a vehicle permit for a CVOR certificate. They must apply for and obtain a CVOR certificate.


Where a lease is involved, the lease must identify both the vehicle and the lessee's CVOR number. Documented proof of the lease must also be carried in the vehicle. No CVOR Certificate is required if operating a vehicle leased for less than 30 days to transport personal goods only or to transport passengers for free.

Errors on CVOR records

If a carrier finds outdated information on its CVOR record, such as the address, contact information, fleet and/or rate of travel information, it is the carrier's responsibility to notify the ministry. Applications for updating this information are available from the Carrier Sanctions and Investigation Office.

If there is incorrect information on a carrier's record (e.g. an event on the record that is incorrect or the wrong carrier's information), the carrier is responsible for contacting the Carrier Sanctions and Investigation Office. A CVOR Analyst will investigate the complaint and make corrections to the record, if necessary.

The carrier's fleet

The vehicles that must be reported as part of a carrier's fleet size are all trucks (including leased, rented and owned) having a gross weight or registered gross weight of more than 4500 kg and all buses. (A bus is a motor vehicle designed to carry ten or more passengers, not including the driver.) Trailers and converter dollies are not counted as part of the fleet size.


  • All the trucks and buses in a carrier's fleet that operate in Ontario and are plated in Ontario, the United States, or Mexico.


  • Any trucks or buses in a carrier's fleet that are plated in other Canadian jurisdictions.
  • Any trucks or buses in a carrier's fleet that NEVER travel in Ontario.
  • Any trailers or trailer converter dollies in a carrier's fleet.

Fleet/kilometric data

The Highway Traffic Act requires carriers to report fleet size and travel information to the Ministry within 15 days after the fleet size 20 percent greater or less than last reported and also upon request. If the fleet size or rate of travel fluctuates throughout the year, the average rate of travel in Canada for the fleet operating in or through Ontario should be reported.

Carriers must maintain travel records (over a period of up to 24 months) of the kilometres travelled by the trucks and buses in its fleet. These records must be kept separate (i.e. one record of kilometric travel for trucks, and a separate record for buses). Carriers must report any significant changes in:

  • Total kilometres driven in Ontario
  • Total kilometres driven in all other Canadian jurisdictions, and
  • Total kilometres driven outside of Canada.

Note: For more information on determining fleet size and rate of travel please contact MTO Carrier Sanctions and Investigation Office.

CVOR Abstracts

A CVOR Abstract is a document that displays information about a carrier and that carrier's safety performance. There are three CVOR Abstracts available:

  • A Public CVOR Abstract (Level I) is a one page summary document available to the general public summarizing a carrier's record for a two-year period.
  • A Carrier CVOR Abstract (Level II) is only available to the carrier or their authorized agent, and includes summary data for a two-year period as well as detailed event data for collisions, convictions, and inspections for a five-year period.
  • A CVOR Driver Abstract is a five-year record of collisions associated with a conviction of the driver for a safety-related offence, convictions, and inspections relating to the driver (while operating a commercial motor vehicle in Ontario only). The driver licence status and medical due date are also shown.

Carrier CVOR Abstract (Level II)

Collisions, convictions and inspections appear on a Carrier CVOR Abstract (Level II) in the following ways:


Reportable collisions that occurred in Ontario are received by MTO from the police. Reportable collisions that occurred in other Canadian jurisdictions are reported by those jurisdictions via a Canada-wide data exchange system. Only those out-of-province collisions that occurred after April 1, 2007 will appear on a carrier abstract. A "reportable accident" involves damage over $1,000 and/or personal injury.

Collisions are assigned points based on the severity of the collision and other information on the Motor Vehicle Accident Report. The report may also include written information on charges laid.

Collisions where no improprieties or vehicle defects are noted on the police report appear on the carrier's CVOR Record but do not incur points (i.e. zero pointed). Collisions reported at a Collision Reporting Centre (self-reporting) are also included on the carrier's record and may also be pointed.


An officer may lay a charge against a driver or carrier. Convictions resulting from driver or carrier charges are recorded on the carrier's CVOR Record with point values based on severity.

Convictions for offences that occurred in other Canadian jurisdictions are received by MTO via a Canada-wide data exchange system. Only those out-of-province convictions that occurred after April 1, 2007, will appear on a carrier abstract.


An officer may conduct an inspection of a commercial motor vehicle. Inspections are conducted according to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) standards, a standard applied by all jurisdictions across North America. Inspections can result in the following findings:

  • Defects
  • Out of service defects
  • Critical defects that can cause the vehicle to be impounded

Driver or vehicle inspection categories that do not meet the minimum standard are considered out-of-service (OOS).

When mechanical defects exceed the critical defect criteria, the Ministry may impound the vehicle. In such a situation, extra points are not added on the CVOR record. However, this event does appear on the CVOR Record and could result in the carrier being recommended for an intervention.

All levels of CVSA inspections performed after April 1, 2007 by an officer anywhere in Canada will appear on a Carrier abstract. This includes passed inspections, as well as those with defects, and defects that are out-of-service.

There are 5 levels of CVSA inspections that Ontario monitors on a CVOR abstract:

Level 1:
examination of the vehicle and driver (driver's license, medical certificates and hours of service)
Level 2
Walk-Around Driver and Vehicle Inspection. (Vehicle components include those components that can be inspected without physically getting under the vehicle and Driver's license, medical certificates and hours of service)
Level 3
Only Driver's license, medical certificates and hours of service.
Level 4
Special Inspections that are a one-time examination of a particular item Driver or Vehicle.
Level 5
Vehicle Inspection only without the driver present.
Facility Audits

The results of a facility audit will be recorded on a carrier's CVOR record. An audit conducted at the request of the carrier will be noted on the record as a voluntary audit.

Ministry Interventions and Sanctions

Ministry interventions and sanctions include disciplinary letters sent to the carrier, interviews, audits, and sanctions of fleet limitation, seizure of plates, suspension and/or cancellation of the carrier's operating privileges.


Collisions are pointed based on severity (property damage, personal injury or fatal injury) and impropriety (vehicle defect, driver action, driver condition) noted on the Motor Vehicle Accident Report from the police, or as indicated on a collision record reported by another Canadian jurisdiction.

Collisions with no impropriety or vehicle defects reported will appear on the carrier's CVOR record but are not pointed.

The following table determines point values assigned for collisions that occurred after April 1, 2007.

Collision Weighting Table
Factor = 0
Factor = 2
Property Damage
(Factor = 1)
0 2
Personal Injury
(Factor = 2)
0 4
Fatal Injury
(Factor = 3)
0 6

Convictions are pointed as per the Conviction Code Table. Safety related convictions are assigned a weighted value. Administrative related convictions appear on the CVOR record but are weighted at zero. (Contact MTO Carrier Sanctions and Investigation Office for a full copy of the Conviction Code Table).

Inspection points are assessed on out of service defects. One point is assigned for the first inspected category found with an out of service defect per unit, and 2 points for each subsequent category found out of service on the same unit. Each vehicle in a combination of vehicles is counted as a unit. The driver is also counted as a unit, but not any co-driver. There are 15 inspection categories for mechanical defects and 2 driver inspection categories.

Inspection out of service (OOS) rates

There are 3 out of service (OOS) rates: overall, vehicle and driver.

The overall inspection out of service rate is the percentage of total inspections conducted in the displayed time period that had OOS defects. For example, if a carrier had 6 inspections in 24 months, and 3 inspections had OOS defects, then the overall OOS rate is 50%.

The vehicle out of service rate is the percentage of total inspections (excluding level 3) that reported vehicle out of service defects. (Level 1, 2, and 5)

The driver out of service rate is the percentage of total inspections that reported a driver out of service defect. (Level 1, 2, and 3)

In all cases, level 4 CVSA inspections are not counted in determining OOS rates. The out-of-service rates are shown on the first page of the carrier's CVOR Abstract.

Evaluating a carrier's performance

The CVOR System evaluates a carrier based on the events on its CVOR Record, including collisions, driver and carrier convictions, CVSA inspections and detentions, and the results of facility audits.

The first step in evaluating a carrier is to assess its on-road performance based on three separate safety indicators. These are the carrier's:

  • Total collision points accumulated in (up to) a 24-month period (collision violation rate),
  • Total conviction points accumulated in (up to) a 24-month period (conviction violation rate), and
  • Total inspection points accumulated in (up to) a 24-month period, on CVSA inspections (inspection violation rate).

The points accumulated in each category are compared to the point threshold values listed in "Table of Threshold Values" to determine the Percentage of Threshold. Thresholds for collisions and convictions are based on the carrier's kilometric travel in Canada. Thresholds for inspections are based on the total number of units (drivers and vehicles) inspected in Canada. This is a measure of the carrier's performance in each of these categories.

The violation rate (Percentage of Threshold) in each category is combined to arrive at an overall violation rate. Collisions and convictions contribute at double the value of inspections towards the overall rate. Since they have been shown to be better predictors of future collisions than out of service defects, collisions and convictions are given more importance in determining the overall percentage of threshold.

Note: For an example of these calculations, or copy of the Table of Threshold Values please contact MTO Carrier Sanctions and Investigation Office.

Carriers with vehicles plated in the USA are rated on kilometres travelled in Ontario only, and only for Ontario events.

Interventions and sanctions

The CVOR System automatically identifies a carrier for review when poor safety performance is identified based on the carrier's overall violation rate.

Predetermined stages have been established at which point carrier interventions or sanctions will be considered. When one of these stages is reached, Ministry staff will determine the appropriate intervention. (Warning letters issued at 35%, a request for a facility audit is triggered at 50%, an interview at 85%, and a sanction analysis at 100% or over.)

The Registrar of Motor Vehicles may use other triggering methods to bring a carrier to the Ministry's attention such as significant incidents (e.g. impoundments or wheel separations, unpaid fines, or chronic non-compliance).

All interventions and sanctions concerning a carrier's CVOR Record are directed towards the corporate officer or senior official of the company. In this way, the individual who has control of and accountability for the carrier's operation will be aware of the Ministry's concerns regarding its safety performance and is expected to take the necessary steps to improve. This approach has proven very successful in improving carrier performance. Over 80% of carriers that are subject to an intervention improve their record to an acceptable standard.


A sanction is the most severe disciplinary measure the Registrar may impose. It may result in a fleet limitation, plate seizure, or suspension or cancellation of a carrier's operating privileges. Sanctions may also result in a carrier receiving an Unsatisfactory Safety Rating. Sanctions imposed by the Registrar take effect throughout Canada. As part of the sanction process, the carrier will have an opportunity to show cause as to why the sanction should not be imposed.

Carriers that exceed 100% of their overall CVOR threshold may receive a Notice of Sanction. The corporate officer or senior official of the company is given the opportunity to show cause to the Registrar or Deputy Registrar of Motor Vehicles as to why its commercial vehicle operator privileges in Canada should not be revoked, suspended or limited. A summary of the information that is available to the Registrar/Deputy Registrar is included with the Notice of Sanction together with the Safety Rating letter that the carrier receives prior to the meeting. This may include a Carrier CVOR Abstract (Level II), listing of outstanding unpaid fines, incident reports and a Ministry analysis of the carrier's safety performance.

Sanctions that have been ordered may be appealed to:

Licence Appeal Tribunal
530 - 20 Dundas Street West, 5th Floor
Toronto, ON M5G 2C2
Phone: 416-314-4260 or 1-800-255-2214 (within Ontario)

Reporting CVOR changes or errors (current CVOR registrants)

Under Subsection 18(1) of the HTA, changes to corporate officers (officers, directors or partners), carrier name or address must be reported to the Ministry within 15 days. Changes to shareholders should not be reported.

The HTA requires that changes to fleet size and kilometres travelled must also be reported to the Registrar. A fleet size change that increases or decreases a carrier's fleet size by more than 20% must be reported within 15 days after the change or within 15 days of receiving a request from the Registrar for this information (See Subsection 6 and Subsection 7(3) of O. Reg. 424/97). Changes to kilometres travelled must also be reported to the Registrar upon receiving a request for this information (See Subsection 7(1) of O. Reg. 424/97). Failure to do so could result in charges being laid against the carrier and is a condition of retaining a CVOR certificate.

Other changes of information should also be reported to ensure the accuracy of carrier information such as commodities carried, no longer operating, etc. A new certificate will only be issued for changes to the carrier name, or if a replacement is required due to loss, damage, etc. All name changes require proper and legal supporting documentation.

Corporate Officers/Directors

If there is a change of corporate officers and/or directors, the carrier should contact MTO Carrier Sanctions and Investigation Office to have a CVOR Update Application sent to them.

Fleet Size/Kilometres Travelled

If there is a change in fleet size or kilometres travelled, the carrier should contact MTO Carrier Sanctions and Investigation Office to have a CVOR Update Application sent to them.

Note: Changes to fleet size and rate of travel are not automatically captured through the province's Vehicle Registration System (e.g. licence plate renewal, permit purchase or deletion).


Changes of name or address for an individual (not a corporation) can be made at a Driver & Vehicle Licence Issuing Office through the Vehicle Registration System if the person making the change owns an Ontario plated vehicle. A corporation must contact the Licensing Administration Office at 2680 Keele Street, Downsview, Ontario M3M 1J8, or phone 416-235-2999 to change the name on vehicle permits. This will allow the issuance of new vehicle permits. If you are not the owner of the vehicles or the vehicles are registered in a jurisdiction other than Ontario, please contact MTO Carrier Sanctions and Investigation Office.

Note: A new CVOR Certificate is not issued for a change of address.

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Threshold Values

What is a carrier's threshold?

A carrier's threshold is the safety performance standard (violation rate) that a carrier is expected to not exceed, based on industry performance data. It is measured individually for collisions, convictions and CVSA inspections and combined to determine an overall violation rate. The threshold is expressed in points accumulated in a sliding 24-month period. A carrier's collision and conviction thresholds depend on its rate of kilometres travelled per month in Canada, whereas the carrier's inspection threshold depends on the number of units inspected (drivers and vehicles) in the past 24 months.

The overall threshold combines three individual thresholds: collision threshold, conviction threshold and inspection threshold in the ratios of 2:2:1. These individual thresholds are shown on the Carrier CVOR Abstract (Level II)

Development of performance measures in the CVOR System

The Ministry analysed the on-road safety performance of a large sample of carriers operating in Ontario during the two-year period from July 1, 2003 until June 30, 2005. Collision rates and safety related conviction rates for each carrier were plotted and compared for carriers with varying rates of travel, resulting in a standard that identifies acceptable levels of performance. A similar standard was developed for vehicle inspection performance based on frequency of inspection. Performance standards were determined based on monthly kilometric travel.

An overall performance level or threshold was established for each carrier by weighting the collision, conviction and inspection performances in the ratios of 2:2:1. In other words, collisions and convictions are given double the weight of inspections in determining an operator's overall violation rate (performance level).

Note: For a copy of the threshold value tables, threshold formulas and sample calculations of kilometric rate of travel, violation rates, and percentages of threshold calculations of how you arrive at your violation rate, please contact MTO Carrier Sanctions and Investigation Office

Violation Rates

The CVOR System calculates the carrier's violation rates for collisions and convictions based on the total number of points accumulated over (up to) a 24-month sliding period compared to the threshold values established for that carrier's kilometric rate of travel during that same period. For inspections, the total points accumulated in any given period, up to a maximum of 24 months, are compared with the threshold points established based on the number of units (drivers and vehicles) inspected in that same period These individual thresholds are combined to arrive at an overall violation rate with collisions and convictions weighted double to inspections.

As new events and points are recorded, events and points older than 24 months drop off. The formula is based on a 24-month period or the number of months since the start of the carrier's CVOR record, whichever is less. The violation rate is converted to a percentage of the carrier's threshold. Appropriate Ministry interventions and sanctions are triggered by the CVOR System if a carrier reaches various levels of its threshold.

Note: For a copy of the threshold value tables, threshold formulas and sample calculations of kilometric rate of travel, violation rates, and percentages of threshold calculations of how you arrive at your violation rate, please contact MTO Carrier Sanctions and Investigation Office

The Registrar may use discretionary power to intervene in cases not triggered by the automated system.