Mandatory Entry-Level Training for Commercial Class A Truck Drivers

Effective July 1, 2017, the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) will be implementing mandatory entry-level training for commercial Class A truck drivers.

All new drivers attempting the Class A road test on or after July 1, 2017 will have to successfully complete the mandatory entry-level training course before attempting their Class A Road Test.

Mandatory entry-level training will be delivered by:

  • Private Career Colleges (PCCs) registered with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (formerly Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities),
  • Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (OCAATs); and,
  • Recognized authorities under the Ministry of Transportation’s Driver Certification Program (DCP).

Approved training providers will deliver the program using the Commercial Truck Driver Training Standard (Class A) (PDF, 743 KB) - dated September 30, 2016 (version 1.1), developed by the province.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why did the province make this change?
  2. Who has to complete the course? Not complete?
  3. Where can the course be completed?
  4. How long is the course?
  5. What common core entry-level training standard is included in the course?
  6. Who pays for the course?
  7. How much is the course?
  8. How long is the course valid for?
  9. Will drivers who want a restricted Class A (AR) licence be required to complete the course?
  10. Will drivers who hold a Class AR licence who want to remove the R restriction be required to complete the course?
  11. What is a Class A licence?
  12. What is a Class AR licence?
  13. What will the licensing requirements be for a new Class A licence applicant effective July 1, 2017?
  14. Do any other provinces have mandatory entry-level training for CIass A drivers? 

1. Why did the province make this change?

The province is introducing mandatory entry-level training for Class A truck drivers to improve road safety. The training will ensure that all new commercial Class A truck drivers are trained to the same minimum standard before taking the Class A road test.

2. Who has to complete the course? Not complete?

All new drivers attempting the Class A road test on or after July 1, 2017 will be required to successfully complete the course.

Existing Class A licence holders who have a valid licence prior to July 1, 2017 will not be required to complete the course.

3. Where can the course be completed?

The course can be completed at a Private Career College registered with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (formerly Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities) an Ontario College of Applied Arts and Technology or through recognized authorities under the MTO’s Driver Certification Program.

4. How long is the course?

The new Commercial Truck Driver Training Standard (Class A) is 103.5 hours of training.

Course providers offering the Air Brake course will continue to deliver MTO’s 12 hour Air Brake curriculum, totalling 115.5 hours.

5. What common core entry-level training standard is included in the course?

The Commercial Truck Driver Training Standard (Class A) establishes the entry-level knowledge and skills (competencies) an applicant must demonstrate in order to challenge the Class A road test and obtain the licence.

6. Who pays for the course?

Applicants will be required to pay for the course. Fees will be set by individual training providers.

7. How much is the course?

Course fees are set by the training providers.

It is anticipated the course will cost between $4,000 and $5,000.  Training providers may choose to deliver the minimum entry-level training course of 103.5 hours and the 12 hour Air Brake course totalling to 115.5 hours or deliver a 200 hour course which includes the minimum 103.5 entry-level training hours, the 12 hour Air Brake course plus additional vocational skills. Training providers will reflect the course fees accordingly.

8. How long is the course valid for?

The mandatory training course is valid for life once it has been successfully completed.

9. Will drivers who want a restricted Class A (AR) licence be required to complete the course?

No. Class AR applicants are not required to complete the course.

10. Will drivers who hold a Class AR licence who want to remove the R restriction be required to complete the course?

Yes, drivers who hold a Class AR licence who want to remove the R restriction will be required to complete the course.

11. What is a Class A licence?

A Class A driver’s licence is a commercial licence which authorizes the holder to drive any combination of a motor vehicle and towed vehicles where the towed vehicles exceed a total gross weight of 4,600 kilograms, but not a bus carrying passengers.

12. What is a Class AR licence?

A class AR authorizes the holder to operate any Class A vehicle without air brakes on the trailer and with only one trailer.

13. What will the licensing requirements be for a new Class A licence applicant effective July 1, 2017?

To apply for a full Class A licence, you must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • hold a valid Ontario licence other than G1, G2, M, M1 or M2
  • pass an eye test
  • submit a medical report
  • pass a written test about operating large trucks and tractor-trailers
  • complete the mandatory-entry level training program (new)
  • pass a road test

14. Do any other provinces have mandatory entry-level training for Class A drivers?

No. Ontario is the first Canadian province to require Class A applicants to complete mandatory-entry-level training.

Only one North American jurisdiction, Washington State, requires mandatory entry-level training. The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is currently developing mandatory entry-level training for commercial drivers to be implemented within 3 years from when released in late 2016.

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