Motor Vehicle Inspection Stations

Under this Program, the Ministry licenses qualified, garage operators to conduct mandatory motor vehicle safety and structural inspections to certify that vehicles meet minimum safety requirements. Inspections are required either at specified time intervals, or when an event such as the sale of a used vehicle takes place.

The Motor Vehicle Inspection Station (MVIS) program oversees the inspection of vehicles at approved facilities and the issuing of safety standards certificates, structural inspection certificates and annual and semi-annual inspection certificates and stickers. The program ensures that vehicles meet a minimum safety standard before they receive a certificate or sticker.

Over the next year, the computer system that supports the MVIS program will be updated/replaced. This update will improve accessibility and efficiency through the introduction of some online services in the coming months.

Anyone who applies to establish, operate or maintain a MVIS, meets the requirements and pays the fees is allowed to hold a MVIS licence. The person who holds the licence is responsible for all station requirements.

The inspection standards required for vehicles that need safety standards certificates are changing on July 1, 2016. Learn more about the new inspection standards.

Modernization of the MVIS Program

Some changes were implemented as part of the MVIS Program modernization on September 8, 2015. Features include:

  • New MVIS client application, stock order and other forms, which are now available for download from the Ontario government's Central Forms Repository via the links in the Forms section at the bottom of this page. Clients should no longer use the old forms; and
  • Services related to opening and closing stations being conducted by the MVIS Unit.

Upcoming Change

  • The creation of a new combination type of licence. MVIS owners who have multiple licences (such as Type 2/Type 6) at the same physical address will have their licences/permissions merged into a single MVIS licence with one licence number.

Online services for the MVIS program will be implemented in the coming months. Details will be provided here once they are finalized.

Types of MVIS Licences:

Type 2 – licensed to inspect and certify all motor vehicles, motorcycles and motor tricycles and trailers.
Type 3 – licensed to inspect trailers and converter dollies only
Type 4 – licensed to inspect motorcycles and motor tricycles only
Type 6 – licensed to inspect salvage vehicles only.

How to Get a MVIS Licence

  1. Send the following documents to:

    Ministry of Transportation
    MVIS Unit, 8th Floor
    301 St. Paul Street
    St. Catharines, ON  L2R 7R4

    Fax: 905-704-2574

    1. Application for MVIS Licence Form (PDF - 2.09 MB) signed by the applicant (individual) or all applicants in the case of a partnership, or by an authorized signatory (company/organization).
    2. Proof of legal name of applicant.
    3. Proof of property ownership or lease:
      • Proof of property ownership includes: land deed; mortgage documents; property tax bill in the name of the applicant or land transfer documents.
      • Proof of lease must include: date, name and signature of lessor and lessee, address of the property being leased and the term of the lease.
    4. Proof of zoning compliance to operate a vehicle inspection station issued by the Province or Municipality.
    5. Proof of the business name (not mandatory).
    6. Proof of the partnership (if applicable).
  2. Pay the fee
  3. When the Ministry of Transportation receives your application, an enforcement officer will contact you to arrange a site visit.
  4. If the application is approved a MVIS Licence will be issued.
  5. You can start inspecting vehicles when all of the following requirements are met:
    1. You receive your MVIS Licence
    2. At least one mechanic is registered to your station, and
    3. You order and receive stock.

Required Tools

Required tools must be present at the MVIS location.

Types 2, 3 and 4 MVIS applicants must have and maintain the following at the MVIS location:

  • Enough internal space or external hard standing area for the inspection of at least one vehicle of the class or classes that, the Licensee is licensed to inspect;
  • Mechanic/Technician’s common hand tools, such as sockets, wrenches, screw drivers, pliers, hammer, etc.;
  • Hoist or jack suitable for the weight of the vehicle to be inspected;
  • Devices appropriate to the class or type of vehicle to be inspected and designed to:
    • Aim headlights,
    • Measure wear in brake system components,
    • Measure tire tread depth,
    • Measure play or wear in steering and suspension systems,
    • Detect leaks in compressed fuel systems i.e. electronic tester or soap and water,
    • Measure the torque of wheel and rim fasteners.

Type 6 MVIS applicants must have and maintain the following at the MVIS location:

  • Sufficient internal space for the inspection of at least one vehicle of the class that the Licensee is licensed to inspect;
  • Industry-accepted equipment capable of making three-dimensional measurements on unibody and non-unibody vehicles;
  • Devices suitable for safely supporting the vehicle during inspection;
  • Copies of the manuals or relevant excerpts from the manuals with manufacturers’ specifications of dimensions for every make, model and year of vehicle that the structural inspection certificate have been prepared for;
  • A copy of the actual measurements taken for each vehicle.

All tools must be kept in proper working order and all measuring or testing devices must be calibrated to a degree of accuracy set out in the requirements of the inspection standard.

Register a Mechanic/Technician

You can register mechanics or technicians for your station as part of the application process or by completing the reverse side of the List of Registered Mechanics form and sending it to the MVIS Unit with the mechanic fee. You cannot order stock until the station has at least one registered mechanic/technician.

Order Stock

You can order safety standard certificates, structural inspection certificates and annual and semi-annual inspection certificates and stickers by completing the Safety Standards Certificate and Inspection Stickers Order Form (PDF - 1.02 MB) or Structural Inspection Certificates Order Form (PDF - 1.49 MB) and sending it to the MVIS Unit. You can only order stock once you receive your MVIS Licence and a qualified Mechanic/Technician is registered to issue the type of stock requested.


The MVIS licence and registration of mechanics expires on December 31st of each year. A renewal form will be sent to you in October of each year. You need to complete the form and submit the renewal fee and mechanic fee(s) to the MVIS Unit by December 31st of each year.


  • $50 application fee and $14 fee per registered mechanic for applications received between January and June and are valid until December of the same year.
  • $25 application fee and $7 fee per registered mechanic for applications received between July and October and are valid until December of the same year.
  • $50 application fee and $14 fee per registered mechanic for applications received between November and December and are valid until December of the following year.
  • Renewal fees are $50 per station and $14 per registered mechanic.

Payment Options

  • Credit Card – fill in and attach the Credit Card Authorization Form (PDF - 1.22 MB)
  • Certified Cheque – made payable to “Minister of Finance/MTO”
  • Debit Card
  • Stored Credit
  • Cheque – made payable to the “Minister of Finance/MTO”
  • Money Order – made payable to the “Minister of Finance/MTO”

Signing Authorities

You can designate an individual(s) to be a signing authority who can sign and affix inspection certificates/stickers on behalf of the Licensee. Complete the List of Signing Authorities Form including the MVIS licence number, name, name of signing authority, signing authority’s signature, effective date, and the Licensee’s signature. The form is to be kept at the MVIS location and not to be sent to the Ministry’s MVIS Unit.

Inspection Types

Structural Inspection - required when a vehicle needs structural repairs due to a collision. It ensures that it has been properly repaired and is roadworthy. The Structural Inspection Certificate (SIC) is also required to upgrade a vehicle from ‘Salvage/Unfit’ to ‘Rebuilt/Fit’.  A SIC is issued to a vehicle that passes this inspection.

Safety Standard Inspection - required when registering a ‘rebuilt’ motor vehicle, transferring a used motor vehicle to a new owner, registering a motor vehicle in Ontario that was previously registered in another province, territory or country, and changing the status of a vehicle from ‘unfit’ to ‘fit’. A Safety Standard Certificate (SSC) is issued to a vehicle that passes this inspection. It is valid for 36 days. A SSC is required to register and plate a used vehicle. The SSC certifies that the vehicle met the minimum safety standards on the date it was issued. It is not a warranty or guarantee.

Annual Inspection - required for trucks, trailers, buses, accessible vehicles and school purposes vehicles each year. An annual inspection report is provided to the client for all inspections (pass or fail). When a vehicle passes, an annual inspection certificate is issued and an annual inspection sticker is affixed to the vehicle.

Semi-annual Inspection - required for buses, accessible vehicles and school purposes vehicles six months after an annual inspection. A semi-annual inspection report is provided to the client for all inspections (pass or fail). When a vehicle passes, a semi-annual inspection certificate is issued and a semi-annual inspection sticker is affixed to the vehicle.

Requirements and Inspection Criteria

You can find MVIS requirements and vehicle inspection criteria in the Highway Traffic Act and its regulations. The following links provide the information needed to operate a MVIS:

The following inspection criteria must be used to determine if a vehicle meets the minimum standards to pass an inspection:

  1. Passenger vehicles: Regulation 611 "Safety Inspections" Schedules 1 and 2
  2. Motorcycles except motorcycles with two front wheels: Regulation 611 "Safety Inspections" Schedule 6
  3. Motorcycle with two front wheels: Regulation 611 "Safety Inspections" Schedule 6.1
  4. Salvage motor vehicles: Regulation 611 "Safety Inspections" Schedule 9.
  5. Commercial vehicles (trucks and trailers), buses, school purposes vehicles and accessible vehicles: National Safety Code Standard 11 Part B "Periodic Commercial Motor Vehicle Inspections" (PDF - 2.42 MB); Part B of the Standard starts on page 46

For more details on Commercial Vehicle Inspections see Commercial vehicle safety requirements and Commercial Vehicle Operators Safety Manual (PDF - 4.70 MB) (Module 8 “Preventive Maintenance Record Keeping and Vehicle Files”).

For more details on salvage motor vehicles see Mandatory Vehicle Branding Program

Record Keeping Requirements

A Licensee must keep the following at the MVIS location for a period of one year:

  • A copy of each safety standards certificate, annual inspection certificate and semi-annual inspection certificate issued;
  • Records of all vehicles inspected including the measurements and any other information required to be recorded. Where applicable, you must also keep a list of defects, recommended repairs and actual repairs carried out by the Licensee;
  • Records of all individuals authorized by the Licensee to sign safety standards certificates, annual inspection certificates, semi-annual inspection certificates or structural inspection certificates or to affix annual inspection stickers or semi-annual inspection stickers on behalf of the Licensee;
  • An annual inspection report for every vehicle to which an annual inspection sticker has been affixed;
  • Semi-annual inspection report for every vehicle to which a semi-annual inspection sticker has been affixed; and
  • Proof of brake inspection report for every vehicle inspected based upon National Safety Code 11B limited brake inspection.

A Licensee must provide the MVIS Unit with the following:

  • Updated record of all client application information including corporate structure, legal and business name, address, contact information, corporate officers and registered mechanics.
  • Type 6 stations must submit the complete structural inspection file within seven days of issuing a Structural Inspection Certificate.

Terminating a Station

To stop operating a MVIS, you must notify the ministry by completing the Termination of MVIS Form and send to the MVIS Unit along with your MVIS Sign and all unused stock.

MVIS Forms

Passenger / Light Duty Vehicle Inspection Standard

Summary of Changes Effective July 1, 2016

Effective July 1, 2016, licensed Motor Vehicle Inspection Stations will be required to use the Passenger/Light-Duty Vehicle Inspection Standard for vehicles that require a safety standards certificate. The Ministry of Transportation in conjunction with Automotive Aftermarket Retailers of Ontario (AARO) will be conducting information sessions across the province to introduce the Passenger/Light-Duty Vehicle Inspection Standard and the regulation changes. For information and to register for a session near you, please visit the AARO website.

  • These are free public information sessions, registration is required
  • An AARO membership is not required
  • These sessions will address the Passenger/Light-Duty Vehicle Inspection changes only

This is a summary of major changes that come into effect on July 1, 2016 - please refer to the Passenger / Light Duty Vehicle Inspection Standard for the full description of inspection criteria.

Technicians must complete the vehicle inspection in accordance with the full Passenger / Light Duty Vehicle Inspection Standard referenced in Ontario Regulation 611.

Section 1 – Powertrain

  • New requirements have been added to the powertrain system, including: accelerator pedal, throttle actuator, exhaust system, drive shaft, differential, clutch, clutch pedal, engine and transmission mounts, gear shifter/ selector and position indicator, drive belt pulley, electric and hybrid electric powertrain, gasoline and diesel fuel systems, and compressed natural gas and propane fuel systems.

Section 2 – Suspension

  • There are new ride height, bushing, and shock / strut requirements. There are also new requirements for air suspension components and suspension system travel.

Section 3 – Brakes

  • There are new requirements to measure and record the dimensions of brake components including drum, rotor and brake lining.
  • There is a better distinction between various types of brake systems -- the criteria are now more closely aligned with the specific requirements for each of the various system types. (e.g. vacuum assist, hydraulic assist, air assist).
  • There are new requirements for Anti-lock Brake System (ABS).
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems are now required for light duty vehicles manufactured on or after September 1, 2011. The system must function as intended for those vehicles that require the system.

Section 4 – Steering

  • Rack and pinion steering system requirements, including associated parts (boot, bellows, clamps) have been added in addition to those for recirculating ball type.
  • New requirements for upper strut bearings, steering dampener, tilt/telescopic hardware, remote steering systems, hydraulic power steering system pump and associated components and minimum parts quality and maximum leakage requirements have been introduced.
  • Steering lash requirements have been simplified.

Section 5 – Instruments and Auxiliary Equipment

  • New requirements have been added for horn switch, speedometer, odometer, windshield wiper.
  • Limits on coolant leakage from all heaters and fuel leakage from auxiliary heaters were added.

Section 6 – Lamps

  • Lighting requirements have been changed to incorporate the lighting equipment required by the federal safety standard at the time the vehicle was new.

Section 7 – Electrical

  • The revised section provides requirements for vehicle wiring.
  • Requirements for the vehicle’s battery are provided. Battery, posts, connections, mounts, and covers must be tight and free from corrosion, deterioration, or evidence of burning. All equipment must be secure, comprised of OEM-quality components, and in good condition.

Section 8 – Body

  • Specific requirements have been introduced to deal with a loss of structural integrity of cab, cargo or passenger body, frame or sub-frame, tailgate, bumper, seats and seat belts due to specified weaknesses, deficiencies, damage, seizure, wear, loss of components or material or improper repair procedures.
  • New requirement to inspect equipment, latches, handles, door openers, hinges and other devices attached to the vehicle. All equipment must be in good working condition, not be missing, nor present an unsafe or hazardous condition to individuals who may be exposed to the vehicle.
  • New requirement to inspect the entire area of the windshield swept by either the driver’s or passenger’s side wiper, with limits specified.
  • Window tint requirements are part of the new standard.
  • Occupant protection systems required by federal law must now be tested for functionality via the vehicle telltale diagnostic lamp. The system check includes, when originally equipped, air bags, seatbelt pre-tensioners, and side air bag curtains.

Section 9 – Tire and Wheel

  • The new requirement fails a tire if any single point on a tire’s tread is below the minimum.
  • The minimum required tread depth has increased.
  • No mixing of radial with other tire construction types (such as bias ply) is permitted.
  • The use of wheel spacers is now prohibited, although adaptors are permitted if they are in good mechanical condition.

Section 10 – Coupling Devices

  • Clearer distinctions between various types of hitch systems with more complete criteria aligned with specific requirements for each hitch type.

Section 11 – Road Test

  • A section has been added to the Standard to capture the elements that should be inspected and recorded during a road test of the vehicle including: tell-tales, shock absorber functionality, odometer, steering, etc.


  • An inspection report must be provided to the consumer, noting important information about the results of the inspection, including measurements for specified components (e.g. tire tread depth); and, any warning lamps that are illuminated. Licensees or Technicians can create their own report provided it meets all the requirements set out in section 9.1 of Regulation 601.

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