Drive Clean test

When and where to get an emissions test for your vehicle.

About the test

By law, certain cars, vans, trucks, motorhomes and buses must pass a Drive Clean test before they can be licensed to be driven on Ontario roads.

The Drive Clean test determines if your vehicle meets Ontario emissions standards.

When to get the test

Generally, you need to get the test every 2 years, once your vehicle is 7 years old. Larger vehicles (called ‘heavy-duty’ vehicles) require the test every year, once they are 7 years old.

The Ministry of Transportation will notify you when your vehicle needs an emissions test, when you receive your registration renewal documents (either online or in the mail).

I am buying a used vehicle. Does it need a Drive Clean test?

Find out if you need a test

Find out if you need a test

Search a vehicle’s Drive Clean history

Test types

Depending on the vehicle, the test could involve:

  • an on-board diagnostic (OBD) test (reads emissions information from the vehicle’s computer)
  • a tailpipe test (measures tailpipe emissions)
  • an opacity test (measures smoke density in diesel-fuelled vehicles)

Test facilities (who can test)

Tests must be performed at an accredited facility by a certified inspector. These private operators run the test and provide you with a test report.

Find a test facility

Find a test facility

Test report

Your vehicle may receive:

  • a pass
  • a conditional pass or
  • a fail
  • a not ready result

You need to receive a ‘pass’ or ‘conditional’ pass to renew your licence plate sticker. 

Types of vehicles

Two types of vehicles are subject to the test. The process and rules are different for each type.

Light-duty vehicles

  • cars
  • vans
  • SUVs
  • light trucks and motorhomes — with a gross vehicle weight rating (or gross combined weight rating) of 4,500 kg or less

Heavy-duty vehicles

  • large trucks and motorhomes — with a gross vehicle weight rating (or gross combined weight rating) of over 4,500kg
  • buses

Exempt vehicles

You do not need an emissions test for:

  • most-hybrid electric vehicles
  • light-duty vehicles with a model year before 1988
  • vehicles that are plated “Historic” under the Highway Traffic Act
  • light-duty commercial farm plated vehicles
  • kit cars
  • motorcycles

Rules for older model vehicles (from 1988 or earlier)

Emission requirements for 'hot rods'

Fees

The cost of a Drive Clean test depends on:

  • the type of vehicle (light-duty or heavy-duty)
  • the type of test (first-time test or a re-test)

Light-duty vehicles

Up to $30 (plus tax)

Heavy-duty vehicles

Each facility sets its own fees. Applicable taxes are extra.

Re-test fees (light-duty vehicles)

Up to $17.50 per test, if it is done at the same facility that performed the initial test.

$30 (plus tax) if the re-test is performed:

  • more than 120 days after the initial test
  • after 2 re-tests at $17.50 each
  • at a facility other than where you had the original test

Diagnostic fees

If your vehicle fails and requires repairs, you may also have to pay a separate fee to have a diagnostic performed.

This diagnostic may be needed, if a Repair Technician has to examine your vehicle to determine why it did not meet emissions standards. Facilities set these fees.

Notice form

If your vehicle is due for a Drive Clean test, you will see an asterisk (*) on the notice form you get from the Ministry of Transportation when it’s time to renew your vehicle’s registration.

Drive Clean test notice form

Updated: October 21, 2014