New online learning module

On September 1, 2023, we are introducing a new online air brake learning module to replace the air brake knowledge test at time of renewal. For more information, please visit, Get a truck driver’s licence or Get a bus driver’s licence.  

This handbook is only a guide. For official purposes, please refer to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act and regulations. This handbook should not be used as a guide for repairs, which should only be carried out by a qualified person.

To request a copy of this book in an alternate format, contact Service Ontario Publications at 1-800-668-9938 or (416) 326-5300 or visit ServiceOntario Publications.

Disponible en français

Demandez le « Guide officiel de l’utilisation des freins à air publié par le MTO »

Driving is a privilege - not a right

Illustrations and photos are reproduced with permission. Copyright © Techni-Com Inc., 2008


In Ontario, most large commercial vehicles are equipped with an air brake system. You must have an air brake endorsement on your driver’s licence to drive these vehicles.

The purpose of this handbook is to introduce you to the knowledge and skills you need to drive a vehicle with air brakes in a safe and lawful manner. It contains the information you need to prepare for the air brake endorsement examination. Air brake examinations are conducted at DriveTest Centres.

As you read this handbook, remember it is only a guide. It contains basic information about common air brake systems. Each vehicle and its air brake system may have features and components that are different from those described in this handbook. As a driver, it is your responsibility to become familiar with all the characteristics of a vehicle before you drive it.

Important: Compressed spring is dangerous, especially in the brake spring housing.