A class C licence is needed to drive any bus with seats for more than 24 passengers, but not a school-purposes bus carrying passengers. It allows the driver to operate vehicles included in classes D, F and G, but not motorcycles.

A class F licence is needed to drive an ambulance or any bus with seats for 10 or more passengers, but not more than 24 passengers, and not a school-purposes bus carrying passengers. It also allows the driver to operate vehicles included in class G, but not motorcycles.

Note: If you plan to operate a bus equipped with air brakes, you will need a Z endorsement on your licence. Please refer to the Official MTO Air Brake Handbook for more information.


Here are definitions of some words used in this section.

  • Highway: a common and public highway, street, avenue, parkway, driveway, square, place, bridge, viaduct or trestle, any part of which is used by the public for the passage of vehicles, including the shoulders of the road and the land between property lines.
  • Roadway: the part of the highway that is designed or ordinarily used for traffic, not including the shoulder. Where a highway includes two or more separate roadways, the term roadway refers to any one roadway and not all of the roadways together.
  • Bus: a motor vehicle designed for carrying 10 or more passengers and used for the transportation of persons.

Bus licence classes C and F

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Hold a valid Ontario class G or higher licence or equivalent issued in a province or territory of Canada
  • Meet medical and vision standards
  • Have knowledge of bus equipment maintenance and passenger safety and control
  • Pass an MTO driver examination or obtain a certificate of competence from a recognized authority by passing a vision screening, knowledge test and driving test in a vehicle of appropriate size

How to obtain a class C or F driver's licence

  1. Pick up the necessary forms from any DriveTest Centre in Ontario, including the medical examination report and study material.
  2. Take the medical report to a physician of your choice. When the medical report has been completed, return it to the DriveTest Centre selected for your test. Only applicants with satisfactory medical reports may take a knowledge test for a classified licence.
  3. You will be required to pass the following tests:
    • A vision screening
    • A knowledge test including traffic signs recognition and operating knowledge of a bus or ambulance
    • An on-road test in a vehicle with an appropriate size

Vision and knowledge test checklist, classes C and F

Before taking the class C or F knowledge test, make sure you have studied the Official MTO Bus Handbook.

Bring the following items to the test:

  • Two pieces of identification or Ontario driver’s licence
  • Complete medical report form
  • Money for test fees — cash, debit or credit card
  • Glasses or contact lenses (if you need to wear them to read or write)

Road test, classes C and F

During your road test:

  • You will be asked to demonstrate a daily inspection. You will name the item of equipment checked and briefly describe its condition.
  • You will be required to drive in traffic and handle the vehicle safely according to the class of licence for which you are applying.
  • You will be required to reverse the vehicle into a parking bay or marked area.

Road test checklist, classes C and F

Bring the following items to the road test:

  • Appropriate vehicle in good working order
  • Glasses (if you need to wear them to drive)
  • Wheel chocks or blocks, if the vehicle is equipped with air brakes

Arrive at least 30 minutes before your road-test appointment. All road tests have a set time frame. Before you begin your test, the examiner will inform you of the amount of time you have to complete it.

Annual and semi-annual inspections, classes C and F

Operators are responsible for having each of their vehicles inspected annually and semi-annually by a licensed motor-vehicle inspection mechanic. The mechanic checks to ensure that the bus is in compliance with all maintenance requirements and component performance standards detailed in the applicable regulations and schedules of the Highway Traffic Act.

If the bus is in compliance with all requirements, the mechanic or another person authorized by the inspection station completes a semi-annual inspection certificate and inspection record. This document comes with a semi-annual (orange) inspection sticker (decal), which indicates the month and year of the inspection. The mechanic or other authorized person places the decal on the outside lower right corner of the windshield or right side of the bus as close to the front as possible.

Daily inspection, classes C and F

A driver is not permitted to drive a bus, motor coach, school bus or a school-purposes vehicle unless the driver or another person has, within the previous 24 hours, conducted an inspection of the vehicle and completed an inspection report. The driver must continue to check all systems throughout the day for defects, because the condition of the vehicle can change. The driver and operator are both responsible for the safe operating condition of the commercial motor vehicle. By staying alert, you can spot trouble before it causes a breakdown or collision.

For the full inspection schedules outlining all major and minor defects, which all commercial vehicle drivers are required to complete daily, refer to the Ontario Regulation 199/07 “Commercial Motor Vehicle Inspections” in the Highway Traffic Act.

The inspection is conducted in accordance with an inspection schedule. It provides a list of vehicle systems and components that the driver is required to inspect, and provides a list of defects to guide and assist the driver.

The schedule for the inspection depends upon the type of bus and its use, as follows:

Schedule 2

Buses (except school buses), motor coaches, trailers towed by either vehicle.

The inspection schedule divides defects into two categories, major and minor. When a minor defect is identified, the driver must record the defect on the inspection report and report it to the operator. Drivers are not permitted to drive a vehicle with a major defect.

Drivers must carry both the current inspection report and the applicable inspection schedule. Electronic reports and schedules are permitted.

Schedules 3 and 4 for motor coaches

Motor-coach operators have a second inspection process available to them.

The requirements allow the operator to select either the regular bus-inspection process using Schedule 2, as described above, which requires the driver to verify there are no under-vehicle defects, or inspect the bus using a two-stage inspection process.

Under the two-stage process, the driver conducts an inspection of the coach using Schedule 3. A Schedule 3 inspection is similar to that of a Schedule 2 but omits the under-vehicle inspection requirements for the driver. The Schedule 3 inspection is also valid for 24 hours. As with a Schedule 2 inspection, the driver is required to examine and observe the condition of the vehicle during the day or trip.

A Schedule 3 inspection is only valid when the coach has also had a Schedule 4 inspection. A Schedule 4 inspection is conducted by a coach technician and beginning July 1, 2018 is valid for 30 days or 12,000 kilometres, whichever comes last. It consists of a detailed under-vehicle inspection and must be kept in the vehicle.

Outside inspection

  • Headlights (low and high beams), turn signals, parking and clearance lights
  • Windshield and wipers
  • Engine compartment: fluid levels, wiring, belts, hoses and hydraulic brake-fluid leaks (if so equipped)
  • Tires
  • Wheels, hubs and fasteners
  • Exhaust system (check for leaks)
  • Stop, tail and hazard lights
  • Emergency exits
  • Entrance door
  • Body condition and frame
  • Fuel system (tank, cap and check for leaks)
  • Coupling devices, if applicable
  • Cargo securement
  • Dangerous goods, if present
  • Suspension system
  • Air brakes for audible air leaks and push rod travel
  • Inspection stickers

Inside inspection

  • Steering wheel (for excessive freeplay)
  • Brake pedal reserve and fade
  • Brake booster operation
  • Brake-failure warning light
  • Parking brake operation
  • Brake air-pressure or vacuum gauge
  • Warning signal, low air-pressure/vacuum gauge
  • Turn indicator and hazard lights, switch and pilot
  • Interior lights
  • Windshield washer and wipers
  • Windshield and windows
  • Mirrors, adjustment and condition
  • Defroster and heaters
  • Horn Driver’s seatbelt and seat security
  • Emergency equipment
  • Emergency exits
  • Driver controls (accelerator pedal, clutch and required gauges)
  • Passenger compartment (stanchion padding, damaged steps or floor, damaged or insecure overhead luggage rack or compartment)
  • Check accessibility/mobility devices and safety restraints, if applicable

Note: If the vehicle (other than a motor coach) is being used as a school purposes vehicle, the daily inspection used will be the one here.

The daily road check (while driving the vehicle)

Drivers are required to examine and observe the condition of the vehicle during the day or trip. Plan a road check to evaluate your vehicle’s steering, suspension, clutch, transmission, driveline and other components. It will help determine whether the engine performs properly, and whether the brakes have enough stopping power. You can do a road check on the way to pick up the first passengers of the day.

Engine check

Be alert for any unusual engine noises, vibrations or lack of normal responses.

Test parking brake

To check this brake, put the vehicle in gear while the parking brake is on. The brake should be able to hold the bus stationary with the transmission in gear and the engine at idle speed. Note: Driving with the parking brake on is the most frequent cause of parking brake failure.

Check transmission

A manual transmission should allow for smooth, easy gear changes.

Standard transmission — check clutch

When starting an engine, the clutch pedal should be depressed to relieve the starter of the extra load of turning the transmission gears. The clutch should engage easily and smoothly without jerking, slipping excessively or chattering. Never “ride” the clutch pedal. A properly adjusted clutch pedal should have some free play when the pedal is fully released. While changing gears, carefully control the speed of the engine to shift without jerking or excessive clutch slippage. Erratic or careless gear shifting wears out the clutch.

Check tires and wheels

Another important component of vehicle safety are tires and wheels. You must check the tires and wheels of your vehicle as part of the pre-trip inspection to ensure that they meet safety standards. For example, you must check your tires for appropriate tread depth and your wheels to make sure they are securely attached.

It is also a good safety practice to inspect the wheels, wheel fasteners and tires after having new tires or wheels installed. Wheel manufacturers recommend having fasteners rechecked between 80 and 160 km after installation.

Wheels and tires must be installed by a certified tire installer or a mechanic.

Check the brakes

Test your brakes at low speeds, bringing the vehicle to a complete stop in a straight line. There should be no pulling to one side or excessive noise. Note any extra pedal pressure needed, or sponginess of the pedal. Ensure at all times that brakes are not out of adjustment. Do not drive the vehicle until problems have been repaired. If your vehicle is equipped with air brakes, please refer to the Official MTO Air Brake Handbook.

Check the steering

Free play or lash in the steering system is the distance that the steering wheel moves before the tires begin turning. Check with the engine on and the wheels straight ahead; turn the steering wheel in both directions with your fingers until you can feel the resistance of the tires. If the steering wheel rotates too far, there is excessive free play or lash in the steering system.

Power steering should be quiet, and the vehicle should steer easily in turns or when going over bumps. Look for unusual ride or handling.

Check the suspension

Broken springs, ruptured air bags and faulty shock absorbers may cause sag, bouncing, bottoming and excessive sway when driving.

Stay alert to the condition of your vehicle

Drivers should quickly sense the “thump-thumping” of a flat tire, or one that is under-inflated. Keep the right air pressure in the tires at all times to prevent premature tire wear, failure and breakdown. The air pressure in your spare tire should be the same as the pressure in the tire on the vehicle carrying the highest pressure. Again, recognize unusual noises or handling. A vehicle should not be driven with any of these defects.

A police officer or appointed ministry officer has the authority to perform a safety inspection at any time and any location.


By the end of this section, you should know:

  • The qualifications and requirements for a class C or F licence
  • How to obtain a class C or F licence
  • How to perform the daily road check