The Driver’s Licence Classification Chart shows you what class of licence you need to drive different types of vehicles. A licensed driver wishing to learn to operate a truck or tractor-trailer must hold a class G or higher driver’s licence and be accompanied by a driver who holds a valid class D or class A licence, respectively. Your driving competence will be assessed in a road test held at a DriveTest Centre; or an employer or community college authorized by the Ministry of Transportation (known as a Recognized Authority) may assess you on the road test and issue a certificate of driving competence for classes A, B, C, D, E, F and M. You may then obtain the appropriate driver’s licence from the ministry.

The class A driver’s licence allows you to drive a motor vehicle and towed vehicles where the towed vehicles exceed a total gross weight of 4,600 kilograms (10,000 lb); and vehicles included in classes D and G. A class A licence does not permit you to drive a bus carrying passengers, a motorcycle or a moped.

Class A vehicles are considered to have either full configuration or restricted configuration as defined below.

Full Class A vehicle configuration
  • any combination of truck/tractor and trailer with a Manufacturer’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (MGVWR) of at least 4600 kg; and
  • a full air brake system on both the truck/tractor and trailer.
Restricted Class A configuration
  • any combination of truck/tractor and trailer with a Manufacturer’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (MGVWR) of at least 4600 kg; and
  • trailer is not equipped with air brakes.

A driver completing a Class “A” road test on a vehicle that does not meet the requirement for a full Class “A” vehicle will be issued an AR (A Restricted) licence and will not be able to operate a full Class “A” vehicle.

The class D driver’s licence allows you to drive a motor vehicle exceeding 11,000 kilograms (24,000 lb) gross weight or registered gross weight, or any combination of motor vehicle exceeding a total gross weight or registered gross weight of 11,000 kilograms (24,000 lb) and towed vehicle not exceeding a total gross weight of 4,600 kilograms (10,000 lb). It also allows you to operate vehicles in class G. A class D licence does not permit you to drive a bus carrying passengers, a motorcycle or a moped.

Minimum requirements for Class A or D driver's licence application

An applicant for a class A or D driver’s licence must:

  • be at least 18 years of age
  • hold a valid Ontario class G or higher licence or equivalent
  • pass a test of operating knowledge of large trucks and tractor trailers
  • meet vision standards
  • provide a satisfactory medical certificate on application and periodically thereafter
  • demonstrate driving competence during a road test while driving the following types of vehicles:
    • for class D – A motor vehicle exceeding 11,000 kilograms gross weight or registered gross weight or any truck or combination provided the towed vehicle is not over 4,600 kilograms
    • for class A – a motor vehicle and towed vehicle where the towed vehicle exceeds a total gross weight of 4,600 kilograms (10,000 lb)

Medical certificate

When applying for a class A or D licence, you must provide a completed satisfactory ministry medical certificate. Blank medical forms can be obtained from any DriveTest Centre in Ontario.

Your medical practitioner or optometrist is required by law to report to the licensing authorities any physical, neurological, cardio­vascular or other medical condition that might affect your safe operation of a motor vehicle.

Your application will be refused if your physical or medical condition does not meet the standards outlined in the regulations of the Highway Traffic Act.

Knowledge test checklist

Before taking the class A or D knowledge test, make sure you have studied the Official MTO Truck Handbook.

Bring the following items to the test:

  • 2 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)

Class A or D road test

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 each part of the test. The examiner will explain the test, and you are to follow her or his instructions. The examiner is not allowed to coach you during the test so, if you have any questions, ask them before you begin.

On the road test:

  • you will be required to demonstrate a daily inspection. You will be required to name the item of equipment checked and briefly describe its condition.
  • class A applicants will demonstrate uncoupling and coupling of the units of the combination vehicle.
  • class A applicants will demonstrate backing (reversing) of the units of the combination vehicle.
  • applicants will be required to drive in traffic and handle the vehicle safely.

Class A or D road test checklist

  • study the Official MTO Truck Handbook before the test.
  • study the operating manual for the vehicle to be used for the road test.
  • bring the appropriate type of vehicle, in good working order, to the test.
  • bring glasses or contact lenses if you need to wear them to drive. (If your current licence is conditional on wearing corrective lenses, you cannot drive without wearing them.)
  • bring wheel chocks or blocks, if the vehicle is equipped with air brakes.

Commercial Vehicle Operator Registration (CVOR)

CVOR is the registration system that tracks the safety performance of truck and bus operations in Ontario.

A commercial vehicle operator is a person or company that is responsible for the operation of a truck or bus, including the conduct of the driver, mechanical condition of the vehicle and the safe transportation of goods or passengers.

A CVOR certificate is required to operate trucks having a registered plated weight (or actual weight) over 4,500 kilograms (9,920 lbs) and buses designed to carry 10 or more passengers. This rule applies to vehicles that are plated in Ontario, the United States or Mexico and that travel in Ontario.

To register for a CVOR certificate a carrier must complete a “Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration” certificate application.

A fee of $255 will apply for the application and issuance of an original CVOR certificate.

Commercial vehicles exceptions

  • ambulances
  • fire department vehicles
  • hearses and casket wagons
  • motor homes

Personal use exemptions

  • buses that are used for personal purposes
  • commercial motor vehicles leased for no longer than 30 days for personal use by an individual (for example, moving own household goods) or used for the transportation of passengers without compensation
  • most pick-up trucks being used for personal purposes (without compensation) and not carrying, or towing a trailer that is carrying cargo or tools or equipment normally used for commercial purposes

Permit exemptions

  • commercial motor vehicles operating under the authority of an In-Transit permit
  • temporary permits and number plates in the possession of vehicle manufacturers, vehicles dealers, or businesses that repair, road test, customize or modify vehicles

The CVOR record contains information that includes:

  • carrier information (kilometric travel, violation rates, safety rating)
  • reportable collisions
  • convictions that are entered against the operator and/or any drivers that operates under your CVOR certificate.
  • all inspections of the operator’s fleet, with or without defects.

All items remain on the operator’s CVOR record for a period of five years from the date of the offence.

If an operator’s record becomes unacceptable, the ministry may send a warning letter to the operator, conduct an audit or request that the operator attend a meeting to discuss the record. If the operator’s record does not improve, the ministry may impose sanctions, including the cancellation or suspension of the CVOR certificate, plates and permits.

Size and weight limits for commercial motor vehicles

Commercial motor vehicles are restricted in width to a limit of 2.6 metres (8.5 ft.). Exceptions are made for specialized equipment such as snow removal equipment. In determining the width of a motor vehicle, the mirrors will not be included if they do not extend more than 30 centimetres beyond the vehicle on either side. In regards to the width of a motor vehicle or trailer equipped with auxiliary equipment, it will not be included in the width, provided it does not extend more than 10 centimetres from the side of the vehicle and is not designed or used to carry a load. Semi-trailers are limited to a length of 14.65 metres (48 ft.) or 16.2 metres (53 ft.) if the trailer and tractor meet special requirements.

No combination of vehicles is permitted to exceed a length of 23 metres (75.5 ft.) except double-trailer combinations that meet special requirements for both trailers and the tractor.

All vehicles, including loads are limited to a height of 4.15 metres (13.6 ft.) to ensure adequate clearance is maintained at bridges and overpasses.

You cannot operate a vehicle or combination of vehicles on a highway when its gross weight exceeds the maximum weight permitted under Part VII of the Highway Traffic Act and its regulations.

To determine the gross allowable weight of a commercial vehicle, several factors must be considered, including the number of axles, the size of the tires, the type of suspension, the distance between the axles, the type of load carried (aggregate or non-aggregate load) and the weight allowed on the steering axle.

Several formulas are used to determine the maximum allowable gross weight. These include calculating the sum of the weights allowed on each axle, the registered gross vehicle weight or the weight prescribed in regulations under the Highway Traffic Act. Once these weights have been determined, the lower figure of these is the maximum gross allowable weight.

Drivers, operators and shippers are all responsible for the weight of the commercial vehicle, and any may be charged with an offence.