If you operate a commercial vehicle in Ontario, you must have a valid CVOR certificate. Keep your information up to date and carry your certificate (or a copy) in each commercial motor vehicle operated under the CVOR certificate. You will be required to show your certificate to enforcement or police officers during an inspection.

You should get a CVOR certificate before you register your vehicle with ServiceOntario if you have never registered a commercial vehicle in Ontario before.

The CVOR program monitors and evaluates operators’ safety records. It includes information such as:

  • fleet size
  • kilometres travelled
  • business ownership structure
  • overall violation rate
  • safety rating
  • convictions
  • reportable collisions
  • Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) safety inspections
  • Ministry of Transportation interventions such as letters, interviews, audits and sanctions

You can get or renew a CVOR certificate online or by submitting a paper application by mail or fax.

Who needs a certificate

If your vehicle is plated in Ontario, the United States or Mexico, you need a CVOR for:

  • trucks and with a registered gross weight (RGW) over 4,500 kg, including trucks with farm licence plates
  • pick-up trucks registered to a business or with a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating over 6,500 kg (14,330 lb)
  • buses with a seating capacity of 10 or more passengers
  • concrete pumps and mobile cranes (not including off-road mobile cranes)
  • tow trucks, including:
    • vehicles with a flatbed that can tilt to load and are used exclusively to tow or transport other motor vehicles
    • any motor vehicle designed, modified, configured or equipped to tow another motor vehicle

You do not need a CVOR certificate for:

  • trucks or buses plated in another Canadian province or territory (you must have a safety certificate from the province or territory where the vehicle was plated)
  • trucks (other than a tow truck) with registered gross weight or gross weight of 4,500 kg or less, whether towing a trailer or not
  • trucks or buses leased by an individual for 30 days or less to move personal goods or to carry passengers at no fare
  • ambulances, fire trucks, hearses, casket wagons
  • unladen trucks or buses operating under the authority of dealer plates or in-transit permits
  • buses used for personal purposes without compensation
  • motor homes used for personal purposes
  • pickup trucks that:
    • have a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating not exceeding 6,500 kg (14,330 lb)
    • are being used for personal purposes without compensation
    • are fitted with either the original, unmodified box installed by the manufacturer, or an unmodified replacement box that duplicates the one installed by the manufacturer
    • are not carrying or towing a trailer carrying commercial cargo or tools, or equipment of any type normally used for commercial purposes

Registered gross weight

Gross weight is the combined weight of a vehicle and everything it is carrying. When you register your vehicle with ServiceOntario and get your licence plate, you must declare a registered gross weight (RGW) that will be used to determine your registration fees. Your RGW cannot be higher than the manufacturer gross weight rating for your vehicle.

When you register your vehicle, you should select a RGW that is high enough to account for the heaviest load you plan to carry (remember to account for the vehicle, its load and a trailer if applicable).

It is illegal to operate a vehicle with a gross weight that is higher than its RGW. If you need to carry a load that is heavier than your vehicle’s RGW, you will need to visit a ServiceOntario centre to update your vehicle’s registration.

Determine your vehicle’s gross weight

If you don’t know the gross weight of your vehicle and load, you can bring it to a truck stop or municipal facility that can weigh it and determine the weight on each axle or axle grouping. Be sure to contact them ahead of time to make sure they can accommodate you.

You may need to make multiple trips to ensure your gross weight does not exceed your vehicle’s RGW, since you can face charges at a truck stop if it does.

Trucks towing a trailer

A trailer and its load are considered part of your vehicle’s gross weight if together they weigh more than 2,800 kg (6,171 lb). If the trailer and its load weigh less than 2,800 kg then your gross weight is only the weight of the vehicle and its load (including the driver, passengers, fuel, equipment, tools, cargo, equipment and other items in the truck).

Follow these steps to determine your total gross weight with a trailer:

  1. Weigh your trailer and its load together (weight A).
  2. Weigh your vehicle and its load (weight B).

If the trailer and its load (weight A) is more than 2,800 kg (6,171 lb), then your vehicle’s gross weight includes the trailer, the vehicle and their loads (weight A+B).

If the trailer is 2,800 kg or less then your vehicle’s gross weight is only the vehicle and its load (weight B).

Operator responsibilities

CVOR operator (also referred to as a “carrier”) is the person or corporation responsible for the operation of the commercial motor vehicle, driver and goods or passengers being transported including:

  • the conduct of the driver
    • employing qualified licensed drivers
    • monitoring the safety performance of drivers, including hours of service
    • resolving driver safety issues when they are identified
    • keeping hours of service records including supporting documents
    • providing appropriate driver training
  • the mechanical safety condition of the vehicle
    • keeping vehicles in good, safe condition at all times
    • ensuring that daily and annual/semi-annual inspections are completed
    • keeping vehicle maintenance and repair records
    • tracking and recording fleet and kilometric travel records
  • cargo securement
  • notifying the Ministry of Transportation about CVOR changes such as:
    • names
    • addresses
    • telephone numbers
    • fleet data
    • kilometric travel
    • changes in corporate officers
  • renewing your CVOR certificate and not allowing your CVOR to expire

Learn more about Ontario’s commercial vehicle safety requirements.

Carrier safety ratings, interventions and sanctions

Every operator is assigned one of five ratings based on their safety performance:

  1. Excellent
  2. Satisfactory
  3. Satisfactory—unaudited
  4. Conditional
  5. Unsatisfactory

Your safety rating is available to the public and can affect your ability to promote your business and attract customers.

If your safety performance doesn’t meet Ontario’s standards, you may face interventions such as:

  • disciplinary letters
  • interviews
  • audits
  • fleet size limitations
  • plate seizure
  • suspension or cancellation of your operating privileges

An “Unsatisfactory” safety rating will cause your operating privileges to be suspended or cancelled throughout Canada.

Facility audits

The Ministry of Transportation audits operators to evaluate safety practices and compliance with Ontario’s highway safety legislation. A facility audit is a formal intervention to determine carrier safety ratings, interventions and sanctions.

A facility audit will include an examination of records related to:

  • driver qualifications
  • driver hours of service
  • collision reporting and review
  • vehicle inspection, maintenance and repair

The auditor will present their findings to the operator at the end of an audit. The results of the facility audit and any related convictions will affect an operator’s CVOR record.

Violations that the auditor identifies during the audit may result in charges being laid against the operator, a driver, or both.

You can request a voluntary facility audit to improve your safety rating by completing the request form and emailing it to cvor@ontario.ca.

Learn more about facility audits in the CVOR safety manual.

Maintain your CVOR certificate

Find out what you need and how much it costs to apply for and maintain your certificate:

Order a CVOR abstract and other products

You can order a CVOR abstract online for a fee. A CVOR abstract is a summary of a carrier and/or driver’s safety performance, including collisions, convictions and inspections.

The following services are available online for free:

You can request the following from us:

Contact the CVOR office

For questions about the CVOR program or to submit your application and requests, please contact:

1-800-387-7736 (within Ontario) or 416-246-7166


Ministry of Transportation
Commercial Safety and Compliance Branch
301 St. Paul Street, 3rd Floor
St. Catharines, Ontario
L2R 7R4