Overview

Emissions testing and safety inspections for heavy diesel commercial motor vehicles have been combined into a single digital program, called DriveON.

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driveon logo

The new DriveON program will:

  • save commercial motor vehicle owners time and money
  • reduce fraud
  • reduce harmful emissions
  • ensure vehicles are safe for our roads

The DriveON program has been rolled out to facilities that previously tested emissions only and will be followed by motor vehicle inspection stations later this year. Existing motor vehicle safety inspections stations will be contacted to explain the transition process, beginning late Summer 2022.

DriveON is designed for heavy diesel commercial motor vehicles and will not include new testing requirements or fees for light passenger vehicles. There will be no changes to the existing safety inspection requirements. Emissions tests will only be required for the same types of heavy diesel vehicles that currently require tests.

Get an emissions test for a heavy commercial vehicle

Emissions tests for heavy diesel commercial motor vehicles must be performed by a certified technician at a vehicle inspection centre that has entered into an agreement with the Ontario government. These private operators:

  • set their own fees
  • perform the emissions test
  • provide an emissions test report

If you need an emissions test for your heavy diesel commercial motor vehicle, there are vehicle inspection centres located across Ontario that can perform this inspection.

Find a facility to get an emissions test for your heavy diesel commercial vehicle or call 1-833-420-2103.

Get a safety inspection

You can get a safety inspection at any existing motor vehicle inspection station. Motor vehicle inspection stations will begin transitioning to the new DriveON program later this year, starting with commercial safety inspection stations.

During the transition period, you can get a vehicle safety inspection done at any motor vehicle inspection station or DriveON vehicle inspection centre.

Vehicles that need an emissions test

Your vehicle needs an emissions test if it is a heavy diesel commercial motor vehicle with a registered gross weight over 4,500 kilograms, such as a large truck or bus, and the vehicle is either:

  • at least seven model years old and you are renewing your licence plate sticker
  • older than the current model year and you are registering the vehicle as a new owner

You will receive a registration renewal notice in the mail that will indicate if your vehicle needs an emissions test.

Your vehicle does not need an emissions test if it is a:

  • light passenger vehicle (motor vehicles with a registered gross weight less than or equal to 4,500 kilograms), including motorcycles and motorhomes
  • heavy non-diesel vehicle (vehicles with a registered gross weight over 4,500 kilograms that do not run on diesel)

All vehicles driven on Ontario’s roads are subject to Ontario’s emissions standards. If your vehicle is found to be in contravention of these standards, you may be subject to compliance or enforcement action such as verbal warnings and/or fines.

Ministry of Transportation enforcement officers and police anywhere in Ontario are authorized to stop and inspect your vehicle if they believe, among other things, that:

  • your vehicle is emitting excessive exhaust
  • emission control equipment has been tampered with or removed

Maintain your vehicle

Avoid costly repairs and reduce pollution by maintaining your vehicle according to the manufacturer’s recommended service schedules. It is illegal to drive with your malfunction indicator light (the check engine light) on if it is emissions control-related. Have your vehicle looked at by a qualified repair technician as soon as possible if this light comes on.

If you are buying a used vehicle, you should ensure that it complies with emissions standards and does not have any tampered or faulty emission controls.

Motor replacements and assembled vehicles

If you are replacing a motor in a vehicle or building an assembled vehicle, please note the following rules:

  • The emission standards for a motor replacement must be at least as stringent as those met by the original motor and must have all the emissions control equipment attached and functioning.
  • The motor of an assembled vehicle must have all the emissions control equipment of that motor attached and functioning.

If you have questions, please contact the Vehicle Inspection Centre at 1-833-420-2103.

When a vehicle needs an emissions test

Heavy diesel commercial motor vehicles are required to be emissions tested annually. If you own a heavy diesel commercial motor vehicle that requires an emissions test, you will receive a registration renewal notice in the mail indicating that an emissions test is required to renew your vehicle registration.

If you are due for an emissions test while outside Ontario

If you plan to be out of the province for 6–12 months when your registration renewal is due, please contact the Vehicle Inspection Contact Centre toll-free at  1-833-420-2103  to discuss your options.

What happens during an emissions test

An emissions test for a heavy diesel commercial motor vehicle involves:

  1. a pre-test check
  2. an opacity test
  3. an on-board diagnostic system test for vehicles with a registered gross vehicle weight of up to 6350 kilograms

There are measures in place to ensure emissions tests are fair, such as:

  • Vehicle inspection centres must have computerized, tamper-proof equipment approved for the program.
  • Your test results are compared with emissions standards set for all vehicles of the same particular year and model. All results are recorded in a central database, to facilitate monitoring and auditing of test results.
  • All technicians performing the tests are monitored continuously for expected pass/fail rates and irregularities.
  • All vehicle inspection centres are audited to ensure they follow proper testing procedures.

Every registered technician and vehicle inspection centre must follow the inspection procedures and apply the equipment and performance standards set out in Ontario’s DriveON inspection directive.

Pre-test check

Before performing the emissions test, the technician will do a visual check of the vehicle.

The technician may find issues with the vehicle that must be corrected before you can continue with the emissions test.

Issues can include:

  • the vehicle has visible emissions for more than five seconds in any one-minute period
  • the vehicle has a missing fuel cap or fuel cap that fits improperly
  • the vehicle’s exhaust system leaks
  • the motor governor fails, malfunctions or is maladjusted
  • the vehicle identification number (VIN) is missing or does not match the vehicle permit
  • there is an inability to connect to the data link connector, when or if there is another device attached to the data link connector
  • the testing may cause a risk to health or safety
  • the testing may cause damage to equipment, property or the vehicle

Opacity test

An opacity test measures the opacity of the emissions from a vehicle’s exhaust. To pass the opacity test, a vehicle’s test result must not exceed the corresponding opacity percentage for its model year.

Model year of heavy diesel vehicleOpacity percentage
1990 and olderIf the vehicle is not a school bus, 40%
If the vehicle is a school bus, 30%
1991 to 200730%
2008 and newer20%

On-board diagnostic system test for model year 2007 and newer vehicles between 4,500 and 6,350 kilograms

This test identifies if emission control systems are operating as intended.

 A vehicle that fails the on-board diagnostic test will not pass the emissions test.

Some vehicles may be exempt from the on-board diagnostic test. Find the exemption list for:

Emissions test results

After completing the emissions test for a heavy diesel commercial motor vehicle you may receive a:

  • pass report
  • fail report

Pass

If your vehicle passes the emissions test:

  • you will get a PDF electronic emissions inspection report indicating a pass
  • you may print and keep the pass report with your vehicle’s maintenance information

The pass report is valid for 12 months.

Fail

Vehicles fail the emissions test because the vehicle has an emissions system problem.

The inspector can explain the emissions results on the emissions inspection certificate.

You need to have your vehicle’s emissions problem repaired before you can:

  • take a retest
  • renew your vehicle registration

Search a vehicle’s emissions test history

If you did not receive a paper vehicle inspection report, you have received a new DriveON digital inspection report.

Search for your digital DriveON vehicle’s emissions inspection report

For help finding vehicle emission test history and vehicle inspection reports, call 1-833-420-2103

In order to search your vehicle’s test history, you will need your vehicle identification number (VIN). You can find your VIN on the:

  • green ownership certificate — issued by the Ministry of Transportation
  • vehicle insurance certificate (pink form) — issued by your insurance company
  • Statement of Compliance label, located inside the vehicle, on the driver’s-side door opening (if the door is original)
  • vehicle’s dashboard

Report a smoking or tampered vehicle

If you see a smoking or tampered vehicle you can fill out an online form or call the Vehicle Inspection Centre at 1-833-420-2103.

Tampering refers to removing or rendering inoperative all or part of a system or device used to prevent or lessen the discharge of any contaminant.

Please have the following information available, if possible/applicable:

  • the licence plate of the vehicle
  • a description of the vehicle
  • the location, date and time you saw the vehicle
  • business name and location

Report a complaint about a vehicle inspection centre or technician

We have zero-tolerance for fraud or consumer abuse within the DriveON program.

If you have any concerns, please contact the Vehicle Inspection Contact Centre toll-free at 1-833-420-2110 and by email to VIC@driveonportal.com.

We are serious about protecting vehicle owners and will investigate your complaints.

Become a DriveON centre or technician

The DriveON program started on July 1, 2022 with facilities that previously tested emissions only and will be followed by motor vehicle inspection stations later this year. Existing motor vehicle safety inspections stations will be contacted to explain the transition process, beginning in Summer 2022.

Next steps for businesses and existing Motor Vehicle Inspection Stations to join DriveON:

  1. Register to become an accredited DriveON Vehicle Inspection Centre
  2. Complete technician training, and
  3. Purchase inspection equipment (tablet computer).

Online services for the DriveON program will be implemented in the coming months. Details will be provided here once they are finalized.

DriveON vehicle inspection centres and technicians must follow the inspection procedures and apply the equipment and performance standards set out in Ontario’s DriveON inspection directive.

If you have any additional, please contact the Vehicle Inspection Centre toll-free at 1-833-420-2110 and by email to VIC@driveonportal.com

Heavy diesel commercial motor vehicle on-board diagnostic non-communication exemption list

A small number of heavy diesel commercial motor vehicles are expected to be identified with unique testing characteristics that prevent them from communicating with an on-board diagnostic test (OBD) unit. These vehicles cannot be OBD-tested to determine if the OBD system has an active emission-related Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC).

If a vehicle is identified on the list below, a technician may issue an emissions inspection certificate that indicates a pass without testing the vehicle for whether the OBD system has an active emissions-related DTC. The vehicle would still need to show compliance with the opacity standards to be issued a vehicle emissions report indicating a pass.

This list will be updated regularly as heavy diesel commercial motor vehicles that cannot be OBD-tested are identified.

 Start model yearEnd model yearMakeModelVIN mask
1To be determined (TBD)TBDTBDTBDTBD
2TBDTBDTBDTBDTBD
3TBDTBDTBDTBDTBD

On-board diagnostic monitor readiness exemption list

A small number of heavy diesel commercial motor vehicles are expected to be identified with unique testing characteristics that require exceptions to diagnostic monitor checks that are part of the on-board diagnostic test.

The on-board diagnostic test will exclude the check of monitor status for Monitor IDs that are listed in the table below for the specific vehicles identified in the table below. All other aspects of the on-board diagnostic test will apply.

This table will be updated as heavy diesel commercial motor vehicles that have unique testing characteristics for the on-board diagnostic test are identified.

OBD monitor readiness exemption table

ItemColumn 1:
Start model year
Column 2:
End model year
Column 3:
Make
Column 4:
Model
Column 5:
VIN mask
Column 6:
Monitor IDs excluded
120072007DodgeRam PickupN/AExhaust gas sensor, PM filter

Monitor name and ID table

OBD monitor ID numberDiesel monitor name
1Comprehensive components
2Misfire
3Fuel control
4NMHC catalyst
5NOx SCR aftertreatment
6Exhaust gas sensor
7PM filter
8EGR
9Not applicable
10Boost pressure system
11Readiness result of A/C refrigerant
12Readiness result of thermostat
13Readiness result of PCV

This table relates to column six of the OBD monitor readiness exemption table