Overview

Road-building machines are self-propelled vehicles commonly used by the construction industry, such as pavement spreaders, graders and loaders.

Road-building machines:

  • may not travel at speeds of more than 40 km/h
  • must display a slow-moving vehicle sign while driving on highways
  • may not carry a load unless it is an essential part of the vehicle’s function, and it is being used for highway construction or maintenance

They are not subject to the same requirements as commercial motor vehicles in Ontario.

What qualified as a road-building machine

In Ontario, road-building machines include:

  • pavement spreaders, pavers, profilers and finishing machines
  • graders
  • rollers and compactors
  • bulldozers
  • scrapers
  • loaders
  • rock trucks
  • off-road mobile cranes
  • off-road excavators
  • low-speed street sweepers
  • tracked and wheeled tractors, other than truck tractors, while equipped with any of the following attachments:
    • mowers
    • augers or drills
    • compactors
    • spraying equipment
    • snow blowers or snow plows
    • buckets or shovels

Read the law.

Former road-building machines

As of 2017, the following vehicles are no longer considered road-building machines:

  • mobile cranes that are not built on a truck chassis
  • excavators that are not built on a truck chassis
  • street sweepers that are not built on a truck chassis
  • vehicles constructed on a truck chassis
  • vehicles that comply with, or are intended to comply with Canadian federal safety manufacturing standards for highway vehicles or comparable standards from another jurisdiction

These are considered commercial vehicles and must meet the requirements for them, such as:

  • vehicle registration
  • motor vehicle insurance
  • appropriate class of driver’s licence
  • Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR)
  • hours of service
  • inspections
  • fuel tax, gasoline tax and Ontario Sales Tax

Register a former road-building machine

Former road-building machines have the same registration process, fees and requirements as other commercial vehicles.

The documents you will need to submit depend on whether your vehicle is used or new, and where it was purchased.

New vehicles

  • bill of sale or sworn affidavit
  • new vehicle information statement (NVIS)
  • proof of empty weight if not on NVIS or certificate of sale
  • plate portion of permit if existing Ontario plates are to be attached
  • valid Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR)
  • valid motor vehicle insurance

Used vehicles bought in Canada

  • bill of sale or sworn affidavit
  • proof of registration if the vehicle was purchased and registered in another province, or sworn affidavit
  • plate portion of permit if existing Ontario plates are to be attached
  • proof of empty weight
  • valid vehicle emissions report with test result “Pass”
  • valid Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR)
  • valid motor vehicle insurance
  • valid Safety Standards Certificate (SSC)

Used vehicles bought in the United States

  • proof of registration, certificate of title or certificate of origin, or sworn affidavit
  • bill of sale or sworn affidavit
  • plate portion of permit if existing Ontario plates are to be attached
  • vehicle import form with all required stamps
  • proof of empty weight
  • valid emissions report with test result “Pass”
  • valid Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR)
  • valid motor vehicle insurance
  • valid Safety Standards Certificate (SSC)

Used vehicle bought outside North America

  • proof of registration, if required to be registered, certificate of title or certificate of origin, or sworn affidavit
  • bill of sale or sworn affidavit
  • plate portion of permit if existing Ontario plates are to be attached
  • vehicle import form with all required stamps
  • proof of empty weight
  • valid emissions report with test result “Pass”
  • valid Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration
  • valid motor vehicle insurance
  • valid Safety Standards Certificate (SSC)

Used vehicle with Bill of Sale but no registration document

  • bill of sale
  • sworn affidavit
  • plate portion of permit if existing Ontario plates are to be attached
  • proof of empty weight
  • valid emissions report with test result “Pass”
  • valid Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR)
  • valid motor vehicle insurance
  • valid Safety Standards Certificate (SSC)

Sworn affidavit

If you don’t have a bill of sale, proof of registration, certificate of title or certificate with of origin with complete information, you may submit an affidavit.

A sworn affidavit must include the following information:

  • that the vehicle was operated in Ontario under the road-building machine exemption from the Highway Traffic Act registration requirements prior to July 1, 2017
  • whether the vehicle was previously registered in another jurisdiction prior to July 1, 2017
  • the current configuration and function of the vehicle
  • purchase date
  • province or state where the vehicle was purchased
  • seller’s name (if known)
  • why documents are not available
  • vehicle information (year/make/model), Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and/or a statement that a Ministry of Transportation approved/assigned VIN will be used
  • the registered gross weight (RGW) of the vehicle
  • signatures of the customer and commissioner

Affidavits can be taken by authorized commissioners such as:

  • lawyer
  • notary public
  • member of the Legislative Assembly
  • judge
  • Justice of the Peace
  • court registrars
  • court clerks
  • municipal clerk, deputy clerk, treasurer, head of municipal council or alderman
  • head of a municipal department, deputy head, medical officer (municipal business only) or any person appointed under section 4 of the Commissioners for Taking Affidavits Act

Fuel tax, gasoline tax and sales taxes

If you took ownership of a road-building machine before July 1, 2017, you may be exempt from paying the tax (RST or 8% Ontario portion of the HST) when you register it.

Learn more about the exemptions and how to apply.

Exemptions for former road-building machines

Some vehicles purchased before 2017 may be eligible for certain exemptions related to:

  • taxes
  • hours of service
  • vehicle weights and dimensions

Hours of Service

You are exempt from the hours of service requirement to take 10 hours off-duty in a day while you are operating a:

  • concrete pumper
  • crane

You are exempt from all of Ontario’s hours of service requirements while you are operating a:

  • large crane capable of raising, lowering or moving any materials that weigh more than 13,607 kg (only if have a Hoisting Engineer-Mobile Crane Operator 1 Certificate or you are an apprentice in the trade of Hoisting Engineer – Mobile Crane Operator 1)
  • vehicle used to carry parts for a large crane (only if have a Hoisting Engineer-Mobile Crane Operator 1 Certificate or you are an apprentice in the trade of Hoisting Engineer – Mobile Crane Operator 1)

You will be asked to show your certificate of qualification or proof of apprenticeship to an officer during an inspection.

Temporary exemptions for other former road-building machines and crane support vehicles

Other types of former road-building machines may be eligible for a temporary exemption from Ontario’s Hours of Service requirements. The exemption will be valid until June 30, 2022.

To apply for an exemption, you must have a valid CVOR certificate and your vehicle must have a valid licence plate sticker.

You can submit one application for multiple vehicles. To apply for an exemption certificate, submit an application by email to cvor@ontario.ca or by mail to:

Carrier Safety Investigations Office
Ministry of Transportation 
301 St. Paul Street, 3rd Floor
St Catharines, Ontario
L2R 7R4

Your application must include:

  • the vehicle operator’s full legal name, address and signature
  • CVOR number
  • a description of the exemption requested (for example, temporary exemption from Hours of Service for former-road building machines).
  • explanation of how/why the vehicle qualifies for the exemption (for example, operated as a road-building machine)
  • vehicle type and description, including VIN, licence plate number, date of manufacture
  • description of the function the vehicle performed as a road-building machine (for example, street sweeping)
  • if the vehicles or licence plates are owned by someone other than the operator (CVOR holder), an explanation of the relationship is required (for example, contract, lease agreement)

For questions, or to request a template to help with your application, contact cvor@ontario.ca.

Providing false information in your application can lead to your exemption certificate being revoked.

Once you receive your exemption certificate, you may be asked to show it to officers during an inspection.

If you sell a vehicle with an exemption, the certificate can be given to the new owner.

Vehicle weights and dimensions

Hydrovacs, sewer cleaners and street sweepers manufactured before January 1, 2017 are eligible for a special vehicle configuration permit for vehicles that are larger and heavier than the limits set by the Highway Traffic Act.

Read the law about special vehicle configuration permits.

To apply for a permit, complete the application form and mail or fax it to us.

Mail it to:
Permit Office
Ministry of Transportation
301 St. Paul Street, 3rd Floor
St Catharines, Ontario
L2R 7R4

Fax it to: 905-704-2545

If your vehicle has a model year of 2016, 2017 or 2018 you must submit an image of the manufacturer’s compliance label (physical photo or digital photo) clearly displaying the VIN and date of manufacture with your application.

Your vehicle must have a valid licence plate sticker and the operator must have a valid CVOR certificate before applying for the special vehicle configuration permit.

Validation fees

You will need to pay validation fees when you register your vehicle.

You may be eligible to pay half the fees if your vehicle has a Permanently Attached Apparatus (PAR) and meets all of these conditions:

  • it has a machine or apparatus permanently mounted on the chassis that is not designed to transport a load
  • it is not carrying a load, other than parts for, or equipment used to, operate the machine or apparatus
  • it is mostly operated on a road to transport it from its parking location to the jobsite and back again or from jobsite to jobsite

If your vehicle meets these conditions, please check checking the appropriate box on the back of your vehicle registration form when you submit it at ServiceOntario.