Safety standards certificate
A safety standards certificate shows that your vehicle meets the minimum safety standards. You can't put a licence plate on a vehicle without one.
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New rules for mechanics and garage owners
You must use the Passenger/Light-Duty Vehicle Inspection Standard (PDF) for vehicles that require a safety standards certificate. Learn more about the new regulations.
A safety standards certificate confirms that your vehicle met the minimum safety standards on the date the certificate was issued. It is not a warranty or guarantee of the vehicle’s condition.
You can buy and register a vehicle without a safety standards certificate, but cannot put plates on a vehicle without one.
To get a certificate, your vehicle must first pass an inspection at an inspection station, licensed by the Ministry of Transportation (MTO).
Where to get a certificate
Any inspection station in Ontario, licensed by MTO, can give you a certificate once your vehicle passes an inspection. Most licensed inspection stations have a sign that says Motor Vehicle Inspection Station.
When you need a certificate
You need a safety standard inspection and certificate if you are:
- registering a rebuilt vehicle
- transferring a used vehicle to a new owner (unless the new owner is your spouse)
- registering a vehicle in Ontario that was bought in or came from another province, territory or country
- changing the status of a vehicle from unfit to fit
Who is exempt
You do not need a safety standards inspection and certificate if you are:
- registering a used motorized snow vehicle, off-road vehicle, motor-assisted bicycle (e.g. moped), or trailer
- transferring the vehicle to your spouse
If you have questions or need more information on exemptions, please call ServiceOntario’s Driver and Vehicle Contact Centre at:
- Toll-free: 1-800-387-3445
When you take your vehicle to a licensed Motor Vehicle Inspection Station, they must use government-regulated inspection criteria to determine if your vehicle meets the minimum standards to pass inspection.
Learn more about the inspection rules for:
- light duty trucks and passenger vehicles that need a safety standard certificate (PDF)
- motorcycles with only one front wheel
- motorcycles with two front wheels
- salvage motor vehicles (i.e. vehicles that are damaged due to a collision, impact (e.g. a large tree falls onto the vehicle), fire, flood or have been stolen and dismantled)
- commercial vehicles (e.g. trucks and trailers), buses, school buses and accessible vehicles (2.42 MB PDF)
If you have a concern or complaint about an inspection station or recently certified vehicle, please call us at 1-800-387-7736 (toll-free). You’ll need to know the current mileage of the vehicle. If you’ve done a qualified re-inspection, you’ll need those results as well.
The cost of a safety standard inspection and the certificate is different at each Motor Vehicle Inspection Station. This isn’t regulated by the government.
A safety standards certificate is valid for 36 calendar days after the inspection.
Please note that if it expires before you register your vehicle, you will have to pay for a new inspection and certificate.
Certifying a salvage vehicle as rebuilt
A salvage vehicle is a vehicle that has been identified as stolen and dismantled or damaged as a result of a collision, impact (e.g. a large tree falls onto the vehicle), fire or flood.
In order to register and put a plate on a salvage vehicle:
- it must be inspected, certified and/or repaired by a specialized Motor Vehicle Inspection Station, licensed to conduct more in-depth, structural inspections (call the inspection station to confirm)
- you must get both a Structural Inspection Certificate and a Safety Standards Certificate from the inspection station
The vehicle will be re-branded from salvage to rebuilt once you submit a Structural Inspection Certificate at any ServiceOntario location.