Modernizing Ontario’s Vehicle Inspection Program & integrating safety and emissions inspections for commercial vehicles

ERO number
Notice type
Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of Transportation
Notice stage
Proposal Updated
Proposal posted
Comment period
September 8, 2021 - November 9, 2021 (62 days) Closed
Last updated

Update Announcement

Ministry of Transportation is extending the consultation period by two weeks to provide more time to collect your feedback.

October 22, 2021

This consultation was open from:

September 8, 2021
to November 9, 2021

Proposal summary

The Ministry of Transportation is proposing to introduce new regulatory requirements for garages and technicians to participate in a Vehicle Inspection Program, replacing the Motor Vehicle Inspection Station (MVIS) program. Changes will integrate safety and emission standards and move on-road vehicle emission standards to the Highway Traffic Act.

Proposal details

MTO is proposing to implement changes to the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) to support a new Vehicle Inspection Program. Details for how program changes will impact vehicle owners and stations currently performing emissions and/or safety inspections can be found in the attached document intitled The NEW Vehicle Inspection Program.

To achieve the ministry’s objectives of a modern, digitized program that is streamlined and efficient for users, the ministry will:

  • Proclaim provisions from the Transportation Statute Law Amendment Act (Making Ontario’s Roads Safer), 2015:
    • Replacing the current MVIS program with the new Vehicle Inspection Program,
    • Permit the new inspection program to be delivered through a contract between an inspection centre and ministry, and
    • Proclaim provisions that limit vehicle brand change requests to the ministry.
  • Create a Vehicle Inspection regulation that will:
    • Introduce a new emissions inspection fee and interim certificate that can only be issued by a Vehicle Inspection Centre.
    • Require all inspections to be completed by qualified Ontario College of Trades technicians and permit the refusal/revocation of technicians.
      • Currently certified emission technicians may continue to perform emission tests.
    • Permit MVIS participants to operate under current requirements (Regulation 611/601):
      • Issuing Periodic Mandatory Commercial Vehicle Inspection (PMCVI) certificates until Aug 1, 2023.
      • Issuing Safety Standards and Structural Inspection Certificates until Dec 31, 2023.
    • Fully phase out the MVIS program as of Dec 31, 2023 by not renewing MVIS licenses after that date.  Stations will continue to be required to maintain records for a 1-year period.
  • Amend HTA Regulation 628 to require that Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMV) pass a PMCVI inspection before the vehicle permit is issued or renewed for both used and new vehicles.
  • Proclaim provisions from the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019:
    • The amendments repeal sections dealing with motor vehicle emissions from the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) and add sections addressing emissions to the HTA.
    • Provide for the regulation of on-road vehicle emissions standards under the HTA and prohibit tampering or the sale of tampering devices.
  • Create a regulation setting out detailed rules on vehicle emissions that reflect requirements currently addressed in the EPA, including:
    • Prohibiting vehicle operation when:
      • The On-Board Diagnostic system indicates a malfunction for CMV’s with a vehicle weight of 6350kg or less,
      • There is visible smoke for 5 seconds within a 1-minute time frame, and
      • There are missing or damaged emission systems or components.
    • Requiring assembled vehicles to have the required emission systems/devices to prevent/lessen discharge or emission of pollutants.
    • Establishing smoke opacity thresholds:
      • 20% for all CMV’s 2008 – 2010
      • 30% for all CMV’s 1991 – 2007
      • 40% for CMV’s 1990 and older (if vehicle not a school bus)
      • 30% for school buses (1990 and older)
  • Introduce new requirements in the HTA emission regulation, specifically:
    • Enhancing emission requirements by introducing a smoke opacity standard of 10% for all CMV’s 2011 and newer subject to inspection.
    • The new regulation supports section 75.1 of the HTA setting out specific emissions rules applicable to driver, operators, and owners of vehicles.  It provides definitions to support the anti-tampering provision of the legislation and prohibits drivers/owners from operating a vehicle that has been tampered with.
  • Make consequential amendments to regulations identified in the attached document, including:
    • Regulation 73/94 under the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR), 1993 to require the posting on the Environmental Registry of Ontario of proposed amendments by MTO to its new vehicle emissions regulation.

The current regulatory requirements of the emissions inspection program found in the EPA will be addressed in directives issued under the HTA. Additions for the new inspection will reflect the modernization of emissions control systems on modern vehicles, as well as related inspection technology.  Minimal to no additional cost-related impacts are anticipated for well maintained vehicles in the regulated community (owners/operators of heavy diesel commercial vehicles/buses) that are in compliance with the current emission regulation

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.

Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.

Carrier Program Development Office

Garden City Tower 3rd Flr, 301 St. Paul St.
St Catharines, ON
L2R 7R4


Commenting is now closed.

The comment period was from September 8, 2021
to November 9, 2021

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