Ontario clarifies DriveON safety and emissions program info

by | Apr 19, 2022 | 1 comment

After a rising flurry of criticism slamming Ontario for its DriveON program, the province has revised the information on the program to clarify that it applies only to “heavy diesel commercial motor vehicles.”

The DriveON program now being rolled out combines emissions testing and safety inspections for heavy diesel commercial motor vehicles in a single digital inspection program. Previously the emissions and safety inspections operated separately.

However, while headline information available on the Ontario website did reference the DriveON program as applying to commercial diesel vehicles such as busses and trucks, original information on the program posted March 21, 2022, also stated “Starting in 2023, DriveON will introduce a new more convenient vehicle inspection process for owners of passenger vehicles.”

The reference to “passenger vehicles” in a number of places in the information led many to believe that it applied to light passenger vehicles which in turn prompted criticisms such as that by Chris Pendlebury “Hope everyone likes their sticker refund. This is how they’ll get the money back,” and by Carlos Pereira, “There goes the sticker refund.” (Ontario recently cancelled license fees and is providing refunds.)

The province cancelled the DriveClean light vehicle emissions testing program in 2018.

Now, with information updated April 17, the DriveON web page consistently references only “heavy diesel commercial motor vehicles” and a clarification has been added:

“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 and emissions tests will only be required for the same types of heavy diesel vehicles that currently require tests.”

The main purpose of the new DriveON program is to combine the safety and emissions inspection process for heavy diesel commercial motor vehicles and to have these inspections conducted digitally.

There is currently no change to the safety and inspection requirements:

A 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 to a new owner

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

A 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)

This is currently rolling out to shops across the province as appropriate and involves some equipment (a tablet), but does not include any mandated fee schedule, explicitly stating that emissions inspection stations can “set their own fees.”

Starting July 1, 2022, all emissions testing will transition to DriveON vehicle inspection centres.

More information on the program is available HERE

1 Comment

  1. Gerald mcfall

    Just to clarify you do NOT have to have BOTH Safety and Emissions done at the same time, this again is a false story out there, This has been an option Many drivers have had already at their shops when their safety has been completed they could ask for an emissions test, some did and some opt out, (Some Companies prefer it this way)
    The Emissions Program has been running for years with regular Audits performed on inspectors and yes we still have some bad apples out there cheating and when they get caught they are removed from the program
    The Vehicle Inspection however has NOT seen a major change like this EVER! This new program WILL take a lot of “Lick n Sticks” out of business and get a lot of junk off the roads, All Shops will face the same audits the emissions tech currently have now and MUST answer or be shut down, The Vehicle Inspection Program has been contracted to Parsons who will oversee the Inspection Program (the same way they have with the emissions program) and THEY will have the power to shut you down via the tablet if they suspect something is not right and order an audit.
    My Prediction is this new program WILL make a lot of GOOD shops busier and Roads safer


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