Ontario Licences

Welcome to the complete source of information about licensing in Ontario From the  ServiceOntario offices  (Formerly Drivers & Vehicles) located at:

Drive Clean

PURPOSE: The main purpose of this program is to improve the quality of the air in Ontario.

When?  The program started to be applied on April 1st. 1999. Full implementation of first stage was completed January 2001

Where?  From Windsor to Ottawa. To see the area where vehicles registered there are subjet to the Drive Clean program, click for map

Which vehicles are required to pass the test?

All passenger cars or light-duty trucks (vehicles weighing 4500kg or less) in the Drive Clean program area, will have to pass a Drive Clean test every two years prior to renewing the sticker on the licence plate.

The test applies to vehicles that are more than 5 years old (beginning September 1, 2011 the rule applies to vehicles older than 7 years based on the model year of the vehicle, no the year it was purchased).

You will be notified on the application for renewal sent about 8 weeks before the deadline for renewing your vehicle licence plate.

The transfer of these vehicles also require the test depending on the year model.

If  the transfer of the vehicle requires the safety Standard Certificate, it will also require the Drive clean test.

The following model years must be tested for renewal or transfer in 2011:

2006 *, 2004, 2002,2000,1998,1996,1994,1992,1990,1988,1986  ( * 2006 model year will not required to be tested after Sep. 1, 2011 but will required the test after January 2013)

The following model years must be tested in 2012:

2005, 2003, 2001,1999,1997,1995,1993,1991,1989,1987,1985

Testing at registration will alternate between odd-year models and even-year models.
For example, in 2011, even model-year vehicles will be tested. In 2012, odd model-year vehicles will be tested.

Vehicles of the year model 1981 or older, light-duty commercial farm vehicles and motorcycles are exempt.

Who is affected and when?

The program applies to owners of passenger and light-duty vehicles in the Greater Toronto Area  Enforcement of the emissions tests through vehicle registration and ownership transfers began April 1, 1999.

Ontario plans to require every heavy-duty truck and bus in the province to pass an annual Drive Clean emissions test starting the summer 1999. To complement the annual testing, Ontario's Smog Patrol will be conducting random roadside testing of suspected polluting vehicles. Any vehicle in Ontario with excessive, visible emissions could receive tickets.

Where can I get my vehicle tested?

You can take your vehicle to an accredited Drive Clean test-only facility, or to an accredited test and repair shop. The Ministry of the Environment will accredit all Drive Clean facilities. Staff at these facilities will be trained and approved as qualified to operate the testing equipment and perform emission diagnostics and repairs. All Drive Clean facilities will be strictly monitored to ensure proper testing and repair procedures are being followed.

How is the Drive Clean test done?

At an accredited Drive Clean facility, an approved inspector will drive your car or light-duty truck onto a "dynamometer". This machine is like a treadmill that allows the vehicle to be "driven" on one spot at different speeds..

A probe is placed in the tailpipe of your vehicle. The probe is connected to a gas analyzer and computer, which can measure the concentration of nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons (including volatile organic compounds)..and carbon monoxide. When the inspector accelerates your vehicle to a steady speed of 40 km per hour; an emissions reading is recorded. Several of these five-second readings are taken and then averaged by the computer.

The test results will be compared by a Drive Clean computer to emission standards for the vehicle and its model year. For example, if you drive a 1986 model car, it will be tested against 1986 emission standards with an allowance for vehicle deterioration.

If your vehicle has a safety  problem, or releases visible smoke from the tailpipe it will not be tested until it has been repaired. Such problems could lead to injury, and/or malfunctioning of the test equipment.

What happens after my Drive Clean test?


You will receive a computer-generated report at the Drive Clean facility. It will state if your vehicle emissions "pass or fail" and give you an analysis of the pollutants coming from the tailpipe. If you fail, you will receive a fact sheet describing some of the possible causes of failure. Vehicles failing must be repaired and retested until a pass certificate is obtained.

You have to take this pass report to a Ministry of Transportation vehicle licence office, along with the other documents needed to renew your licence plate sticker or to transfer ownership. The Drive Clean test results for your vehicle will be valid for ownership transfers and registration renewals for up to one year from the date of the test.

What will a Drive Clean test cost me in time and money?

A typical Drive Clean test should take no more than 20 minutes to do.

The test will cost you no more than $35 (plus applicable taxes). Some Drive Clean facilities may charge less.  If your vehicle fails its initial test and needs repairs, the cost for retesting will be no more than $17.50 (plus applicable taxes), provided the retest is done at the same facility.

What if my vehicle fails the test?

If your vehicle fails its initial test, you will need to make the necessary repairs in order to pass a retest. In many cases, a simple tune-up will suffice.

You will receive a report indicating your vehicle's emission results from the test, as well as information on the most common reasons for failing the test.

You are free to do the repairs yourself, go to any local garage, or go to a garage that is an accredited Drive Clean repair facility.

You will only have to make $450 worth of repairs if your vehicle fails its initial Drive Clean test and you must follow this procedure:

If you fail your first test, you must make the emissions-related repairs. You then bring your vehicle back to a Drive Clean facility for a retest. Should your vehicle fail again, you will be given a conditional pass certificate provided you have a receipt from an accredited Drive Clean repair facility proving at least $450 worth of emission-related repairs have been done. You bring this conditional pass certificate to a vehicle licence office to obtain your registration renewal.

This one-time repair cost limit does not apply to subsequent Drive Clean tests at registration renewal (two years later), or when transferring ownership. It also does not apply to repairs covered by the manufacturer's warranty, or to repairs made if there are still visible smoke emissions from the tailpipe.

What if I disagree with the test results or repairs?

If you disagree with the results of the test or the repairs, you will be able to call the Drive Clean customer service centre to get information that may resolve any concerns. If a dispute cannot be settled, you and the other party may be referred to an independent dispute resolution process.

Where to get more information:

Drive Clean Information Centre:  1 888 758 2999
Website: Driveclean in the web: www.driveclean.com

How I know if my vehicle needs a test: Please access the Ministry of the environment by clicking here.  You will require to enter the VIN of your vehicle.


Drive Clean for heavy-duty trucks and buses.

The heavy-duty Drive Clean program requires large trucks and buses to pass regular emissions tests in order to have their registrations renewed. This applies to heavy-duty diesel-powered vehicles registered anywhere in Ontario and to heavy-duty non-diesel vehicles in the areas of southern Ontario where light-duty testing is required.

Heavy-duty vehicles are required to undergo emissions testing every year, beginning in the fifth calendar year after their model year. As a consumer-protection measure, an emissions test pass is required for an ownership transfer for vehicles with a model year older than the current calendar year.

The exhaust from heavy-duty vehicles will be tested for opacity. This is a measurement of the amount of light that passes through exhaust smoke. The "dirtier" the smoke, the higher the opacity rating.

The opacity reading is a way to measure the amount of microscopic dust-like particles emitted by the vehicle. These particles can irritate the lungs and the respiratory system. Recent studies also indicate that they may cause cancer. Heavy-duty trucks and buses are a primary source of these micro-particles.

In 2005, The Ministry of the Environment introduced an incentive that encourages good vehicle maintenance by giving heavy-duty diesel vehicles operators the opportunity to have their vehicle tested every two years, instead of annually. For more information please refer to the heavy-duty FAQ page.

Drive Clean will make a difference

When fully implemented, Ontario's Drive Clean program will cut smog-causing pollutants by up to 22 percent In the program area.

Ontario's Drive Clean program is concerned with helping us make smart choices about the way we maintain and drive our vehicles. Driving clean can save you up to 10 percent in annual fuel consumption and prolong the life of your vehicle. But more importantly, you will be doing the right thing for the air we breathe.