Big Changes to Ontario Vehicle Inspection Program

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Diane Freeman is President of the Automotive Aftermarket Retailers of Ontario (AARO). You can reach her at [email protected]. Photo Diane Freeman

Modernized program adopts digital platform to streamline efficiency.

The Ministry of Transportation, Ontario (MTO), has been modernizing the Motor Vehicle Inspection Station (MVIS) program since 2016 and the next phase is now happening.  This new inspection program is designed to address fraudulent safety certificates by having it move to a contractual model with a digital platform. 

The proposed changes will simplify the light-duty and passenger vehicle registration process when an SSC or SIC is required. The safety requirements that form the inspection will remain in keeping with current requirements.

Emissions inspection integration

MTO will integrate heavy diesel vehicle emission inspections into the annual commercial vehicle safety inspections. Inspection criteria will continue to align to standards in the National Safety Code 11, part B along with the inclusion of Ontario emission inspection requirements. Successful completion of the inspection will be required and will be digitally uploaded to support the registration or renewal of licence plate transactions. Integrating the commercial vehicle safety and emission inspection processes will create “one test, one result”, streamlining requirements. Stations interested in providing inspection services will have an opportunity to enter into a contractual service agreement with the ministry. 

In early 2022, stations currently providing emission inspections will need to enter into a service agreement to join the new program. MVIS offering safety inspections will be able to join the new program in late 2022 and throughout 2023.

Contractual model

The Motor Vehicle Inspection Station (MVIS) program will be a contractual model. The Vehicle Inspection Program will transition to a multi-year contract between the ministry and service stations/garages offering Emission Inspection Certificates, Safety Standard Certificates (SSC), Periodic Mandatory Commercial Vehicle Inspection (PMCVI) Certificates and Structural Inspection Certificates (SIC). Inspection results will be collected, and the certificate issued in a digital format, streamlining the process and providing more robust safety inspection data. 

At this time, safety inspection standards will not undergo significant changes to components being inspected or the pass criteria, however, key changes to the delivery of the program are being proposed. These include: 

  • Establishing the inspection requirements through a Directive to stations offering inspections that will form part of the contractual agreement between the station and ministry,
  •  A requirement to have a valid PMCVI inspection result to obtain Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) plate renewals
  •  Integration of emission inspections into the annual safety inspection for diesel CMVs. The proposed changes will simplify the light-duty and passenger vehicle registration

MTO is also proposing to implement changes to the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) to support the new Vehicle Inspection Program. Details can be found here.


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