If you do not find the answer to your question here, please use our contact form, or you can contact the call centre toll free at 1-888-758-2999.
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Drive Clean was established to reduce pollutants contained in vehicle emissions. Some pollutants dirty our local air, and others – greenhouse gases – are linked to climate change.
From 1999 through 2008, Drive Clean reduced smog-causing emissions of nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons from light-duty vehicles by an estimated 266,000 tonnes. During the same period, the program also reduced emissions of carbon monoxide, an air toxic, by about 2.5 million tonnes and carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas, by more than 250,000 tonnes.
Drive Clean also reduces particulate matter emissions from trucks and buses by an average of more than 200 tonnes per year. “Particulate matter” refers to tiny particles – 30 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair – that can be inhaled and cause health problems for some people.
Independent experts evaluate Drive Clean results annually, which we post here.
Many factors contribute to the better air quality we now have. However, as long as vehicles burn fuel we will need Drive Clean to monitor vehicle emissions systems.
The Ministry of Transportation will send you a vehicle licence renewal application about three months before your vehicle's registration expiry date that contains printed information on Drive Clean requirements. Vehicles that require tests are marked with an asterisk (*) on the registration form.
You can also use our online form, or phone the Drive Clean contact centre toll free at 1-888-758-2999 to confirm whether or not your vehicle needs a test.
Once a heavy-duty vehicle becomes seven years old, based on its model year, it must be tested annually. While there is no age at which heavy-duty vehicles stop requiring a Drive Clean test, vehicles that have been plated as “historic” by the Ministry of Transportation are exempt from testing requirements.
Your heavy-duty diesel vehicle may qualify for an incentive to skip a year of emissions testing if it meets certain emissions standards. Please see the next question for details.
As a consumer-protection measure, used vehicles must pass the emissions test to transfer ownership if the model year is older than the current calendar year. This requirement helps to ensure that consumers do not unwittingly purchase a used vehicle with emissions problems.
*NOTE: Prior to September 1, 2011, Drive Clean required vehicles’ emissions to be tested when vehicles became five years old. As a result, during 2011, five- or six-year old vehicles whose registrations expired on or before August 31, 2011 had to be tested. On September 1, 2011, Drive Clean testing changed from five to seven years.
A heavy-duty diesel vehicle may qualify to skip a year of emissions testing if it had an opacity result of 20 per cent or less in the most recent Drive Clean test. Even model year vehicles may qualify to skip a test for renewal in even calendar years and odd model year vehicles may qualify to skip a test for renewal in odd calendar years. That Drive Clean pass must be issued within 24 months before the permit expires or, if the application for renewal is made after the expiry of the permit, within 24 months before the application for renewal.
Fees for tests and retests for heavy-duty vehicles are set by the individual facility at market rates. All applicable taxes are extra.
You will be given a Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) with 'pass' clearly printed on it. You can then renew or transfer ownership of the vehicle registration online at ServiceOntario or at a ServiceOntario centre. Please retain the pass certificate with the vehicle's maintenance information
The inspector will give you an emissions inspection report that shows why your vehicle failed. Your vehicle must be repaired and retested to receive a pass report. You may have repair work performed wherever you choose – or even do it yourself – however, all tests and retests, must be performed at an accredited Drive Clean test facility or by an accredited Drive Clean mobile test facility.
Some heavy duty vehicles with a model year of 2007 or newer have been equipped with a state-of-the-art computer monitoring system known as On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) that monitors emission control devices and other engine-related components. OBD uses “readiness monitors” or software routines to continuously or periodically check engine, transmission, fuel system, and emissions control performance under specific operating conditions.
Facilities will subject these vehicles to a scan of the OBD computer in addition to the opacity test. The OBD results are advisory only and do not have an impact on whether the vehicle passes or fails. This information is provided as a courtesy to the vehicle owner to identify any problems that might not be otherwise obvious.
There are four measures in place to ensure Drive Clean tests are fair:
We have zero tolerance for fraud or consumer abuse within the Drive Clean program. If you have any concerns, we want to hear them. Please contact the Drive Clean contact centre toll free at 1-888-758-2999. The ministry is serious about protecting vehicle owners and will investigate your complaints.
There is no limit on repair costs for heavy-duty vehicles. In order to renew your registration or transfer ownership, your vehicle's emissions system must be fully repaired until it passes the test.
The Ministry of Environment takes non-compliance very seriously and acts on all instances of fraud. Between April 1, 2006, and October 1, 2011, the ministry obtained 78 convictions that resulted in $683,675 in fines for Drive Clean fraud.
The ministry works with the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Government Services to identify and reduce the risk of fraud.
Please report a smoking vehicle by completing this online form. Alternatively, you can call the Drive Clean contact centre at 1-888-758-2999 with the following information:
Please be assured we are doing everything we can to stop these types of occurrences.
Drive Clean has zero tolerance for fraud or consumer abuse. If you have any concerns, we want to hear them. Please call the Drive Clean contact centre toll free at 1-888-758-2999. The ministry is serious about protecting vehicle owners and will investigate your complaints.
Drive Clean’s customer service standards are posted in the ministry’s Service Excellence section. There, you’ll find standards for customer complaint resolution, handling applications to become accredited Drive Clean Facilities, and issuing conditional pass reports for out-of-province vehicles.