Since 1974

CVOR Registration Requirements

Ontario CVOR


The Commercial Vehicle Operator's Registration (CVOR) system and the Carrier Safety Rating (CSR) program were developed by the Ministry of Transportation as part of Ontario's ongoing commitment to road safety. These programs promote the safe operation of trucks and buses on Ontario's roadways.

This guideline is for operators of commercial motor vehicles. This includes trucks that have a registered gross weight of over 4,500 kilograms, and buses that can carry ten or more passengers. Owners/operators of these vehicles must apply for, obtain and renew a Commercial Vehicle Operator's Registration (CVOR) certificate.

Each carrier is responsible for monitoring its CVOR record and the performance information it provides, including violation rates, thresholds, audit scores and resulting Safety Rating. The carrier should identify and address problem areas in order to improve its commercial motor vehicle safety performance.

The CVOR system is part of the Carrier Safety Rating (CSR) program. The Ministry of Transportation monitors carriers and assigns each a Safety Rating based on several factors: collisions, inspections, and convictions, as well as the results of facility audits.

To operate in Ontario, carriers must follow the laws and regulations that apply to the operation of trucks and buses, which includes, but is not limited to:
  • The Highway Traffic Act
  • Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act
  • Public Vehicles Act
  • Motor Vehicle Transport Act
  • Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act
  • Fuel Tax Act

CVOR Written Test

The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is seeking to reduce the incidents of collisions and high risk safety violations by new operators of trucks and buses on Ontario highways. To achieve this goal MTO is introducing a CVOR written test for new operators in the Commercial Vehicle Operators’ Registration (CVOR) program.

MTO’s goal is to improve a new entrant’s knowledge of their requirements allowing enforcement to focus on non-compliant operators instead of operators who do not understand their obligations.

The CVOR test will be a one time requirement. Operators will be required to demonstrate knowledge of Ontario’s safety laws by completing a test in person at a DriveTest Centre as a prerequisite to obtaining a CVOR certificate.

The ministry has amended the Highway Traffic Act Regulation 424/97 “Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators’ information” to require Ontario-based CVOR applicants, who apply after September 30, 2013, to complete this test prior to being issued a CVOR certificate and operating on Ontario roadways.

General Information

The CVOR system tracks the on-road safety performance of the following vehicles:
  • Trucks that have a gross weight or registered gross weight over 4,500 kg (9,920 lb) and
  • Buses that have a seating capacity of ten or more passengers.
The goal of the CVOR system is to improve road safety for all users of Ontario highways by having an effective monitoring and intervention system for all carriers. Poor performance may result in the loss of privileges to operate commercial motor vehicles.

Vehicles that require a CVOR

A CVOR certificate is required for commercial vehicles that are:
  • Plated in Ontario,
  • Plated in the USA, or
  • Plated in Mexico.
Vehicles that are plated in other Canadian provinces or territories (not Ontario) do not need a CVOR certificate. They require a safety fitness certificate from the province or territory in which the vehicle is plated.

Note: For-hire operators of buses, including motor coaches and school/school purpose vehicles, may also require an operating authority under the Public Vehicles Act and Motor Vehicle Transport Act. Contact the Ontario Highway Transport Board for more information.


Carriers that operate certain types of vehicles do not need a CVOR certificate. These vehicles include:
  • A truck or bus that is plated in another Canadian jurisdiction
  • A truck with a registered gross weight (RGW) and a gross weight of 4,500 kg or less, whether towing a trailer or not - see Determining RGW
  • A truck or bus leased by an individual for 30 days or less to move their personal goods, or to carry passengers at no fare
  • An ambulance, fire apparatus, hearse, casket wagon, mobile crane or tow truck
  • A truck or bus operating under the authority of a dealer plate or an in-transit permit
  • A bus used for personal purposes without compensation
  • A motor home used for personal purposes
  • A pickup truck used for personal purposes
Note: For current exemptions, please refer to the Highway Traffic Act.

CVOR responsibilities

A CVOR operator (carrier) is the person who is responsible for the operation of a commercial motor vehicle. The carrier is responsible for:
  • The conduct of the driver
  • The mechanical safety condition of the vehicle, and
  • The shipping of goods or passengers in the vehicle.
The carrier does not necessarily need to be the vehicle owner, but must hold a valid CVOR certificate when using vehicles that are leased or contracted.

Carriers are responsible for all the drivers and vehicles in their operation. For example, these responsibilities include:
  • Employing qualified and licensed drivers;
  • Monitoring the safety performance of drivers, including hours of service;
  • Resolving driver safety issues when they are identified;
  • Keeping vehicles in good, safe condition at all times;
  • Ensuring load security
  • Ensuring daily and annual/semi-annual inspections are completed;
  • Keeping records on file (e.g. vehicle repairs, kilometres travelled per year, annual inspection reports, etc.); and
  • Notifying the Ministry of changes such as name, address, telephone numbers, fleet data, kilometric travel, and changes in corporate officers, etc.
Carriers must comply with all regulations and legislation under the Highway Traffic Act in order to operate a business in Ontario. Failing to comply may result in sanctions or loss of operating privileges.


What is the Commercial Vehicle Operator's Registration (CVOR) System?

In July 1989, and subject to certain exemptions, it became mandatory that all persons/business/organizations/etc. responsible for heavy commercial vehicles, register as a commercial vehicle operator. This system identifies commercial vehicle operators and facilitates the monitoring of on-road safety performance.

The goal of the CVOR system is to:
  • improve safety for all users of Ontario highways while promoting dependable and competitive transportation of goods and people;
  • develop effective compliance strategies with emphasis on safety and protection of the highway infrastructure;
  • promote efficient movement of goods and people.

Who must register for a CVOR?

Subject to certain exemptions, all commercial motor vehicle carriers (operators) must register for a CVOR certificate. Each legal entity (separate corporation/company or individual) requires one certificate. For exempted carriers (See Section 16 of the Highway Traffic Act (HTA)), the ministry may create a CVOR record and collect safety data as required.

The types of vehicles include all heavy commercial vehicles (power units only), including vehicles leased, rented and owned, having a gross weight or registered gross weight of more than 4500 kg or a bus carrying ten or more passengers.

Exceptions: ambulances, fire apparatus, hearses and casket wagons, mobile cranes, motor homes, tow trucks, buses when used for personal transportation, empty vehicles operating under dealer plates or "in transit" permits, and vehicles leased for not longer than 30 days for personal use.

The Highway Traffic Act defines an operator as the "person responsible for the operation of a commercial motor vehicle including the conduct of the driver and the carriage of goods or passengers, if any, in the vehicle or combination of vehicles." The operator does not necessarily have to be the vehicle owner. If the vehicles are leased or contracted, the operator must hold a valid CVOR certificate.

A legible copy of the certificate must be carried in all commercial motor vehicles operated by the carrier. A CVOR certificate is a legal document and must be surrendered if requested by a police or ministry enforcement officer.

How does the new CVOR system work?

The new CVOR system will:
  • monitor accidents, convictions and commercial vehicle inspections separately within the overall model;
  • points will only be assigned to safety-related incidents;
  • all CVSA inspections, whether passed or failed, will be included on a carrier's CVOR record;
  • the same standard will be applied to all large carriers;
  • the CVOR Level 1 Abstract has been simplified for clear presentation of information.
The new CVOR system will also include progressive compliance improvement interventions. This means that the ministry will intervene sooner as a carrier approaches their CVOR threshold. For example, at 35% of threshold a carrier will receive a warning letter. At 65% of threshold, a carrier may either be required to undergo a carrier interview or audit. At 80% of threshold, an audit or interview may be conducted, depending on the previous course of action and the nature of the carrier's violations. At 100% of CVOR threshold, a carrier will be proposed for sanction and the CVOR may be suspended or cancelled.

If an operator has a number of operating divisions/subsidiaries, must each division/susidiary register for a CVOR?

If the divisions/subsidiaries are not legal entities, an operator requires only one certificate to be issued under the legal entity name.

If the divisions/subsidiaries are legal entities, each division/subsidiary requires their own CVOR certificate.

Can the ministry refuse to issue a CVOR certificate?

Yes. A CVOR will not be issued if the operational control of the carrier is linked, either directly or indirectly, with another carrier who has an unacceptable safety record or pending sanction. This mechanism prevents a truck or bus operator from avoiding a sanction by setting up operations as a new entity.