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Driver’s Licences – Commercial Vehicles

Driver’s Licences – Commercial Vehicles

Commercial Driving License

If driving a commercial vehicle, such as a tractor-trailer, truck, ambulance, or bus is your goal, it requires skill and a specialized/classified license to drive a vehicle like that.

Note:

A Class manual transmission restriction.

You must complete your A Class or A Class restricted (AR) road test in a vehicle with a manual transmission that has a minimum of eight forward gears and with a high-low range, or your A Class license will get a restriction on it. If you have a license restriction, you cannot operate an A/AR Class vehicle with a manual transmission throughout Ontario. You can only drive automatic, semi-automatic, or automated-manual transmission A/AR Class vehicles.


Driver’s Licences Commercial Vehicles

A vehicle is a manual transmission if it has a driver-operated clutch activated by a lever or pedal or a driver-operated gear-shift mechanism operated by a hand or a foot and does not use automation for assistance.

Your license and record will note the restriction. The restriction does not apply when operating lower-class vehicles such as G or D Class.

A, B, C, D, E, and F Driver’s Licences

There are several minimum requirements you must follow to obtain a commercial driver’s license. The criteria of these requirements will vary depending on the type of license you wish to obtain, the license you currently hold, and the school or employer you choose.

Newcomers to Ontario who hold a driver’s license from another province or country must apply for an Ontario driver’s license within 60 days of moving to Ontario. License holders of a commercial license from other Canadian provinces and territories, other than a B and E Class license for school buses, may be allowed to exchange their driver’s license. Canadian military DND 404 permit holders may also have their testing requirements put aside.

Drivers of some recreational vehicles may be required to have a commercial class license due to the size and weight of the recreational vehicle.

There is no graduated driver licensing program for commercial vehicles throughout Ontario, unlike the passenger car and motorcycle license classes.

Commercial Driver’s Licence Types

Since there are several types of commercial vehicles, there are several types of licenses for each one:

  • A Class: This is any truck, tractor-trailer, or combination vehicle and towed vehicles where the towed vehicles exceed a total gross weight of 4,600 kilograms. A Class license holders may also drive D, G, and A with condition (R) vehicles, but not a bus carrying passengers, a motorcycle, or a moped. The type of transmission of the vehicle you drive for your road test will determine what type of A Class trucks you can operate in Ontario.
  • A Class With Condition R: Drivers who have a restricted A Class license condition cannot operate a vehicle pulling double trailers or a trailer with air brakes. Holders with an A Class license with Condition R may also drive D and G Class vehicles.
  • The type of transmission of the vehicle you use during your road test will determine which AR Class trucks you can drive.
  • B Class: Holders of this class of license can drive any school-purpose bus with a designed seating capacity for more than 24 passengers. B Class license holders may also drive C, D, E, F, and G vehicles, but not a motorcycle or moped.
  • C Class: This license class is for any regular bus with a designed seating capacity for more than 24 passengers. This license class may also drive vehicles in Classes D, F, and G, but not a motorcycle or a moped.
  • D Class: This license is for any truck or combination exceeding 11,000 kg, provided the towed vehicle is not over 4,600 kg. D Class license holders may also drive a G Class vehicle. A D Class license does not allow you to drive a bus carrying passengers, a motorcycle, or a moped.
  • E Class: This is a license for a school-purpose bus with a maximum 24-passenger capacity. E Class license holders can also drive F and G Class vehicles, not a motorcycle or moped.
  • F Class: This license is for a regular bus with a maximum 24-passenger capacity and an ambulance. According to the Highway Traffic Act, a bus is a “motor vehicle designed for carrying ten or more passengers and used for the transportation of persons.” For example, a 15-passenger van would be considered a bus and would require an F Class license. For more safety information on large passenger vans, refer to the Transport Canada website. F Class license holders may also drive G Class vehicles, but not a motorcycle or moped.
  • Z Endorsement: A Z air brake endorsement is required for a driver’s license to operate any air-brake-equipped motor vehicle and can combine with any of A, B, C, D, E, F, or G Class licenses.

Commercial Driver’s License Combinations

It can be possible for a driver to hold a combination of commercial licenses. For example, a driver can have both A and B classes if they meet the requirements for both. In this example, your license designation would be AB Class. Exams for these licenses are done separately. Any license class or combination of license classes can combine with an M Class license, which allows the operation of motorcycles.

Commercial Driver’s Licence Requirements

Since there are different commercial license classes, there are minimum requirements to obtain these commercial licenses. For information on commercial license knowledge and road tests, visit Road Test Commercial Vehicles and study from the Official MTO Handbook. The following is updated information on the requirements for each license class:

A Class:

  • Must be a minimum of 18 years of age.
  • Must have a valid G Class license or higher.
  • Must pass the applicable knowledge test.
  • Before the road test, the mandatory entry-level training must be completed and recorded on your driving record.
  • Your vision must meet the MTO standards.
  • You must have a satisfactory medical examination report.
  • Must pass the applicable road test at DriveTest or from an MTO-recognized authority.

The type of transmission of the vehicle you use for your road test will determine what type of A Class trucks you can drive.

D Class:

  • Must be a minimum of 18 years of age.
  • Must have a valid G Class license or higher.
  • Must pass the applicable knowledge test.
  • Your vision must meet the MTO standards.
  • You must have a satisfactory medical examination report.
  • Passing marks on the road test at DriveTest or from an MTO-recognized authority.

C or F Class:

  • Must be a minimum of 18 years of age.
  • Must have a valid G Class license or higher.
  • Must pass the applicable knowledge test, including answering Class D rules of the road questions if pursuing a C Class license.
  • Your vision must meet the MTO standards.
  • You must have a satisfactory medical examination report, including the ability to meet hearing standards.
  • Passing marks on the applicable road test at DriveTest or from an MTO-recognized authority.

B or E Class:

  • Must be a minimum of 21 years of age.
  • Must have a valid G Class license or higher.
  • Must pass the applicable knowledge test, including answering Class D rules of the road questions if pursuing a B Class license.
  • Your vision must meet the MTO standards.
  • You must have a satisfactory medical examination report, including the ability to meet hearing standards.
  • Must have a valid course certificate showing successful completion of a driver improvement course for school buses, approved by MTO.
  • Passing marks on the applicable road test at DriveTest or from an MTO-recognized authority.
  • There must be an acceptable driver record search with a maximum of 6 demerit points. There cannot be a license suspension within the previous 12 months from being convicted and found guilty of an offense in The Official MTO Bus Handbook. You also can’t have been convicted of two or more criminal code of Canada offenses committed on different dates that involve a vehicle within the past five years.
  • Any license holder applying for a B or E Class license will need to acquire a Criminal Record and Judicial Matters (CRJM) Check or equivalent. The CRJM Check ensures regulatory standards within the Highway Traffic Act. You must apply for a CRJM Check at your local police service or through an authorized criminal record check provider. If you apply for the CRJM Check through the police services, contact your local police to determine the correct location to obtain your CRJM Check. Keep in mind that fees may vary between police services. Fingerprinting may be required to confirm your identity and may delay processing times. Once completed, submit the original completed CRJM Check or equivalent by mail or courier to MTO, along with your driver’s license number to the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario.
  • Driver Improvement Office, Driver Control Section
  • Attn: Class B or E CRJM
  • 77 Wellesley St. West, Box 671
  • Toronto, Ontario M7A 1N3
  • Telephone: 416-235-1086 or 1-800-303-4993. If you are applying through an authorized criminal record check provider, you must contact your association or your employer. They may be able to recommend an authorized CRJM Check provider for you. Once received, the MTO will review your CRJM Check to determine if you are eligible for this license class. The MTO will not be responsible for any lost CRJM Checks. If you need additional information regarding CRJM Checks, contact your local police service.

Medical Examinations

When applying for your commercial license, a medical report is required. A medical examination, along with the associated medical report, is completed by a physician or nurse practitioner. Keep in mind that some may choose to charge for this service. The doctor and nurse practitioner are required by law to report any medical condition that might affect the safe operation of a motor vehicle to the MTO.

Before any test, other than the vision test, the MTO medical requirements must be satisfied. If you need a blank medical form, you can get one from any DriveTest Centre in Ontario. However, physicians and employers may already have them.

Obtaining a Commercial Vehicle Driver’s Licence Process

Many people decide to complete the steps for a commercial license and the Z endorsement for air brakes together. If you take an air brake course at an approved driving school, you may be excused from completing the Z endorsement knowledge and practical tests.

You may be required to demonstrate knowledge of Ontario’s safety laws by completing a one-time, Commercial Vehicle Operators Registration (CVOR)/New Entrant Education and Evaluation Program (NEEEP) knowledge test at a DriveTest Centre. This test can be done simultaneously with other commercial knowledge tests. You must apply and pay a fee to the MTO before taking the CVOR test. For more information regarding these tests, refer to the MTO website.

The process for obtaining a commercial driver’s license would be as follows:

Visit a DriveTest Centre to pick up the necessary materials for commercial testing, including the medical examination report form and any printed Official MTO Handbooks.

However, you may not have to visit a DriveTest Centre if you can get the materials elsewhere, such as from your physician’s office, by viewing the Official MTO Handbooks online, or by borrowing a current handbook.

Study for the knowledge test.

Ontario’s Official MTO Handbooks are great resources to help you study and practice to learn to drive one of the largest vehicles on the road carefully and safely. The manual for the vehicle you intend to drive can be useful to help you study for your commercial driver’s test. Driver training courses are highly recommended, either through a private driving school or community college. You can also take a course from an employer deemed by the MTO as a recognized authority under the Driver Certification Program (DCP). Some driving schools or employers require an abstract as part of their entrance requirements which can be obtained from Service Ontario. If you are studying for a B or C Class knowledge test, those tests include D Class rules of the road questions.

Complete the medical examination and the medical examination report form.

A medical report is valid for 180 days, so ensure you apply for your commercial license before the medical report expires.

Apply for a driver’s license, including Z endorsement, at a DriveTest Centre.

Present your valid Ontario driver’s license or acceptable identification at the DriveTest Centre. You will also need to provide a completed medical report form and complete your license application.

Vision test.

Vision tests take a few minutes and are completed by a customer service agent at a DriveTest Centre when you apply. If required, ensure you bring any corrective lenses with you.

Pay the applicable fees.

License fees are set by the MTO and can change without notice. Test fees can be paid by cash, credit card (VISA, MasterCard, or American Express), debit card, certified business cheque, certified personal cheque, bank draft, or money order. Each would be made payable to Serco Canada Inc. If needed, a traveler’s cheque can also be used. Any retests and other attempts will invite additional charges.

Pass a knowledge test at DriveTest.

As a G Class license holder, you can practice in a commercial vehicle before you pass a knowledge test. Most people take the knowledge test before any in-vehicle learning or practice. The knowledge test for each license class takes roughly 30 minutes and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Since there is no appointment required, arrive at least one hour or more before when the office closes, especially Saturdays and school holidays since those are busier days. You have one year to complete a road test after completing the knowledge test. If not, you will have to complete the vision and knowledge test again, plus pay the applicable fee. If you are unsuccessful in your knowledge test, test fees will be applied again so you can retake the test.

Practice your driving.

Class G holders can drive an A, B, C, D, E, or F Class vehicle to receive instruction, provided the person in the passenger seat has a valid license for that vehicle. If the G Class holder is receiving instruction on a bus, the bus must be empty, other than those giving or receiving instruction on the bus.

Book a commercial road test, Z endorsement practical test.

You may be able to book your Z endorsement on the same day as your commercial road test by selecting a combination test, such as AZ, DZ, etc. When test day arrives, bring a vehicle relevant to the license, in good working condition. Before the road test, the driving examiner will explain the test components and timing. If you are unsuccessful with the road test, you may book another road test immediately. However, you must pay the applicable fees and wait 10 days before attempting the next road test. You can book a road test appointment online, over the phone, or in person at a DriveTest location.

Drive safely.

Making a jump from a driver’s license for a passenger vehicle to that of a commercial license is exciting, and a lot of work! At Trubicars, we are here to help you along the way. If you need more information to prepare and pass your commercial road test, check out the Trubicars website!