Automotive Blog


By-law the Drive Clean program in Ontario requires an emission test on most Light-Duty Vehicles, see below;

  • Passenger cars
  • Vans
  • Light trucks
  • Sports utility vehicles
  • Motor homes

Drive Clean is Ontario's mandatory vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance program. It improves our health and environment by reducing smog-causing pollutants through testing and repairing vehicle emissions systems.” (Source:

An emission test is only performed on vehicles from 1988 and newer and an emission test is performed every two years. As of September 1, 2011 an emission test will be performed for registration renewal purposes at the age of seven years, currently an emission test is performed at the age of five years.

A vehicle requires the emission test to pass or get a conditional pass to renew the sticker on the license plate.

“Effective September 1, 2011, changes to Drive Clean will save drivers time and money, while continuing to protect the environment. Learn about the changes that became law on June 1.

Summary of Changes to Emission Testing Effective September 1, 2011:

  • Vehicles will need a test for registration renewal at seven years of age, instead of five.
  • Light-duty vehicles no longer require a test for family transfers and lease buyouts by the lessee.
  • No test is required for license renewal if your light-duty vehicle passed the test in the previous calendar year.
  • Vehicles plated “Historic” no longer require testing.

If your vehicle registration expires before September 1, 2011, the previous rules apply.”


“As a consumer-protection measure, an emissions test pass is required when buying or selling used vehicles with a model year older than the current calendar year, to help ensure consumers do not purchase a vehicle with emissions problems.

Vehicles exempt from Drive Clean testing requirements :

  • All hybrid vehicles (those powered by a combination of internal combustion engines and electric motors)
  • Vehicles of the 1987 model year and older
  • Vehicles currently designated as “Historic” under the Highway Traffic Act
  • Light-duty commercial farm vehicles
  • Kit cars
  • Motorcycles


The following are some positive facts about – or resulting from – the Drive Clean program :

  • Motor vehicles are a major domestic source of smog and several other toxic contaminants. Smog can have serious health consequences for many people, particularly children, the elderly and those with respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses.
  • Through Drive Clean, vehicle owners have an opportunity to make a positive contribution to the quality of our air through good vehicle maintenance and by identifying and correcting emissions problems.
  • From 1999 through 2008, Drive Clean reduced smog-causing emissions of nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons from light-duty vehicles by an estimated 266,000 tons. During the same period, the program also reduced emissions of carbon monoxide by about 2.5 million tons and carbon dioxide, a key greenhouse gas, by about 250,000 tons.
  • Drive Cleanreduces particulate matter emissions from trucks and buses by an average of over 200 tons.
  • Starting in 2012, Drive Clean is phasing in a new testing technology that, by 2013, is expected to reduce emissions from on-road vehicles by 20 per cent over what can be achieved with the current test.
  • A well maintained vehicle that is using less fuel saves money at the gas pumps as well as emits fewer pollutants. Early identification of emissions problems also helps avoid major repair bills and results in vehicles that are more reliable, run more smoothly and will likely last longer on the road.


Actions: E-mail | Permalink |