Drivers’ Licences – Commercial Vehicles

Driving a commercial vehicle, such as a tractor-trailer, truck, bus, or ambulance, requires skill and a specialized/classified licence.

Class A, B, C, D, E, and F Drivers’ Licences

There are several minimum requirements for obtaining a commercial licence. These criteria vary depending on the type of licence you are pursuing, the school or employer you choose, and the licence you currently hold. 

Note:

Starting July 1, 2017, commercial Class A truck drivers will require mandatory entry-level training. Please visit the Ministry of Transportation's (MTO) website for more information regarding mandatory entry-level training for Class A truck drivers.

A newcomer to Ontario who holds a driver’s licence from another province or country must apply for an Ontario driver’s licence within 60 days of moving to the province. Holders of commercial licences (except for classes B and E for school buses) from other Canadian provinces and territories may be eligible for a licence exchange. Similarly, Canadian military DND 404 permit holders may have testing requirements waived

Some drivers of recreational vehicles may require a commercial class of licence due to the size and weight of the vehicles. Visit the MTO website for more information.

Unlike for car and motorcycle licence classes, there is no graduated driver licensing program for commercial vehicles in Ontario.

School Bus Road Test

Commercial Driver’s Licence Types

There are several types of licences for driving commercial vehicles:

  • Class A: Any tractor-trailer or combination of motor vehicle and towed vehicles where the towed vehicles exceed a total gross weight of 4,600 kilograms. Class A licence holders may also drive vehicles in Classes D, G, and A with condition (R). A Class A licence does not permit you to drive a bus carrying passengers, a motorcycle, or a moped.
  • Class A With Condition R: Drivers with a restricted Class A licence condition are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle pulling double trailers or a trailer with air brakes. Class A (with Condition R) licence holders may also drive vehicles in Classes D and G. 
  • Class B: Any school-purpose bus with designed seating capacity for more than 24 passengers. Class B licence holders may also drive a vehicle in Classes C, D, E, F, and G, but not a motorcycle or moped.
  • Class C: Any regular bus with designed seating capacity for more than 24 passengers. Class C licence holders may also drive a vehicle in Classes D, F, and G, but not a motorcycle or moped.
  • Class D: Any truck or motor vehicle combination exceeding 11,000 kg, provided the towed vehicle is not over 4,600 kg. Class D licence holders may also drive a vehicle in Class G. A Class D licence does not permit you to drive a bus carrying passengers, a motorcycle, or a moped.
  • Class E: A school-purpose bus with a 24-passenger capacity maximum. Class E licence holders may also drive vehicles in Classes F and G, but not a motorcycle or moped. 
  • Class F: A regular bus with a maximum 24-passenger capacity and ambulances. The Highway Traffic Act defines a bus as a “motor vehicle designed for carrying ten or more passengers and used for the transportation of persons.” For example, a 15-passenger van is considered a bus and requires a Class F licence. Safety information on large passenger vans is available on the Transport Canada website. Class F licence holders may also drive a vehicle in Class G, but not a motorcycle or moped.
  • Z Endorsement: A Z air brake endorsement is required on a driver’s licence to operate any air-brake-equipped motor vehicle. The Z endorsement can be combined with any of the class A, B, C, D, E, F, or G licences.

Licence Combinations

A driver may hold a combination of commercial licences. For example, you can hold a Class A and B if you meet the requirements for both. Your licence designation in this case would be shown as AB. The driver examinations for these licenses are completed separately. Similarly, a class or combination of licence classes may be combined with a Class M licence authorizing the operation of motorcycles (e.g., AM, EM, ABM, and so on). 

Driver Examiner at School Bus Road Test

Commercial Driver’s Licence Requirements

There are different minimum requirements for commercial licences depending on the class you are pursuing.

Class Requirements
Class A or D
  • At least 18 years old.
  • Valid Class G licence or higher.
  • Passing mark on the applicable knowledge test.
  • Ability to meet vision standards.
  • Satisfactory medical examination report.
  • Passing mark on the applicable road test at DriveTest or from an MTO-recognized authority. 

Starting July 1, 2017, commercial Class A truck drivers will require mandatory entry-level training. Please visit the Ministry of Transportation's (MTO) website for more information regarding mandatory entry-level training for Class A truck drivers.

Class C or F
  • At least 18 years old.
  • Valid Class G licence or higher.
  • Passing mark on the applicable knowledge tests (note that pursuit of a Class C licence involves answering Class D rules of the road questions).
  • Ability to meet vision standards.
  • Satisfactory medical examination report.
  • Ability to meet hearing standards (on the medical examination report).
  • Passing mark on the applicable road test at DriveTest or from a recognized authority by the Ministry of Transportation (MTO).
Class B or E
    • At least 21 years old.
    • Valid Class G licence or higher.
    • Passing mark on the applicable knowledge tests (note that pursuit of a Class B licence involves answering Class D rules of the road questions).
    • Ability to meet vision standards.
    • Satisfactory medical examination report.
    • Ability to meet hearing standards (on the medical examination report).
    • Valid course certificate showing successful completion of a school bus driver improvement course approved by MTO.
    • Passing mark on the applicable road test at DriveTest or from an MTO-recognized authority.
    • Satisfactory driver record search, including no more than 6 demerit points, no driver’s licence suspension within the preceding 12 months as a result of having been convicted/found guilty of an offence in The Official MTO Bus Handbook, and not having been convicted of two or more criminal code (Canada) offences committed on different dates involving a motor vehicle within the preceding five years.
    • Effective January 1, 2017, MTO requires drivers who are applying for a Class B or E licence to obtain a Criminal Record and Judicial Matters (CRJM) Check or equivalent. The CRJM Check will ensure regulatory standards under the Highway Traffic Act are met.

      Applicants can apply for a CRJM Check at their local police service or through an authorized criminal record check provider.

      If applying through the police, please contact your local police service to determine the appropriate location to obtain your CRJM Check. Fees may vary between police services. If fingerprinting is required to confirm your identity, this may impact processing times.

      Please submit the original, completed CRJM Check or equivalent by mail or courier to MTO, along with your driver's licence number to:

      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 applying through an authorized criminal record check provider, please contact your association or employer, as they may be able to recommend an authorized CRJM Check provider to you.

      The MTO will review your CRJM Check to determine your eligibility for this class of licence. MTO will not be responsible for lost CRJM Checks.

      For more information about CRJM Checks, please contact your local police service. 

Medical Examination Reports

A medical report is required when you apply for your commercial driver’s licence. A medical examination and the associated medical report are completed by a physician or nurse practitioner (registered nurse-extended class); some may choose to charge for this service. Your chosen medical professional is required by law to report to the licensing authorities any medical condition that might affect your safe operation of a motor vehicle. MTO medical requirements must be satisfied before any test (except vision) may be administered at a DriveTest Centre. Blank medical forms for new applicants can be obtained from any DriveTest Centre in Ontario, although some physicians and recognized authorities (employers) may already have them. 

Process for Obtaining a Commercial Vehicle Driver’s Licence

Many people choose to complete the commercial licence and the Z endorsement (for air brakes) steps together. 

If you have taken an air brake course at an accredited driving school, you may be exempted from completing the Z endorsement knowledge and practical tests by showing the applicable certificate.

Written Commercial Knowledge Test

Some applicants may be required to also demonstrate knowledge of Ontario’s safety laws by completing a one-time, Commercial Vehicle Operators Registration (CVOR)/New Entrant Education and Evaluation Program (NEEEP) written test, in person, at a DriveTest Centre. This test may be taken at the same time as the other commercial knowledge tests. Operators must apply and pay a fee to MTO prior to taking the CVOR test; details are available on the MTO website.

Generally, the process for obtaining a commercial driver’s licence is as follows.

  1. Optionally visit a DriveTest Centre to pick up the necessary materials required for commercial testing, including the medical examination report form and any printed driver’s handbooks you may require.
    Visiting a DriveTest Centre may not be necessary if you can obtain the materials elsewhere (e.g., from your physician’s office or by accessing the handbooks online). 
  2. Study for the written knowledge test(s).
    As a driver of one of the largest vehicles on the road, you must study and practice to learn to drive carefully and safely. Ontario’s driver handbooks are great resources. The operator’s manual for the vehicle(s) you intend to drive is also useful for your commercial driver’s test(s), which includes a pre-trip inspection (circle check). 

    Driver training and/or courses are recommended, either through a private driving school or community college, or from an employer deemed by the MTO as a recognized authority with Driver Certification Program (DCP) certification. Please note that some schools/employers require a driver’s abstract as part of their entrance requirements – abstracts may be obtained from ServiceOntario.

    Note that pursuit of a Class B or C licence involves answering Class D rules of the road questions on the knowledge test.
  3. Visit a physician or nurse practitioner (registered nurse–extended class) of your choice to complete the medical examination and the medical examination report form.
    A medical report is valid for six months. Be sure to apply for your licence before the report expires.
  4. Apply for a driver’s licence (and/or Z endorsement) at a DriveTest Centre.
    At the DriveTest Centre, you will be required to present acceptable ID, provide a valid and complete medical report form, and complete several forms at the time of your application. 
  5. Take a vision test at the DriveTest Centre.
    The test takes only a few minutes and is completed by a customer service agent at a DriveTest Centre when you apply. Bring any corrective lenses with you, if required.
  6. Pay the applicable fees at a DriveTest Centre.
    Fees are set by the MTO and are subject to change. 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 made payable to the DriveTest Centre), or travellers cheque (Canadian or American). 

    Please note that, if required, retests and subsequent attempts will incur additional charges.

    The customer service agent will review your driving record when you pay your application fee. If you are pursuing a Class B or Class E licence, you must obtain a Criminal Record and Judicial Matters (CRJM) Check or equivalent as per the process outlined above. 
  7. Complete and pass a written knowledge test(s) at a DriveTest Centre.
    Class G licence holders are allowed to practice in a commercial vehicle before they pass a written test; however, most people take the knowledge test prior to hands-on/in-vehicle learning.

    The knowledge test for each class of licence typically takes approximately 30 minutes. There is no appointment required. Knowledge tests are available on a first come, first serve basis. To allow sufficient time, it is highly recommended that applicants arrive at least one hour or more prior to office close, especially on Saturdays and school holidays. 

    You must successfully complete a road test within one year of completing a written test. Otherwise, you will need to write the knowledge test and take the vision test again, including paying the applicable fee.

    If you are unsuccessful in your knowledge test, you may pay the fee and take the test again.
  8. Practise, practise, practise your driving.
    Class G holders may drive a class A, B, C, D, E, or F vehicle for the purpose of receiving instruction, provided a fully licensed driver of the applicable class is occupying a seat beside the driver. If the Class G holder is receiving instruction in a bus, there must not be any passengers other than those giving or receiving instruction on the bus.

    If you are pursuing a Class B or E licence, you must successfully complete an MTO-approved school-bus driver improvement course and obtain a certificate, which is valid for five years.
  9. Book a road test and then take a commercial road test (and/or Z endorsement practical test).
    You may book multiple tests for the same day. For example, you may wish to obtain your Z endorsement on the same day as your classified test by selecting a combination test (i.e., AZ, DZ, etc.).

    You are required to bring a working vehicle in good condition of the relevant class to your road test appointment.     

    Road tests have a set time frame. The examiner will explain the test components and timing on the day of the test.

    If you are unsuccessful, you must wait 10 days and try the road test again by booking another appointment and paying the applicable fees.

    Eligible driver's licence applicants can book a road test appointment online, over the phone, or in person. If required, please see the Online Road Test Booking Application Instructions page for step-by-step help in making bookings using this website.
  10. Enjoy your commercial licence. Drive safely.