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. Drive Clean is committed to continuous improvement and is now proposing to make changes to the program.
The proposed changes would exempt vehicle owners from Drive Clean test requirements in certain situations and would have a negligible impact on the program’s emissions reductions. The changes will allow the Drive Clean program to continue to focus on vehicles most likely to pollute. These changes are proposed to be in effect starting September 1, 2011.
The proposed changes would be written in regulation and would exempt some vehicle owners from the requirement to provide an “emissions inspection report” for the renewal of a vehicle permit or for the transfer of ownership for a vehicle.
The proposed changes are detailed below.
Vehicle Registration Renewal:
(1) exempt an additional two newer model years for light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles from Drive Clean emissions testing requirements. This will result in the first emissions test for regular biennial testing of light-duty vehicles and annual testing of heavy-duty vehicles when vehicles are 7 years of age; currently vehicles are required to have their first test for registration renewal when they are 5 years of age, based on the vehicle model year.
This proposed change would exempt an additional 2 model years, as current Drive Clean test data and emissions reductions data show that exempting the first 6 model years will have a negligible impact on emissions reductions (<1% increase in smog causing emissions).
(2) eliminate requirement of light-duty vehicle owners to have two tests in two calendar years - one for the initial vehicle registration and one for registration renewal. This change will allow a light-duty “emissions inspection report” to be used for a one-time registration renewal if: a) it is older than 12 months; b) it indicates that a vehicle fully passed the Drive Clean emissions test in the previous calendar year; and c) it was only used for a single ownership transfer or vehicle registration in the previous calendar year.
This proposed change is in a response to public feedback from vehicle owners. This change addresses vehicles that would have fully passed their previous emission test in order for a vehicle permit to be issued (ownership transfer or newly permitted vehicle registration in Ontario). Removing the test requirement in the next calendar year for a registration renewal will result in a negligible impact on emissions reductions. These vehicles will still be subject to Drive Clean’s biennial testing requirements in following years.
Vehicle Ownership Registrations
(3) remove the requirement for a light-duty “emissions inspection report” for the transfer of vehicle ownership between immediate family members, if an emissions test is not required that year.
(4) remove the requirement for a light-duty “emissions inspection report” for the transfer of vehicle ownership between a leasing company and the lessee (when exercising the buy-out option for which both the leasing company and the lessee are listed on the leasing agreement), if an emissions test is not required that year.
These proposed changes are a response to public feedback about the current program requirements for the transfer of vehicle ownership between immediate family members and from a leasing company to a lessee. In most vehicle ownership transfers, requiring a vehicle to pass the Drive Clean test serves as a customer protection mechanism to ensure the public do not unwittingly purchase used vehicles with emissions problems. However, vehicle owners have identified to the province that this requirement is unnecessary for immediate family members and self lease buy-outs. These vehicles will still be subject to Drive Clean’s biennial testing requirement and, therefore, this change will result in an overall negligible impact on emissions reductions. The resale of used vehicles outside of those done between immediate family members or from a leasing company to the vehicle’s lessee will still require a full pass on an “emissions inspection report” in order to transfer ownership for vehicles with a model year older than the current calendar year.
(5) an “emissions inspection report” is not required to either register or renew registration for vehicles that have an Ontario Ministry of Transportation attached “Historic” licence plate.
This proposed change is in a response to public feedback. These vehicles are not for regular on-road use. “Historic vehicles” are defined in the Regulation as a motor vehicle that: (a) is at least 30 years old; (b) is operated on a highway in parades, for purposes of exhibition, tours or similar functions organized by a properly constituted automobile club or for purposes of repair, testing or demonstration for sale; (c) is substantially unchanged or unmodified from the original manufacturer’s product; and (d) does not have attached to it year-of-manufacture plates.