When it comes to driving safely in Ontario, vehicles need to pass the Drive Clean test. Simple enough, right? In certain situations, things can get a bit complicated – and people will naturally have questions. Here, we’ll answer 3 of the most frequently asked questions by Ontario drivers to clear up any misinformation and keep the roads clean.
I’m at the end of my car lease and I want to buy the vehicle. Do I need to get a Drive Clean test before the sale is finalized?
If you’re at the end of your lease and you want to buy the car from the lessor, the leasing company does not need to get a Drive Clean test pass in order to transfer ownership to you.
Do I need a Drive Clean test to buy, sell, or transfer a used vehicle?
Used vehicles require a valid Drive Clean test pass when they are sold in order to transfer the ownership if the model year is older than the current year. A valid test pass is not needed if you are transferring a vehicle to an immediate family member, including:
- Parent, stepparent
- Grandparent, step-grandparent
- Child, stepchild
- Grandchild, step-grandchild
- Sibling, half-sibling
- Father-in-law, mother-in-law
- Son-in-law, daughter-in-law
- Brother-in-law, sister-in-law
Regardless of this exemption, all 7+ year-old cars need to be tested for registration renewal every two years.
What are my hot rod’s emissions requirements?
Under law, a hot rod is any car whose original motor has been replaced by a different type. “Type” refers to the motor’s:
- Block size (displacement)
- Use in the vehicle’s model and model year
Whether your car is a true hot rod or simply a modified vehicle, it has emissions requirements. The requirements depend on the car’s original model year:
- 1999 model year or older
- 2000 model year or newer
Requirements for motor replaced pre-1999:
- Vehicle cannot operate if there are visible emissions for more than 15 seconds in any five-minute period
- For Drive Clean testing (if applicable), the vehicle is deemed to be a 1980 model year and must meet or exceed the standards set for “1980 and earlier” model-year vehicles
- Catalytic converter and emission control equipment requirements do not apply to hot rods altered prior to January 1, 1999
- Without emissions control equipment functioning, the vehicle could fail the Drive Clean test
Requirements for motor replaced anytime:
- Vehicle cannot legally operate if there are visible emissions for more than 15 seconds in any five-minute period
- For Drive Clean testing, the vehicle model year is the model year as designated by the manufacturer
- Vehicle must meet or exceed what were the emissions standards for the original motor when all original emission control equipment was functioning
- All emissions control equipment must be attached and functioning (equipment refers to what came with the replacement motor or be equivalent to what would have come with that motor)
Now that we’ve answered these questions, go visit a nearby inspection station to make sure your vehicle meets Ontario’s emissions requirements!