When Is a Yellow Sticker Required for Motor Vehicles/Trailers in Ontario?
The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) requires periodic safety inspections under the Highway Traffic Act. Typically done at an MTO authorized Motor Vehicle Inspection Station, you will be issued a Yellow Safety Inspection Sticker when your vehicle/trailer passes the safety inspection, and this yellow sticker must be affixed to your vehicle/trailer.
So who is required to have a yellow sticker which is granted upon passing the Annual Inspection and Safety Certificate (SSC)?
Let’s begin by understanding the three different weights that is part of the criteria to determines if you require an annual safety test.
- Total Gross Weight is determined by adding the weight of the driver, passenger, fuel, equipment, tools, cargo, etc. carried by the vehicle and/or trailer.
- Registered Gross Weight (RGW) is the maximum weight used to determine the fee paid for the motor vehicle’s licence plates which can be found on the right (plate) portion of a vehicle’s ownership next to “REG. CROSS WT.” This weight is based on, and must be at least equal to, the actual weight of the vehicle and its heaviest load.
- Manufacturer’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (MGVWR) is established by the manufacturer and is the maximum weight the vehicle can be safely loaded. This can be found on the vehicle identification number (VIN) plate, on the driver’s door or door post on a vehicle or in the glove compartment.
Now that we understand how to determine the different weights, let’s outline who requires the sticker. In the past, the “Yellow Annual Safety Inspection Sticker” applied to vehicles used for either commercial or personal functions. However, effective July 1, 2019, the Ontario’s Regulatory Registry amended the Act, so vehicles towing for personal use are now exempt from the requirement for an annual inspection. In addition, while the Highway Traffic Act considers all pickup trucks to be commercial motor vehicles, with the revised Act, it exempts pickup trucks and trailers for personal use from the annual inspection and displaying of the yellow sticker.
Definition of Pick Up Trucks:
For the purpose of this Act, pickup trucks are defined as a vehicle that meets both of the following requirements:
- Has a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 6,500 kg or less
- The box has not been altered or modified and must be fitted with either the original, unmodified box from the manufacturer. Or an unmodified replacement box that duplicates the one originally installed by the manufacturer.
If you have a pickup truck (as defined above) or pickup truck and trailer combination, and is solely using the vehicle for personal purposes without compensation and will not be carrying commercial cargo, tools or equipment of a type normally used for commercial purposes, then you will be exempted from the annual inspection.
So for those who uses their vehicle for commercial purposes OR transport items (commercial cargo, tools, equipment etc.) used for commercial purposes and meets the following conditions (see below) a yellow sticker is required.
- the total gross weight, registered gross weight (RGW) or manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating (MGVWR) of the vehicle exceeds 4,500 kg or 9,920 lbs.
- the combined weight of the vehicle and towed trailer or converter dolly exceeds 4,500 kg or 9,920 lbs.
An annual inspection is valid for 12 months and must be renewed prior to expiring to avoid hefty fines. The inspection is put in place to make sure each vehicle is in safe condition to be operated which help reduce collisions caused by mechanical defects. The following components are thoroughly inspected to check that they comply with the National Safety Standard and applicable legislation:
- power train
- suspension hydraulic brake system
- instruments and auxiliary equipment
- electrical system
- tires and wheels
- couplers and hitches
If you own a vehicle and/or trailer in Ontario which fit the descriptions above and don’t have the Yellow Annual Safety Inspection Sticker, immediately have your vehicle/trailer inspected by an authorized “Motor Vehicle Inspection Station” like First PlaceTrailer to avoid potential fines. Fix and repair any items that do not comply to current safety standards. Once your vehicle/trailer has passed the inspection, affix the Yellow Annual Safety Inspection Sticker to the vehicle/trailer and have a copy of the certificate of inspection with you.
Any commercial vehicles that are being used to transport cargo or has a trailer in tow with the total gross weight, RGW, MGVWR OR the combined weight of the vehicle and towed trailer/converter dolly exceeding 4,500 kg or 9,920 lbs will require a yellow sticker. In some cases, both the vehicle and towed trailer/converter may require individual yellow stickers. Pickup trucks & trailers that are solely for personal use, has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 6,500 kg or less and is fitted in its original, unmodified box (or has an unmodified replacement box that duplicates the one originally installed by the manufacturer) is exempted from requiring a yellow sticker.