Fees for testing

The cost of a Drive Clean test depends on:

  • the type of vehicle (light-duty or heavy-duty)
  • the type of test (first-time test or a re-test)

Please check the online tool by entering in your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to determine if your vehicle is eligible for a free test.

Vehicle Type Fee as of April 1, 2017
Light-duty vehicles (initial test at registration renewals) Free
Light-duty vehicles not at registration renewal $30 (plus tax)
Retest fees (light-duty vehicles) Up to $17.50 per test, if it is done at the same facility that performed the initial test.
$30 (plus tax) if the retest is performed:
  • more than 120 days after the initial test
  • after 2 retests at $17.50 each
  • at a facility other than where you had the original test
Heavy-duty vehicles Each facility sets its own fees. Applicable taxes are extra.
Light Duty Diesel Vehicles (testing at a HeavyDuty facility only) Each facility sets its own fees. Applicable taxes are extra.

Tests must be completed within six (6) months of a vehicle’s registration renewal date in order to be free.

Diagnostic fees

If your vehicle fails and requires repairs, a repair technician will perform a diagnostic test on your vehicle to determine why it did not meet emissions standards. Some vehicles may need to have their monitors reset. Facilities set these fees.

Starting April 1, 2017, diagnostic and monitor setting fees no longer count towards the Repair Cost Limit. Only direct repair costs are included in the Repair Cost Limit. 

Test types

Three types of tests are commonly used to test emissions.

Vehicle Type of test
Light-duty vehicles with a model year 1998 to present On Board Diagnostic System test (OBD Test)
Light-duty vehicles with a model year 1988 to 1997 Certain heavy-duty gasoline vehicles Tailpipe test (two-speed idle test for gasoline vehicles and visual inspection for light-duty diesel vehicles)
Heavy-duty diesel vehicles Opacity test

Pre-test check

Before performing the emissions test, the inspector will do a visual check at no cost.

If the inspector finds any of the following issues, it must be corrected before the emissions test can continue, as it could lead to injury and/or the test equipment may not work properly

  • missing catalytic converter and/or gas cap
  • defects in the fuel filler pipe
  • problems with the on-board computer system that would prevent the vehicle from being tested
  • visible smoke coming from the tailpipe
  • any problems the inspector believes would prevent the vehicle from being tested safely

You will receive a pre-test check rejection form, if the vehicle cannot be tested. You will need to return for the test, once any required repairs are made.

On-board diagnostic system test

Most cars, vans and SUVs in Ontario — made in 1998 or later — have an on-board computer that monitors the vehicle’s engine and emissions system, every time you drive.;

The Drive Clean test uses your vehicle’s on-board computer to identify emissions problems.

During the test, the information stored in your vehicle’s on-board computer is checked to determine if your vehicle’s emissions systems are working properly and are not releasing pollutants beyond your vehicle’s emissions standards.

Tailpipe test

Vehicles not equipped with an electronic on-board diagnostic system include gas-fuelled: 

  • cars and vans (model years 1988–1997)
  • SUVs or pickup trucks between 3,857–4,500 kg (model years 1988–2006)
  • heavy-duty trucks and buses, with a gross vehicle weight rating over 4,500 kg

These vehicles will have a tailpipe test done to measure emissions. The tailpipe test — also known as a two-speed idle test — measures carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions.

Heavy duty vehicles

Some heavy-duty trucks and buses made in 2007 or later also have an OBD system. Drive Clean facilities test these vehicles by: 

  • conducting an opacity test (for diesel vehicles)
  • conducting a two-speed idle test (for gasoline vehicles)
  • scanning your OBD computer

The OBD results are advisory only and don’t have an impact on whether your vehicle passes or fails its emissions test. This information is used as a courtesy to help you identify any problems with your vehicle that may not be obvious.

Opacity tests

Opacity tests are used for heavy-duty diesel-fuelled vehicles. 

These tests measure smoke density from a vehicle’s exhaust.

Any diesel-fuelled heavy-duty vehicle that achieves 20% opacity — or less — when tested may be exempt from emissions testing in eligible years.