Explaining Changes to the Ontario Drive Clean Program

Did you know there are significant changes coming to the Ontario Drive Clean program that will affect all owners of passenger vehicles? Read on to learn more, and if you want to make sure your vehicle is performing at peaks levels, trust the experts at Hansma Automotive - we offer efficient and high-quality service in order to keep your vehicle on the road and help keep our environment clean.

Explaining Changes to the Ontario Drive Clean Program

What You Need To Know

Effective April 1, 2019, drivers will no longer be required to get an Ontario Drive Clean emissions test. The rationale, according to the Government of Ontario, is that “while Drive Clean effectively reduced vehicle pollution, auto industry standards have significantly improved since the program was created in 1999 making this program no longer necessary.for their passenger vehicles.”

From 1999 to 2010, the percentage of vehicles that failed emissions testing in Ontario had dropped from 16 per cent to five per cent, the Financial Post reported in October, 2018. As far back as 2012, Ontario’s then auditor general, Jim McCarter, reported that Ontario Drive Clean’s impact on reducing vehicle emissions was dwindling: “Vehicle emissions have declined significantly since Drive Clean’s inception in 1999, to the point that they are no longer among the major domestic contributors to smog in Ontario. As well, Ministry estimates show that more than 75% of the reduction in vehicle emissions is actually due to things like better manufacturing standards for emission-control equipment and federal requirements for cleaner fuel.”

Note: Through to the end of March, 2019, a Drive Clean emissions test to renew your registration for light duty vehicles (most cars, vans, SUVs, and light trucks) will continue be required. For more on where to take the Ontario Drive Clean test in the Kitchener-Waterloo and how much it will cost, click here.


The government is ending the Ontario Drive Clean program as it has achieved its intended result.

Vehicle Emissions Still Matter!

It’s important to note that owners of vehicles will still be required to make sure their vehicle emissions systems are operating properly.

Even though you won’t have to pass an Ontario Drive Clean test to renew your license plate stickers, maintenance and repairs are still necessary and will help to avoid more costly repairs.

To support this program change, the Ministry of Transportation will be strengthening its on-road inspections to ensure owners are properly maintaining their vehicle emissions systems.  So if you’re driving around in a vehicle that clearly isn’t up to par and spouting fumes into the air, you will be pulled over and prompted to deal with is as soon as possible.

Additionally, a new, enhanced program will focus on the biggest polluting vehicles like commercial transport trucks and will ensure that Ontario continues to lead Canada in reducing harmful smog-causing pollutants: “Emissions from heavy duty vehicles have not decreased as rapidly, in part due to less stringent vehicle emission standards, and a slower replacement rate of older, higher emission vehicles. Heavy duty vehicles remain a significant source of nitrogen oxides, a smog forming pollutant, and fine particulate matter, a carcinogen that causes heart and lung disease.”


The focus of the Ontario Drive Clean program will shift from passenger vehicles to transport trucks.

Trust Hansma Automotive With Your Vehicle

Hansma Automotive is located in Kitchener and has been regularly performing efficient and accurate Ontario Drive Clean tests since the program’s inception in 1999. If your vehicle needs a test before these changes go into effect, contact us today to book yours.

Either way, a well-maintained vehicle can help you avoid costly repairs and reduce pollution, both of which will remain important. It is critical to follow the maintenance schedules outlined by your vehicle's manufacturer. If your check engine light comes on, have your vehicle looked at by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible. 

What Hansma Customers Are Saying:

“I would just like to thank Adrian and Peter for there continued great service on my and my wife's cars. Before Hansma Automotive, we had tried different repair shops, where you would go in to fix a problem, but it would take 2 or 3 visits, before the issue was rectified. That does not happen with Peter & Adrian. You know they take pride in their work, the shop is always very clean. The prices are competitive, and the staff is friendly. I had a brand new 1998 Camry that had 435,000 kms before I sold it, 8 years later, with regular maintenance, I never had a problem with the Camry, or any cars after that. It is a busy shop, due to their excellent reputation, so sometimes it takes a few days to make an appointment. Good mechanics are really priceless. I have been a customer for over 22 years.” - Alex Simanzik

Read more customer reviews here.

Book an appointment with Hansma Automotive for all your regularly scheduled maintenance and repairs.

Posted on April 5, 2019 .