Ontario Class A and Class AR licence requirements

Ontario adds a Class A/AR Manual Transmission Restriction

Ontario has changed its restrictions for Class A/AR licences. Starting July 1, 2022 you will want to be sure to take your Class A/AR road test with a vehicle that has the kind of transmission you plan to be driving with on the regular.

The new restriction states that if you complete your road test with an automatic, semi-automatic, or automated-manual transmission then you will not be able to drive a fully manual Class A vehicle.

This restriction will be notated on your licence, so there will be no getting away with it should your licence get checked.

And an FYI in case you’re not sure: a manual transmission is one that has a driver-operated clutch that is activated by a pedal or lever, and a driver-operated gear-shift that is operated with either hand or foot, and has no automated assistance.

So, if you plan on driving a manual transmission Class A, be sure to take your road test in a manual transmission truck.

The manual transmission restriction also includes those with a Class AR licence that pull RV’s, horse trailers, and other utility trailers.

What if you already have a Class A/AR licence?

The good news is, if you got your Class A licence prior to July 19, 2021, then this restriction will not apply to you.

The difference between Class A and Class AR

Full Class A

A full Class A licence covers full air brake systems on both tractors and trailers. In order to get a full Class A, you have to complete a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) course. A full Class AZ (this indicates that you can drive air brakes) lets you drive, any truck/trailer combo (only restriction here is now the transmission type as discussed earlier), a combo of vehicle and towed vehicle or over 46,00 kg (10,000lbs) and has air brakes, and vehicles pulling double trailers.

You can also driver cars or light trucks covered with a Class G licence, heavy trucks covered by Class D licence, and vehicle covered under a restricted Class A truck licence.

Basically, the only thing you can’t drive are a bus with passengers, motorcycle or a moped.

Restricted Class A

This restriction does apply to those who have a Class AR licence. Class AR licences are meant for drivers who drive smaller truck-trailer combinations. Some examples include RVs, horse trailers, and utility trailers.

Class AR licences mean you cannot pull trailers with air brakes, drive full side tractor-trailer vehicles, pull a double trailer, or train another driver on a vehicle that need a full Class A licence.

Class AR can drive cars or light trucks covered by Class G licence, or heavy trucks covered by Class D licence.

Make sure you have the right licence

The moral of the story here is make sure you have the correct licence for the types of vehicles you are going to be operating.

From the get-go, just take your road test with the type of vehicle you are going to be operating and you should be golden. Just remember that if you should need to switch vehicles from an automatic transmission (of varying degrees) to a manual transmission later, you will need to retake your road test to remove the Manual Transmission Restriction provision on your licence.

You can check out Ontario’s Transportation page for full licence details.