As of January 1st, 2017, the Ontario Government is enforcing new regulations on Ontario tow truck operators, which states that they are required to obtain a Commercial Vehicle Operators Registration (CVOR). These new regulations have been in the works since 2008 and are being introduced to strengthen consumer protection when using tow truck companies and other vehicle storage services.
As the new regulations will be in effect at the start of the new year, Ontario tow truck operators will only have four months to apply for, and receive, their CVOR. Currently, after completing the application, the process can take anywhere from 21 days to several weeks, but depending on the volume of applications at the MTO, it could be slower. On top of that, applicants must also pass a knowledge test, which could delay to process even more.
It is important for operators to start the application process as soon as possible so that they receive their CVOR before the January 1st deadline. The following definition of tow truck will be part of the CVOR requirement:
- A motor vehicle commonly known as a tow truck;
- A commercial motor vehicle with a flatbed that can tilt to load and that is used exclusively to tow or transport other motor vehicles; and
- A motor vehicle that is designed, modified, configured or equipped so that it is capable of towing other motor vehicles.
The following are the new regulations for Ontario tow truck operators effective January 1st, 2017:
- Ontario tow truck operators must obtain and comply with all regulations surrounding the Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration system (CVOR)
- Have permission from the consumer or someone acting on their behalf before towing or storing a vehicle
- Publicly disclose rates and other information such as the provider’s name and telephone number on tow trucks as well as in places of business
- Accept credit card payments from consumers (and not insist on cash only)
- Notify consumers where their vehicle will be towed
- Allow consumers to access their towed vehicles to remove personal property at no charge
- Give consumers an itemized invoice listing the services provided and costs before receiving payment
- Disclose if they are getting a financial incentive for towing a vehicle to a particular vehicle storage facility or repair shop
Contact us today to ensure that your tow truck operation meets these regulatory challenges before it’s too late!