The Ministry of Transportation changed the CVOR registration system and now requires Ontario tow truck operators to obtain a CVOR.  This change is part of a set of regulations introduced by the Ontario Government meant to strengthen consumer protection  when using tow trucks and other vehicle storage services.

Tow truck operators need Ontario CVOR

Don’t delay if you operate a tow truck you will need a CVOR

Regulations for Ontario tow truck operators include:

  • 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.

The Ontario government points to the 2010 accident rate for tow truck operators which was 19.7% compared to 1.1% for drivers of other commercial vehicles which helped prompt adding this class of vehicle to the CVOR system.  The province hopes to increase safety and enforcement of tow truck operators by including in them in the CVOR system which will monitor them for conduct and hours of service of drivers, maintenance of vehicles  including daily inspections, proper record keeping, and collisions. Ontario has been working on these changes since 2008.

Applying for your CVOR

Ontario tow truck operators  will need to pass a knowledge test to apply for their CVOR. The processes can take anywhere from 21 days to a couple of weeks, so start the application process as soon as possible if you want to start your tow truck operation.

The following definition of tow truck is part of the CVOR requirement, effective since January 1, 2017:

  • 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.

Contact us today to ensure you meet these regulatory challenges.  We can help you with making sure you not only meet the CVOR requirements but also exceed them.  Our staff will start you off on the right foot.

contact peter suess transporation consultant

Based in Brantford Ontario, Peter Suess Transportation Consultant, Inc (PSTC)  is a full-service transportation consulting  firm that provides a range of custom safety, security and risk management products and  support services to:

Motor Carriers
Operators of heavy vehicles outside the transportation industry
Insurance Agencies

For more information about how we can help you, please visit us at

photo credit: 2009 Ford F-450 Tow Truck w/ Range Rover via photopin (license)