The SVAO: Dedicated to the protection and preservation of Specialty Vehicles

Drive Clean & Specialty Vehicle Information 

SVAO and the MOE Chart + Q&A Pages

The Specialty Vehicle Association of Ontario was asked by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment to participate in a process to help draw up a plain English interpretation of the existing emissions’ regulations as they apply to specialty vehicles in Ontario and “hot rods” in particular. SVAO met with the MOE and provided many rounds of comments back and forth trying to come up with something that both sides could agree upon and that a regular person could hopefully understand.  We know that most of our members feel that all 20+ year old vehicles should be excluded from all emissions testing and inspections (other than visible pollution) but that will have to be approached from a political perspective at another time.

Most automotive hobbyists would like to be able to find out what is expected of their vehicles from a MOE point of view in respect to current rules and regulations so that the hobbyist can drive a legal vehicle. These rules have been in effect and enforced since 1998 when the Drive Clean program was drawn up, although many have only recently heard about them through news of some roadside inspections. The SVAO has seen the MOE statistics for these inspections. Based on this information, it does not seem that specialty vehicles are being targeted out of proportion to their registration percentages, despite many of the “urban legends” you may have heard or read about. However the number of failures in these vehicle inspections does seem to be higher than the norm, so that is why it is important to find out from the following material what is expected of your particular ride.

For a non-altered (stock) vehicle, the regulations basically expect it to have all factory emissions equipment present and operating. The situation changes for “hot rods”. It is important to realize that the government’s definition of a “hot rod” is not always what most hobbyists think of when they hear that term.  Please check carefully the government’s definition of a “hot rod” as found in the chart.

In the end, realize that this material has been put forth to help the hobbyist live within the existing rules and regulations. Not everyone will be happy with all situations, but at least the correct information on how to make your vehicle legal from the emissions’ point of view is now out there.

The material from the MOE also provides contact information which can be used for specific advice. Please make use of this valuable source but realize that conducting such dialogue in a civilized manner will be what probably gets you an answer (and also help the SVAO in future negotiations with the MOE and the MTO).
As always, the SVAO can be contacted through our website and I can be contacted at (905)649-2664.

Drive clean Ontario information for Hot Rods can be found at the Ministy of Environment website

Chris Whillans (SVAO chairman)

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