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Providing guidance for legislative, regulatory, and administrative action with a focus on the driver, the vehicle, and the carrier


National Safety Code

The National Safety Code (NSC) is a set of 16 standards developed by the member jurisdictions of CCMTA in consultation with the motor carrier industry to ensure road safety and facilitate the safe and efficient movement of people and goods across Canada.

With the deregulation of transportation in the late 1980’s there was a need for cross Canada harmonization and reciprocity in the management of commercial vehicles. In 1987, the federal, provincial, and territorial Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety signed a memorandum of understanding to develop and implement a National Safety Code to encourage road safety, promote efficiency in the motor carrier industry, and achieve consistent safety standards across Canada.

The NSC is designed to create a comprehensive code of minimum performance standards for the safe operation of passenger and commercial vehicles. The NSC provides guidance for legislative, regulatory, and administrative action by each jurisdiction and focuses on three components: the driver, the vehicle, and the carrier. It has a specific focus on those responsible for the operation of commercial vehicles on the road, including trucks, buses, tractors, and trailers.

National Safety Code Standards
 Standard 1  Single Driver Licence Concept
 Standard 2  Knowledge and Performance Tests (Drivers)
 Standard 3  Driver Examiner Training Program
 Standard 4  Driver Licencing Classification
 Standard 5  Self-Certification Standards and Procedures
 Standard 6  Determining Driver Fitness in Canada
 Standard 7  Carrier and Driver Profiles
 Standard 8  Short-Term Suspension
 Standard 9  Hours of Service
 Standard 10  Cargo Securement
 Standard 11  Maintenance and Periodic Inspection
 Standard 12  CVSA On-Road Inspection
 Standard 13  Trip Inspection
 Standard 14  Safety Rating
 Standard 15  Facility Audits
 Standard 16  Entry Level Training (Class 1)

All provinces and territories use the NSC as the cornerstone of their commercial vehicle regulatory framework, with standards either adopted by reference into jurisdictional regulation or mirrored in provincial and territorial laws.


Obtaining an NSC
Certificate Number

An NSC number is issued by the provincial/territorial government department in which the vehicle is registered (plated). CCMTA does not produce, supply, or keep a record of NSC Numbers.


Additional Research and Resources

Cargo Securement

Cargo Securement Harmonization Public Forum
Load Security Research DVDs

Load Security DVD "Setting the Standard"

This video provides an overview of the above-noted project designed for briefing purposes and includes information on the research results and the proposed standards (19 minutes).

Load Security DVD "The North American Load Security Research Project"

This video is a more detailed review and includes information on the project's purpose, methodology and research results. Recommendations used as the basis for the development of the uniform North American Cargo Securement Standards as well as many practical tips are also included (44 minutes).

Load Security Double DVD

  • Load Security DVD "Setting the Standard"
  • Load Security DVD "The North American Load Security Research Project"

To order, please contact us.


AVAILABLE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD OR ORDER


Complete National Safety Code (NSC) Standards

Available for free download and print version on a cost recovery basis. 

Includes all 16 standards below, segmented by the individual standard for easy reference.


CODE: NSC-E-FULL
$120 (PLUS SHIPPING) PRINT VERSION


Individual
NSC Standards

Available for free download and print version on a cost recovery basis.

Select an NSC Standard from the dropdown menu below to learn more.

  • NSC Standard 1
    Single Driver License Concept

    A standard implemented by all jurisdictions which makes it an offence for a driver to hold more than one licence. In addition, a series of administrative procedures have been agreed upon to ensure driving infractions are assigned to a single licence and record.

  • NSC Standard 2
    Knowledge and Performance Tests (Drivers)
    Revised January 2020

    The purpose of this standard is to ensure that applicants possess the fundamental knowledge and driving skills for the type of vehicle to be safely operated on Canadian roads.


    CODE: NSC-E-STND2
    $9.99 (PLUS SHIPPING) PRINT VERSION

  • NSC Standard 3
    Driver Examiner Training Program
    Revised January 2020

    The purpose of this standard is to ensure that applicants possess the fundamental knowledge and skills for driver examiner training and testing for passenger vehicles, commercial or higher-class vehicles, motorcycles, and medically at-risk drivers.

    Driver examiner standards assist in ensuring that examiners have met the minimum knowledge and skills training requirements for conducting licensing tests, with a focus on road and practical testing.  This standard has been developed based on a number of objectives:

    • To establish uniform performance standards for driver examiners.
    • To facilitate consistent driver examination across Canada.
    • To establish a system to ensure that driver examiners have and maintain the capability to perform their jobs competently.

    CODE: NSC-E-STND3
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  • NSC Standard 4
    Driver Licensing Classification
    Revised January 2020

    The purpose of this standard is to designate classes of vehicles for driver licensing and prescribe the fundamental knowledge and skills for the type of vehicle to be safely operated on Canadian roads.


    CODE: NSC-E-STND4
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  • NSC Standard 5
    Self-Certification Standards and Procedures

    A standard which outlines the criteria which must be met to permit carriers and driver training schools to train commercial drivers.


    CODE: NSC-E-STND5
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  • NSC Standard 6
    Determining Driver Fitness in Canada
    Revised February 2021

    Driving a motor vehicle in Canada is a privilege that may be accorded to an individual by the driver licensing authority of the province or territory in which they live. In order to exercise a privilege such as driving, the individual must meet the specified criteria including the demonstration of an acceptable level of competence. To qualify for a driver’s licence an individual must, among other requirements, be able to demonstrate medical fitness to drive.

    CCMTA has developed a standard entitled National Safety Code (NSC) Standard 6 – Determining Driver Fitness in Canada that sets the medical criteria used to establish whether drivers are medically fit to drive. It addresses both private and commercial drivers.

    Part 1 of this document explains how Canadian jurisdictions perform their role in assessing the medical fitness of drivers while Part 2 contains the CCMTA Medical Standards for Drivers.

    The NSC Standard contains the provincial/territorial contact information for reporting potentially unfit drivers. Driver assessment centres and rehabilitation resources can also be located in your area by contacting these offices.


    CODE: MED-STD
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  • NSC Standard 7
    Carrier and Driver Profiles
    Revised November 2002

    A standard which is designed to provide jurisdictions with a record of driver and carrier performance in terms of compliance with safety rules and regulations. The standard supports enforcement activity to remove unsatisfactory drivers and carriers from service and identifies the type of information which will be maintained on each commercial driver and carrier.


    CODE: NSC-E-STND7
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  • NSC Standard 8
    Short-Term Suspension

    A standard which describes the criteria for placing a driver out of service on a short-term (24 hour) basis when a peace officer has reasonable and probable grounds to believe the driver's ability is affected by alcohol or drugs.

  • NSC Standard 9
    Hours of Service
    Revised August 2010

    A standard which describes the number of hours a commercial driver can be on duty and operate a commercial vehicle. It outlines the requirement to complete daily logs, describes the various cycles of operation and sets out driver and carrier record keeping requirements.

    Application guide - Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations (January 2007)


    CODE: NSC-E-STND9
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  • NSC Standard 10
    Cargo Securement
    Revised June 2013

    A standard which outlines the specific requirements for securing loads to commercial vehicles to ensure they do not shift, move, or spill onto the roadway.

    Previous editions and revision history

    Previous Editions (superseded)
    September 2010 version
    September 2004 version

    Revision History
    Amended June 2013 Summary of changes 2013
    Amended September 2010 Summary of changes 2010
    Introduced September 2004


    CODE: NSC-E-STND10
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  • NSC Standard 11
    Commercial Vehicle Maintenance and Periodic Inspection
    Revised January 2020

    A standard which outlines maintenance and periodic inspections.


    CODE: NSC-E-STND11
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  • NSC Standard 12
    CVSA On-Road Inspections

    A standard which contains the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance on-road inspection criteria. Pease contact the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance for a copy.

  • NSC Standard 13
    Trip Inspection
    Revised March 2009

    A standard which prescribes daily trip inspection requirements. The daily vehicle trip inspection standard is intended to ensure early identification of vehicle problems and defects, and to prevent the operation of vehicles with conditions that are likely to cause or contribute to a collision or vehicle breakdown. Daily vehicle trip inspection is a continuous process designed to protect drivers and alert carriers to mechanical problems. The general objective of daily vehicle trip inspections is to promote an improved level of safety and compliance in commercial vehicles operating on the highway.


    CODE: NSC-E-STND13
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  • NSC Standard 14
    Safety Rating
    Revised August 2009

    A standard which establishes the motor carrier safety rating framework by which each jurisdiction assesses the safety performance of motor carriers.


    CODE: NSC-E-STND14
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  • NSC Standard 15
    Facility Audits
    Update December 2003

    A standard which outlines the audit process used by jurisdictions to determine a carrier's level of compliance with all applicable safety standards.


    CODE: NSC-E-STND15
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  • NSC Standard 16
    Commercial Truck Driver Entry Level Training (Class 1)
    New January 2020

    A standard designed to ensure that Class 1 commercial truck drivers are properly and consistently trained before they are licensed.


    CODE: NSC-E-STND16
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