Supporting our members in the safe operation of vehicles on public roads

Vehicle Safety

In Canada, motor vehicle transportation is a shared responsibility between federal, provincial, and territorial governments.

Transport Canada, under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (MVSA), establishes safety regulations for the manufacture and importation of motor vehicles as well as designated motor vehicle equipment (tires and child seats), to reduce the risk of death, injury, and damage to property and the environment.

Provinces and territories are responsible for the licensing of drivers, vehicle registration and insurance, as well as laws and regulations regarding the safe operation of vehicles on public roads.

View list of provincial/territorial driver licensing and vehicle registration contact information

Municipal governments in Canada fall under the jurisdiction of provinces and territories. Their responsibilities regarding roadways vary to some degree across the country, but generally can include creating and enforcing by-laws concerning vehicle movement, as well as use of local infrastructure, and public transportation in their respective jurisdictions.

Summary of roles and responsibilities:

Transport Canada Areas of Responsibility (Federal)
  • Setting and enforcing compliance with safety standards for manufactured and imported vehicles as well as motor vehicle equipment (tires and child car seats);
  • Investigating and managing the recall and remedy of non-compliances and safety-related motor vehicle defects;
  • Motor vehicle safety research; and
  • Public education on motor vehicle safety issues.
Provincial/Territorial Areas of Responsibility
  • Driver licensing;
  • Vehicle registration;
  • Enacting and enforcing traffic laws and regulations;
  • Conducting safety inspections;
  • Regulating motor vehicle insurance and liability; and
  • Public education on motor vehicle safety issues.
Municipal Areas of Responsibility
  • Enacting and enforcing bylaws for local roadways and parking;
  • Enforcing traffic laws and regulations;
  • Managing passenger transportation (including public transit and taxi cabs);
  • Parking;
  • Traffic control; and
  • Public education and motor vehicle safety issues.

Automated and Connected Vehicles (AV/CVs)

Advancements in automotive technology and current research on AVs have created new possibilities for improving highway safety, increasing environmental benefits, and expanding mobility. Being ready for the change and knowing how and in what specific ways jurisdictions will need to adapt, is a priority for CCMTA’s AV work. Automated Driving Systems (ADS) hold potential for significant new benefits for Canada and Canadians. Most importantly, there is hope that these technologies will lead to a significant reduction in traffic collisions and thereby result in a corresponding reduction in fatalities and injuries.


Ignition Interlock

Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Devices - CSA Technical Standard Z627-16

In November 2016, the Canadian Standards Association published a voluntary National Standard for breath alcohol ignition interlock devices for Canada (2016 CSA Standard Z627-16).

These Standards were developed by a technical committee that consisted of volunteer members in four categories – Regulatory Authority, Producer Interest, User Interest, and General Interest – under the leadership of the CSA Group and with the sponsorship of CCMTA.

The purpose of the Standards is to define the technical specifications for alcohol ignition interlock devices as well as the test procedures to be used to assess interlock devices for compliance with the Standards.

Canadian Guidelines for Interlock Programs

Each of the provinces and territories establish the elements for their own interlock programs; hence, these programs vary somewhat across the country. In the interests of helping to ensure that interlock programs achieve the best results possible for both participants and road safety, CCMTA prepared the Canadian Guidelines for Interlock Programs (2018) to provide an updated set of policies and procedures for ignition interlock programs for consideration by the provinces and territories. 

Canadian Vehicle Status Management Program (CVSMP)

The challenges associated with auto theft and the rebuilding of irreparable, wrecked vehicles exist in all Canadian jurisdictions. These fraudulent vehicle-related activities have made it increasingly difficult to identify stolen and unsafe vehicles and have led to excessive insurance, medical, and social costs.

The purpose of the Canadian Vehicle Status Management Program (June 2019) is to improve the consistency of controls used to identify and manage stolen and total loss vehicles in Canada, including vehicles imported from other Canadian jurisdictions, from the US, and from other countries.

New Vehicle Information Statement (NVIS)

The New Vehicle Information Statement (NVIS) is a record of a new vehicle and provides basic information on the vehicle, the manufacturer/importer, the authorized dealer who sells it, and on the initial purchaser.  

The NVIS provides consistent and accurate information on a new vehicle to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles for registration purposes and replaces the “Dealer Certificate of Sale” or the “VIN Card” that were a pre‐registration requisite requirement in some jurisdictions pre‐1982.

The NVIS and Partial Electronic e-NVIS Policy Manual (July 2019) and Sample Forms (PDF / Word) were developed by CCMTA members for use by vehicle and trailer manufacturers.