I've always been a believer in completing proper SSC Safety Standard Certificates or a Ministry Safety Inspection. These certifications need to be completed for several reasons:
- Transfer of ownership in Ontario ( buying or selling)
- Transfer of ownership to another family member
- Transfer of ownership from leasing company to your personal name or company name
- Importing of car from the USA or another province to get Ontario plates.
- Requested by insurance company due to age or transfer to another company
- After a vehicle has been rebranded
Several years ago there were changes to the auto repair safety standards paper manual. https://www.ontario.ca/files/2022-03/mto-passenger-light-duty-vehicle-inspection-standard-en-2022-03-18.pdf
These changes were well overdue with additional changes for more modern vehicle systems and documentation of various new technologies on vehicles. To this day we still have customers coming to us with a vehicle they had purchased, with a valid safety certificate from the seller. Only to learn the auto repair facility that performed the inspection was still working on outdated guidelines from the 80’s. They didn’t even know there were significant changes in 2015.
I remember 1999, when the government introduced the Drive Clean Emissions Program. A program loved and hated by every driver on the road. You would go to test facility, they would bar code your vehicle, inspect it, run your emission test and then…… upload all your data and issue you a pass certificate. If you failed you received a failure notice and were then deciding on what course of action you should take.
The program has many challenges and was shut down eventually as most modern vehicles could manage their own emissions. From the Drive Clean program the government learned the equipment needs, communication systems, gather significant vehicle data and will now take all that prior learning and launch the new Drive On Vehicle safety inspection program.
Why is this such an important change in auto repair safety inspections.
- Paperless legitimate Process. No longer do inspection stations have to pre purchased carbon copy booklets. This was a great opportunity for abuse. Shops writing safety inspections for other shops. Shops with no longer certificated 310S employees working there, yet former 310S certified technicians come in a sign off on certificates for a few bucks “on the side” from the owner of the shop. Certificates being written for other shop who have not even seen the car. The abuse has been there since I started in the business. The digital process like drive clean removes all the abuse.
- Consistency in the Pass / Fail. The manual book is black and white, always has been. I do agree there are several areas in the manual that could be discussion for interpretation, but most of the manual is pass or fail. The problem has been Shop A stated A,B,C fail. Go to Shop B they stated don’t worry A,B is ok, C fails. Who is right and who is wrong. The book doesn’t not have a decision or choice. The problem has been people. Technicians not following the updated manual accurately. Auto repair shops allowing a car to pass in order to make a sale or keep a customer happy. This is the problem. In future, hopes are once all items are digitally documented once Shop A has entered the data, its in there. Go anywhere else and the information will follow.
- Technology: The industry is adopting technology and this process is the same. Tablet based inspection, with digital data uploading is the way of the future. Transparency is the key to happy customers.
As the new program comes on board for 2023 and 2024 automotive repair facilities participating in the new program will need to ensure they have all their documents in line.
All parties the Auto repair facility, the consumer and the ministry can become more professional and transparent.
Eventually, I can see mandatory annual safety inspections one day down the road once the bugs are taken out on this system. Daily I see vehicles that should not be on our road. Frankly, I did not really see the benefits of the Drive Clean emission program. When cars are intelligent enough to say they have a problem. However, when cars are rotted and falling apart, or have no brakes left. That is a different issue. There are a lot of hurdles to jump to make this program smooth. Like what are we doing for electric vehicle inspections? No one knows right now as the industry is moving too fast.
Article clip from the Ministry Guidelines for personal vehicles
Personal Vehicle Owners
Vehicle owners who require a SSC to facilitate vehicle registration and licensing, will
continue to be able to obtain the required inspection at a participating garage or service
station. The current inspection criteria and “pass” standard identified in the Light Duty
Standard will continue to apply. Upon completion of the inspection, the client’s results
will be digitally uploaded to support registration transactions, eliminating the need to
present a paper copy of the SSC. The inspection results will be valid for a 36-day
period as is the current standard.
Vehicle owners who require a SIC to facilitate vehicle “brand” changes, will continue to
be able to obtain the required inspection at a participating garage. The inspection
criteria and “pass” standard will primarily remain as they are currently, with some
enhancements, including the collection of supporting repair/parts documentation
digitally and supplementing the inspection with photos to evidence key repairs. Upon
completion of the inspection, the client’s results will be digitally uploaded to support
registration transactions, eliminating the need to present a paper copy of the SIC to
have the vehicle “brand” changed
Owner of Sils Complete Auto Care Centre