Motor Carriers, Commercial Vehicles and Drivers

Transport Canada's Motor Carrier Division is primarily responsible for facilitating the reduction of fatalities, injuries and crashes involving large commercial trucks and buses in Canada. The Motor Carrier Division works closely with the provinces, territories and industry on rules and regulations governing the safe operation of commercial vehicles, drivers and operators.

Provincial and territorial regulations govern the operation of the commercial bus and truck industry except for the rules and regulations Transport Canada's Motor Carrier Division sets in support of the safe operation of federally-regulated (extra-provincial) motor carriers and commercial vehicle drivers. The federal government only has authority over extra-provincial truck and bus carriers that carry goods or passengers across a provincial or international boundary. We:

  • administer the Exemptions under section 16. of the Motor Vehicle Transport Act (MVTA) that allows provinces and territories to regulate extra-provincial truck and bus carriers on behalf of the federal government. The MVTA also has two federal regulations that govern Hours of Service for commercial vehicle drivers and the issuance or revocation of Safety Fitness Certificates.
  • oversee two federal regulations under the MVTA :
    1. Motor Carrier Safety Fitness Certificate Regulations, which requires federally-regulated bus and truck motor carriers crossing provincial boundaries or international borders to obtain a safety fitness certificate before they may operate on Canadian highways. These regulations also set criteria for jurisdictions to issue or remove motor carrier safety fitness certificates; and
    2. Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations, which set the hours of work and rest rules for federal motor carriers and their drivers.
    3. Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations - CCMTA Application Guide - January 2007 [PDF, 608 KB]
    4. This Applications Guide is an interpretation/guidance based on the specific sections contained in the Federal Hours of Service Regulations. The guidance in the Applications Guide is offered for convenience only. For accurate reference, please consult the Federal Commercial Vehicle Driver Hours of Service Regulations.
  • process applications for exemptions from the requirements of either the Motor Vehicle Transport Act or its regulations.
  • conduct research to improve motor carrier safety and the effectiveness of the National Safety Code - Federal Co-funding (NSC). Developed by the federal, provincial and territorial governments, the NSC is a comprehensive set of 15 safety standards that covers all aspects of commercial vehicle, driver and motor carrier safety. The NSC serves as a template for regulations implemented by both levels of government.

Learn more about:

What's New


  • Commercial vehicles safety in Canada: 2012-2018 annual report to Parliament

    This report contains a progress report on the implementation of the rules and standards respecting the safe operation of extra-provincial truck and bus undertakings in Canada as well as the available statistical information respecting trends in highway accidents involving commercial vehicles in the country. The report covers the years 2012 to 2018.

  • Commercial Bus HVEDR Feasibility Study

    This summary report discusses the implications for developing a commercial passenger bus event data recorder (EDR) standard, focusing on the feasibility of equipping heavy vehicle event data recorders (HVEDRs) in motorcoaches, buses and school buses.

  • Heavy Truck Speed Limiters:

    With the assistance of a federal-provincial steering committee, TC initiated these studies in 2007 to assess the implications of a national heavy truck speed limiter requirement from a safety, environmental, economic and operational perspective.

  • Safety Management Systems:

    The objective of this study was to analyze the applicability of Safety Management Systems (SMS) for the Motor Carrier Industry in Canada and to discuss its relevance and potential benefits to government, industry and the public at large.


  • 1-800-333-0371 (long distance, Canada)
  • 1-613-998-8616 (Ottawa region and from other countries)
  • Email