A safety standards certificate (SSC) is an important document issued in Ontario that determines if a used vehicle has passed the test for minimum safety standards on the date of issuance of the certificate. It is a significant requirement when registering a vehicle plate in Ontario as you cannot put plates on your vehicle without getting one. It is also important to note that the certificate does not stand as a warranty, nor is it a guarantee of the vehicle’s overall condition. Your vehicle must pass an inspection at a Ministry of Transportation (MTO)-licenced inspection station to acquire a safety standards certificate.
When to Get a Safety Standards Certificate
You need to get issued a safety standards certificate if you are either buying or selling a used vehicle through a private transaction. Even though you don’t need a certificate to buy a used car in Ontario, you will still need to get a vehicle registration.
A safety standards certificate is required when it falls under these types of situations:
- Changing the status of your vehicle from unfit to fit
- Transferring the ownership of a used vehicle to a new owner
- Registering your vehicle that has been rebuilt
- Registering a vehicle in Ontario after it has previously been registered in another province or country
How to Acquire a Safety Standards Certificate
The Ministry of Transportation is quite lenient on which Motor Vehicle Inspection Stations (MVIS) to go to apply for an inspection, as you are free to choose where you would want to get your vehicle inspected. You are also allowed to go to another MVIS for a different inspection. However, you are obliged to return the vehicle to the station for a re-inspection prior to the initial findings after ten (10) calendar days. If the wheel brake components are not required to be re-inspected, there will be no additional charge for the inspection. The certificate will also be given after the confirmation of passing the inspection.
Upon receiving your certificate, make sure that it is a “clean” document, or one without any revisions or amendments, as it will not be accepted by licensing offices. Also, ensure that the information on the certificate matches your vehicle’s.
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How Much Does an SSC Cost in Ontario?
The cost of a safety standards certificate is determined by the place where the inspection will be held, as each MVIS has the authority to set its own prices and not the government. If you want to get the best price for your certificate, it’s best to conduct your research based on your preferences.
How is a Vehicle Safety Inspection Conducted?
A vehicle safety inspection is a thorough process where the MVIS will check if your vehicle is safe to use on the road. The components that they will check will depend on the inspection station you’ll register at. Here are some common parts that are usually checked:
- Brake system
- Hood components
- Fuel system
- Tires and wheels
- Cooling system
- Electrical system
- Seating area
- Steering system
- Road tests
If your vehicle doesn’t pass the inspection, you will not be able to register it, and you will not be able to drive it on the road unless you comply with the inspection standards. The validity of a safety standards certificate is thirty-six (36) days after its issuance. You have to register your car within this time frame. If you don’t, it will need to be inspected again before it can be registered again.