Car Safety Check FAQ

Car Safety Check Ottawa

A car safety check is a mandatory requirement by law in the province of Ontario. As a certified motor vehicle inspection station, Gary’s Automotive is here to answer your top questions about what a car safety check is, why you need one and more.

Q: What is a car safety check? 

A car safety check is a provincial regulation under the Highway Traffic Act that governs a set of vehicle safety standards. The purpose of the inspection is to obtain a Safety Standards Certificate (SSC) in which approves or denies your vehicle as being fit to drive. During the inspection a certified, licensed technician performs various procedures and checks that result in a list of passable or defective components. If all is well you pass, however most times there are mandatory repairs that are required in order to pass the inspection.

Q: When do I need an inspection? 

There are a few reasons why you may need a car safety check: you’re transferring ownership of the vehicle, you’re registering a used car under your name or you’re registering a vehicle from outside of the province or country.

Q: Who can perform a safety check on my vehicle?

The Ministry of Transportation licenses qualified, garage operators to conduct vehicle safety checks.  These operators are referred to as Motor Vehicle Inspection Stations and require a license and specific standards to operate as so. These standards include a stock of required tools and devices, registered mechanics and technicians and an official singing authority who can approve each inspection. Only licensed businesses and technicians can perform a safety check and give out official Safety Standard Certificates.

Q: What does a car safety check include?

There are several different things a certified technician will look at while performing a car safety check in addition to finishing off with a road test:

  • Powertrain
  • Suspension
  • Brake System
  • Steering
  • Instruments & Auxiliary Equipment
  • Lamps
  • Electrical System
  • Tires & Wheels
  • Body
  • Coupling Devices


The safety certificate is only valid for 36 days after the inspection and is not a guarantee or warranty that the vehicle will stay fit for any period. The inspection simply covers the minimum safety requirements for vehicles to be driven on roadways in the province of Ontario.

Q: What if my vehicle fails the inspection?

Your vehicle may fail an inspection if certain components are seen as unfit and not safe to drive. Once a safety check is completed the garage will give you an estimate of the cost and repairs that need to be done. Without bringing your vehicle to the required safety standards, you will not pass a safety check or be given certification. By completing the appropriate repairs and service to your vehicle, you can have your vehicle inspected again and passed so long as it is determined to be fit to drive and meets the appropriate safety standards.

Q: Where can I get a safety check in Ottawa? 

All Gary’s Automotive locations are certified to perform car safety checks. Simply call us to book an appointment and we will perform the appropriate procedures to provide you with a safety check in Ottawa. Call us today!


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