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Less Burdensome License Renewal Process for Senior Truck Drivers

OTTAWA — In a letter to both the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) and the Owner-Operator's Business Association of Canada (OBAC), Ontario's Minister of Transportation Bob Chiarelli said that the government agrees "that commercial driver licence renewal can be made less onerous for senior drivers (drivers 65 years of age and older) without compromising safety."

Chiarelli has asked his parliamentary assitant, Vic Dhillion, to lead a review to determine what amendments to the renewal requirement are needed and how to implement them.

Some changes that Chirelli mentioned in the letter were:

  • Regulated fees such that senior commercial drivers pay a reduced road test fee of only $14 instead of the normal $75.
  • Senior commercial drivers may use automatic transmissions for their annual road tests.
  • The air brake portion of the practical test has been amended so that senior commercial drivers can use diagrams to describe the process and demonstrate their comprehension of the air brake test.

Both the OTA and OBAC feel that the government is taking a step in the right direction, and are eager to work with the province going forward.

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To hassle a driver with clean record because of age when they let so many on the hwy's with no skills or lack of understanding of read and write. This they keep to hassle but private out the doling of licenses to kill with a big bullet.

An annual road test for professional drivers 65 and older with a good driving record and a clean medical is totally misguided. An annual medical and written test I can agree with. But the road test should only be required if a driver's history doesn't meet predetermined criteria. Most sixty five plus drivers with their experience are amongst the safest on the road. Go after those whose track record, regardless of age, truly warrants retesting. SP

i feel senior drivers should not have to retest every year unless there is a driving problem. medical i agre with but these driers have enought years driving they should know what they are doing. maybe retest the younger group that are not educated properly and are having incident on regular basis.as a mechanic and shop manager i have seen many drivers not do proper circle checks ,in yards as well as in truck stop all being younger drivers thks

Jim W
What kind of lanuage are you trying to use in your comments. My goodness I can't make out what you are trying to say. Hopefully I don't meet you on a busy highway with signage that has to be followed to the letter. Talk about lack of understanding of reading and writing. Try the retest,it'll do you good. PWM

i feel that because i turn 65 i am deing discrimeated against. if you have been driving 40+ years without a accident then why should you have to be retested.i go to shippers and have to wait 1/2 to3/4 of an hour to let some new driver back in,maybe these truck driving schools should teach backing up as well as driving ahead.if we dont do somthing there will not be any old drivers left,we have to pay every year to renew and a lot are just saying the hell with it.the system has every driver in the system i feel if you didn't have fines or a wreck in the last 5 years we should not have to be retested.as far as i am concerned they want to git rid of old drives which i think is wrong, not only that its a money grab for the goverment. i think it is time to get a lawyer and sue for discrimnation. print this and see what kind of response you get a lot of old timers will agree henry

I think it's about time, myself being a licence mechanic can repair and test drive all truck's, trailer's etc. and i don't need to be retested in any way to do this but i need a medical, written test's plus a road test to keep my driveing licence up to date.
Lets keep these seniors where we need them on the road. I gave my licence up a few yrs. ago because of all this B.S.

What about dropping the annual test period...no other jurisdiction requires it.
john abbott

One more thing should be added to this list: Ensure that the road-test examinor him/her self has a documented AZ-driving experience of at least 2 years or 100,000 miles. It is a joke for "million-milers" to be tested by someone who just recently obtained their qualifications and has never actually driven the equipment in a 'live' environment!

why in the world dont they just scrap the driving test for seniors its a money grab and not done in any other jurisdiction

Show me where older drivers have more accidents. You will not find they are unsafe. Safety is what we all talk about.Lets look at the safety and not the age. Medical Yes and seeing the government wants this it should be paid for. We are ALLOWED a medical by our Ohip why not this one. Quit discrimination! at 70 I'll agree to tougher reg's. Allan A

Its about time!!!!!!! I've been trucking for 45 years with no accidents or problems regarding my health. I find the law regarding a medical is a discriminating procedure which is costly as well as not needed in my case. Why is it that out of other jurisdictions, drivers over 65 can come into ONT. and perform work and are not required to follow the same rules that will apply to me when I turn 65 (April-2013). To the best of my knowledge when a doctor turns 65 is he required to get a medical and re-test for him to keep working. There is also others--judges--police--lawyers--professors--cab drivers. So you see there are lots of other professions. Do they all require medicals and retest on a yearly basis after the age of 65. I think the people in charge of making such laws should take a long hard look and consider what they are losing in the work force. I still enjoy my job,so why am I being penalized for wanting to keep working. You would think that with the shortage of CLASS A drivers that it would be made easy for us to keep working. I could go on and on,but what good would it do. GOVERNMENT DOES WHAT GOVERNMENT WANTS. OH! Lets charge the old truckers--yearly medical--yearly testing fee--yearly road test fee-- after 65. Oh yah,if they do not own a tractor trailer unit,they can rent one for a day. Should not cost much.HA HA This is a joke and an insult to the true PROFESSIONAL drivers that have helped form this great country. Anyways,that's enough from me. Just a few of my thoughts. Would like other old TRUCKERS to get together and voice our contempt for being discriminated against. THANKS--D.GARY YORKE (yorkie)

Finally. I'm pleased to see that we have someone in the MTO that understands this situation and is willing to address it. This measure may provide the opportunity to those in the 65 category to continue to enjoy the trucking industry.

This does not releve the presure of the renual for a senior. The automatic trans is not a welcome for us as we where not brought up with them.The hassal at the MTO offices are a bigger problem. If we have a good record , the test on the road should NOT have to be done. The whole test does not make anyone a better driver, it is intimadation for the older guys.

I agree with the first two changes, but I think a senior driver should be able to do the Air Brake Practical Test the same as any driver. A senior driver should be able to do the test with little or no problems if the equipment is set up correctly.

no driving test

requests not enough!! this is the only jurisdiction in north america that requires commercial drivers to take the test at age 65!!!! a medical yearly should suffice, or in extreme cases where a questionable record appears then a driving test.

Not good enough. Still not doing it. 65 I'm done. 40 yrs without an accident and when I turn 65 I'm considered a danger. As long as I'm medically fit this is pure crap.

no way will i do the test. i have been trucking for 38 years without an accident! i agree with the other comments. when i turn 65 i am hanging up the keys for good. this industry is no longer an industry i want to be part of.

Why reduced costs??? Its NO test that we want!
Who cares about automatic transmissions? Its No test that we want!
I hope that Vic Dhillion really understands what discrimination is taking place only to Ontario drivers. Its not right nor fair.
Having an annual medical is fair, but the way the AZ testers are currently treating 65 yr and older drivers is despicable. Changes have to be made.

Like the rest of you, I agree that no test is the only option. I am trying to hang it up now and hope I don't have to lower my self to MTO standards at 65. They have messed up enough of our career already. That's why you and I, I assume, are not encouraging new drivers to get into the trade. Its not what it used to be.

If the law still reads that it must be a road test then the Govt should pay for the vehicle needed. As well as for the Medical.

The Ontario Govt would rather pay millions to train younger foreign drivers then to take care of their own hard working safe drivers.

Maybe all drivers over 45 should take a few days off and lets see how much freight gets moved.

Dear Editor, staff and fellow drivers. My thoughts on this whole issue are fairly simple. 1st at any given time we must have a valid and up to date medical regardless of our age, so it being current, at age 65 with a clean abstract why waste everyones money and time by road testing the driver. By the time I turn 65 I will have had 46 years behind the wheel. I hope by For gods sake I can drive a truck after that many years of practising.... thanks for listening. Martin Girouard, St.Thomas Ontario. PS. another thought, maybe the tester should have more experience than the driver being tested. I doubt that they have more miles going ahead than most 65 yr old driver going backwards. :) I had to get than in there.