Licence Downgrade

File under #ihategovernmentbureaucracy

I have a commercial driver’s licence (CDL) because the province of Ontario requires me to have one to operate our motorcoach. Lorraine also holds a CDL.

In Ontario, the government determines the required class of licence by weight:

The class D driver’s licence allows you to drive a motor vehicle exceeding 11,000 kilograms (24,000 lb) gross weight or registered gross weight, or any combination of motor vehicle exceeding a total gross weight or registered gross weight of 11,000 kilograms (24,000 lb) and towed vehicle not exceeding a total gross weight of 4,600 kilograms (10,000 lb). It also allows you to operate vehicles in class G. A class D licence does not permit you to drive a bus carrying passengers, a motorcycle or a moped.

And, being the government, they decided to change the laws governing the Class D licence in July of 2018. Here are the new requirements.

Licence Renewal Requirements

Class D licence holders up to age 80 are subject to a Class D knowledge test and vision test every five (5) years at time of licence renewal. Class D licence holders over the age of 80 still have to complete an annual knowledge, vision and road test.

Medical Requirements

Class D licence holders under the age of 46 are required to submit a Medical Report every five (5) years
Class D licence holders between the ages of 46 and 64 are required to submit a Medical Report every three (3) years, and
Class D licence holders age 65 and older are required to submit an annual Medical Report

The Medical Report form must be completed by a family physician or nurse practitioner licensed to practice in Ontario.

I thought that I would have to deal with the Medical Report when my licence comes up for renewal in March of 2020.

But then I got this notice in the mail:


If I don’t submit this form, in person, by March 1st, then I will no longer be legally allowed to operate our motorcoach. Our insurer won’t cover any accidents once my licence is downgraded. We will be in California in March. Nowhere near an Ontario Drivetest Centre.

Lorraine received a similar note. Except her deadline is February 18th.

We called the government to request an extension.

I now have until May 1st. As we return to Canada around April 25, that gives me a couple of days to find a nurse practitioner in Ontario and hand in the paper form in person.

Lorraine’s licence will be downgraded as they would only extend her case to April 18th. If she gets a medical report filed soon after we return to Canada, they will restore her CDL.

2 replies
  1. Van
    Van says:

    US retirees from socialist controlled states like California, New York or Massachusetts have voted with their feet for decades to escape high taxes and situations like yours. Florida, South Dakota and Texas have long been favorites of the RV “Escapee” class. Does Canada have Provinces/Cities which offer similar relief for their citizens? If so, how difficult would it be to “raise the jacks” and put those clueless Ontario bureaucrats in your rear view mirror?

    • Richard
      Richard says:

      Canada does swing left on the political spectrum. Alberta might be the most conservative province in Canada although even there the province is currently governed by the NDP, a socialist party. Another thing for us to think about as we continue our journey.


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