Certificate of inspection

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You require a valid safety Certificate of Inspection (COI) to register a newly acquired vehicle in Manitoba. A COI confirms that, at the time of inspection, a vehicle met basic standards for operation in Manitoba, which are set out in the Vehicle Equipment, Safety and Inspection Regulation.

A COI doesn't include a detailed inspection of the engine or transmission and is not a guarantee of the overall quality of the vehicle. It is a good idea to have your vehicle fully inspected by a trusted mechanic before purchase.

When do you need a COI

A COI is required:

  • When ownership of a vehicle is transferred. (See Exemptions below.)
  • When bringing any vehicle into Manitoba. This includes vehicles owned by people moving to Manitoba.

A COI is valid for one year to transfer ownership. However, it is important to remember that the vehicle condition will change over time and the current condition may not be accurately reflected in a COI that is several months old. After one year, a new COI is required to transfer the vehicle.

If you buy a used vehicle from a dealer, the dealer must issue you a valid COI. See more information about buying a vehicle. Dealers are also required under Manitoba law to disclose information pertaining to a vehicle’s history. For more information, please read the important tips from the Consumer Protection Office.

If you buy a used vehicle privately without a valid COI, you can either tow your vehicle or get a permit through an Autopac agent to drive it directly to an inspection station. If the vehicle passes inspection and receives a COI, it can be driven away on a permit, and can be immediately registered. If the vehicle does not pass the COI inspection, it must be towed. (A write-off vehicle with a status of “salvageable” cannot be driven or registered until its status is changed to “rebuilt”.)

A new vehicle does not require a COI.

What’s inspected

An inspector at one of Manitoba's registered vehicle inspection stations signs a COI after a vehicle passes an inspection of components and systems, including:

  • brakes
  • suspension
  • tires
  • lights
  • exhaust system
  • seat belts
  • steering
  • other components and systems

View the COI form to see all the inspected components.

Outcomes

There are three possible outcomes to the COI inspection:

Pass: The vehicle passes the inspection and receives a COI.

Advisement: The vehicle currently meets all minimum safety standards and receives a COI. However, the advisement notes that specified components will soon require servicing or repair.

Fail: The vehicle does not meet certain standards. The vehicle must undergo specified repairs and pass a re-inspection before a COI can be issued.

Note that repairs can be done yourself, as long as the vehicle passes the inspection.

Where to get a COI inspection

Approved inspection stations are located throughout Manitoba. An approved station will display a sign designating it as a Vehicle Inspection Safety Station and displaying the logos of Manitoba Public Insurance and the Province of Manitoba. Call Vehicle Safety at 204-985-0920 or toll-free 1-866-323-0542 for an inspection station near you.

The inspection must be done either in Manitoba or elsewhere through a program substantially similar to Manitoba's. Contact Vehicle Safety for more information.

There is no set cost for a COI. The cost is determined by the inspection station.

Exemptions

If you are a previous Manitoba resident who is moving back to Manitoba and bringing a vehicle that was previously registered to you in Manitoba, the vehicle is exempt from the COI requirement.

Certain transfers of ownership are exempt from the COI requirements. These are:

  • A vehicle registered in Manitoba that is being transferred to: a spouse or common-law partner; a child or step-child; a parent, or as an inheritance to the beneficiary of an estate.
  • A new vehicle that is not subject to periodic mandatory inspections.
  • Any transfer from a dealer to another dealer.
  • Any transfer from a dealer to a recycler.
  • Any transfer from a dealer if the vehicle has an irreparable status.
  • Any vehicle registered as a remote area vehicle.
  • Any transfer involving a vehicle to be registered as an antique motor vehicle.
  • A lease vehicle, when there is a change of lessor, but no change of lessee.
  • A lease vehicle, when there is a change of lessee on a lease agreement, providing that an amended lease agreement is provided by the lessor and the new lessee would have qualified for a COI exemption if they had actually owned the vehicle (e.g., spouse to spouse, child to parent, parent to child).
  • A lease vehicle, when the ownership is transferred from the lessor to the lessee but only if the lessor is not a dealer. If a dealer is the agent for the lessor, a COI is required.
  • A bus designed for carrying 11 or more people (including the driver) and owned and operated on behalf of the City of Winnipeg or the City of Brandon.