Certificate of Inspection
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. A COI provides a snapshot of the vehicle condition at the time of inspection. This condition can change over time and 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.
- When bringing any vehicle into Manitoba. This includes vehicles owned by people moving to Manitoba.
The COI inspection
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:
- Exhaust system
- Seat belts
- Other components and systems
View the COI form to see all the inspected components.
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 reinspection before a COI can be issued.
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 Standards and Inspections at 204-985-0920 or toll-free 1-866-323-0542 for an inspection station near you.
Certain transfers of ownership are exempt from the COI requirements. These are:
- A vehicle registered in Manitoba in the name of the owner, which is being transferred:
- to a spouse or common-law partner
- to a child or step-child
- to a parent
- 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.
- What does a COI cost?
- There is no set cost for a COI. The cost is determined by the inspection station.
- Do dealers have any obligations?
- A dealer must issue the buyer a sales or lease agreement, a COI, a Transfer of Ownership Document (TOD) and proof of payment of retail sales tax. For new vehicles, the dealer must issue a New Vehicle Information Statement (N.V.I.S.), and a COI and TOD are not required.
Dealers are also required under Manitoba law to disclose information pertaining to a vehicle’s history. For more information, please read this important tip sheet from the Consumer Protection Office.
- If I buy a used vehicle privately, without a valid COI, how can I move it to a safety inspection station without registration?
- For a COI inspection, you can either tow your vehicle or get a permit through an Autopac agent to drive the vehicle 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. However, a write-off vehicle with a status of “salvageable” cannot be driven or registered until its status is changed to “rebuilt”.
- Can I do the repairs myself?
- Yes. But the vehicle still has to pass all required inspections before it can receive a COI and/or a Body Integrity Inspection Certificate.
- Can I have the inspection done outside Manitoba?
- The inspection must be done either in Manitoba or elsewhere through a program "substantially similar" to Manitoba's. For more information, contact Vehicle Standards and Inspections at 204-985-0920 or toll-free 1-866-323-0542.
- How long is a COI valid?
- A COI is valid for one year to transfer ownership. However, when purchasing a vehicle 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 the year is up, do I have to get a new inspection done?
- Not if you're keeping your vehicle. But when you're selling it, the new owner can't register the vehicle here without a valid COI.