Vehicle Safety: Towing Edition

Vehicle Safety Towing

Towing in Ontario

If you have been looking at a Honda with towing power, it is a great idea to brush up on Ontario’s trailer laws before you plan on pulling a big load. Every province has its own rules regarding pulling a trailer. In Ontario, you need a valid driver’s licence to tow up to 4600kg; anything heavier will need a specific licence to tow. A trailer is legally considered to be a separate vehicle, and it will need its own licence plate and vehicle permit. By law, the licence plate must be clearly visible on the back of the trailer. All trailers must have mud guards, fenders, and flaps.

Visibility is extremely important while towing a trailer; for you and the drivers behind you. If your trailer blocks your rear view, then your vehicle will require additional mirrors to expand your driver’s field of vision. To ensure that other drivers can see your trailer, it legally requires certain lights depending on its size. If the trailer is less than 2.05m wide, it needs a white licence plate light, a red tail light, and two red reflectors on its rear. If the trailer is more than 2.05m wide, then it will require two yellow clearance lights on each side of the front of the trailer. It will also need two red clearance lights (or reflectors) on the back of the trailer.

Regardless of the size of your trailer, it needs two methods to connect to your vehicle. If your trailer hitch is equipped with a safety chain, then it must connect under the tongue, and have hooks that fasten it securely.

General Safety

  • Periodically check that your trailer’s load is secure as you are driving. Road vibrations can cause your cargo to shake loose.
  • Check your tire pressure after your trailer has been attached and loaded. The extra weight can effect your vehicle’s tire pressure.
  • Keep your trailer’s vehicle permit in your glovebox. If you are ever pulled over, the police officer may ask for it!
  • Your trailer is attached correctly if it appears parallel to the road.

If you need a hand choosing the right trailer hitch for your vehicle, click here to contact us!

Click here for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s Towing Handbook!