Frequently Asked Questions – Vehicle Manufacturers and the National Safety Mark

What is the National Safety Mark?

The national safety mark (NSM) is the property of the Government of Canada and its use is authorized by the Minister of Transport to manufacturers of new vehicles offered for sale in Canada. Transport Canada requires the manufacturers that are authorized to affix the mark, to have the capability to certify their vehicle production to comply with the regulations under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act.

NSM sample - the unique number assigned to a company is to appear in the center of the NSM maple leaf shaped logo.
NSM sample - the unique number assigned to a company is to appear in the center of the NSM maple leaf shaped logo.

Is the National Safety Mark mandatory for vehicle manufacturers in Canada?

Any company who is engaged in the business of manufacturing vehicles in Canada, who ships from one province to another, or deliver to any person for the purpose of being so shipped, any vehicle of a prescribed class manufactured in Canada must apply their National Safety Mark (NSM) number to the vehicle. Also, most provincial Highway Traffic Acts require that a company affix an NSM to all vehicles that they manufacture.

What are my obligations as a vehicle manufacturer in Canada?

As a vehicle manufacturer established in Canada, you are required to ensure that all your entire vehicle production meets all the applicable standards and maintain such records. You must also have the ability to issue recalls and respond to compliance audits. Your company must therefore be familiar with all aspects of the MVSA, Motor Vehicle Regulations (MVSR) and CMVSS.

Visit our Guidelines on Enforcement and Compliance Policy Web page for additional information on meeting your compliance obligations as a vehicle manufacturer in Canada.

How do I know what standards my vehicle production must conform to?

You must read Schedule III of the MVSR and look for an “X” in the column that refers to the class of vehicle that your company intends on manufacturing.  Where an “X” is present, you must read the standard and verify if the standard does in fact apply to your vehicle production. You can then consult our CMVSS summary page to obtain information specific to the various standards that apply.

Do I only need to certify a single vehicle to get my NSM?

Transport Canada assesses your company's ability to certify its vehicle production to comply with the applicable CMVSS at the time of the application.

As section 5(1)(g) of the MVSA requires your company to establish and maintain documentation to reflect the compliance status of all your vehicle production, it is therefore essential that once your company has obtained a NSM, you maintain a filing system that allows demonstrating compliance for each vehicle manufactured.

How do I obtain the authorization to affix the NSM?

Request an NSM application package from Transport Canada using the contact information provided at the bottom of this page, clearly indicating the class of vehicle you manufacture. Once you receive the package, read the instructions carefully and submit all the information as requested.

It is imperative that an individual within your company is specifically assigned to understand your legal responsibilities associated with manufacturing vehicles. The individual should be familiar with the applicable Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS), certification analysis and procedures, establishing and maintaining certification records, ensuring that the required labels are affixed, etc.

If you are unsure of the information you are required to submit, or if you need help in determining if your application is complete, various consulting agencies and trade associations can provide you with assistance.

How long does it take to get a NSM?

The time it takes to process a NSM application depends on the quality of the application provided. The entire review process takes four to six weeks once we receive all of the information we requested.

  • We prefer electronic submissions.
  • Incomplete applications will be returned.

Related Links

Contact us

  • 1-800-333-0371 (toll-free Canada and United States)
  • 1-613-998-8616 (Ottawa region and from other countries)
  • Email:
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