Kevin Lowey > Essex > Legal Issues > Vintage Vehicle FAQ


The 1929 Essex Coupe
Restoration Project

Vintage Vehicle Legal FAQ

This section of the web site discusses legal issues related to operation of vintage automobiles in the Province of Saskatchewan, Canada.

I obtained the following information from the Saskatoon City Police.


Modified Vintage Vehicle

"modified vintage vehicle" means a motor vehicle that:
is designed for transportation of goods or people on highways;
resembles a vehicle manufactured before 1958; and
has been modified or reconstructed to improve its safety, handling or performance

Vintage Vehicle

"vintage vehicle" means a motor vehicle:
that was designed for the transportation of goods or people on highways;
whose model year predates the current calendar year by 30 years or more;
that, to the extent practicable, has been restored or maintained to the original manufacturer’s specifications but does not include a modified vintage vehicle


What are legal Bumper Heights?

On passenger cars, bumper height must be between 380 and 560 millimeters above the road surface.

On trucks, the lowest part of the bumper cannot be more than 750 millimeters above the road surface.

Bumpers must have a vertical surface of at least 100 millimeters.

Licence Plate Display -- is a front plate required? Can one acquire an exemption?

Always require a front and back plate on a passenger car. Some special exemptions issued for special events or occasions for limited time periods.

Are bumpers required?

Section 50 requires passenger cars to be equipped with bumpers.

Section 50 requires trucks less than 4500 GWR to be equipped with from bumper only.

SGI Vehicle Standards and Inspection Bumpers on Vintage and Modified Vintage Vehicles Policy

Bumper exemptions for vintage and modified vintage vehicles will be considered on an individual basis in accordance with Section 14 (3) of The Vehicle Equipment Regulations. 1987. Bumpers will be exempt on vintage vehicles where proof is provided the vehicle was originally manufactured without bumpers.

Where authority to operate without bumper(s) is issued, the bumper exemption will only be valid while the modified vintage or vintage vehicle is being operated under fair weather conditions. This minimizes risks associated with allowing vehicles to operate without bumpers.

The vehicle must:

  1. qualify as vintage or modified vintage vehicle as defined by The Vehicle Equipment Regulations. 1987;
  2. be primarily maintained for use in exhibitions, club activities, parades, hobby activity and other functions of public interest;
  3. not be used as regular means of transportation
  4. must not be the vehicle owner’s sole means of transportation; and
  5. not be driven more than 8,065 km. / 5,000 miles annually.

Applicants for bumper exemptions must supply a written request for bumper exemption to the manager SGI Vehicle Standards and Inspection on an approved application form. The following information must be included with the application.

  1. Applicants name, complete address, and signature.
  2. Year make and model of vehicle.
  3. Serial number of vehicle.
  4. Odometer reading (miles/km).
  5. Request for rear/front bumper exemption.
  6. Photograph(s) (not Polaroid) showing the profile (front/rear) for which the bumper exemption request is being made.

Bumper exemptions are not transferable, and authority (approved application) must be presented to law enforcement personnel or request.  The exemption is only valid in Saskatchewan and may or may not b recognized in other jurisdictions.

What are the requirements for tail lights? Tail light covers? Blue dots?

Blue tail light lens 7(9) A vintage or modified vintage vehicle may have a blue lens 625 spare millimetres or less as part of the tail-lamp assembly

Brake Lamps 34(2) A modified vintage vehicle shall have at least one brake lamp meeting the requirements of clauses (1)(a), (b) and (d).

Signal Lamps 35(3) In the case of modified vintage vehicle, a flashing white or amber light may be emitted from the front facing lamps.

Tail Lamps 37(2) A modified vintage vehicle shall have at least one tail lamp meeting the requirements of clauses (1)(a), (c) and (d).

Tail light and headlamp covers are not permitted in accordance with section 6(e), which prohibits any equipment that impairs the effectiveness of the lamps required by the regulations.

What about off color headlamp (blue) bulbs?

All headlamps must be WHITE in colour as defined by Society of Automotive Engineers J578 3.1.3. Any bulbs other than white are not legal.

High intensity bulbs can only be used in certain headlamp lenses.

Are fenders required?

Fenders or Mudflaps 52(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to a modified vintage vehicle when the vehicle is being operated on a dry, paved surface.

What are the requirements of windshield height (size)?

Section 64 requires the windshield be in a generally vertical position and be large enough to provide the driver with a clear view of the road.

Front and front side windows must be free of any after-market sunscreen.

What about scrub line, is there a minimum height off the ground?

Refer to bumper height requirements previously addressed, and lamp height requirements as follows:

Headlamps must be between 535 and 1400 millimeters from the road surface to the centre of the lamp.

Brake, Signal and Tail lamps must be between 350 and 2110 millimeters from the road surface.

Exhaust noise?

Vehicle must be equipped with a muffler that effectively reduces exhaust noise.

SGI encourages enforcement agencies to use Section 46 of the HTA -- excessive noise to address exhaust noise concerns.

When are Vehicle Safety Improvements Required?

When a peace officer or person appointed by the board or administrator issues an order to have a repair or inspection completed because they suspect the vehicle may be unroadworthy.

Failure to comply with a request will result in the cancellation of registration and insurance, and stop any further registration of the vehicle by any person.

Added topics:

Frame of Modified Vintage Vehicle 48 Where the vehicle is a modified vintage vehicle and the frame of the vehicle has been modified or specially fabricated, the frame of the vehicle shall support the vehicle, its load and torque from the power source, under all operating conditions without distortion.

Chassis fasteners of Modified Vintage Vehicle 49 Every modified vintage vehicle shall have a chassis fasteners that incorporate self-locking nuts, lock washers, cotter pins or safety wires.

Mirrors 67(1) A vehicle other than a modified vintage vehicle, shall have at least two rear-view mirrors.

Mirrors 67(6) A modified vintage vehicle shall have at least one mirror that provides the driver with a clear view to the rear.

Defroster or frost shields 69(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a modified vintage vehicle when it is being operated at any temperature above 0 Celcius.

Sun shield 70(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a modified vintage vehicle on which the original manufacturer did not install a sun shield.

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