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Clearances - Frequently asked questions

Obtaining a clearance

What is a clearance?

A clearance is a number issued by the WSIB that shows that a business is registered and up-to-date with us, including keeping current with premium payment and reporting.

What does it mean to be in ‘good standing’?

To be in good standing, you must have:

  • an open account with the WSIB and provided all registration information and required documents.
  • the appropriate classification
  • reported  to the WSIB all required premium  amounts  and completed reconciliation, if applicable
  • paid all premiums and other amounts owing

What do you mean by ‘principal’ and ‘contractor’?

A principal is any business that hires another business to do work for them.

A contractor is any business that is hired by another business to do work for them.

The following video explains the relationship between principals and contractors:

What does it mean if a contractor is marked ‘ineligible’?

Contractors marked ‘ineligible’ cannot be issued a clearance number because their account is not in good ‘standing’. See criteria.

If a contractor performs construction work, they must have WSIB coverage. See Clearances in construction for details.

How do I get or maintain a clearance?

Visit our website wsib.on.ca and register for our eServices including eClearance. You will be guided through a first-time set up so that in future the process will be quick and easy.

If a contractor is on a principal’s list, clearances are generated automatically, and the principal can seamlessly manage clearances for their contractors for the length of the contract, provided the contractor maintains an account in good standing.

Principals can maintain lists of contractors, check the validity of clearances any time, and take advantage of predictable auto-renewal dates for contractors in good standing.

For step by step instructions see eClearance user guide for principals and contractors (PDF).

Read our user guide (PDF) about contractor clearance renewal.

How long are clearances valid for?

Clearances are valid for up to 90 days from the date of issue. You need to make sure that there is a valid clearance number in place for the full length of a job. If the work being done lasts longer than the period the clearance number is valid for, the clearance can be renewed.

All clearances expire on 20th of February, May, August and November each year.

Expiry date You can renew starting

February 19

February 15

May 19

May 15

August 19

August 15

November 19

November 15

If you’ve signed up for eClearance and have created a list of clearances, we will automatically renew your Clearances (provided the contractor’s account is still in good standing).

What is the cost of a clearance?

We provide clearances at no charge. Most newly registered employers requiring a clearance at the time of registration will need to make an initial advance payment of $250. This payment is applied to your WSIB account as a credit and will be applied towards your future premiums.

eClearance

What should I expect after I’ve signed up for an online service?

After you have signed up or enrolled for a new online service, please wait for our confirmation email. You can then access the services using the link provided in the email where you can sign up for eClearance and any other services.

Can I use eClearance if I don’t have an eServices account?

Yes. See our eClearance user guide (PDF) for details on the tools available to you without an eServices User ID.

Can I use eClearance on my mobile?

Yes, you can use a mobile version of eClearance to:

  • create a clearance using the Principal and Contractor account numbers
  • view a clearance using the clearance number

view a clearance status using the Contractor’s account number. The mobile version does not allow:

  • principals to manage their lists
  • contractors to renew clearances
  • view clearance history

Access eClearance mobile now.

eClearance mobile

What is eClearance mobile?

eClearance is a mobile-friendly version of eClearance for your smartphone or tablet.  It is not an 'App' or application, and you don’t have to download it or pay for access.

Can I access my eClearance account using eClearance mobile?

No, eClearance mobile does not give you access to your profile. To view your eClearance profile, use the WSIB website and log into eServices.

What do I need to create a clearance?

Creating a clearance on your smartphone requires entering the contractor account number and the principal account number.

If you don’t have this information you will have to use the WSIB website. 

How do I create a clearance on my smartphone?

Once you are on the eClearance mobile site:

  • Select Create a Clearance from the main menu
  • Type the 7-digit account number of the contractor you want to create a clearance for, and click Search
  • The contractor’s account details will appear. Then click Select
  • Now, type in the 7-digit account number of the principal and click Search
  • The principals account details will appear. Click Create to create the clearance

I am trying to create a clearance, but I do not have the principal or contractor

You will have to use the WSIB website and log into eClearance to create a clearance using the advanced search function.

How do I email a clearance?

Once you have created or found a clearance, select Email this clearance (located at the bottom of the page)

  • Your default email account will open and an email with the subject line “WSIB Clearance” will appear
  • Type the email address(s) to which you want to send the clearance, and send the email

Can I save a clearance using my smartphone?

Clearances created through your smartphone on your account will be saved in your clearance history and can be viewed through the WSIB website by logging into eServices.

How do I find a clearance on my smartphone?

  • First you will need the 12-character clearance number
  • Then select, View a Clearance from the main menu
  • Type in the 12-character clearance number and click Search

How do I check the clearance status for a contractor/business?

  • To view a contractor’s account status, select View Account Status from the main menu
  • Type in the contractor’s account number and click Search
  • The system will display the clearance status, legal/trade name, and mailing address for the contractor

If I create a clearance using eClearance mobile, will it be added to my clearance history?

Yes, Clearances created with your account number will be saved in your clearance history which can be viewed through the WSIB website after you log into eServices.

Why does the clearance certificate look different when I create it using a smartphone?

Clearances obtained on a smartphone have a different look to limit the amount of data transferred. You can get a complete version of the clearance through the WSIB website using the “Find a Clearance” feature.

I tried using eClearance on my smartphone but I’m finding it very difficult to navigate around and/or there is a lot of scrolling required.

Check to see you are using the mobile version of eClearance and not the website version. Your address bar should show http://mobile.wsib.on.ca/en/community/emobile_home - if it does not, type www.wsib.on.ca/mobile into your address bar.

When I try to access eClearance on my smartphone, the page will not load or I get an error message.

Check to see you are using the mobile version of eClearance and not the website version. Your address bar should show http://mobile.wsib.on.ca/en/community/emobile_home - if it does not, type www.wsib.on.ca/mobile into your address bar.

If eClearance mobile is still not loading, contact your service provider.

Can I access the eClearance mobile view outside of Canada?

Yes. Check with your service provider to make sure you have data access outside of your service zone as roaming charges may apply depending upon your service plan.

My session timed out. What should I do?

If there is no activity for a set period of time the session will time out as a security measure. To get a clearance you will need to start the process again.

Why do I experience delays when accessing the secure mobile session on my Android device?

This could be a technical problem with your smartphone. Please contact your service provider.

Who can I contact if I’m having trouble using mobile eClearance?

For all eServices inquiries, including support issues, please contact us.

Clearances in construction

Do I always need a clearance if I work in construction?

Yes, clearances must be in place before any construction work begins and for the duration of the work.  Both the principal and contractor have legal obligations regarding clearances.

If a clearance is requested for a contractor, but they are marked ineligible, then all work done by that contractor must stop, until their account is back in good standing, and a new clearance is issued.

Is there an exemption from the clearance requirements?

Yes.  If a contractor or subcontractor is hired to do home repairs or renovations by a home’s resident, occupant or a member their family, then a clearance certificate is not required.

Is there a penalty if I don’t get a clearance?

If construction work goes ahead without a valid clearance number, both the contractor and the person/company who hired them (regardless of what industry they work in) are committing an offence. These offences are enforceable, and a maximum fine for a conviction of an offence under the WSIA is $100,000.

What happens when a contractor subcontracts construction work?

If a contractor hires a subcontractor to do construction work, then the contractor becomes the principal to the sub-contractor for that work. The principal must obtain a clearance certificate from the sub-contractor before the work begins and for the duration of the work.

Is a clearance required for a supplier, delivery person or other person(s) providing services on the worksite?

No. A clearance is not needed for anyone who is not a contractor working for a principal. This means delivery drivers, people making drop-offs or pick-ups, technicians servicing or repairing equipment, utility employees, or similar visitors to a building do not need a clearance.

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