Modes of Transportation

Fifteen-Passenger Vans: Common Sense

To safely operate a 15-passenger van, it is important to have a good understanding of how your vehicle handles and follow certain recommendations in order to adapt both your driving and the way you load the vehicle.

What you should know…

The term 15-passenger van refers to large vehicles with 5 rows of seats that can transport 15 or 16 people, including the driver, provided each seat is equipped with a seat belt.

School transportation offered for extracurricular activities

When providing transportation for extracurricular activities, using a minibus designed to carry 12 to 15 passengers and equipped with seat belts or a multifunction school activity bus is also permitted. These vehicles and their drivers are subject to specific rules set out in the Regulation.

Note that transporting school children between school and home using these types of vehicles is strictly prohibited.

For more details, consult the website of the Ministère des Transports.

Driving a 15-passenger van is not the same as driving a car

Fifteen-passenger vans are similar to buses and minibuses, in particular when it comes to how they handle on the road.

Season-appropriate, quality tires

Fifteen-passenger vans must always be equipped with quality tires that are inflated to the right pressure and appropriate for the season.

Things to check

  • Tread depth
  • Tire pressure:
    • tires must be inflated to the pressure recommended by the manufacturer

Passengers: never more than the number of seats and seat belts

Never allow more passengers than there are seats and seat belts.

If the 15-passenger van is not full

  • Place passengers and any cargo ahead of the rear axle.
  • Have passengers fill the van from front to rear.

If small children are on board

You must use child safety seats.

Cargo must be properly distributed to ensure stability

The way a load is distributed can change how a 15-passenger van handles.

Things to check

  • The vehicle's load capacity:
    • the total weight of the vehicle's load, including the driver, passengers, cargo and fuel, must not exceed the authorized load limit
  • Load distribution:
    • place cargo on empty seats or on the floor to the front of the vehicle, or distribute it evenly throughout the vehicle
    • secure the cargo so that it doesn't shift and destablize the vehicle
  • Additional storage:
    • avoid roof racks, rear cargo boxes and tow trailers as they make handling the vehicle more difficult and negatively affect its stability


  • heavier items must always be placed as low as possible inside the vehicle
  • never exceed the manufacturer's recommended load limits
  • make sure that the vehicle's tires have the required load capacity

Electronic stability control (ESC)

If possible, use 15-passenger vans equipped with an electronic stability control (ESC) system, which reduces the risk of skidding and loss of vehicle control.

This safety system can be found on all 15-passenger vans manufactured since September 2011, as well as on some 15-passenger vans manufactured between 2006 and 2011.

For more information

See our Electronic Stability Control System section.

Last update: June  2, 2022