Understanding Demerit Points for Traffic Tickets in Ontario
Traffic violations in Ontario are serious offences that can lead to demerit points on your driver's licence. If a driver exceeds a certain amount of points it could result in increased insurance rates, fines, and even licence suspensions. In this article, we aim to provide a guide on how demerit points work system in Ontario.
How The Demerit Point System Works
In Ontario, demerit points are added to your driving record depending on the offence you receive from a police officer. Not all traffic offences under the Highway Traffic Act carry points.
The demerit point system works on a two-year cycle, Points remain on your record for two years from the date of the ticket. If you receive a certain number of points within a two-year period, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation may take further action against your licence.
Convictions and corresponding demerit points will be added to the driving record immediately after paying or being convicted of a traffic ticket.
Types Of Traffic Violations And Associated Demerit Points
Here is a list of common traffic violations in Ontario and the associated demerit points:
- Stunt Driving: 6 points, licence will be suspended
- Careless driving: 6 points
- Speeding: 3 to 6 points, depending on the speed at which you were driving
- Following too closely: 4 points
- Running a red light: 3 points
- Failing to stop at a stop sign: 3 points
- Disobey Sign: 2 points
- Failure to wear seatbelt: 2 points
It is important to note that this is not a comprehensive list of all traffic violations in Ontario and the associated demerit points. For a complete list of violations with demerit points, please visit the official Ministry of Transportation website.
You can also get demerit points on your Ontario’s driver’s licence when you violate driving laws in:
- Other Canadian provinces and territories
- The State of New York
- The State of Michigan
Consequences Of Demerit Points
If you accumulate too many demerit points within a two-year period, the MTO may take further action against your licence depending on your class, including:
- Suspending your licence
- Requiring you to attend an interview with a licensing officer
- Requiring you to attend a driver improvement course
Class G Drivers:
As a driver you face consequences for gaining demerit points. Depending on how many accumulated demerit points you have added to your driving record the consequences vary.
Once a Class G driver accumulates 6-8 demerit points: They will receive a warning letter from the Ministry of Transportation.
Once a Class G driver accumulates 9-14 demerit points: They will receive a second warning letter from the Ministry of Transportation encouraging you to improve your driving behaviour on the roads.
Once a Class G driver accumulates 15+ demerit points: Their licence will be suspended for 30 days by the Ministry of Transportation. Subsequent accumulations will result in a licence suspension of 6 months.
Class G1 or G2 Drivers:
As a Class G1 or G2 driver you are considered a Novice Driver and the consequences for gaining demerit points are different from a G Driver.
Once a Class G1 or G2 driver accumulates 2-5 demerit points: They will receive a warning letter from the Ministry of Transportation.
Once a Class G1 or G2 driver accumulates 6-8 demerit points: They will receive a second warning letter from the Ministry of Transportation encouraging you to improve your driving behaviour on the roads.
Once a Class G1 or G2 driver accumulates 9+ demerit points: Their licence will be suspended for 60 days by the Ministry of Transportation. Subsequent accumulations will result in a licence suspension of 6 months.
Novice Driver Penalties In Ontario
In Ontario, novice drivers may face penalties including licence suspension or cancellation through the escalating penalties program if they violate laws and incur demerit points.
All drivers can be penalized for breaking Highway Traffic Act laws, but novice drivers may also face additional consequences that escalate with each similar offence.
Escalating penalties can be imposed if a Novice Driver:
1. Breaks graduated licensing rules 2. Commits a Highway Traffic Act violation that results in four or more demerit points (e.g., street racing, careless driving) 3. Receives a court-ordered suspension for a Highway Traffic Act offence that would have otherwise resulted in four or more demerit points.
First offence: 30-day license suspension
Second offence: 90-day license suspension
Third offence: Novice licence revoked. Must reapply and retake all tests, pay all fees, and lose any earned time discount, credited time, and previously paid fees.
What Happens If A Licence Is Suspended For Demerit Points?
In the event of a suspension, you will receive a letter from the Ministry of Transportation. This letter will inform you of the effective date of the suspension and the requirement to surrender your license.
If you do not surrender your licence, you can lose your licence for up to two years.
How To Surrender An Ontario Drivers Licence?
You can surrender a licence two ways:
- 1. In-person at any Service Ontario centre
- 2. By mailing your licence to The Ministry of Transportation driver control section at 77 Wellesley Street West, Box 671 Toronto, Ontario. M7A 1N3
What Happens After A Licence Suspension Is Over?
The Ministry of Transportation may need you to take a written, vision and road test again.
If you pass, two things will then happen:
- 1. You will have your driver’s licence reinstated
- 2. The number of points on your record will be reduced
Reduction of points will depend on your class of licence
- If you have a full licence, your points will be reduced to 7
- If you have a novice licence, your points will be reduced to 4
These points will stay on your licence for two years. Any new points added to your record could bring you back for an interview. If you reach too many points again, your licence will be suspended for another 6 months.
Tips For Avoiding Demerit Points
To avoid getting demerit points and the potential licence suspension, it is important to always follow the rules of the road and drive responsibly. Here are a few tips to help you stay on the right track:
- 1. Always follow posted speed limits
- 2. Keep a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you
- 3. Always come to a complete stop at stop signs and red lights
- 4. Avoid distractions while driving, such as texting or using your phone
By following these simple tips and always driving responsibly, you can help ensure that you stay within the limits of the demerit point system.
Pay Or Dispute Your Traffic Tickets Online
In Ontario, you can easily pay your traffic ticket online through our convenient payment form. If you wish to dispute the ticket, we also offer assistance in filing the necessary documents. You can choose to request an early resolution or a trial hearing.
If you're not sure which option to choose, we can connect you with a local legal representative for a free consultation. There's no obligation to hire them unless you decide to. Before paying your ticket, we recommend seeking a consultation as some tickets may result in a driving suspensions. Simply fill out the contact form requested us to put you in touch with a local independent legal representative and we'll have someone reach out to you promptly.
The demerit point system in Ontario is in place to ensure safe driving habits and penalize drivers who break the rules of the road. By following some of the tips provided in this article, you can help you stay within the limits of the system and avoid the penalties.