If you are behind the wheel and do not observe the rules of the road then you may get a ticket, get charged, jail time, or pay for a fine as per the severity of your violation. In Ontario, you may also get demerit points on your driver’s license and if you repeat your traffic offenses then these may add up quite a bit over time. Whether you are a mature driver or a novice driver, the number of demerit points you may get differs as per the driving conviction and your license.
What Are Demerit Points?
Demerit points are penalty points that drivers accumulate on their driver’s licenses. The demerit points add up as per the number of instances that you break a driving law in Ontario and other provinces. Each time you have a traffic violation as per the Highway Traffic Act, you get demerit points added to your driver’s license. These demerit points also reflect on your driver abstract and could range from 2 to 6 points for each traffic conviction.
How Demerit Points System Work In Ontario?
As per your level of driver’s license, you may gain demerit points and this has many adverse effects on your driver abstract. If you have a G1 or G2, M1 or M2, L-M1 or L-M2 then you are a novice driver. You may face the following consequences as per the number of demerit points you collect as a novice driver.
- 2 – 5 points: You get a warning letter.
- 6 – 8 points: They may send you a notice to attend an interview to discuss and defend your driving habits. If you do not attend the interview then they may suspend your license. This interview may cost you $50 and if you do not pay that fee within ten business days then they may cancel your driver’s license.
- 9 points or more: They suspend your license for sixty days and send you a letter asking you to surrender your license. If you don’t then you may lose your license for up to 2 years.
For a fully licensed driver the following consequences result from demerit points:
- 2 – 8 points: You get a warning letter.
- 9 – 14 points: They send you a notice for an interview where you may defend your license or they may suspend your license.
- 15 or more points: They suspend your license for thirty days and send you a letter to surrender your license. If you ignore that letter then you may lose your license for up to 2 years.
Are Demerit Points Added Or Subtracted?
The demerit points system work in such a way that you don’t lose any points but only gain them. Starting from 0 points, you may continue to collect more demerit points for breaking the traffic regulations. These demerit points show up on your driving record for 2 years from the date of the offense and over time if you have too many points then you may also lose your license.
Are Demerit Points Transferable Between Provinces?
Yes. In case you commit a driving offense in a different province or even the States of Michigan or New York, it may show up on your driving record in Ontario. These offenses include speeding, disobeying a stop sign or signal light, not remaining on collision site, not stopping for the school buses, and racing.
Do Demerit Points Affect Insurance Ontario?
If you accumulate demerit points over time and repeat your traffic offenses then it may lead to a suspension of your license. These demerit points show up on your driving record that your insurer may access to calculate your premiums. Once your license is suspended your poor driving record may cause your Ontario car insurance premiums to increase a lot. In case you have only minor convictions then it may not increase your premiums much but for major traffic offenses, your insurer could hike your rates.
Do Demerit Points Go Expire, Away Or Reset In Ontario?
Demerit points do not expire or go away but rather stay on your driving record for up to 2 years from the time you commit the traffic offense. The severity of your traffic offense and your driving license class may determine the penalties.
Where To Check Demerit Points Ontario?
You may check out the Ministry of Transportation website to know about your demerit points in Ontario. There is also an option to order your driver abstract online using the tool on Service Ontario. An uncertified driver record may cost you $12 while a certified driver record may cost you $18.
How Many Demerit Points Do You Get For:
Depending on the severity of your traffic offense, the number of demerit points you get also varies. The number of demerit points for some common traffic violations is as below.
Drinking And Driving
Impaired driving is a severely punishable traffic offense under the Criminal Code of Canada. You may pay a heavy penalty, get a license suspension, or even jail time. However, if you plead guilty and your charges are reduced to careless driving, that could get you 6 demerit points and penalties.
When you drive your vehicle at a high speed and cause a collision, the impact is much more than when you drive slowly. It could cause fatal injuries and severe property damage. Hence as per your speeding over the posted limit, you may collect demerit points. In case you exceed the posted speed limit by 16 – 29 km per hour then you get 3 demerit points. For speeds over 30 – 49 km per hour over the posted limit, you may collect 4 demerit points. You may get 6 demerit points if you exceed your speed by 50 km per hour or more than the posted speed limit.
Running A Red Light
When you disobey a traffic sign then you are putting your life and other road users in danger. As per claims statistics, there are many side-impact collisions that are severe and fatal when you do not stop for a red light. Most cities in Ontario do have red-light cameras to capture the license plate images of violations. So, if you think that you ran a red light and safely managed to get away, then you may get a ticket in the mail with the photos as evidence. You may get 3 demerit points when you are convicted for running a red light.
Failing To Stop For A School Bus
As per law, you have to stop for a school bus with flashing upper red lights and this affects drivers in both directions. The only exception is that the driver in the opposite direction may not stop if there is a median on the road. If you don’t stop there is a high chance of endangering students leaving or boarding the bus. For breaking this traffic rule you may pay a penalty as well as collect 6 demerit points.
Not Wearing A Seatbelt
It is the law to buckle up for the safety of the driver and the passengers. If you don’t wear your seatbelt while driving or a passenger aged less than 16 years does not wear one, then you may pay a fine and get 2 demerit points. When you are traveling with children it is important to secure them with a booster seat or car seat.
Though there are no demerit points for driving an unregistered vehicle, this may also mean that you do not have insurance. It is a serious offense when you drive without registration and insurance, it may get your license suspended and a heavy penalty or even jail time.
Blocking A Driveway
While blocking a driveway may not get you any demerit points, if you fail to share the road it may get you 2 demerit points.
The Complete List Of Demerit Points in Ontario
7 demerit points will be added if you are convicted of:
- failing to remain at the scene of a collision
- failing to stop when signaled or asked by a police officer
6 demerit points will be added if you are convicted of:
- careless driving
- exceeding the speed limit by 50 km/hour or more
- failing to stop for a school bus
5 demerit points will be added if you are convicted of:
- failing to stop at an unprotected railway crossing (for bus drivers only)
4 demerit points will be added if you are convicted of:
- exceeding the speed limit by 30 to 49 km/hour
- following too closely
3 demerit points will be added if you are convicted of:
- driving while holding or using a hand-held wireless communications or entertainment device
- driving while viewing a display screen unrelated to the driving task
- exceeding the speed limit by 16 to 29 km/hour
- driving through, around, or under a railway crossing barrier
- driving the wrong way on a divided road
- driving or operating a vehicle on a closed road
- failing to yield the right-of-way
- failing to obey a stop sign, traffic control stop/slow sign, traffic light, or railway crossing signal
- failing to obey the directions of a police officer
- failing to report a collision to a police officer
- failing to slow and carefully pass a stopped emergency vehicle or a tow truck with its amber lights flashing
- failing to move, where possible, into another lane when passing a stopped emergency vehicle or a tow truck with its amber lights flashing
- improper passing
- improper driving when the road is divided into lanes
- improper use of a high occupancy vehicle lane
- going the wrong way on a one-way road
- crossing a divided road where no proper crossing is provided
- crowding the driver’s seat
2 demerit points will be added if you are convicted of:
- improper right turn
- improper left turn
- improper opening of a vehicle door
- prohibited turns
- towing people — on toboggans, bicycles, skis
- unnecessary slow driving
- backing on highway
- failing to lower headlamp beams
- failing to obey signs
- failing to stop at a pedestrian crossing
- failing to share the road
- failing to signal
- driver failing to wear a seat belt
- driver failing to ensure infant/ child passenger is properly secured in an appropriate child restraint system or booster seat
- driver failing to ensure that a passenger less than 23 kg is properly secured
- driver failing to ensure that a passenger under 16 years is wearing a seat belt