When you first get your license in Ontario, you start off with zero demerit points. A driver’s goal is to always strive to stay at zero. Sometimes, mistakes and accidents do occur, which can cause your points to increase incrementally. Each traffic violation has a set number of points attached to it, and can increase, depending on the severity of the infraction. With that said, how do they affect your driving record in the long run? Will they have an effect on your insurance premium? Let’s examine demerit points and their impact on your driving record.
What are demerit points?
Demerit points are part of a system used to measure or provide a check and balance on your driving in Ontario. If you receive a ticket, you may receive some in addition to a fine. They range from two points for minor convictions, up to six points for serious traffic convictions.
Do I lose or accumulate demerit points?
Drivers actually do not have ‘points to lose’, nor do you want to accumulate them on your record. One of the misconceptions about them is that they are lost once you receive a traffic ticket. That is not the case. Another misconception is that you start with a certain amount of points when you get your driver’s license. It’s actually the opposite. According to the Ontario.ca website, “You don’t ‘lose’ demerit points on your driving record. You start with zero points and gain points for convictions of breaking certain traffic laws.”
HOW DO DEMERIT POINTS WORK IN ONTARIO?
Every traffic infraction may carry one to seven points. As an example, you will receive three points if you are speeding between 16 to 29 km/h over the speed limit. However, you will get six demerit points if you are driving 50+ km/h over the speed limit.
As a driver with a full G license, your will receive a license suspension for 30 days if you gain 15 or more points within two years.
If you are a new driver with a G1 or G2 class license, you will have less leeway when it comes to demerit points. This can affect when you may qualify for a full G license. If you receive eight demerit points under this type of license, you will most likely face a suspension. You will also need to do an interview with the Ministry of Transportation to tell them why they shouldn’t suspend your license.
With nine points, your license will be suspended for 60 days and you must mail it to the Ministry of Transportation. If you fail to mail in your license, you will face a two-year suspension.
Breakdown of points that come with an Ontario speeding ticket
You can get demerit points for speeding. Depending how much you are going over, you can receive between three and six points.
Demerit points are the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s way of determining driver quality. If someone acquires too many points, the Ministry can choose not to renew your license. Any demerit points you gain during your driving remain on your record for two years. If you get a speeding ticket in Ontario, it will also include adding points to your record. Currently, you will get the following demerit points for speeding:
- 16-29km/h over the posted speed limit will come with 3 points.
- 30-49km/h over the posted speed limit will come with 4 points.
- 50+ km/h over the posted speed limit will come with 6 points.
How long do they stay on my record?
From the date they are earned, demerit points stay on your driving record for two years. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation provides a complete list of offences that come with demerit points.
Does Accumulating Points Affect My Insurance?
In Ontario, demerit points do not directly impact your car insurance rates in Ontario. If you have a few points on your license, your insurance premiums will not be affected. When you are looking for new insurance and still have demerit points, it’s most likely that the new insurance company won’t base your premium on the few points that you have.
With that being said, if your license has been suspended due to the number of points you have accumulated, your premium will likely be higher. One thing to note, if you get too many demerit points, the Ministry can suspend your license. With a suspended license, your insurance company is not obligated to provide you with coverage.
DYK: If you receive too many traffic tickets, your insurance may perform a non-renewal? This means that your insurance company has deemed you too high-risk for them to insure. If this happens, you will have to apply for high-risk car insurance.
WILL OUT-OF-PROVINCE TICKETS AFFECT MY LICENSE?
Being pulled over in a different province or in the United States will still count towards your Ontario driving record.
How Do I Check My Demerit Points in Ontario?
In Ontario, you can check your demerit points by ordering a driver’s record online, in person at a ServiceOntario location, or by mail.
WHERE CAN I LOOK UP MY DRIVING RECORD?
You can check online for the status of your driving record and points accumulated. Order a copy of your driver’s abstract on the Service Ontario website. You can get it emailed to you directly. The cost is $12 to $18, depending on the report.
If you have any further questions about demerit points and how it may affect your insurance premium, call us today. We help our clients find the best auto insurance rates in Ontario including Ottawa, Mississauga, and Toronto, and make sense of what kind of insurance to buy. Get a quote online or call us at 1-877-660-3501!