Having a suspended driver’s licence is never fun, and can lead to difficulties during your daily commute. Depending on the reason for your suspension, it may also take a toll on your insurance. If your suspended licence is due to a criminal conviction, this will stay on your record for up to six years. It can also result in a rise in your auto insurance by up to 25%, depending on the insurer. However, if your suspended licence is due to a medical condition, it is unlikely you will receive any penalties from your insurer. If you recently had your licence suspended, you may have some questions about reinstating it! Luckily, isure has covered all the facts to help get you back behind the wheel.

Why is my licence suspended?

As mentioned before, there are many reasons your licence may be suspended. It should be noted that all suspensions are serious. They can be:

  1. A roadside suspension (being pulled over)
  2. A court order suspension
  3. Receiving a letter from the Ministry of Transportation

A court order suspension generally means you have been convicted of violating a driving-related law or other. These can include:

  • Having alcohol in your blood
  • Refusing to give a breath sample when asked by police
  • Driving without insurance
  • Attempting to escape police
  • Failure to pay a traffic ticket
  • Conviction of other driving-related offences, such as careless driving or driving 50km/h over the speed limit

Many other driving-related laws must be followed in order to prevent a licence suspension. In some cases, you may even need to surrender your driver’s licence. Make sure you keep yourself up to date on the rules of the road!

How can I reinstate my suspended driver’s licence?

To begin, you’ll have to complete a few steps to begin the process of getting your licence back.

  1. First, you’ll have to reinstate it, or prove you are eligible to get back behind the wheel. To do this, you will first have to pay any outstanding fines you may have.
  2. Next, you’ll have to complete any court processes or court-ordered programs. This is needed to clear your suspension.
  3. Lastly, you’ll have to gather any documents you receive that will prove the suspension has been lifted. An example of this can be a Notice of Suspension letter or a medical letter. Once you receive any of these documents and have proven your suspension has been lifted, you may begin the process of renewing your driver’s licence.

Can I reinstate my licence if I’m outside of Ontario?

Yes, you can! If you are outside of Ontario, you can submit your reinstatement fee payment by sending a signed letter. This letter must include your driver’s licence number or name and date of birth. On top of this, you will need to state the reason for your request, as well as an out-of-province mailing address and telephone number. A $281 reinstatement fee must be included in the form of a cheque or money order, and made payable to the Minister of Finance. If you wish to pay using a Visa or Mastercard, you will need to instead include your card type, number and expiry date. More on that here.

How do I obtain a new driver’s licence?

Now that you have reinstated your licence, you have a few more steps to complete before you can actually get behind the wheel. To begin, you will have to visit an Ontario DriveTest centre. If you are in the Downtown Toronto area, the ServiceOntario Bay and College location is also an option. You must bring identification that verifies your legal name, signature and date of birth. From here, you will need to pay some fees and potentially take some tests. If your licence was suspended for a reason aside from a medical reason, you will have to pay a $281 reinstatement fee, plus any addition fees for written and road tests if you are required to take one.

In regards to what kind of tests you will have to take, it depends on how long your licence has been suspended for. See below for the tests you may have to take:

  • 1-3 year suspension: You need to take an eye test.
  • 3-10 year suspension: You will need to take an eye test, as well as a written knowledge test. Additionally, you will need to retake your G1 and G2 test. You can book your G1 test immediately after taking your eye and knowledge test. You can book your G2 immediately after you pass your G1.
  • 10+ years suspension: If your licence has been suspended for over 10 years, you will have to retake all required tests and start from scratch as a new driver. Unfortunately, you will not be able to fast track and will need to serve all mandatory waiting periods.

If you have been convicted of dangerous driving, you will also need to successfully complete a driver improvement interview and re-examination. You will  be required to pay the applicable fees.

Driver’s Licence Check

If you are unsure of your driver’s licence status, your first step should be to perform a Driver’s Licence Check. This tool is made by the Ontario government to assist residents and businesses of Ontario in checking the status of their licences. In Ontario, vehicle owners are held responsible for making sure that they have a valid licence before driving. This new online service makes it free and easy to check if you have a suspended licence or not, eliminating the previous two-dollar fee. It will also inform you of any special licencing conditions that are attached to your licence!

In conclusion

Once you have completed the steps above, a new licence will arrive by mail in about 4-6 weeks. In the meantime, you can visit a ServiceOntario centre and receive a temporary card until your permanent one comes in. Always remember to follow the rules of the road, and drive safely to avoid ever having your licence suspended. If you are getting back behind the wheel of a car for the first time in awhile, remember to check if your policy is up to date.

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