Sep 27, 2021
What You Need To Know About Alberta Demerit Points
Demerit points are given to drivers after a traffic ticket or driving conviction. Accumulating too many points is one way to get a suspended licence, but will it affect auto insurance?
Whether you are fully licensed under the Alberta driver's license system, or just getting started, drivers need to understand what convictions could tack on points and how they are acquired. This blog post answers your questions about how demerit points work in Alberta, where to find how many you have, and if they have any effect on your driving record.
How Does The Alberta Demerit Point System Work?
In Alberta, demerit points are recorded against your driving record when you are convicted of a driving offence.
Not all traffic tickets are subject to demerits and minor convictions carry fewer than major ones. Depending on the severity of the traffic conviction, the number of demerits accumulated, your licence could be suspended. You are considered convicted of an offence when you :
- Pay the fine on your ticket
- Appear in court and are found guilty
- Fail to appear in court and are found guilty in the absence
Your conviction date is the date when any one of the above three actions occurs. They are applied to your driving record and the demerit points will remain on your record for two years from the date of conviction. Depending on the severity of the traffic conviction, and the number of demerits accumulated, your licence could be suspended. Under the Traffic Safety Act, fully licensed Class 5 drivers are allowed to accumulate up to 15 points before their licence is suspended.
How Many Demerit Points Alberta Class 5?
Fully licensed drivers can accumulate up to 15 points before a licence suspension. This is also applicable to other classes – licence classes 1 to 6.
If you receive a total of eight or more (but less than 15 points), you will receive a cautionary notice in the mail. If you want to find out the summary of these actions, you will have to obtain your drivers abstract.
- First suspension : If you receive a total of 15 or more demerit points within two years, your driver's licence will be automatically suspended for one month.
- Second suspension : If you receive a second demerit driving suspension within one year, your licence will be suspended for one month.
- Third and subsequent suspensions : Your licence will be suspended for six months if you receive a third or subsequence demerit point suspension within two years.
Once your suspensions are over, you licence will be reinstated with seven demerit points which will remain on your driving record for two years, beginning on the date of reinstatement. After the two years, the points will be removed from your record.
How Many Demerit Points Alberta Class 7?
Drivers with a class Class 7 are afforded fewer demerit points than fully licensed drivers. Drivers with stage one learner’s or stage two probationary licences are permitted up to 8 points before a suspension. Other important information for new drivers :
Alberta GDL Demerit Points
There are three traffic violations GDL licensed drivers need to be aware of. If you are ticketed for the following, you will have 2 demerits added to your record :
- Driving outside of curfew hours (12am to 5am)
- Having more passengers than seatbelts
- Your driving supervisor is not fully qualified
How To Check Demerit Points In Alberta
Knowing how many demerit points you have is important. Points appear on your driver’s abstract. Visit your local Alberta Registry Private Service Center to obtain a copy of your abstract. The cost is about $20 (prices vary by location).
How Many Demerit Points Do I Have In Alberta?
If you haven’t received a traffic ticket, you will not have demerit points. You will be notified via mail once you’ve reached 8 points (4 points for GDL drivers).
Complete List of Alberta Demerit Points Chart
The Alberta demerit points table from Alberta Transportation provides a complete list of driving convictions and demerit points :
7 Demerit Points
- Failing to remain at the scene of a collision
6 Demerit Points
- Careless driving
- Failing to stop for a school bus
- Racing or driving a vehicle with a bet or wager
- Speeding (exceeding limit by at least 51 km/h)
5 Demerit Points
- Failing to stop at an uncontrolled railway crossing
- Failing to stop at a railway crossing if a vehicle is carrying explosives, gas or flammable liquids
- Failing to stop and provide information to a police or peace officer
4 Demerit Points
- Failing to yield right-of-way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk
- Following too closely
- Speeding (exceeding limit by 31 to 50 km/h)
3 Demerit Points
- Driving to the left of the yellow line/driving left of center on unmarked two-way
- Driving in the wrong direction on a one-way highway
- Failing to report a collision
- Failing to stop at an intersection controlled by a stop sign
- Failing to stop for a red light at an intersection
- Impeding passing vehicle
- Improper passing
- Speeding (exceeding limit by 16 to 30 km/h)
2 Demerit Points
- Failing to obey instruction of traffic control device
- Improper backing (backing into an intersection or crosswalk, or unsafe backing onto a highway)
- Improper turns and U-turns
- Traffic lane violation
- Speeding (exceeding limit to maximum of 15 km/h)
Do Demerit Points Affect Insurance In Alberta?
Contrary to what many assume, demerit points do NOT have a direct impact on Alberta car insurance costs. Insurers don’t base premiums on the number of demerits, but they do base costs on the number of traffic convictions and the type of convictions. Since traffic convictions are tied to demerit points, accumulating demerits can indirectly increase your premium. Insurers determine fees individually, how much a ticket increases your costs is dependent on your provider.
How To Reduce Demerit Points In Alberta
The only way to reduce the amount of demerit points on your driving record is to participate in an approved Defensive Driving Course or Professional Driver Improvement Course.
- Non-GDL licensed drivers: Must complete the course before 15 or more demerit points. A maximum of three points will be removed from your record every two years.
- GDL licensed drivers: You will have to pass the course before accumulating eight points, and a maximum of three will be removed from your record every two years.
How Many Demerit Points For Distracted Driving In Alberta?
Distracted driving in Alberta continues to become a more serious road safety issue. Just recently the fine for distracted driving was increased to $300 and three demerits. However, if you are also charged with careless driving due to distracted driving, you could get up to 9 demerits added to your driving record.
Alberta Demerit Points FAQs
The number of demerit points for speeding in Alberta depends on your ticket. The faster you are caught going over the limit, the more demerits you could receive. Demerits for speeding in Alberta are :
- 2 points : exceeding limit to maximum of 15 km/h
- 3 points : exceeding limit by 16 to 30 km/h
- 4 points : exceeding limit by 31 to 50 km/h
- 6 points : exceeding limit by at least 51 km/h
There is no way to check demerit points online in Alberta, you must visit your local registry and pay the associated fee.
Fully licensed drivers in Alberta can accumulate up to 15 demerit points. GDL drivers can accumulate up to 8 points before a licence suspension.
No. Demerit points will stay on your record for two years from the date of your conviction.
Drivers currently in the graduated driver’s licensing system can have up to 8 demerits on their record before a license suspension.
Demerit points will be removed from your record 2 years from the date of your driving conviction. You can also have demerits removed by passing an approved defensive driving test.
Yes. Traffic violations with demerit points in other provinces can be added to your driving record in Alberta. Through the Canadian Driver Licence Compact, provinces share driver licensing records. For example, if an Alberta driver received demerit points in Ontario, they would be added to your record.