Blog Demerit Points In Alberta

Jan 4, 2018

What You Need To Know About Alberta Demerit Points

Police officer writing a ticket

Getting demerit points in Alberta is NOT a good thing. 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 in Alberta.

All drivers need to understand how the demerit point systemqu works. This blog post answers your questions about demerit points in Alberta, how they work, and how they can impact your car insurance costs, licence, and driving record.

How The Alberta Demerit Point System Works

Alberta uses a demerit point system. Under the Traffic Safety Act, fully licensed drivers are allowed to accumulate up to 15 points before their licence is suspended.

Demerits are accumulated on your driving record for each traffic conviction. You will be assigned 2 – 7 demerit points for a traffic conviction. Not all traffic tickets are subject to demerits. Minor convictions carry fewer than major convictions.

Depending on the severity of your traffic conviction, the number of demerits accumulated, and other factors, your licence could be suspended. Your premiums could also increase.

Penalties For Demerit Point Accumulation In Alberta

Here is a breakdown of the penalties for demerit points in Alberta :

  • Accumulate 8 demerit points : You will be mailed a notice.
  • Accumulate 15 demerit points : If you accumulate 15 points within a 2-year period, your licence will be automatically suspended for one month.
  • Two demerit point suspensions in one year : You will lose your driver’s licence for three months.
  • Three or more demerit point suspensions within two years : Your licence is suspended for six months. You may be required to appear before the Alberta Transportation Safety Board.

Commonly Requested Info About Alberta Demerits

Here is some information about commonly asked questions on Alberta demerit points :

  • Convictions : Traffic convictions range from 2 – 7 demerit points.
  • GDL drivers : GDL drivers are subject to demerits.
  • GDL suspension : GDL driver’s licence can be suspended after accumulating 8 points.
  • Appeals : There is no method to appeal demerit points. You can only appeal if they were assigned in error.
  • Reinstating : When a demerit point suspension is served, your licence will be reinstated with 7 points on your driving abstract.
  • Fighting Tickets : If you successfully fight a ticket, the associated demerit points will not be added to your record.

Demerit Points By Alberta Driver’s License Class

Man on phone after an auto accident

All drivers in Alberta are subject to demerit points. The system for graduated driver’s licensing (GDL) is different than class 5 driver’s licences :

Demerit Points Alberta Class 5 GDL

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.

Demerit Points Alberta Class 7

Drivers with a class 7 GDL Alberta driver’s licence 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 :

  • You will receive a notice once you accumulate 4 demerits.
  • You licence will be suspended for one month if you accumulate 8 points within a two-year period.
  • If you get two demerit point suspensions in one year, you will lose your licence for three months.
  • If you get three or more suspension in two years, you will lose your licence for 6 months.
  • Once a demerit point suspension is served, your licence will be reinstated with 3 demerit points on your record.

Demerit Points Unique To The Alberta GDL

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. Keeping track is simple. Points appear on your driver’s abstract. Simply 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).

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
  • Speeding (exceeding limit by at least 51 km/h)

5 Demerit Points

  • Failing to stop at a railway crossing (school bus or a vehicle carrying explosives, gas or flammable liquids)
  • Failing to stop for a 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
  • Stunting
  • 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
  • Improper turns - U-turn
  • Traffic lane violation
  • Speeding (exceeding limit to maximum of 15 km/h)

Insurance And Demerit Points In Alberta

Contrary to what many think, demerit points do NOT have a direct impact on car insurance. Insurers don’t base premiums on the number of demerits. They base costs on the number of traffic convictions and the type of conviction.

Since traffic convictions are tied to demerit points, accumulating demerits can indirectly increase your premium.

Since insurers determine fees individually, how much a ticket increases your costs is dependent on your provider.

How To Reduce Demerit Points In Alberta

There is only one way to reduce demerit points on your driving record. You can take an approved defensive driving course BEFORE you get 15 demerit points. You cannot reduce demerits after you go over 15.

Successfully passing the test results in 3 points being removed from your driving record. You can only take the test once every 2 years. The only other way to reduce demerits is to wait for them to expire after 2 years, at which point they are removed from your driver’s licence.

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.

Common Alberta Traffic Violations And Demerits

There are lots of ways to get demerits. Here are some of the most common traffic convictions that result in points being added to your licence :

  • Failure to signal
  • Speeding
  • Following to closely
  • Failure to stop at a red light or stop sign
  • Failure to yield right-of-way

The good news is most of these traffic violations only result in 2 demerit points.

Alberta Demerit Points FAQs

Man looking at phone while driving

Here are some of the most common questions about Alberta demerit points :

How Do I Check On My Demerit Points In Alberta?

You can check on your demerit points by visiting an Alberta Registry Private Service Center in your area.

How Many Demerit Points Do You Have Before You Lose Your Licence In Alberta?

Fully licensed drivers in Alberta can accumulate up to 15 demerit points. GDL drivers can accumulate up to 8 points before a licence suspension.

Do Demerit Points Expire In Alberta?

Demerit points will stay on your record for 2 years from the date of your conviction.

How Many Demerits Does A GDL Have In Alberta?

Drivers currently in the graduated driver’s licensing system can have up to 8 demerits on their record before a license suspension.

How Many Demerit Points Do You Get For Speeding In Alberta?

The number of demerit points for speeding 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

How Long Does It Take For Alberta Demerit Points To Be Removed From Your Record?

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.

Do Demerit Points Transfer Between Alberta And Other Provinces?

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 driving record.

Here Are Some Other Articles You May Be Interested In

Distracted Driving In Alberta
Alberta Driver's License System Guide

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