Blog How Do Demerit Points In Ontario Work?

Apr 27, 2021

Everything You Need To Know About Ontario Demerit Points

Female Officer Writing Ticket

Demerit points are not something you want to be added to your Ontario driver’s license. For starters, if you have any, it means you have received a traffic ticket, and it also means that your car insurance could be impacted when it comes time for renewal.

What Are Demerit Points?

Demerit points are part of a system 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 2 points for minor convictions, up to 6 points for serious traffic convictions.

What Is The Demerit Point System In Ontario?

Unfortunately, not all drivers take driving seriously. This system was created to remedy this as a way to hold drivers accountable for their actions. They are assigned to driving infractions, with more serious tickets receiving a higher number of demerit points.

The demerit-point system encourages drivers to improve their behaviour and protects people from drivers who abuse the privilege of driving, says the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.

Read more about the system in the Highway Traffic Act.

How Many Demerit Points Do I Have In Ontario?

Drivers actually do not have demerit points, nor do you want them on your record.

One of the misconceptions about demerit points is that you lose them when you get a ticket or that you start with a certain amount of them when you get your driver’s license. It’s actually the opposite.

Ontario.ca explains :

You don’t 'lose' demerit points on your driving record. You start with zero points and gain points for being convicted of breaking certain traffic laws.

If you collect enough, you can lose your driver’s license.

What Is The Maximum Amount Of Demerit Points You Can Have In Ontario?

How many you are allowed to collect depends on the type of driver’s license you have. The following breaks down the penalties for demerit points :

Max Demerit Points For Full G License

As a fully licensed driver, you can accumulate up to 15 demerit points before your driver’s license is suspended.

Here is a breakdown :

  • 2 to 8 : You will receive a letter of warning.
  • 9 to 14 : Your driver’s license could be suspended, and you may have to attend a meeting to discuss your driving and why your license should not be suspended at this time. A $50 fee for the demerit point meeting applies.
  • 15 or more : You will receive an automatic 30-day license suspension. You will be required to surrender your driver’s license. You can do this in person at any Service Ontario Centre. Failure to surrender your driver’s license could result in a 2-year suspension.

Once the suspension is over, you may need to take a vision, written, and road test again. If you pass, your license will be reinstated and the demerit points will be reduced to 7.

Max Demerit Points For Young And New Drivers (G1-G2)

As a new driver or young driver, you face different demerit point penalties. This includes drivers with a G1 or G2. Here’s a breakdown of penalties you could face :

  • 2 to 5 : You will be sent a letter of warning by the MTO.
  • 6 to 8 : Your license could be suspended, and you may need to attend an interview to discuss your driving. The $50 fee applies.
  • 9 or more : Your license will be suspended for 60 days. You will have to surrender your driver’s license and follow the same steps as above to get it back when the suspension ends (re-take driving tests) and your demerit points will be reduced to 4. Any new points will require you to come back for an interview with the MTO.

How Long Do Demerit Points Stay On Your Record?

How long do demerit points last? Do they have an expiry date? These are very common questions among drivers who have recently been convicted of for a traffic violation.

Demerit points stay on your record for two years from the date of the offence. Once the two years has passed, they are removed.

How Many Demerit Points Is That Ticket In Ontario?

Not all traffic tickets will land you demerit points. That is the good news. The bad news is they will still land you a fine. Tickets with no demerit points are typically minor offences. Here's how you can be affected :

Demerit Points For Speeding

The number of demerit points you’ll receive for speeding ticket will depend on how fast you were caught going.

Here is a list of how they are assigned for speeding :

  • 6 points : Exceeding the speed limit by 50 km/h or more
  • 4 points : Exceeding the speed limit by 30 to 49 km/h
  • 3 points : Exceeding the speed limit by 16 to 29 km/h

Demerit Points For Distracted Driving

Man On Phone Inside Car

We all know that driving impaired, and texting and driving in particular, are a huge issue on roads today. Depending on the conviction, your demerit points will be affected by :

  • First : 3 demerit points

  • Second : 6 demerit points (in addition to the first 3)

  • Third : 6 demerit points

Novice drivers with a G1, G2, M1 or M2 are not subject to demerit points for distracted driving, but they will face fines, a licence suspension or cancellation.

If you face distracted and careless driving fines, you could see 6 demerit points, fines of up to $2,000 and/or a jail term of six months, and up to two-year license suspension.

Demerit Points For DUI Or Drug Impaired Driving

This is an interesting case. While most would assume that a driver would receive 6 or 7 demerit points for a DUI there are actually no demerit points.

They are considered to be more severe and fall under the Criminal Code of Canada and, as criminal charges, they have more severe consequences including jail time.

How Many Demerit Points For Failing To Wear A Seatbelt?

Making sure your seatbelt is secure before starting to drive is a very important safety consideration. Plus, if you are convicted for a seatbelt infraction, you will get 2 demerit points. There are actually three instances of failing to wear a seatbelt where you can be charged :

  • Driver failing to wear a seatbelt.
  • Driver failing to ensure passenger under 16 years is wearing seatbelt.
  • Driver failing to ensure passenger under 16 years is occupying a position with a seatbelt.

Stay safe and buckle up!

The Complete List Of Demerit Points And Traffic Tickets

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation provides a complete list of offences that come with demerit points :

What Tickets Have Seven Demerit Points?

  • Failing to remain at the scene of a collision.
  • Failing to stop for police.

What Tickets Have Six Demerit Points?

  • Careless driving
  • Racing
  • Exceeding the speed limit by 50 km/h or more.
  • Failing to stop for a school bus.

What Tickets Have Five Demerit Points?

  • Driver of bus failing to stop at unprotected railway crossing.

What Tickets Have Four Demerit Points?

  • Exceeding the speed limit by 30 to 49 km/h.
  • Following too closely.

What Tickets Have Three Demerit Points?

  • Exceeding the speed limit by 16 to 29 km/h.
  • Driving through, around or under a railway crossing barrier.
  • Driving while holding or using a hand-held wireless communications/entertainment device or viewing a display screen unrelated to the driving task.
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way.
  • Failing to obey a stop sign, traffic light or railway crossing signal.
  • Failing to obey traffic control stop sign.
  • Failing to obey traffic control slow sign.
  • Failing to obey school crossing stop sign.
  • Failing to obey the directions of a police officer.
  • Driving the wrong way on a divided road.
  • Failing to report a collision to a police officer.
  • Improper driving where road is divided into lanes.
  • Crowding the driver's seat.
  • Going the wrong way on a one-way road.
  • Driving or operating a vehicle on a closed road.
  • Crossing a divided road where no proper crossing is provided.
  • Failing to slow and carefully pass a stopped emergency vehicle.
  • Failing to stop at a pedestrian crossing.
  • Failing to move, where possible, into another lane when passing a stopped emergency vehicle.
  • Driving a vehicle that is equipped with or carrying a speed measuring warning device (such as a radar detector).
  • Improper use of a high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane.

What Tickets Have Two Demerit Points?

  • Failing to lower headlight beam.
  • Improper opening of a vehicle door.
  • Prohibited turns.
  • Towing people - on toboggans, bicycles, skis, for example.
  • Failing to obey signs.
  • Failing to share the road.
  • Improper right turn.
  • Improper left turn.
  • Failing to signal.
  • Unnecessary slow driving.
  • Reversing on a highway.
  • Driver failing to ensure infant passenger is secured.
  • Driver failing to ensure toddler passenger is secured.
  • Driver failing to ensure child is secured.

Ontario Demerit Point FAQs

Not sure how many demerit points you have? Don’t worry – there are a few ways you can check to see how many you have.

You can visit any Service Ontario location to get a copy of your driver’s abstract to find out how many you have.

Yes can check online. You can order a copy of your driver’s abstract at the Service Ontario website. You can get it emailed to you directly. The cost is $12 to $18 depending on the report.

No, the demerit points associated with traffic violations will not appear on the ticket. Police officers are not authorized to assign demerit points to a traffic offence. They are added by the Ministry of Transportation once you pay your ticket or are found guilty in court.

Remember, they can stay on your record for 2 years, and if you accumulate too many, you could receive a warning or even a license suspension.

Yes. You can get demerit points for traffic convictions that occurred in other provinces and some states in the U.S.. Ontario has a reciprocal agreement with the state of Michigan and New York and other Canadian Provinces and Territories. The number of points you receive will depend on the conviction.

If you have been convicted of a driving offence in another Canadian province, the State of New York or Michigan, they will be added to your record just as if the offence happened in the province, says Ontario.ca.

Here are some that will get added :

  • Careless driving
  • Speeding and racing
  • Failure to remain at the scene of an accident
  • Failure to obey a stop sign, street light, or stop for a school bus

Demerit points do not directly affect your Ontario car insurance. It's being convicted of traffic violation that can impact your insurance costs. While a single minor conviction generally has minimal impact, having multiple convictions or a major conviction will increase your costs.

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