Demerit Points In Ontario

May 3, 2017


Everything You Need To Know About Demerit Points

Demerit Points

Demerit points are NOT something you want added to your Ontario driver’s license. For starters, if you have demerit points, 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.

This blog post answers some of the most common questions about demerit points in Ontario, how the demerit points system works, and how they can impact your driving record and car insurance.


What Are Demerit Points?

Demerit points are part of a system to measure or provide a check and balance on your driving. If you receive a ticket, you may receive demerit points in addition to a fine. Demerit points 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. The demerit point system was created to remedy this as a way to hold drivers accountable for their actions when driving. Points 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 Ontario demerit point system in the Highway Traffic Act.


How Many Demerit Points Do I Have In Ontario?

Demerit Points Ontario

How many demerit points do you get in Ontario? How many demerit points do you start with? Drivers actually do not have demerit points, nor do you want them on your driving 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 points 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 demerit points, you can lose your driver’s license.


What Is The Max Amount Of Demerit Points You Can Have?

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 :

Full Driving License Demerit Points

We know you want to know how many demerit points until a suspension in Ontario? As a fully licensed driver, you can accumulate up to 15 demerit points before your driver’s license is suspended.

Here is a breakdown of the penalties for demerit points for fully licensed drivers in Ontario :

  • 2 to 8 points : You will receive a letter of warning.
  • 9 to 14 points: Your driver’s license could be suspended, and you may have to attend a meeting to discuss your driving record and why your license should not be suspended at this time. A $50 fee for the demerit point meeting applies.
  • 15 or more points : 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 on your record will be reduced to 7.

Demerit Points For Young And New Drivers To Ontario

How Many Demerit Points Do I Have

As a new driver or young driver in Ontario, you face different demerit point penalties. This includes drivers with a G1 or G2 licenses and M1, M2, M1-L or M2-L license. Here’s a breakdown of penalties you could face :

  • 2 to 5 points : You will be sent a letter of warning by the MTO.
  • 6 to 8 points : Your license could be suspended, and you may need to attend an interview to discuss your driving record. The $50 fee applies.
  • 9 or more points : 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 stay once you have them on your driving record? How long do demerit points last? What is the demerit points expiry date? These are very common questions among drivers who have recently received demerit points for a traffic violation.

Getting Demerit Points Removed From Your Record

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


How Many Demerit Points Is That Ticket?

Demerit Point Penalties And Offences In Ontario

How To Check Demerit Points

One of the first things drivers look at when they get a ticket is the fine, followed by how many demerit points will be added to their driving record. Demerit points can add up and have a serious impact on your driving record.

Not all traffic tickets will land you demerit points. That is the good news. The bad news is they will land you a fine. Tickets with no demerit points are typically your minor offences such as HOV violations and Red Light Camera tickets.

Drivers frequently want to know the demerit points for common tickets such as speeding, distracted driving, texting and driving, impaired driving and more.

How Many Demerit Points For Speeding In Ontario?

The number of demerit points you’ll receive for speeding will depend on how fast you were caught going. As you would expect, the faster you were ticketed for, the more demerit points you’ll receive.

Here is a list of how many demerit points 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

While demerit points do not directly impact insurance, learn more about the impact of speeding and other tickets on your car insurance by reading :

How Does A Speeding Ticket In Ontario Affect Insurance Rates And Coverage?

How Do Tickets Affect Insurance Rates In Ontario?

How Many Demerit Points For Distracted Driving?

We all know that distracted driving practices, and texting and driving in particular, are a huge issue on Ontario roads today. If you are convicted of distracted driving, you will receive a minimum fine of $400 plus three demerit points. Novice drivers (new drivers, young drivers) are not subject to demerit points for distracted driving convictions in Ontario.

However, the penalties for breaking the distracted driving law could become more severe if you are also charged with careless driving. The MTO explains :

Drivers who endanger others because of any distraction, including hand-held and hands-free devices, may still be charged with Careless Driving under the Highway Traffic Act or even Dangerous Driving under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Both charges carry heavy fines and penalties, if convicted, including 6 demerit points, fines of up to $2,000 and/or a jail term of six months, and up to two-year license suspension in the case of Careless Driving.

Learn more about the dangers of distracted driving in Ontario and the impact of texting and driving by reading :

Distracted Driving In Ontario

Texting And Driving In Ontario

How Many Demerit Points For DUI Or Drug Impaired Driving?

How Long Do Demerit Points Stay On Your Record

This is an interesting case. While most would assume that a driver would receive 6 or 7 demerit points for a DUI conviction or drug impaired driving conviction, there are actually no demerit points for these convictions.

Why?

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.

The only instance where a driver could receive demerit points for impaired driving is if they plead down the charges from dangerous driving to careless driving. The driver would then receive the careless driving fines and penalties, including 6 demerit points. However, this is not a common occurrence.

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, two demerit points will be added to your record. There are actually three instances of failing to wear a seatbelt that will add points to your record :

  • 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 driving offences that come with demerit points:

Seven Demerit Points

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

Six Demerit Points

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

Five Demerit Points

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

Four Demerit Points

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

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.

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.


How To Check Demerit Points In Ontario

Not sure how many demerit points you have on your driving record? Don’t worry – there are a few ways you can check how many points you have. You can visit any Service Ontario location to get a copy of your driver’s abstract and other driving records in Ontario such as your statement of driving record and extended driver record.

Can You Check Demerit Points Online?

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

Are Demerit Points Written On The Ticket?

So, do demerit points show on the ticket? The answer is 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. Demerit points are added by the Ministry of Transportation once you pay your ticket or are found guilty in court. Demerit points will then appear on your driving record.

You can check your demerit points by obtaining a copy of your driving abstract from Service Ontario.

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


Do Demerit Points Transfer Between Provinces?

Demerit Points And Insurance

Yes. You can get demerit points for traffic convictions that occurred outside of Ontario 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, demerit points will be added to your driving record just as if the offence happened in Ontario, says Ontario.ca.

When driving outside of Ontario, traffic tickets and offences that will add demerit points to your driving record include :

  • 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


Do Demerit Points Affect Insurance?

Demerit points do not directly affect your auto insurance rates and coverage, however, the conviction for the traffic violation does.

There is some correlation. Accumulating a number of demerit points also means you have received a number of traffic tickets. Being convicted of traffic tickets can impact your insurance rates. While minor convictions generally have a minimal impact on your insurance rates, a major conviction will. So, the more demerit points you have on your driving record, the greater the odds it will impact your insurance coverage.

If you were to receive a license suspension as a result of too many demerit points, it will likely impact your insurance. Since a license suspension is considered as a major violation, you could be considered a high risk driver. As with other tickets and fines, how much your rates is affected will depend on your insurance company.


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A Guide to the Ontario Graduated Driver's Licensing System
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Commuting In Canada : Stats, Facts, Tips On Commuting In Canada
Have A Fender Bender? What To Do When A Car Accident Happens in Ontario



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