Nov 22, 2017
If you are caught driving without insurance in Ontario, and in any other province in Canada, you will be fined and you could face other penalties. Driving and insurance go hand in hand. However, there are still drivers who choose to drive with no insurance, one of the many factors that lead to higher auto insurance rates.
Driving Without Insurance Is Common
Driving without insurance is something you should never do, but it happens. More than you think. In fact, it is estimated that more than 2000 uninsured vehicles are involved in accidents each year in Ontario, and about 2% of all drivers are driving without insurance. In the U.S., it’s even more of an issue, as it’s estimated that more than 12% of all drivers are driving with no insurance coverage.
There is no doubt that if you drive without insurance, you face serious repercussions, and when discussing the topic of driving without insurance, Ontario residents are interested in three main things :
- Consequences : What are the consequences of driving without insurance?
- Punishment : What happens if you get caught driving without insurance?
- Fines : What is the fine for driving without insurance?
The following answers the most common questions about driving without insurance in Ontario, fines, penalties, consequences, and the potential impact on car insurance rates in Ontario.
Is Driving Without Insurance A Criminal Offense In Canada?
No, driving without insurance is not a criminal offense in Canada. It is an offense under the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act of Ontario, meaning that if you are caught, you could face significant fines. Driving without insurance will not go on your criminal record.
Can You Be Arrested For Driving Without Insurance?
Driving with no insurance coverage is taken very seriously in Ontario. Even though you will not be arrested (unless you are involved in a criminal act when you are caught driving without insurance), you face a series of fines and penalties for driving without insurance.
Driving Without Insurance Laws - The Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act
Under section 2 of the CAIA:
2 (1) Subject to the regulations, no owner or lessee of a motor vehicle shall,
- operate the motor vehicle; or
- cause or permit the motor vehicle to be operated, on a highway unless the motor vehicle is insured under a contract of automobile insurance.
What Happens If You Are Caught Driving Without Insurance?
Drivers in Ontario face a hefty fine for driving without insurance. Here is what you need to know about the fine for driving without insurance in Ontario.
Section 3 of the CAIA outlines the penalty :
(3) Every owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who,
- contravenes subsection (1) of this section or subsection 13 (11); or
surrenders an insurance card for inspection to a police officer, when requested to do so, purporting to show that the motor vehicle is insured under a contract of automobile insurance when the motor vehicle is not so insured,
is guilty of an offense and is liable on a first conviction to a fine of not less than $5,000 and not more than $25,000 and on a subsequent conviction to a fine of not less than $10,000 and not more than $50,000 and, in addition, his or her driver’s licence may be suspended for a period of not more than one year.
What Is The Driving Without Insurance Fine In Ontario?
How much is a driving without insurance ticket? What’s the maximum fine for driving without insurance? The fine for driving without insurance in Ontario varies based on the offense :
- Driving without insurance first offense : Fines start at $5000 and could be as high as $25,000.
- Driving without insurance second offense : Fines start at $10,000 and could reach as high as $50,000.
Fines Are Not The Only Penalty For Driving Without Insurance
In addition to fines, there are other penalties for driving with no insurance. They include:
- Suspension : You could face a driver’s license suspension for up to one year.
- Impound : You could have your vehicle impounded for up to three months.
- Additional fees : The Provincial Offense Act tacks on an additional 25% surcharge to your fine.
Can I Lose My License For Driving Without Insurance?
A common question drivers ask related to driving without insurance is, “Can you get your license suspended for driving without insurance?”
As part of your first offense for driving without insurance, your driver’s license will be suspended for a minimum of 30 days. You could lose your driver’s license for driving without insurance for up to one year.
What About Demerit Points For Driving Without Insurance?
There are no demerit points for driving without insurance. But, as stated above, you will be fined. Learn more about Demerit Points In Ontario.
Driving Without Insurance vs. Failure To Show Proof Of Insurance
There is a significant difference between driving without valid insurance coverage and failure to show proof of insurance. You can receive a ticket for both infractions, but the fines for driving without insurance are much more severe. Learn more about showing proof of car insurance in Ontario.
What About Driving A Car Without Insurance?
No, things like driving your parents’ car without insurance yourself is no issue. Remember, insurance follows the vehicle. As long as your parents have proper insurance on the vehicle, you can drive it. If you are pulled over by police, you will have to show proof of insurance. Just show the police your parents’ insurance card.
What Are The Chances Of Getting Caught Driving Without Insurance?
While the chances of getting caught without insurance are difficult to determine, it’s not worth the risk. No matter how well you drive, you are always at risk. You could be pulled over by the police unexpectedly or you could be hit by another vehicle.
Switching Insurance Providers And Driving Without Insurance
For some, driving without insurance may be unintentional. It’s very important to make sure that your car insurance coverage does not lapse when switching insurance companies. Even having a week or a day without auto insurance is all it takes to get fined. Learn more about How To Cancel Your Insurance Policy to avoid driving with no insurance coverage.
What Happens If You Get Into An Accident Without Insurance In Ontario?
This is perhaps one of the worst situations you can be in if you are driving without car insurance. If you are involved in a car accident without insurance, you will be held personally responsible for all the repairs to your vehicle as well as any medical bills. Depending on the amount of damage or type of injuries, this could be a significant cost to you.
You will also be fined for driving without insurance, and you could also face charges related to the accident if you are found to be at fault.
What If You Are Hit By A Driver Without Insurance?
Insured drivers are protected against drivers without insurance. As part of your insurance coverage in Ontario, you are protected with uninsured automobile coverage. This covers you and your family if you are hit by an uninsured or hit and run driver. You are provided coverage for injuries, death, and repair costs.
Driving Without Insurance And Insurability
A final issue you will have if you are fined for driving without insurance is getting car insurance coverage after the fact. Many insurance companies will choose not to offer you coverage, and if you can get coverage, expect extremely high car insurance rates. You may also require high risk auto insurance coverage in Ontario in order to secure a policy.
If you have been caught driving without insurance in the past and are having issues getting affordable car insurance coverage, work with a broker. Our insurance brokers are here to help drivers in all situations, even if you have been fined for driving with no insurance.
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A Guide to the Ontario Graduated Driver's Licensing System
What Are The Cheapest Cars To Insure?
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