Blog What Drivers Need To Know About Showing Proof Of Car Insurance In Ontario

Oct 12, 2020

Insurance Pink Slips Are Required To Drive

Car Insurance Liability Pink Slip

Having proof of insurance or being able to produce your insurance pink slip in Ontario is an important part of driving. We all know that we are required by law to have insurance in order to drive. But many of us overlook the importance of having proof of car insurance with us at all times.

Do you know where your proof of insurance card is right now? Is it in the glovebox? Is it with your vehicle ownership? Is it in your wallet? Somewhere else?

Failure to show proof of Ontario car insurance is not only inconvenient, it could also land you a fine and it could impact your insurance premiums. The following outlines the proof of insurance laws in Ontario, your responsibilities, and the repercussions of failing to surrender your insurance card.

How To Get Proof Of Insurance Or Car Insurance Pink Slip

Getting proof of insurance is the easy part. When you get auto insurance for the first time, or when renewing your policy, you will receive proof of insurance with your policy documents. It is the detachable pink insurance card that lists your policy number, insurance company, and name and address of the registered drivers on your policy.

Insurance Card Will Be Issued By Your Insurance Provider

Proof Of Insurance

According to the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.25, an insurance card must be issued by your insurance provider :

6 (1) An insurer shall issue, or cause its agent to issue, an insurance card to a person with whom a contract of automobile insurance is made or whose contract of automobile insurance is renewed.

How Do I Replace My Lost Insurance Card?

If you lose or misplace your proof of insurance documents, contact your insurer right away. Depending on the company, you may be able to download a temporary insurance card and order policy documents online.

Proof Of Insurance Laws In Ontario

You are required by law to have proof of insurance with you in your vehicle when driving. Failure to produce proof of insurance could result in a fine if you are pulled over by the police. Here is what you need to know about proof of car insurance laws :

Burden Of Proof Is On Driver

Proof Of Car Insurance

Drivers are responsible for showing proof of insurance if requested by the police during a traffic stop. According to FSCO, as part of the consumers’ responsibilities under the Auto Insurance Consumers Bill of Rights :

“You must insure your vehicle and retain your proof of insurance (pink slip) while driving.”

The requirement for drivers to have proof of insurance is also outlined in the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act :

3 (1) An operator of a motor vehicle on a highway shall have in the motor vehicle at all times,

    (a) an insurance card for the motor vehicle; or
    (b) an insurance card evidencing that the operator is insured under a contract of automobile insurance, and the operator shall surrender the insurance card for reasonable inspection upon the demand of a police officer.

Failure To Surrender Insurance Card

Even if you have valid Ontario car insurance, you can still face a fine if you fail to surrender your insurance card when prompted by police. You know that if you are pulled over by police during a traffic stop, they are going to ask for your driver’s licence, vehicle registration and pink insurance card.

If you cannot provide proof of valid insurance, you can be charged with :

  • Operating a motor vehicle without insurance : This charge implies you were driving without insurance coverage.
  • Failure to surrender insurance card : This charge implies that you failed to produce proof of insurance to police.

If you have simply forgotten your insurance card, all you will need to do is attend court to show proof of insurance and the charge will be cancelled.

However, if you choose to pay the ticket for failure to surrender an insurance card, it will go on your driver's abstract. It could also impact your insurance rates, even if you do have valid auto insurance coverage.

What Is The Fine For Failure To Show Proof Of Insurance In Ontario?

Proof Of Car Insurance In Ontario

The fine for failure to show proof of insurance can be up to $500 (including surcharges), but in most cases you will receive a $50 fine plus surcharges.

If you are not the vehicle owner and cannot provide proof of insurance of the vehicle you are driving, you can be charged with failure to surrender evidence of insurance. The fine for this infraction is $65.

If you receive a no insurance ticket and don't have coverage, you could face a $5000 fine for driving without insurance. Learn more about the impact of tickets on insurance by reading How Do Tickets Affect Insurance Rates in Ontario?

When Do I Need To Show Proof Of Insurance?

Here are some of the main situations where you may need to show proof of insurance :

  • Traffic stop : When pulled over by police.
  • Rental cars : When renting a car.
  • Buying a car : You will be required to show proof of insurance when buying a used car or a new car.
  • Registration : When registering a car.
  • Renewals : Renewing your license plate or plate sticker.

Tips For Storing Proof Of Insurance

Always keep some form of proof of insurance in your vehicle at all times. Many drivers keep their pink insurance card with their vehicle ownership papers. If you are not comfortable keeping your original proof of insurance letter or slip in the vehicle, make a photocopy and keep it in your vehicle.

Therefore, regardless of who is driving your vehicle, they will have access to the proof of insurance. It is also a good idea to keep a copy of proof of insurance in your wallet as a backup.

Update Proof Of Insurance Card When Renewing Insurance

One of the most common times when drivers get caught driving without proof of insurance is right after they renew their insurance coverage. This occurs because you forget to replace your old insurance pink slip with the new slip. Make sure to do this each time you renew or switch your insurance policy.

Electronic Proof Of Insurance Now Available In Ontario

Showing proof of insurance in Ontario has gotten easier. Drivers are now allowed to provide digital proof of insurance using their mobile phone. This will eliminate the need to have your paper copy of insurance in your vehicle.

Proof Of Insurance FAQs

Proof of car insurance refers to your insurance pink slip. It is the card you receive from your insurer. It includes your policy, number, vehicle, expiry date, and the names and address of those insured on the policy.

You will receive your proof of insurance from your insurance company when you buy or renew your policy. You’ll receive a copy in the mail, via email, or though an app.

No. You no longer need to print proof of insurance. You can show your Ontario car insurance card electronically.

Yes. You will need to show proof of insurance coverage as part of the vehicle purchase process. If you finance the vehicle, the lender will require you to show proof of coverage. You will need insurance in order to drive the vehicle off the lot.

No. You do not need to have insurance to get or renew your drivers’ licence.

Be Ready To Show Your Proof Of Insurance

If you drive, you need to be prepared to show proof of insurance coverage. Keep a copy of your pink slip in your vehicle at all times.

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