What Happens When You Have A Bad Driving Record In Ontario
In a developed country like Canada, driving is just a way of life to get to work, shopping, or enjoy your favorite meal across the town. The density of the driving population in Ontario is increasing day by day and so is the traffic on the roads. Sadly, it is not rare to hear about collisions at some location in Ontario, every day. Mistakes can happen to anyone and if on the road, it may also be the other driver who is at fault. In the event of a collision with you as a driver at-fault then, it may not be a perfect situation.
When the collision is reported to the police, you may be accused or convicted of a traffic offense. In case you were driving under impaired conditions, the consequences could be very grave and you may be convicted under the Criminal Code of Canada. In Ontario, DUI or DWI convictions go a long way to trouble you as well as any refusal to test for the Breathalyzer. Such a criminal offense will definitely mar your career, any out-of-country travel plans and drive your insurance rates over the roof. Also, it does have bad results on your driving record with time.
How Does The Demerit Point System Work In Ontario
There is a demerit system in place for Ontario that is used for tracking the driving offenses of motorists. So all violations, speeding tickets, collisions that are dealt with by the police also get demerit points added. This is apart from the hefty fines, conviction processes, or vehicle impoundment punishments. These demerit points keep on accumulating and it is possible to erase them from your driving history if you manage to keep a clean record for several years. If you continue to drive recklessly and have more demerit points added up, it may not be a rosy picture especially while trying to cross the border.
You may check on your driver record to know your standing regarding demerit points by ordering a 3-year uncertified driver record and licensing details on the MTO website. Your driver’s license gathers a record of all the demerit points and any driving violations or convictions. It also does depend on whether you were a novice driver or an experienced driver when those demerit points were added to your license. Even if you were to break any traffic laws or rules of the road outside Ontario, these violations could also give you demerit points that will show up on your Ontario’s driver license records. These locations include:
- Provinces and Territories In Canada
- Michigan state in the US
- New York state in the US
Breakdown Of Demerit Points
Upon gaining 9 demerit points within a short duration, an Ontario driver may be called by the province for an interview. The driver then has an option to give reasonable grounds to allow him to keep the license, despite the high demerit points he got. Once a driver accumulates 15 demerit points, then there could be a suspension of the driver’s license itself after numerous written warnings. At this point, the driver is deemed as unsafe and not fit to drive on the roads. You may gain your license again but not without your tarnished past driving record following you.
When you have 2 – 8 demerit points added as a driver with a full G license, you may receive a warning letter.
On getting 9 – 14 demerit points, your driving license may be suspended after an interview. You may receive an interview notification letter from the province informing you of the date, time, and location. This interview is scheduled by the province to discuss your demerit points and to check your driving record. It is then up to you to prove that you may be given your license again for sufficient reasons. You may have to pay an administrative fee of $50 within ten business days of your interview in person at any Service Ontario facility. In case you do not appear for the interview or you fail to pay the fee, your license may anyways be suspended due to lack of responsible action.
If you accumulate more than 15 demerit points then, your driver’s license may be suspended for thirty days. You will receive a suspension letter from the Ministry of Transportation informing you of the effective suspension date and your license will have to be surrendered. If you ignore this notice and refuse to surrender your driver’s license, this can lead you to lose your license for up to 2 years.
How Does Your Auto Insurance Policy Change Due To Bad Driving Record
The insurance providers vary in terms of what measures they take and change the insurance policy based on the demerit points you may accumulate. Some insurers may consider increasing your insurance premiums if you have too many demerit points as you are regarded as a high-risk insured. The high number of demerit points reflects your unsafe driving habits and your chance of getting involved in a collision is multiplied too. So, with the increased amount of risk you carry, your insurance premium rates will also be raised.
After accumulating a significant number of demerit points, you may pay dearly at the time of renewing your driver’s license to the province. Any violations or suspensions based on your demerit points will work against you. So your poor driving habits and reckless road behavior will have to compensate by paying more fees when you renew your license in Ontario.
What Can You Do After A Bad Driving Record in Ontario
Driving safely and obeying the rules of the road is expected from all responsible motorists in Canada. The demerit point system is a method to enforce better driving habits and display road safety in Ontario. By adhering to all traffic laws and driving rules, it is easy to steer clear from demerit points. Driving at posted speeds and at safe distances is highly recommended for road safety. In case you have a few demerit points, this would be a heads up for you to behave responsibly while driving. Maintaining a safe and clean driving record thereafter may erase the demerit points from your license.