Demerit points are a point system that gets added to your driver’s license for breaking specific driving laws. Rules and points vary based on whether you are a new driver or have a full ‘G’ license. The demerit point system was introduced to prevent reckless drivers from repeating offences and to reduce acts of dangerous driving.
How Do Demerit Points Work?
Every driver starts with zero points. Demerit points are added to your record for breaking certain traffic laws.
How Long Do Demerit Points Stay on Your Record in Ontario?
Demerit points remain on your driving record for two years from the date of the offence.
Only after receiving a guilty conviction or paying the fine, will the points be reflected on your record. It's important to note that the time it takes for the ticket to pass through the court system is included in the two-year duration.
On the other hand, a conviction will remain on your record for three years. A conviction occurs when you either pay the ticket or are found guilty of the offence in court. After being convicted, the court sends a record of the offence to the Ministry of Transportation.
It's worth noting that the offence date refers to when the violation occurred, while the conviction date is when you were found guilty in court.
Demerit points stay on your record for two years from the date of the offence. There are increasing penalties as the number of demerit points you have rises, with the highest penalty being license suspension.
Demerit Point Penalties and Points by Offence
|New Driver||Fully Licensed Driver|
|2 to 5 Points - Sent a warning letter||6 to 8 Points - Sent a warning letter|
|6 to 8 Points - Sent a second warning letter||9 to 14 Points - Sent a second warning letter|
|9+ Points - License suspended for 60 days||15+ Points - License suspended for 30 days|
- Improper or prohibited turns
- Improper opening of a vehicle door
- Towing people (on bikes, skis, etc.)
- Unnecessary slow driving
- Backing up on a highway
- Failing to lower high-beam lights
- Failing to obey signs
- Failing to stop at a pedestrian crossing
- Failing to share the road
- Failing to signal
- Driver failing to wear a seat belt
- Driver failing to ensure infant/child is properly secured
- Driver failing to ensure that a passenger is wearing a seatbelt
- Driving while using a hand-held device
- Driving while viewing a display screen unrelated to the driving task
- Exceeding the speed limit by 16 to 29 km/h
- Driving through, around or under a railway crossing barrier
- Driving the wrong way on a divided road
- Driving on a closed road
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
- Failing to obey a stop sign, traffic control sign, traffic light, or railway crossing signal
- Failing to obey the directions of a police officer
- Failing to report a collision to a police officer
- Failing to carefully pass a stopped emergency vehicle with lights flashing
- Improper passing
- Improper driving when the road is divided into lanes
- Going the wrong way on a one-way road
- Crossing a divided road where no proper crossing is provided
- Crowding the driver's seat
- Driving a vehicle equipped with a radar detector
- Improper use of a high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane
- Exceeding the speed limit by 30 to 49 km/h
- Following too closely
- Failing to stop at a pedestrian crossover
- Careless driving
- Reckless driving
- Exceeding the speed limit by 40 km/h or more on roads with a speed limit of less than 80km/h
- Exceeding the speed limit by 50 km/h or more
- Failing to stop for a school bus
- Failing to remain at the scene of a collision
- Failing to stop when signalled or asked by a police officer
- Committing a hit-and-run
How Do Demerit Points Affect Your Ontario Car Insurance?
Demerit points alone do not directly impact your car insurance premiums in Ontario. However, if demerit points are accompanied by a conviction, then your insurance premiums may be impacted. A conviction refers to being found guilty in court of a driving offence, such as speeding or stunt driving.
In Ontario, the demerit point system is primarily used to determine eligibility for a driver's license. The use of demerit points in this context is not directly tied to insurance premiums.
When calculating your car insurance premiums in Ontario, the type and severity of the conviction are taken into consideration. Factors such as minor, major, or criminal convictions will be taken into account.
There are three categories of driving convictions:
Minor driving convictions (such as speeding or improper turns), which result in 0-3 demerit points.
Major driving convictions (such as distracted driving or failure to report an accident), which result in 6 or more demerit points.
Criminal driving convictions (such as racing or failure to remain at an accident).
Regardless of the number of points assigned, any class of conviction may result in an increase in your car insurance premiums.
Can You Earn Demerit Points in Other Provinces?
It is possible to receive demerit points for traffic violations that occurred outside of Ontario, including in some states in the United States. Ontario has reciprocal agreements with States such as Michigan and New York, as well as with other Canadian provinces and territories. The number of points you receive will depend on the specific conviction.
According to Ontario.ca, if you are convicted of a driving offence in another Canadian province, New York, or Michigan, it will be added to your driving record as if the offence had occurred in Ontario.
Examples of traffic violations that will result in demerit points being added to your record include careless driving, speeding and racing, failure to remain at the scene of an accident, and failure to obey traffic signals such as stop signs, traffic lights, or school buses.
How Do You Know the Points on Your License in Ontario?
You don’t have to worry if you don’t know how many demerit points you have! You can go to a Service Ontario location or online at this link and order a certified ($18) or uncertified ($12) driving record.
If you’re curious about what you should be paying for auto insurance, click here to get a free car insurance quote.
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Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended as professional insurance advice. The coverage, terms, and conditions of each insurance policy are unique and subject to individual circumstances. The information provided does not guarantee the availability or suitability of any insurance policy for your specific needs. You should not rely on the information in the blog as an alternative to professional advice from your insurance broker or insurance company. If you have any specific questions about any insurance matter, please consult a licensed insurance broker for personalized advice and guidance.