Ontario Demerit Points in Plain English

Living and driving in Ontario means you will have to deal with the Highway Traffic Act and the Demerit Point System that regulates drivers.

Most people receive a traffic ticket some time in their lives and perhaps more than one. When we do it can affect our licenses and insurance premiums.Everyone starts out with zero demerit points. There are seven demerit points that cover the different offenses.
Ontario Demerit Points are given out when drivers violate certain provisions in the law. You can get them for speeding and reckless driving. Drivers begin with zero demerit points and accumulate demerit points for convictions. When convicted the points get added to their record.  When drivers accumulate points, insurance rates are likely to go up and drivers run the risk of losing their driving privileges and points on their license.

Here are some of the situations and demerits you could receive:

  • If you fail to stop at the scene of an accident or when you signalled by police can get seven demerit points.
  • If you are caught street racing, driving carelessly, failing to stop for a school bus or going over 50km/h you will get six demerit points.
  • If a bus driver fails to stop at an unguarded railway crossing it is five demerit points.
  • If a driver is tailgating too closely or is over the speed limit the penalty is four demerit points.

New Drivers in Ontario

  • If you are a new driver two demerit points will get you a warning letter from the government.
  • At six demerit points you could be requested for an interview. Failing to show up could lead to the suspension of your license.
  • At nine demerit points your license is revoked for 60 days. If you fail to surrender your license at the Driver and Vehicle License Issuing Office that could mean a suspension of up to 2 years! After you get a suspension and serve it your driving record is reset and you get four demerit points.

Licensed Drivers in Ontario

  • Licensed Drivers will also get a warning letter from the government after six demerit points.
  • At nine demerit points you are asked to come in for an interview and discuss how not to suspend your license. Failure to attend leads to suspension for 30 days. Failure to surrender could then lead to a two year suspension. After the suspension is over a driving record get reset starting with seven demerits and you may have to take some driving tests.

These points on your license can stay there for up to 2 years from the date of your offence.

If you do get a license suspension you may have to take a driver re-examination which could include an eye exam, written G1 test and road test. If you accumulate 15 or more points you will lose your license for 30 days from the date you surrendered it. If you fail to surrender it you could lose it for two years!

It is only natural to have a blemish on your driving record. There are very few people who don’t. However, it is important to follow the rules so you can continue driving and not lose your license.

About the Author:
Andrei Zakhareuski is the founder of Find-a-driving-school.ca. He has been writing for beginner Canadian drivers for several years.
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