Nobody likes being stopped by the police. Regardless of how good a driver we are, we’ve all been caught speeding or running a red light or halting at a stop sign. However, there are certain people who are stopped by the police far too frequently! In Ontario, demerit points were created specifically for those drivers.
Having Ontario demerit points added to your driver’s license is not something you want. To begin with, if you have any, it indicates you have earned a traffic ticket, and your auto insurance may be affected when it comes time to renew.
What are the demerit points in Ontario?
In Ontario, demerit points are part of a system that is used to measure or give a check and balance on your driving. You may earn some in addition to a fine if you obtain a ticket. They range from two points for minor driving offenses to six points for significant traffic violations.
Demerit Point System
The Ontario Ministry of Transportation uses the Demerit Point System to keep track of your driving habits. Only those who drive a car in Ontario are liable to this system if they are convicted of a traffic violation under the Highway Traffic Act. The system is in place to encourage drivers to keep improving their driving skills and to ensure that Ontario drivers do not abuse their driving privileges.
Unfortunately, not all drivers take their responsibilities seriously. This system was designed to address this issue by holding drivers responsible for their behavior. Driving offenses are assessed demerit points, with more serious tickets having a higher number.
How does the demerit system work in Ontario?
If you are found guilty of a traffic ticket offense, demerit points are added to your record (not removed). The number of points you earn varies depending on the charge. You may lose your driver’s license if you get too many demerit points.
You begin with 0 points and work your way up to 15.
How long do demerit points stay on your record？
A demerit point will be recorded on your record for a maximum of 2 years after the date of the offense. They will be automatically erased from your record after two 2 years.
How many demerit points do I have？
If the demerit points aren’t listed on the ticket, don’t assume there aren’t any points linked with the offense. Because police officers and courts are not affiliated with the Ministry of Transportation, they are not required to inform you or put on the ticket how many demerits points that offense carries.
What are the maximum demerit points you can get in Ontario?
The number of demerit points you can collect is determined by the type of driver’s license you hold. The following is a breakdown of the demerit point penalties:
Max demerit points for a full G license
You have up to 15 demerit points as a fully licensed driver before your driver’s license is suspended.
- 2 to 8: A letter of warning will be sent to you
- 9 to 14: Your driver’s license may be suspended, and you may be required to attend a meeting to discuss your driving and why it should not be suspended at this time. There is a $50 cost for the demerit point meeting
- 15 or more: Your license will be automatically suspended for 30 days. Your driver’s license will have to be surrendered. This can be done in person at any Service Ontario location. If you don’t submit your driver’s license, it might be suspended for two years.
You may need to retake the vision, written, and road tests after the suspension are ended. If you pass, your driver’s license will be restored and your demerit points will be reduced to 7.
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Max demerit points for young and new drivers (G1-G2)
As a new or young driver, you are subject to a variety of demerit point fines. This includes drivers who have a G1 or G2 license plate. The following is a list of possible penalties:
- 2 to 5: The MTO will send you a letter of warning
- 6 to 8: Your driver’s license may be suspended, and you may be required to attend a meeting to discuss your driving. The $50 fee is applicable
- 9 and more: It will be suspended for 60 days. When the suspension period ends, you must surrender your Ontario driver’s license and follow the same steps as above to reclaim it (retake driving tests). Your demerit points will be lowered to four. Any additional points will need a return visit to the MTO for an interview.
How many demerit points is that ticket in Ontario?
The good news is that you will not receive demerit points for all traffic tickets. The bad news is that you will still be fined. Typically, tickets with no demerit points are for minor infractions. The following are some of the ways you might be affected:
Demerit points for speeding
The number of demerit points you’ll get for a speeding ticket is determined by how fast you were caught going. Here’s a breakdown of how they’re penalized for speeding:
- 6 points: Exceeding the speed limit by more than 50 km/h
- 4 points: Exceeding the speed limit from 30 to 49 km/h
- 3 points: Exceeding the speed limit from 16 to 29 km/h.
Demerit points for distracted driving
Driving while impaired, and particularly texting and driving, is a big issue on today’s highways. Your demerit points will be affected by the following factors, depending on the conviction:
- First: 3 demerit points
- Second: 6 demerit points (in addition to the first 3)
- Third: 6 demerit points.
Distracted driving does not result in demerit points for novice drivers with a G1, G2, M1, or M2, although it does result in fines, license suspension, or cancellation.
You might receive 6 demerit points, fines of up to $2,000, a six-month jail sentence, and a two-year license suspension if you are charged with distracted and careless driving.
Demerit points for DUI (drug-impaired driving)
While most people assume that a DUI will result in 6 or 7 demerit points, the truth is that there are none.
They are deemed more serious and fall under the Criminal Code of Canada. As criminal charges, they carry more serious penalties, such as jail time.
Demerit points for not wearing a seatbelt
Before you start driving, double-check that your seatbelt is properly secured. In addition, if you are convicted of not wearing your seatbelt, you will receive 2 demerit points. There are three situations in which you can be charged for not wearing a seatbelt:
- The driver was not wearing a seatbelt
- The driver failed to ensure that a passenger under the age of 16 was wearing a seatbelt
- The driver fails to ensure that a passenger under the age of 16 is seated in a seatbelted position.
What are the common tickets that result in demerit points?
As said before, the severity of the offense determines the number of demerit points issued. These infractions are worth two to seven points. The following are some of the most common types of tickets that result in demerit points in Ontario:
|7 Points||Failure to remain the scene of a collision|
Failing to follow the directions of the police
|6 Points||Reckless/ careless driving|
Exceeding the speed limit: 50 km/h or more
Failing to stop for a school bus
|5 Points||Unless you're a bus driver who fails to stop at unprotected railway crossing, no traffic offense in Ontario gets a five-point penalty.|
|4 Points||Exceeding the speed limit: 30 to 49 km/h|
Tailgating/ following too closely
|3 Points||Exceeding the speed limit: 15 km/h to 29 km/h|
Driving on a closed road
Running a red light or disobeying stop signs, traffic control signs, or traffic lights
Driving through a railway crossing barrier
Failing to yield to traffic in the right-of-way
Going the wrong way on a one-way road
Driving while texting or talking on the phone (Distracted driving)
Improper use of a carpool lane
Driving the improper way on a divided road
|2 Points||Wrong left turn or improper right turn|
Failing to stop at a pedestrian crossing
Failing to wear a seatbelt
Unnecessary slow driving
Failing to ensure the safety of a child passenger
Towing passengers on skis, toboggan or a bicycle
Opening a vehicle door improperly
FAQ – Ontario demerit points
How do I check demerit points in Ontario?
It’s not sure how many demerit points you have. Don’t worry, there are a couple of ways to figure out how many you have.
You can request a copy of your driver’s abstract from any Service Ontario facility to see how many you have.
Is it possible to check my demerit points online?
Yes, you can check online. On the Service Ontario website, you can get a copy of your drivers abstract. You have the option of having it emailed to you. Depending on the report, the price ranges from $12 to $18.
Are demerit points written on the ticket?
No, traffic offenses will not result in demerit points being added to the ticket. Officers are not permitted to apply demerit points for traffic infractions. Once you pay your ticket or are proven guilty in court, they are added by the Ministry of Transportation.
Remember that they can stay on your record for up to two years, and if you get too many, you might get a warning or possibly lose your license.
Do demerit points transfer between provinces?
Yes. Traffic convictions in different provinces and states in the United States might result in demerit points. A reciprocal agreement exists between Ontario and the states of Michigan and New York, as well as other Canadian provinces and territories. The number of points you receive is determined by the severity of the conviction.
Do demerit points have an impact on your insurance rates?
Your Ontario vehicle insurance is unaffected by demerit points. Being convicted of a traffic offense might raise your insurance costs. While a single minor conviction has no bearing on your costs, having multiple convictions or a major conviction will.
The demerit point system in Ontario is intended to prohibit drivers from behaving dangerously on the road. There’s a reason why insurance companies reward drivers with a clean driving record. It proves that you are aware of and comply with traffic laws. You’ve already saved money on insurance and potential fines if you have a clean driving record free of Ontario demerit points. Driving safely and legally at all times is the easiest way to avoid an insurance rise and Ontario demerit points.
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