THE “DEMERIT POINT SYSTEM” IN ONTARIO
The Highway Traffic Act – Section 56 states: Demerit Point System– The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations for a demerit point system for drivers of motor vehicles or of street cars. Related language can be found in subsections 56 (2), (3), (4) & (5). Remember, the demerit points stay on your record with the Ministry of Transportation (M.T.O) for two years from the date of the actual offence (from the date that you received your ticket(s) ), not the date of the conviction.
You can access the following information from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website.
Here are the Points that you will receive, for a period of two (2) years (from the date of the offence) on your driving record and three (3) years on your insurance record, if convicted of the following traffic related offences:
- Failing to remain at the scene of a collision – Section 200 of the H.T.A.
- Failing to stop, when signaled/requested by a police officer – Section 216 of the H.T.A.
- Careless Driving – Section 130 of the H.T.A.
- Racing – Section 172 of the H.T.A.
- Exceeding the speed limit by 50 km per hour, or more – Subsections 175 (11) & (12) of the H.T.A.
- Driver of a public vehicle or school bus, failing to stop at an unprotected railway crossing – Subsections 174 (1) & (2) of the H.T.A.
- Exceeding the speed limit by 30 to 49 km per hour – Section 128 (b) of the H.T.A.
- Following too closely – Section 158 of the H.T.A.
3 Points – There are seventeen (17) different driving offences in which your driving record can accumulate three (3) points:
- Exceeding the speed limit by 16 to 29 km per hour – Section 128 (c) of the H.T.A.
- Failing to yield right of way – Subsections 135 (2) & (3), Subsections 136 (1) (b), 136 (2), 138 (1), 139 (1), 141 (5), 144 (7), (8) & (21), of the H.T.A.
- Failing to obey the directions of a police officer – Subsection 134 (1) of the H.T.A.
- Failing to report a collision/accident to a police officer – Subsections 199 (1) & (1.1) of the H.T.A.
- Crowding the driver’s seat – Section 162 of the H.T.A.
- Driving or operating a vehicle on a closed road – Subsection 134 (3) of the H.T.A.
- Failing to slow and carefully pass a stopped emergency vehicle – Subsection 159.1(1) of the H.T.A.
- Improper passing – Subsection 148 (8) & Sections 149, 150 and 166 of the H.T.A.
- Driving through, around or under a railway crossing barrier – Section 164 of the H.T.A.
- Failing to obey a stop sign, traffic control stop/slow sign, traffic/signal light or railway crossing signal or school crossing stop sign – Clause 136 (1) (a), Subsections 144 (14), (15), (16), (17), (18), (21), Section 146.1 (3) & , Section 163 and Subsection 176 (3) of the H.T.A.
- Driving the wrong way on a divided highway/road – Clause 156 (1) (a) of the H.T.A.
- Improper driving where highway/road is divided into lanes – Section 154 of the H.T.A.
- Going the wrong way on a one way street or highway – Section 153 of the H.T.A.
- Crossing a divided highway/road where no proper crossing is provided – Clause 156 (1) (a) of the H.T.A.
- Failing to move, where possible, into another lane when passing a stopped emergency vehicle, if it is safe to do so – Section 159.1 (2) of the H.T.A.
- Improper use of a high occupancy vehicle lane – Subsection 154.1(3) of the H.T.A.
- Motor vehicle equipped with and/or carrying a speed measurement warning device (radar detector) – Subsection 79 (2) of the H.T.A.
2 Points – There are seventeen (17) different driving offences in which your driving record can accumulate two (2) Points:
- Driver failing to properly wear a seat belt – Subsection 106 (2) of the H.T.A.
- Driver failing to ensure that a passenger, under 16 years of age, is properly wearing a seat belt – Subclause 106 (4) (a) (i) of the H.T.A.
- Driver failing to ensure that a passenger, less than 23 kg is properly secured – Subsection 8 (2) of Regulation 613 of the Revised Regulations of Ontario, 1990.
- Driver failing to ensure infant/child passenger is properly secured in an appropriate child restraint system or booster seat – Subsection 8 (3) of Regulation 613 of the Revised Regulations of Ontario, 1990.
- Driver failing to ensure child passenger is secured as prescribed – Subsection 8 (4) of Regulation 613 of the Revised Regulations of Ontario, 1990.
- Failing to stop at a pedestrian crossing –Subsections 140 (1), (2) & (3) of the H.T.A.
- Improper right turn – Subsections 141(2) & (3) of the H.T.A.
- Improper left turn – Subsections – 141(6) & (7) of the H.T.A.
- Prohibited turns – Section 143, Subsection 144 (9) of the H.T.A.
- Failing to obey signs (under regulation Section 182 (1) ) – Subsection 182 (2) of the H.T.A.
- Failing to signal – Subsections 142 (1), (2) & (8) of the H.T.A.
- Failing to share the road – Subsections148 (1), , (4),(5), (6) & (7) of the H.T.A
- Backing up on a highway – Subsection 157 (1) of the H.T.A.
- Unnecessary slow driving – Section 132 of the H.T.A.
- Failure to lower headlamp beams – Section 168 of the H.T.A.
- Improper opening of a vehicle door – Section 165 of the H.T.A.
- Towing people – on toboggans, bicycles, ski’s, skate boards, rollerblades, etc. prohibited- Section 160 of the H.T.A.
On September 30, 2007 the Provincial Government brought in the “ Safer Roads to a Safer Ontario Act“>, Bill “203”.
This legislation amends the Highway Traffic Act and imposes tougher penalities on those who commit dangerous acts on the roads in Ontario.
Since this law has come into effect, the Ontario Provincial Police estimate that someone is charged every hour in the Province of Ontario, under this Act. The Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner suggested that motorists don’t get it and cited that several individuals have been charged twice and a handful of people have been charged four times. What he didn’t say is that two of his own O.P.P officers (Constables Lloyd Tap and Michael Deyell) were charged driving on highways near Peterborough, Ontario but not treated the same as other civilian motorists that were charged. Example: Street Racing:: Prior to Sept. 30/07 the minimum fine for street racing was $200 and the maximum fine was $ 1000 or 6 months in jail or a combination of the two, with a suspension of the driver’s licence for a maximum of 2 years. Under this new Act, the fine for racing has been multiplied by 10 – the minimum fine is $ 2000.00, up to a maximum fine of $ 10.000.00. The Suspension of the Driver’s Licence has increased to a maximum of 2 years for the first offence and a maximum of 10 years for another racing conviction. In addition, there will be a 7 days administrative driver’s licence suspension and vehicle impoundment. The driver’s licence suspensions will apply to all driver’s, not only to people with valid Ontario Licences.
Bill 203 has been enacted as Chapter 13 of the Statutes of Ontario, 2007. The Bill amends the Highway Traffic Act and the Remedies for Organized Crime and Other Unlawful Activities Act, 2001 and makes consequential amendments to several other Acts.
Example of some of the new language introduced under Bill 203 “Safer Roads to a Safer Ontario Act“:
Currently, section 48 provides for a 12-hour administrative driver’s licence suspension for drivers whose blood alcohol concentration exceeds .05. The licence suspension period isincreased to three days for a first suspension under this section, seven days for a second suspension and 30 days for a subsequent suspension. Amendments are made to sections 48.1, 48.2 and 48.3 to parallel some of the wording changes in section 48.
Section 172 prohibits street racing. The current penalty for street racing is a $200 minimum and $1,000 maximum fine or six months imprisonment, or both a fine and imprisonment, and a maximum driver’s licence suspension of two years. The fine is increased to a $2,000 minimum and $10,000 maximum. The driver’s licence suspension is increased to a maximum of two years for a first offence and a maximum of 10 years for a subsequent offence. In addition, there will be a seven-day administrative driver’s licence suspension and vehicle impoundment. The driver’s licence suspensions will apply not only to people with Ontario driver’s licences, but to drivers licensed by another jurisdiction as well. (See Reciprocal agreements between Ontario the U.S. States of New York and Michigan (see section 40 of the Highway Traffic Act), as well as the Canadian Driver Licence Compact “CDLC”).
New section 172.1 is enacted. It prohibits driving a motor vehicle equipped with a nitrous oxide fuel system except where the nitrous oxide connection is not operational. Subsection 41 (1) is amended so that a person convicted under the recently passed street racing offences in the Criminal Code (Canada) will be subject to the same automatic driver’s licence suspensions on conviction as are persons convicted of impaired driving under the Criminal Code (Canada). A consequential amendment is made to section 46. Section 214.1 is amended to provide that a person who is convicted of street racing in a community safety zone is subject to the same increased licence suspensions as would be imposed under section 172. Currently, the maximum licence suspension under section 214.1 is two years.
Demerit Points and Probationary/New Drivers:
As a Class G1, G2, M1 or M2 driver, if you get two (2) or more demerit points, you will be sent a warning letter.
- At six (6) points, you may have to go to an interview to discuss your driving record and provide reasons why your licence should not be suspended. It you don’t attend, your licence may be suspended.
- At nine (9) points, your licence will be suspended for 60 days from the date you surrender it to the Ministry of Transportation. You can lose your licence for up to two years if you fail to surrender your licence. A driver’s licence may be surrendered at any Driver & Vehicle Issuing Officer, Ministry of Transportation Queen’s Park Driver and Vehicle Issuing Officer, or mailed (through Canada Post – Registered Mail – cost of first class Canadian stamp=.54C + $7.50 Registration Fee + 5% GST – Total= $8.44 ) to:
Ministry of Transportation
Driver Improvement Office
Building “A”, Main Floor
2680 Keele Street
After the suspension, the number of points on your driving record will be reduced to four (4). Any additional points could again bring you to the interview level. If you reach nine (9) points for the second time, your licence can be suspended for six (6) months from the date that you surrender your licence to the Ministry of Transportation.
Demerit Points and Fully Licensed Drivers:
As a fully licensed driver, if you get six (6) demerit points, you will be sent a warning letter.
At nine (9) points, you may have to go to an interview to discuss your driving record and provide reasons why your licence should not be suspended. It you don’t attend, your licence may be suspended.
At fifteen (15) or more points, your licence will be suspended for thirty (30) days from the date you surrender your licence to the Ministry of Transportation for the first suspension. You can lose your licence for up to two (2) years if you fail to surrender your licence. A driver’s licence may be surrended at any Driver & Vehicle Licence Issuing Office, Ministry of Transportation Queen’s Park Driver and Vehicle Licence Issuing Office, or mailed (through Canada Post – Registered Mail – cost of first class Canadian stamp=.54C + $7.50 Registration Fee + 5% GST – Total= $8.44 ) to:
Ministry of Transportation
Driver Improvement Office
Building “A”, Main Floor
2680 Keele Street
After the suspension, you may be required to complete a driver re-examination (vision, knowledge and road tests), the number of points on your driving record will be reduced to seven (7). Any extra points could again, bring you to the interview level. If you reach fifteen (15) points again, your licence will be suspended for six (6) months.
Demerit Points for Out-of-Province Convictions:
Drivers convicted of a driving related offence in the State of New York or State of Michigan or any province or territory, will have home jurisdiction penalties such as demerit points and/or suspensions applied to their Ontario driver record as if the offence occurred in Ontario. See Ontario Highway Traffic Act– PART IV LICENCES, Driver, Driving Instructor, Section 40 (1) -Agreements with U.S. States- Reciprocal Agreements. See Reciprocal Agreements within Canada and with the United States of America States page, within this site. See the Reciprocal Agreement page on this site for further detailed explanations.
Examples of out-of-province convictions, where Ontario demerit points and/or suspensions will be applied include:
- Fail to obey stop sign
- Fail to obey signal light
- Fail to stop for school bus
- Fail to remain or return to scene of collision
- Careless driving
- Motor manslaughter
- Criminal negligence
- Dangerous driving
- Failure to remain at scene of a collision
- Impaired driving
- Driving while disqualified or prohibited
The Ontario Registrar of Motor Vehicles is required to keep these records under Section 205 (1) of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act and may use them for the purposes of administering the Ministry’s Demerit Point System. Inquiries should be directed to:
Licensing Administration Office
Ministry of Transportation
Main Floor, Building “A”, 2680 Keele Street
Toll free 1-800-387-3445
If I have my Ontario Driver’s Licence and I am going to move within Ontario, how long do I have to contact the Ministry of Transportation to inform them of my new residential address?
- Within six (6) days of your address being changed, you must contact the Ministry of Transportation and inform them of your new residential address (Post Office Boxes will not be accepted, as they are not residential addresses). You can go to an MTO office near you and do it in person; you can do this over the internet or you can inform them via Canada Post (Registered Mail – cost of first class Canadian stamp=.59C + $8.10 Registration Fee + 13% HST – Total= $9.82 ). This applies to drivers and vehicle/plate owners. This is the law (see the Ontario Highway Traffic Act – PART II) PERMITS – subsection 9 (2) .
- There is no charge for a change of address and no new picture is required for an address change.
- You can change your address online – to identify yourself, the Ministry will need your driver’s licence number or Registrant Identification Number (RIN), as well as your full name and address (as it appears on your driver’s licence or vehicle permit). Only you can change your address, not someone else on your behalf. See ServiceOntario online change of address service
- After notifying the Ministry of your change of address, it will take between 4-6 weeks to receive your new licence (with the amended address) as your new residential address.
- It is suggested that you go to any Canada Post retail outlet and submit a change of address with them and notify family, friends, and companies who send you materials and bills, of your new residential address.
- To change your address for the Ministry of Transportation and/or other Ministries (ie Ministry of Natural Resources (Outdoors Card) or Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (Health Card) or to all the Ministries at the same time, go to the ServiceOntario website and look in the top right hand corner under Services and Forms: and you’ll see “Change your home address”, press that and your done.
Visiting or Moving to Ontario?
If you are a visitor to Ontario and want to drive while you are here, you must be at least sixteen (16) years old and have a valid driver’s licence from your own province, state or country. If you are from another country and are visiting Ontario for more than three (3) months, you need an International Driver’s Permit from your own country or you may have to apply for an Ontario driver’s licence, depending on your length of stay. You should also ensure your automobile insurance coverage is sufficient, and that you carry the original or a true copy of the vehicle registration or Certificate of Title for your vehicle.
If you are a new resident in Ontario and have a valid driver’s licence from another province, state or country, you can use it for up to sixty (60) days after you move to Ontario. If you want to keep driving in Ontario, you must get an Ontario driver’s licence. You must use your Ontario licence when you are issued one. New Ontario residents have thirty (30) days before they have to register their vehicles and get Ontario licence plates and a vehicle permit.