In Ontario, The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) regulates driver’s licences through the use of demerit points. Drivers begin with a total of zero demerit points and then gain demerit points when convicted of certain offences under the Highway Traffic Act. The most common types of driver’s licences that an Ontario driver will have is either a standard G class driver’s licence (a full, regular licence for driving basic vehicles) or a class 1 or class 2 novice licence (such as a G1, G2, M1, or M2 licence).
For a full G class licence, convictions that bring your licence into the 2 to 8 demerit point range will result in a warning letter being issued to you from the MTO. The warning letter itself bares no penalties and simply serves as information to warn regarding your current level of demerit points and the consequences should you be convicted of further offences beyond this range.
For a full G class licence that accrues demerit points into the 9 to 14 point range, a letter will be issued from the MTO providing the time and place set for a meeting between yourself and an MTO officer to discuss your licencing. At that meeting, you will be required to review your driving history and provide any reasons as to why your licence should not be suspended. At the end of that meeting your licence may be suspended, may continue without suspension, or may be placed under a condition such as any further convictions resulting in automatic suspension. If you do not attend your MTO meeting, your licence may be suspended without any supporting information having been heard in evaluating whether or not a suspension would be placed against your driver’s licence.
At 15 or greater demerit points, a full G class driver’s licence will be automatically suspended for a period of 30 days. Subsequent penalties for reaching 15 or greater demerit points as second or later time may result in a longer licence suspension or a cancelling of your licence.
Novice drivers have a smaller pool of demerit points before receiving penalties similar to those applied against full G class drivers. A novice driver who accumulates demerit points in the 2 to 5 point range will receive a warning letter as described previously. At 6 to 8 demerit points a novice driver will receive their meeting attendance letter from the MTO, and at 9 or more demerit points their licence will be suspended for 60 days.
One of the additional penalties faced by novice drivers are “escalated sanctions.” These penalties are placed against novice drivers who receive 4 or greater demerit points for a single conviction. The first time that escalated sanctions are applied, the driver’s licence will be suspended for 30 days. A second escalated sanctions penalty will result in a 90 day suspension of driver’s licence and a third penalty will result in the driver’s licence being cancelled outright.
Demerit point penalties range from 0 to 7 demerit points depending upon the seriousness of the offence. Simple offences such as failing to surrender your driver’s licence card or proof of insurance will result in a zero demerit point conviction. Although these and similar offences carry no demerit points, they do result in a record of conviction being registered against your driver’s history if you are convicted. A general overview of the current demerit point penalties listed by the MTO are:
7 DEMERIT POINTS WILL BE ADDED IF YOU ARE CONVICTED OF:
- failing to remain at the scene of a collision
- failing to stop when signaled or asked by a police officer
6 DEMERIT POINTS WILL BE ADDED IF YOU ARE CONVICTED OF:
- careless driving
- exceeding the speed limit by 50 km/hour or more
- failing to stop for a school bus
5 DEMERIT POINTS WILL BE ADDED IF YOU ARE CONVICTED OF:
- Failing to stop at an unprotected railway crossing (for bus drivers only)
4 DEMERIT POINTS WILL BE ADDED IF YOU ARE CONVICTED OF:
- exceeding the speed limit by 30 to 49 km/hour
- following too closely
3 DEMERIT POINTS WILL BE ADDED IF YOU ARE CONVICTED OF:
- exceeding the speed limit by 16 to 29 km/hour
- driving through, around or under a railway crossing barrier
- driving the wrong way on a divided road
- driving or operating a vehicle on a closed road
- failing to yield the right-of-way
- failing to obey a stop sign, traffic control stop/slow 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 slow and carefully pass a stopped emergency vehicle
- failing to move, where possible, into another lane when passing a stopped emergency vehicle
- improper passing
- improper driving when road is divided into lanes
- improper use of a high occupancy vehicle lane
- going the wrong way on a one-way road
- crossing a divided road where no proper crossing is provided
- crowding the driver’s seat
2 DEMERIT POINTS WILL BE ADDED IF YOU ARE CONVICTED OF:
- improper right turn
- improper left turn
- improper opening of a vehicle door
- prohibited turns
- towing people — on toboggans, bicycles, skis
- unnecessary slow driving
- backing on highway
- failing to lower headlamp beams
- 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 passenger is properly secured in an appropriate child restraint system or booster seat
- driver failing to ensure that a passenger less than 23 kg is properly secured
- driver failing to ensure that a passenger under 16 years is wearing a seat belt
A more detailed listing of demerit points by Highway Traffic Act section number can be found at the official MTO website. If you have been charged by the police under the Highway Traffic Act or the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act, you should know your legal rights and options by speaking with a legal representative. Our team at OTD Ticket Defenders Legal Services can generally review most cases and provide basic information about pending penalties and the court process within as little as 10 to 15 minutes. We offer a no cost, no obligation review of matters by calling our toll-free number at 1-844-647-6869, via email firstname.lastname@example.org through our website, or at any of our offices in person.