FREE CONSULTATION

Complimentary, No Obligation

Any information provided is confidential and is used solely to assist you.

Upload Ticket Here:

How Do Demerit Points Work in Ontario?

Demerit points are important to every Ontario driver, but how do they work?  How many demerit points can you get before getting into trouble with the MTO?  Are the consequences for demerit points different depending on your class of licence?  How are commercial motor vehicle drivers like transport truck drivers effected by demerit points?  Without a valid driver’s licence the modern Ontarian will face serious difficulties with their day-to-day lives.  How will you get to work, medical appointments, grocery shopping, or get the kids to school?  If your job requires you to drive,, will you be fired?  If so, will you be prevented from finding new employment?

Let’s take a look!

How Do Demerit Points Work In Ontario?

 If you pay a fine at court, enter a plea of guilt, or are convicted of an offence at court, that record of conviction is sent to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO).  When that record of conviction is placed into your driving history, the MTO will also apply any demerit points that are associated with the offence(s) of which you were convicted. 

Demerit point penalties can range anywhere from 0 demerit points for very minor offences, all the way up to 7 demerit points for the most serious offences.  New drivers with a clean record start out with 0 demerit points.  As demerit points are accumulated, they are added together.  Demerit points are added together if they occur within two years of their original offence dates.  

As you accumulate demerit points, the MTO may:

  • Issue a warning letter
  • Require you to attend an MTO interview where your licence may be suspended
  • Suspend your licence without an interview

How Do Demerit Points Work For A Full G Licence?

 The MTO lists the following driver’s licence interventions based on demerit points accumulated:

2 to 8 points:
You will be sent a warning letter.

9 to 14 points:
Your licence could be suspended. You may have to attend an interview to discuss your driving record. At this meeting, you will need to provide reasons why your licence should not be suspended.

If you have to attend an interview, you will get a letter (Notice of Interview) to notify you of the time, date and location of the meeting. If you do not attend, your licence could be suspended.

The fee for a demerit point interview is $50 and must be paid in person at any ServiceOntario Centre. You can pay the fee when you receive the Notice of Interview or within 10 business days of attending the interview. Failure to pay the interview fee will result in the cancellation of your driver’s licence.

15+ points:
Your licence will be suspended for 30 days.

When your licence is suspended, you will get a letter from the Ministry of Transportation. It will tell you the date your suspension takes effect and that you need to surrender your licence.

If you do not surrender your licence, you can lose your licence for up to two years.

How Do Demerit Points Work For Novice driver Licences?

The MTO lists the following driver’s licence interventions based on demerit points accumulated for novice drivers (G1, G2, M1, M2, M1-L or M2-L licences):

2 to 5 points:
You will be sent a warning letter.

6 to 8 points:
Your licence could be suspended. You may have to attend an interview to discuss your driving record. At this meeting, you will need to provide reasons why your licence should not be suspended.

If you have to attend an interview, you will get a letter (Notice of Interview) to notify you of the time, date and location of the meeting. If you do not attend, your licence could be suspended.

The fee for a demerit point interview is $50 and must be paid in person at any ServiceOntario Centre. You can pay the fee when you receive the Notice of Interview or within 10 business days of attending the interview. Failure to pay the interview fee will result in the cancellation of your driver’s licence.

9 or more points:
Your licence will be suspended for 60 days.

When your licence is suspended, you will get a letter from the Ministry of Transportation. It will tell you the date your suspension takes effect and that you need to surrender your licence.

If you do not surrender your licence, you can lose your licence for up to two years.

 What Happens if I am Convicted of an Offence Outside of Ontario?

You can receive a record of conviction and demerit points if you are convicted of an offence in: 

  • other Canadian provinces and territories
  • the State of New York
  • the State of Michigan

Examples of offences from outside Ontario that incur demerit points in Ontario include:

  • speeding
  • failure to obey a stop sign
  • failure to obey a signal light
  • failure to stop for a school bus
  • racing
  • failing to remain at or return to the scene of an collision
  • careless driving

Criminal offences from outside Ontario that can result in a suspension of your Ontario driver’s licence include:

  • vehicular manslaughter
  • criminal negligence
  • dangerous driving
  • failure to remain at the scene of a collision
  • impaired driving
  • driving while disqualified or prohibited

 How Many Demerit Points Are There For A Traffic Ticket Offence?

A full and complete listing of demerit points can be found under Ontario Regulation 333/94.  Some of the most common offences and their demerit points are:

7 Demerit Points

  • failing to remain at the scene of a collision
  • failing to stop when signaled or asked by a police officer

6 Demerit Points

  • careless driving
  • stunt driving / racing
  • exceeding the speed limit by 50 km/hour or more
  • failing to stop for a school bus

5 Demerit Points

  • failing to stop at an unprotected railway crossing (for bus drivers only)

4 Demerit Points

  • exceeding the speed limit by 30 to 49 km/hour
  • following too closely

3 Demerit Points

  • driving while holding or using a hand-held wireless communications or entertainment device 
  • driving while viewing a display screen unrelated to the driving task
  • 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 or a tow truck with its amber lights flashing
  • failing to move, where possible, into another lane when passing a stopped emergency vehicle or a tow truck with its amber lights flashing
  • 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

  • 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

What Are Escalated Sanctions For Novice Drivers?

Novice drivers (G1, G2, M1, M2, M1-L or M2-L) have to be especially careful of their driver’s licence.  Not only do they have a smaller pool of demerit points than a fully licenced driver and experience consequences to their licence much faster, but they are also subject to escalated sanctions penalties.  These are additional penalties applied under the following circumstances:

  • convicted of breaking graduated licensing rules
  • convicted of a Highway Traffic Act that has been designated by law to trigger escalated sanctions penalties
  • convicted of a Highway Traffic Act offence that results in four or more demerit points (e.g., street racing, careless driving)
  • subject to a court-ordered suspension for a Highway Traffic Act offence that would have otherwise resulted in four or more demerit points

The exact penalty that is applied against the novice driver is determined as follows:

  • For a first offence: your driver’s licence is suspended for 30 days.
  • For a second offence: your driver’s licence is suspended for 90 days.
  • For a third offence: you will lose your novice licence.  You will need to re-apply for your licence and start all over, taking all tests and paying all fees. You will also lose any time discount you earned, any time you were credited, and any fees you have paid.

 Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers And Demerit Points

Transport truck drivers and other commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers have to be exceptionally careful about their driving record.  A single conviction for a serious offence or multiple minor offences can result in being terminated by their current employer.  That driving record will also impact whether or not they can find employment with a new employer.  Being suspended or unemployable means no longer being able to earn an income.

Transport truck drivers convicted of an offence face the normal consequences that a regular driver would such as:

  • Record of conviction
  • Demerit points
  • Increased insurance costs
  • MTO warning letter, interview, or licence suspension

However, they also potentially face a CVOR record of conviction and CVOR points.  To understand CVOR points and how they work, read our recent article:  Ontario Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers.

How Can I Avoid Demerit Points from My Traffic Ticket?

if you have been charged by the police with a traffic ticket, the first important step is to know what penalties you are facing.  If you pay your ticket unaware of the licencing and insurance consequences, you will have fewer (if any) legal options to try and correct that mistake.  All of your legal options are open to you immediately after receiving your ticket or summons.  Our friendly staff can help navigate you what penalties you are facing and what legal options are available. 

Generally, most cases can at least be negotiated at court to reduce the number of charges, the nature of the charges, or the penalties applied by the court.  Where possible, your paralegal will also be able to determine whether any legal argument is present to simply have your charge(s) thrown out completely.  While most people find the thought of attending court to be stressful, the vast majority of cases can be resolved by our staff without ever requiring you to attend court.  Put an experienced and licenced paralegal in the court room who knows the law and the court process.  

Our friendly staff are here to help you.  We offer a no-cost, no-obligation initial consultation to go through your case history and details, as well as provide you with basic information.  We can be reached via our toll-free number 1-844-647-6869, by email at info@otdlegal.ca, or by text at 226-240-2480.  You can also submit an online consultation request any time of day or night and one of our staff will contact you during regular business hours to assist you.

Posted under Careless Driving, CVOR Points, Demerit Points, Distracted Driving, Professional Truck Drivers, Seat Belts, Speeding, Stunt Driving, Suspended Licence, Traffic Ticket Defence

Previous Post:

Next Post: