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Notice of Driver’s Licence Suspension – What You Need To Know!

Notice of Driver’s Licence Suspension – What You Need To Know!


In our latest “Your Questions Answered” we will be covering what you need to know if you receive a “Notice of Suspension” in your mail. If not discovered quickly or addressed properly, it can turn an unfortunate situation into a long administrative battle. Let’s look at an example one of our visitors went through. 




I got a speeding ticket last fall in September. I paid the ticket but then got this letter in mail. It says my licence will be suspended for 90 days. I waited the 90 days and went to drive once I thought I could but then got pulled over and told my licence is suspended. I went to Service Ontario and they said I have to surrender my licence and took it. Can they do that?


Great Question!


What are escalating sanctions?


You received a ticket that triggered what is called “Escalating Sanctions”. These are administrative penalties imposed on “novice drivers” when they accumulate four or more demerit points on a single charge, or they are convicted of a charge like “Drive – Handheld Communication Device” for example. If you are convicted of or simply pay a ticket that triggers escalating sanction to apply. 


What are the penalties for escalating sanctions for novice drivers?


The penalties increase for each time you receive an “escalating sanction” on your record.For your first offence; 30 day licence suspension. For your second offence; 90 day licence suspension. For your third offence, you return to the G1 licence class and must restart your path to a full G licence.


What to do when receiving a “Notice of Suspension”?


Once the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is notified of any conviction that triggers escalating sanctions, you will receive a letter typically within 7 days advising you of the penalties being imposed. When it is a “Notice of Suspension”, the document will outline a “start” date for the suspension to begin. The document outlines other details such as the law outlining your suspension and various warnings against driving while under suspension. Most individuals receive this letter as a result of an already unfortunate situation, they read the “Your licence is suspended for X amount of days..” and they accept that their licence is now suspended. But there is something very important they need to read in this document.


What are my obligations when I get a “Notice of Suspension”?


One of the biggest mistakes you can make when receiving a “Notice of Suspension” is to not understand YOUR obligations. Most individuals do not read past the line stating the licence is suspended and they simply mark the date on their calendar they can drive again. This is a bad mistake to make. 


Your licence will be suspended on the date outlined in the letter. However, it is very important to know that the extent of your suspension is dependent on when you surrender your licence to the MTO, not the date the suspension starts! This means that a 30-day suspension could turn into months or even years! This is because the 30 day suspension does not start until the driver physically returns or hands over their driver’s licence to the MTO. 


What happens if I drive under a suspended licence?

This is a serious charge and one that will order you to attend court. For your first offence, you will receive a fine of $1000-$2000 and an additional 6 month mandatory driver licence suspension. If you continue to receive convictions for driving under a suspended licence, the prosecution will typically start seeking imprisonment. Under the Highway Traffic Act, you can be imprisoned for up to 6 months for driving while suspended. 


What to do if I am charged?

If you are charged by the police, it is important to immediately seek out the information that you will need to make important legal decisions. Being unaware of the law or the court process can result in legal missteps that can result in a conviction and penalties that will impact your life for years to come. Obtaining legal representation puts a licensed, knowledgeable, and experienced paralegal in the courtroom on your behalf to protect your interests in reducing or eliminating the consequences of a possible conviction. If you have been charged by the police, our team is here to help you. OTD Ticket Defenders Legal Services provides a no-cost, no-commitment initial consultation to assist you. Our friendly staff can be reached via the toll-free number 1-866-986-1376, by email at, or by text at 226-240-2480. You can also request a consultation online and one of our staff will contact you directly to assist you.

Posted under Demerit Points, Novice Drivers

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