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Suspended Licences In Ontario

A driver’s licence is almost a necessity in today’s modern world.  Your licence could be an integral part of your employment if you are a taxi or transport truck driver.  Your licence could simply be how you get to work, buy groceries, get to medical appointments, or visit friends and family.  Think for a moment:  how long would it take you to walk to work each morning from your house?  For most people, the reality of no longer being able to drive a vehicle would be devastating.  Let’s take a look at how people can lose their licence and the consequences of driving on a suspended licence.

DRIVER’S LICENCE

In Ontario, driver’s licences are controlled by the Ministry of Transportation.  The MTO takes care of granting new licences, upgrading the class of a driver’s licence, keeping track of demerit points and CVOR points due to convictions, as well as managing the status of whether a licence is valid or suspended.  

There are numerous ways that a licence could get suspended, let’s take a look at a few of the most common causes…

DEMERIT POINTS

When the court registers a conviction against you, the MTO is notified and a record of conviction is entered into your driving history.  Along with that record of conviction will come a demerit point penalty that can range from 0 to 7 demerit points.  Different classes of licence allow you various amounts of demerit pointsuntil you are issued a warning letter, are required to attend an MTO interview, or have your licence suspended.

The consequences of demerit points for a full licence are as follows:

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.”

The consequences of demerit points for a novice driver (ie.  G1 or G2) are as follows:

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.”

COURT ORDERED

A conviction for an offence at court can result in a suspension of your licence.  Some licence suspensions are mandatory upon conviction, while other suspensions may be at the discretion of the court.  A court ordered suspension due to a conviction may be for a fixed period of time, whereas others may have a range of time that the licence may be suspended at the court’s discretion.  For instance, a conviction for Drive Under Suspension carries a mandatory, fixed 6 month suspension.  Where as a conviction for Stunt Driving can result in a licence suspension up to a two years on a first offence or up to 10 years on a subsequent offence at the court’s discretion. 

UNPAID FINE

When a conviction for an offence at court occurs, the court sets a due date for that fine to be paid.  If that fine is not paid by the deadline, the court updates the MTO and the MTO then suspends the defendant’s driver’s licence until the fine is paid.

ESCALATED SANCTIONS

Escalated sanctions are a set of additional penalties that are applied against novice drivers under certain conditions such as a conviction for Drive With Handheld Communication Device (cell phone) or any offence carrying 4 or more demerit points.  The consequences of escalated sanctions are 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.”

FAMILY RESPONSIBILITY OFFICE (FRO)

Failure to meet court ordered responsibilities such as child support payments can result in a driver’s licence suspension from FRO.  Until an agreement has been met with the Family Responsibility Office to address those issues, the driver’s licence can remain suspended.

MEDICAL SUSPENSION

Medical suspensions can be a tricky basis for a licence suspension.  The could come from a family doctor during a regular check up or they could happen after a collision where an underlying medical condition may be suspected as the cause.  These suspensions can take years to be removed and may involve both medical professionals and the MTO in clearing you to drive again.

DRIVING UNDER SUSPENSION

If your licence is suspended it is important that you do not continue driving.  The consequences of a conviction for doing so are as follows under section 53 of the Highway Traffic Act:

“(a) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $5,000; and

(b) for each subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $2,000 and not more than $5,000,

or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both. “

If your licence was suspended under one of the conditions listed in section 41 or 42 of the HTA, you can face even greater penalties:

“(a) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $5,000 and not more than $25,000; and

(b) for each subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $10,000 and not more than $50,000,

or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both.  1997, c. 12, s. 7 (2).”

Either type of conviction would also result in a mandatory 6 month further suspension of licence.  It is also important to be aware that the listed fines also incur a 25% victim fine surcharge that you will have to pay.

IF YOU ARE CHARGED

If you are charged for driving under suspension, it is important that you protect your legal interests.  Outside of the court penalties and licencing consequences, a conviction for driving under suspension can have a large impact on your insurance rate or ability to be insured. 

OTD Legal Services provides a no cost, no obligation consultation and can help by providing the basic information that you will need to know in making an informed decision on how deal with a charge from the police.  Most consultations can be completed in as little as 5 to 10 minutes and can help avoid serious legal missteps that could result in a loss of ability to drive and large court penalties.  If you have been charged by the police, our staff can assist you by email at info@otdlegal.ca or via our toll-free number 1-844-647-6869.

Posted under Suspended Licence, Traffic Ticket Defence

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