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DRIVING WITHOUT INSURANCE TICKET

In Ontario, vehicles are required to be insured by their owners before being driven. “Operate Motor Vehicle – No Insurance” falls under Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act (CAIA) section 2(1)(a). Automobile insurance protects both the driver as well as anyone else impacted by their driving due to property damage, injury, or death. Not only could failing to have proper insurance result in devastating financial hardship should you be sued in the event of an accident, it could also lead to being charged by the police and the facing severe court penalties.
WHAT IS “OPERATE MOTOR VEHICLE – NO INSURANCE?”
Operating a motor vehicle without insurance falls under section 2(1)(a) of the CAIA: “2 (1) Subject to the regulations, no owner or lessee of a motor vehicle shall,
  1. operate the motor vehicle; or
  2. cause or permit the motor vehicle to be operated,
on a highway unless the motor vehicle is insured under a contract of automobile insurance.” Section 2(1)(a) alleges that the owner or lessee of the vehicle has driven without proper insurance coverage. Whereas section 2(1)(b) alleges that the owner or lessee of the uninsured vehicle permitted the vehicle to be driven by another person.
DEFINITIONS:
“automobile insurance” means insurance against liability arising out of bodily injury to or the death of a person or loss of or damage to property caused by a motor vehicle or the use or operation thereof, and which,
  1. insures at least to the limit required by section 251 of the Insurance Act,
  2. provides the statutory accident benefits set out in the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule under the Insurance Act, and
  3. provides the benefits prescribed under section 265 of the Insurance Act; (“assurance-automobile”)
“Contract of automobile insurance” is defined as a contract of automobile insurance made with an insurer. “motor vehicle” has the same meaning as in the Highway Traffic Act and includes trailers and accessories and equipment of a motor vehicle
The owner of a non-insured vehicle can also be charged with providing false evidence of insurance to the police under CAIA s.2(3)(b): “surrenders an insurance card for inspection to a police officer, when requested to do so, purporting to show that the motor vehicle is insured under a contract of automobile insurance when the motor vehicle is not so insured” If the driver of a motor vehicle simply does not provide their proof of insurance to the police when requested to do so, they may be charged under CAIA s.3(1): “3 (1) An operator of a motor vehicle on a highway shall have in the motor vehicle at all times,
  1. an insurance card for the motor vehicle; or
  2. an insurance card evidencing that the operator is insured under a contract of automobile insurance,
and the operator shall surrender the insurance card for reasonable inspection upon the demand of a police officer. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.25, s. 3 (1).” These four sections of insurance related charges are generally referred to as:
  • 2(1)(a) Owner Operate Motor Vehicle – No Insurance
  • 2(1)(b) Permit Operate Motor Vehicle – No Insurance
  • 2(3)(b) Produce False Proof of Insurance
  • 3(1) Fail to Surrender insurance Car
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR DRIVING WITHOUT INSURANCE?
Generally, a court conviction will have three areas of penalties:
  • Court penalties
  • MTO penalties
  • Impact to insurance
The court penalties for driving without insurance, permitting a person to drive a motor vehicle without insurance, or providing false proof of insurance are defined under CAIA s.2(3): “is guilty of an offence and is liable on a first conviction to a fine of not less than $5,000 and not more than $25,000 and on a subsequent conviction to a fine of not less than $10,000 and not more than $50,000 and, in addition, his or her driver’s licence may be suspended for a period of not more than one year. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.25, s. 2 (3); 1996, c. 21, s. 50 (4); 2002, c. 22, s. 33.” It is important to note that the fines listed are also subject to a 25% victim fine surcharge. As such, the penalties for a first or subsequent conviction would be:
Offence Total Payable Fine Suspension
First $6,250 to $31,250 Up to 1 year
Subsequent $12,500 to $62,500 Up to 1 year
Being found guilty would also result in a record of conviction being entered against your driving history. A conviction under one of the subsections of CAIA s.2 may result in being cancelled from standard insurance coverage and being forced to seek out a high-risk insurance policy. For many Ontario drivers the cost of high-risk insurance may simply be unaffordable leading to a much longer period of being unable to legally drive. The much lesser offence of Fail to Surrender insurance card would carry a total-payable fine of $65 and generally have a comparably minor impact to insurance.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I’M CHARGED?
Being charged for driving without insurance is very serious. The consequences of a conviction are enormous. 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 licenced, knowledgeable, and experience 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 1-844-647-6869, by email at info@otdlegal.ca, 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.