About Demerit Points
The goal of the demerit point system is to suspend and penalize the licences of drivers, who continually violate the rules of the Ontario roadways.
How Demerit Points Work
Demerit points are accumulated, you don’t “lose” demerit points on your driving record. Drivers start with zero (0) points and gain points for paying or being convicted of moving violation traffic tickets and laws.
Where a driver accumulates too many demerit points versus their class of licence the Ministry of Transport (MTO) will suspend the drivers licence.
You can also get demerit points on your Ontario’s driver’s licence when you violate driving laws in:
- other Canadian provinces and territories
- the State of New York
- the State of Michigan
Any demerit points that a driver accumulates stays on the driving record for two (2) years from the date the traffic ticket was received.
Demerit Point Penalties
The consequences for gaining demerit points depend your class of drivers licence. As a driver with a full or class G licence, if you have:
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.
- Your licence will be suspended for 30 days.
Where your drivers 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
- any time period starts after the licence is surrendered
- the reinstatement fee is two hundred and eighty one (281) dollars
If you do not surrender your licence, you can lose your licence for up to two years. Any drivers licence suspension will dramatically affect insurance rates and insurance companies may even cancel the policy.
Classes of Drivers Licences
The Ontario Ministry of Transportation has fifteen (15) different classes of licences from learner or novice drivers to commercial trucking licences. Demerit points apply to all classes of drivers licences with learner Class G1 and Class G2 drivers licences being the most strict.
The Ministry of Transportation’s original goal was to penalize bad drivers or drivers who repeatedly disobeyed the rules of the road through a points system whereupon the accumulation would result in the suspension of driving privileges.
The Province of Ontario considers the ability to drive a motor vehicle on the roadways a privilege and not a right.
Why Demerit Points
The goal of the Ontario demerit points has been diluted over the years by the Provincial Court System. The court system allows drivers who appear in court to have the points reduced or removed by pleading guilty to a reduced charges. e.g. pay the fine and we will take the points off.
Those drivers who pay traffic tickets without appearing in court subsequently receive demerit points, where if the driver fights the traffic ticket they can usually either save, reduce the points or have the ticket dismissed completely.
Upon accumulating nine demerit points you may have to go to an interview to discuss your record and give reasons why your licence should not be suspended. You may also have to complete a driver re-examination. If you fail this test, your licence can be cancelled. If you fail to attend an interview, or fail to give good reasons for keeping your licence, your licence may be suspended.
Demerit Point Limits for Drivers
- Class G1 or G2 Drivers – Traffic ticket with four (4) or more demerit points – thirty (30) day suspension
- Class G1 or G2 Drivers – Accumulation of six or more demerit points – thirty (30) day suspension
- Class G or any other class of driver licence – Accumulation of nine or more points – Ministry Interview
- Class G or any other class of driver licence – Accumulation of fifteen (15) demerit points – thirty (30) day suspension
As well any traffic ticket or a licence suspension can affect insurance rates.
When Demerit Points Appear on the Licence
Points are added to the driver’s licence only after the driver has been convicted of the traffic ticket, or the driver pays the ticket. Drivers can reduce the amount of time demerits are on the driving record by applying for a trial date.
Points do not go on the driver record until the court date, which maybe three (3) to twelve (12) months from the offence date, depending upon the court. Demerits are kept on the driving record or driving abstract for two (2) years from the date the driver received the ticket, but the demerit points only go on the driving record upon conviction or payment.
The conviction or sometimes called a “line on your abstract” for the traffic ticket goes on the driving record for 3 years from the court date, or 3 years from the date the ticket was paid. Class G drivers licence holders are allowed to accumulated a total of 15 demerits.