Ontario's Demerit Points System
In Ontario (as well as other jurisdictions in Canada and the United States), when you are convicted of a traffic offence, you accumulate points called “Demerit Points”. You start with zero as a default and as your points increase, you risk facing sanctions such as the suspension of your driver’s licence.
Courts have no control over how many demerit points are issued against a driver. The system is administered independently by the Ministry of Transportation Ontario (MTO) based on your driving record. Therefore, a Justice of the Peace, when sentencing a driver for a traffic offence cannot reduce or increase points. Points are issued by the MTO based on a set list of offences with corresponding point values. If you are convicted of an offence on the list, you will be issued the set amount of points. The list is included below.
You may also accumulate demerit points against your Ontario Driver’s Licence for convictions received in other provinces, and in United States jurisdictions such as New York and Michigan (more on these jurisdictions below).
Demerit Points remain on your record for a period of 2 years after the date of your offence.
Demerit Point Offences: Ontario
Backing on Highway
Failing to Share Road
Improper Right or Left Turn
Failing to Signal
Unnecessary Slow Driving
Failing to Lower Headlamp Beam
Towing of Persons on Bike, Skis, Etc.
Driver- Fail to Properly Wear Seat Belt
Driving While Passenger Under 16 Not Wearing Seat Belt
Driving While Infant or Toddler Insecure
Fail to Leave 1 m Passing Bicycle
Speeding 16-29 km/h Over
Fail to Yield Right of Way
Disobey Stop Sign
Disobey Lane Light
Disobey Rail Signal
Driving Around/Under Rail Barrier
Failing to Obey Directions of Police Officer
Driving on Closed Highway
Fail to Report Accident
Improper Use of Lanes on Highway
Driving Wrong Way
Crowding Driver Seat
Cross Divided Highway
Drive Wrong Way on One Way
Failing to Stop for Emergency Vehicle
Fail to Slow/Move Over When Passing Stopped Emergency Vehicle/ Tow Truck
Vehicle Using Speed Measuring Warning Device (Radar Detector)
Improper Use of HOV Lane
Failing to Obey Stop or Slow Control Sign
Driving with Display Screen Visible to Driver (6 points if convicted a second time within 5 years)
Drive Holding/Using Handheld Communication Device (6 points if convicted a second time within 5 years)
Speeding 30-49 Km/Hr Over Limit
Fail to Obey School Crossing Stop Sign
Fail to Obey Pedestrian Crossover
Following Too Closely
Failing to Yield to Pedestrian
Driver of Bus Fail to Stop at Rail Crossing
Speeding more than 49 Km/Hr Over
Fail to Stop for School Bus
Driving with Display Screen Visible to Driver (on second conviction for same offence within 5 years)
Drive Holding/Using Handheld Communication Device (on second conviction for same offence within 5 years)
Failing to Stop at the Scene of an Accident
Failing to Stop when Signaled by Police
Demerit Points: Outside Ontario
The following offences will accumulate demerit points, the same as if the offence was committed in Ontario:
Disobey Stop Sign
Disobey Signal Light
Fail to Stop for a School Bus
Fail to Remain at an Accident
Demerit Point Sanctions (G class or higher)
As you can see, it can take as little as 2 convictions to have your licence suspended under the demerit point system.
2 to 8 points results in a warning letter from the MTO.
9 to 14 points could result in a licence suspension and you may need to attend an interview with the MTO concerning your driving. The cost of an interview is $50.00 and if you fail to attend, your licence could be suspended.
15 or more points will result in the suspension of your driver’s licence for 30 days. You then must pay a reinstatement fee upon completion of your suspension before your licence can be reactivated.
Demerit Point Sanctions: Novice Driver
As a Novice Driver (G1 G2, M1-L, M1, M2) you may be suspended after your first serious conviction. In addition to Demerit Points, Novice Drivers are also subject to a second system of sanctions called the “Escalating Penalties System” for breaking certain rules. See the Novice Drivers section for more details.
2 to 5 points results in a warning letter from the MTO.
6 to 8 points could result in the suspension of your licence. You may also have to attend an interview with the MTO. The cost of the interview is $50.00 and failure to attend may result in suspension.
After 8 points, your licence will be suspended for 60 days. You then must pay a reinstatement fee upon completion of your suspension before your licence can be reactivated.
If you are facing Demerit Points, contact Prevail Paralegal to fight your charge!
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