Demerit points are the provincial metric to determine how offences under the Highway Traffic Act can be applied to regulating road safety. They are used to determine insurance premiums and have a significant impact on the ability of insurers to value a driver’s ability to maintain and respect the rules of the road.
Demerit points remain on your record for two years from the date a traffic ticket is received. In Ontario, after a novice driver may accrue 8 demerit points, while a fully licensed driver may have up to 14. However, upon receiving 15 demerit points, as a fully licensed driver, or nine demerit points, as a novice driver, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation will suspend your driver’s licence for 30 days (full licence) or 60 days (novice licence) for the first demerit point violation. A second demerit point suspension will result in a six-month suspension.
Most Ontario insurance companies look at the number of convictions you have and the severity of the offence. Insurance companies also look at the number of demerit points you have. Others use a combination of (number of convictions, severity of offence, number of demerit points). For an Ontario driver, even a minor $65 traffic ticket can produce an annual increase of $300 or more that will last at least five years. In other words, your minor $65 traffic ticket will end up costing you $1,500.
The following chart shows what the likely insurance impact will be based on the number and type of convictions.
|Insurance Increase by Conviction|
|# of Convictions||Minor||Major||Serious|
|Each additional conviction||15%||25%||100%|
|Any traffic convictions related to the operation of a vehicle, other than those listed as Major or Serious. It can be under an Act governing highway traffic, the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act or a similar offence committed within or outside Canada. See below…||Any of the following traffic convictions under an Act governing highway traffic, the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act or a similar offence committed within or outside Canada…||Any of the following traffic convictions under an Act governing highway traffic, the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act, a similar offence committed within or outside Canada, or any convictions which appear on a Driver Record Abstract identified as Criminal Code convictions…|
Motor vehicle convictions stay on your Ministry of Transportation driving record for three years, demerit points for two years. Insurance companies keep this information usually for five years. Law enforcement can see your complete driving record and criminal history including every conviction going back to the day you were born. So expect to pay higher insurance for at least five years. The clock starts ticking from the day you are convicted, not the day you were charged. Your insurance will increase when you renew your policy.
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