Demerit Points Ontario Explained

Demerit Points System Ontario

Some think that it’s very difficult to understand Ontario driving points, right? In this article, we promise you to ensure a full understanding of this system. 

Because no matter how good a driver you are, you always have a chance to be caught by police for various driving violations… And in this case (frankly, not only in this case) it’s essential to understand the consequences and the mechanism of the demerit system Ontario. 

And our mission, as Ontario traffic ticket fighters, to enlighten all the aspects of this matter.

How The System Works and Applies Demerit Points

Demerit points system is a point system in Ontario implemented by the Ministry of Transportation, and is designed to penalize drivers for not following the driving rules on the roads in Ontario. 

From the beginning, every driver has 0 (zero) points. But once he/she breaks some driving laws, demerit points will be added to their driving licence, which remain on the driving record for 2 years from the date of the conviction. 

Each traffic offence brings a certain number of Ontario driving demerit points. If you collect too many points, you may lose your licence. Rules of its accumulation vary depending on the licence class (novice driver or full licenced driver). 

Also, it is worth mentioning that you still can get points on your Ontario driving licence if you violate driving laws in other provinces and territories of Canada, in the State of New York or in the State of Michigan. 

Possible fines and demerit points Ontario for each conviction are specified in the Highway Traffic Act. But it’s quite time-consuming to check it all by yourself, so we prepared for you a summarized Ontario demerit points chart.

Here is the main traffic offences and Ontario demerit points list:

Number of demerit pointsOffences
Seven (7) demerit pointsFailing to remain at the scene of an accident
Failing to stop at a request of a police officer
Six (6) demerit pointsRacing
Careless driving
Speeding infraction of 50 km/h over the maximum-posted limit
Failure to stop for a school bus
Five (5) demerit pointsFailing to stop at a railway crossing (for public vehicles only)
Four (4) demerit pointsFollowing too close
Speeding infraction of 30 to 49 km/h over the maximum-posted limit
Failing to yield to a pedestrian
Three (3) demerit pointsSpeeding infraction of 16 to 29 km/h over the maximum-posted limit
Distracted driving (driving while using handheld devices)
Failing to yield the right-of-way
Improper HOV lane use
Improper passing
Failure to obey a police officer’s directions
Failure to move over
Failing to slow down and proceed with caution for emergency vehicle
Failure to stop at a red light
Disobeying stop sign, signal light or railway crossing signal
Failing to report an accident
Disobeying school crossing stop sign
Crowding the driver's seat
Driving a vehicle on a closed road
Improper driving on a highway with 2 lanes
Driving the wrong way on a divided road
Crossing a divided road with no proper crossing provided
Driving the wrong way in a one-way road
Two (2) demerit pointsImproper left / right turn
Prohibited turns
Failure to signal
Backing on a highway
Failing to share the road
Failure to lower headlamp beams
Unnecessary slow driving
Towing people (on bicycles, toboggans etc.)
Disobeying signs
Driver failing to wear a seatbelt properly
Driver failing to make sure that a child/toddler is properly secured by a child seating system or child restraint system
Driving while a passenger under 16 fails to properly wear seat belt
Failing to stop at a pedestrian crossing
Failing to leave 1 metre while passing bicycle

Demerit Points Consequences: Fully Licenced Drivers

As explained earlier, Ontario drivers license points accumulation rules depend on the class of licence you have. 

Once you’ve collected a certain number of points, you’ll have some consequences:

2-8 points: you’ll get a warning letter. 

9-14 demerit points:

  • Your licence could be suspended. 
  • You may need to go to the interview to discuss your driving history in an appropriate court in Ontario. You’ll receive Notice of Interview with time, date & location of the meeting. During the interview, you’ll have to provide sound reasons why your licence shouldn’t be suspended. 
  • If you don’t attend – your licence could be suspended. 

The demerit point interview Ontario fee ($50) must be paid in person at any ServiceOntario location. Failure to pay will result in your licence cancellation.  

15+ demerit points: 

  • Licence suspension for 30 days.
  • The Ministry of Transportation will send you a notice with a suspension date and that you need to surrender your licence.
  • If you don’t surrender, you can lose your licence for up to 2 years.
  • After the suspension, there is a potential driver a re-examination, and the number of points on your driving record will be reduced to 7. If you accumulate 15 points again, licence suspension for 6 months is unavoidable.

Demerit Points Consequences: Novice Drivers

Novice drivers are more limited in Ontario license points accumulation and have harsher consequences that’s why they have to be much more careful on the road.

For new drivers (class G1, G2, M1, M2, M1-L or M2-L licence) the following penalties can be applied: 

2-5 demerit points: A warning letter will be sent to you. 

6-8 demerit points: 

  • Your licence could be suspended. 
  • You may need to go to the interview to discuss your driving history and explain why your licence shouldn’t be suspended reasonably. You’ll receive a Notice of Interview with the time, date & location of the meeting.
  • If you don’t attend – your licence could be suspended. 

You should also pay for the interview (in person) – $50 – at any Service Ontario location. If you fail to pay, your licence will be cancelled.  

9+ demerit points: 

  • Licence suspension for 60 days.
  • You’ll get a notice from the Ministry of Transportation with the information about the suspension date and notification about the necessity to surrender your licence.
  • If you fail to surrender your licence, you can lose it for up to 2 years.
  • After 60 days of the novice driver suspension Ontario, the number of demerit points on your driving record shall be reduced to 4. If you collect 9 points again, your licence will be suspended for 6 months (starting from the date of its surrender to the Ministry of Transportation). 

Escalating sanctions

If you are a novice driver and have committed a traffic violation resulting in demerit points, you can face licence suspension or cancellation under the Ontario novice driver escalating sanctions program.

Triggers (occurrences that took place within 5 years) for escalation penalties: 

  • Convictions for breaking graduated licensing rules.
  • Convictions for individual HTA offences resulting in 4 or more demerit points (see the demerit points Ontario chart above).
  • Court-ordered licence suspensions for HTA convictions that would have otherwise resulted in four or more demerit points.

Consequences under the escalating sanctions:

  • 1st offence: 30 days licence suspension +  reinstatement fee;
  • 2nd offence: 90 days licence suspension  +  reinstatement fee;
  • 3rd offence: your novice licence will be cancelled. You’ll have to re-apply for the licence and start from the very beginning: take all tests and pay all fees once again. All previous fees would be forfeited. 

If you’ve been charged by the police with a traffic ticket, it is very important to understand all the consequences. Remember that in most cases, it is possible to negotiate your charge in court: to reduce it (and reduce the number of Ontario license demerit points as well) or to withdraw it at all.

But it requires deep knowledge of traffic laws, court procedures and the peculiarities of each ticket. That’s why it is essential to have an experienced traffic ticket lawyer on your side who knows everything and can solve any problem.

Thank you!