Driving Without a License

Driving Without License Ontario

The vast territory of the country and the developed road network in Canada implies the presence of a driver’s license for every adult resident of the country.

According to the Criminal Code of Canada and the laws of Ontario province driving without license is illegal and may result in severe punishments.

Let’s clarify what we’re talking about!

What is Driving Without a License

Everybody knows that to be legally allowed to drive, you must hold a license for driving a certain class of motor vehicle. According to the Highway Traffic Act, section 33 (1), each driver shall carry his/her driver’s licence with him/her every time he/she operates a motor vehicle.

Also, the drivers that have their license suspended, revoked, cancelled or inappropriate are considered unlicensed.

If you’re holding a driver’s license, but it expires and you don’t renew it, you could be convicted of driving without a valid license.

You won’t be arrested because you simply forgot license at home, but it’s more serious if you’re consciously driving without driving license or driving with expired license in Ontario.

Is driving without a license a criminal offense in Ontario? – It depends on the situation and reason of why you were driving without a license. Basically, driving without a license is not a criminal offence.

Penalty for Driving Without a License in Ontario

If you’re convicted of driving without license on you in Ontario, you may face the following fines and penalties:

Type of PenaltyPenalty
Finefrom $200 and up to $1,000
Vehicle impoundment(7) seven days (including novice drivers)
Conviction on driving record(3) three years
Jail timepossible up to six months
Insuranceincreased insurance rates*

*An insurance company can utilize your driving record history (in case of conviction) and increase your premiums significantly.

Consider that the abovementioned consequences are related only to the first offence of driving with suspended license. The subsequent offence involves harsher penalties.

Important: Whenever a driver chooses to operate a motor vehicle without license, insurance doesn’t cover in case of an accident. So whoever is getting behind a wheel without license is risking to get personally sued and could potentially have to be responsible to pay for physical and material damages.

As you see, getting caught driving without a license can influence your bank account as well as your ability to drive.

In reality, there could be a lot of reasons why drivers may be caught driving without license. Some of them may have a revoked or suspended licence (due to different reasons).

Some people even might not have their license at all because they have never applied for it, or their license could be expired.

A driver can simply forget to grab his/her wallet and leave the licence at home.

Every case has its own specifics and requires attention to detail and knowledge of current legislation in this field. If you want to avoid a fine for driving without license we recommend consulting with a professional traffic tickets lawyer.

Working with a paralegal will increase your chances to get rid of the offence and keep your driving record clean.

What Happens if You Forgot License at Home in Ontario and Get Pulled Over?

In Ontario, if you are pulled over by the police while driving and you do not have your driver’s licence with you (simply speaking, you forgot license at home), you may face a penalty. As mentioned, under Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act, drivers are required to carry their driver’s licence, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance whenever they are driving a vehicle. 

If you cannot present your driver’s licence to a police officer upon request, you could be eligible for a traffic ticket with a $110 fine. It doesn’t mean you’re unlicensed; it means that you failed to surrender your licence upon demand, and it’ll be a traffic violation under the HTA. 

There is no guarantee you’ll be charged – specific outcomes can depend on the discretion of the officer. Some police officers may allow you to present your driver’s licence at a later time on a certain date to avoid a fine, but it’s not guaranteed

But it’s always best to carry your driver’s licence with you to avoid any potential issues.

How to Fight a Ticket for Driving Without License in Ontario

Step 1: As recommended, the best option for you will be to hire an experienced paralegal, who will prepare a good strategy for your case, considering all peculiarities.


Step 2: If you can’t or don’t want to hire a traffic ticket paralegal, you need to be ready to prepare everything by yourself and spend your time going to the court (it takes around 2-3 court visits to fight any ticket). You must file your ticket with a court to receive a date with a prosecutor to negotiate a possible reduction of your charge for driving car without license.

Step 3: Show up at trial and be ready to be questioned about that day when you were caught driving without proof of license or without license. You should also prepare your own questions, addressed to a police officer who issued a ticket. Your questions must be aimed at getting answers which confirm that the situation described by a policeman differs from reality. 

Frankly speaking, it’s not all about the procedure. Each case is different, and there can’t be a universal scheme how to beat ticket for not having license. We strongly recommend you contact us, and we’ll make sure to develop a methodical strategy that is exactly right for your case.

We’re experts in this field, and therefore, we know all the nuances and legislation and have a serious judicial practice that must be taken into account when protecting your interests in court.

Our experience is your safety and clean driving record. Call us for professional support without unnecessary nerves and hefty fines! 

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    Here we've prepared a short list of frequently asked questions in order to provide quick answers to anyone who's looking for information associated with the topic. If you need more clarification, please don't hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.

    👉What happens if you get caught driving without a license Ontario?

    You won’t be arrested because you simply forgot license at home, but it’s more serious if you’re consciously driving without driving license in Ontario. In this case, you'll face a fine from $200 and up to $1,000, your vehicle will be impounded for 7 days, you'll get a conviction on your record for 3 years and possible jail time up to 6 months.

    👉Is driving without a license a criminal offense in Ontario?

    It depends on the situation and reason of why you were driving without a license. Basically, driving without a license is not a criminal offence.

    👉Can you go to jail for driving without a license in Ontario?

    Yes, upon conviction possible imprisonment term can be up to 6 months.

    👉What is the fine for driving without a license in Ontario?

    A fine for driving without a license in Ontario can range from $200 up to $1,000.

    👉What is the HTA section for driving without a license in Ontario?

    The section of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act (HTA) that pertains to driving without a license is Section 32(1).
    This section states that driving a motor vehicle on a highway is only allowed if the person has a valid driver's license for that specific class of vehicle. This law prohibits individuals from operating a vehicle without the proper license issued under the HTA.

    👉Can i drive if i forgot my license at home?

    It's always better to carry your driver's licence with you. But if you've forgotten it at home and got pulled over by police, you may face a traffic ticket with a penalty of $110.

    Don’t just pay the fine or go to court alone


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