No driver wants Demerit points, but unfortunately most of us will receive at least a point or two at some point in our lives. On their own demerit points do not effect drivers a great deal, but when coupled with insurance rates and future infractions, they can quickly add up. In this way demerits can cause a great deal of financial burden, and even driver's license suspension.
What Are Demerit Points and How do I Get Them?
Demerit points are allotted points for any driving infraction carried out by a holder of an Ontario drivers license. These infractions can happen anywhere in Canada, as well as in New York and Michigan. Demerit penalties vary from 2 points all the way up to 7 for a major infractions. Click here for a full list of the types of infractions associated with each level of points.
The most common way to get demerit points is speeding tickets at greater then 15 km/h or more over, and minor accidents such as fender benders. Texting and driving will also result in demerit points on top of a large fine.
What is the Penalty for Having Points?
If you have a full license ("G" class license) the penalties are:
- 2-8 points: You will receive a warning letter.
- 9-14 points: Your license may be suspended. You will have to attend an interview in which your driving habits will be discussed. Failure to attend the interview will result in a license suspension. You will get a letter to notify you of the time, date and location of the meeting.
- 15+ points: Immediate suspension for a minimum of 30 days. You will have to turn in your license, and not drive at all during this time. Failure to comply will result in a much longer suspension.
Penalties for "G2" and "G1" class licenses:
- 2-5 points: You will receive a warning letter.
- 6-8 points: Your license may be suspended. You will have to attend an interview in which your driving habits will be discussed. Failure to attend the interview will result in a license suspension. You will get a letter to notify you of the time, date and location of the meeting.
- 9+ points: Your licence will be suspended for 60 days.
Many insurance companies will increase your monthly rate when they learn of demerit points, which adds to the cost of demerits.
When Do They Go Away?
Demerit points remain on your license for 2 years from the point of conviction for an infraction. It is important to remember that the conviction time is the point when you pay a fine/plead guilty/are found guilty of an infraction. If you are pulled over for speeding in September and take it to court, the court case likely won't happen until January. Assuming a guilty verdict is rendered in court, the 2 years starts in January, not September.