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Jan 17, 2024

5 min. read

If you’ve received a traffic citation, you might be wondering what that means for your licence and insurance. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation uses the Demerit Point System, in which drivers convicted of certain driving-related offences have demerit points added to their driving records. Drivers begin with zero demerit points and accumulate demerit points for convictions. If you collect enough points, you could lose your driver’s licence. Below is a list of examples of offences and the number of demerit points assigned if you are convicted of each.

Two demerit points:

  • improper opening of a vehicle door

  • making an improper right turn, improper left turn or prohibited turn

  • towing people on toboggans, bicycles or skis

  • unnecessarily slow driving

  • driver failing to wear a seat belt

  • infant/child passenger not properly secured in an appropriate child restraint system or booster seat

  • backing on highway

  • failing to lower headlamp beams

  • failing to obey signs

  • failing to stop at a pedestrian crossing

  • failing to share the road

  • failing to signal

  • driver failing to ensure that a passenger less than 23 kg is properly secured

  • driving failing to ensure that a passenger under 16 is wearing a seat belt

  • driver failing to ensure that a passenger under 16 is sitting in a seat that has a seat belt

Three demerit points:

  • driving while holding or using a hand-held wireless communications or entertainment device

  • driving while viewing a display screen unrelated to the driving task

  • exceeding the speed limit by 16 – 29 km/hour

  • driving through, around or under a railway crossing barrier

  • driving the wrong way on a divided road

  • driving or operating a vehicle on a closed road

  • failing to yield the right-of-way

  • failing to obey a stop sign, traffic light or railway crossing signal

  • failure to obey the directions of a police officer or to report a collision to a police officer

  • failing to slow and carefully pass a stopped emergency vehicle or a tow truck with its amber lights flashing

  • failing to move, where possible, into another lane when passing a stopped emergency vehicle or a tow truck with its amber lights flashing

  • improper passing

  • improper driving when a road is divided into lanes

  • driving the wrong way on a one-way road

  • crossing a divided road where no proper crossing is provided

  • crowding the driver’s seat

  • driving a vehicle equipped with a radar detector

  • improper use of a high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane

Four demerit points:

  • exceeding the speed limit by 30 – 49 km/hour

  • following too closely

  • failing to stop at a pedestrian crossover

Five demerit points:

  • failing to stop at an unprotected railway crossing (bus drivers only)

Six demerit points:

  • careless driving

  • racing

  • exceeding the speed limit by 40 km/h or more on roads with a speed limit of less than 80 km/h

  • exceeding the speed limit by 50 km/hour or more

  • failing to stop for a school bus

Seven demerit points:

  • failing to remain at the scene of a collision

  • failing to stop when signaled or asked by a police officer

Penalties for demerit points.

What are the penalties for demerit points? A fully licensed driver with six to eight points can expect to receive a warning letter. If you have accumulated nine to 14 points, you will be sent a second warning letter encouraging you to improve your driving behaviour. If you have 15 or more points, your licence will be suspended for 30 days. When your licence is suspended, you will get a letter from the Ministry of Transportation. It will tell you the date your suspension takes effect and that you need to surrender your licence.

New drivers face harsher penalties.

For more information on how demerit points work, visit the Government of Ontario website.

How do demerit points affect your insurance?

At CAA, as with most insurance companies, we want to reward drivers for good driving habits. To be eligible for preferred rating plans such as “six star” you must have a clear record or no more than one minor driving conviction (requirements vary by insurance company). Additional convictions usually result in the loss of preferred status and discounted premiums. So, in addition to the fine, your insurance costs can go up. In order to receive the lowest insurance premiums possible, it is important to maintain a good driving record.

To find out more, call 1-877-222-1717 or click here for a complimentary policy review.

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