How does a speeding ticket affect me?

1. Understand how demerit points work

In addition to the fine you can get for a traffic ticket, some tickets also give you demerit points. Demerit points are the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s way of determining driver quality.

People often think that you “lose” demerit points, but in fact, you “gain” demerit points. You start with zero points. Demerit points are added to your driver’s licence if you’re convicted of certain driving offences.

Not all traffic tickets will give you demerit points, and the number of demerit points you get depends on how serious the ticket is. For example, the number of demerit points for a speeding ticket depends on how fast you were driving:

  • 0-15 km/h over the limit: 0 points
  • 16-29 km/h over the limit: 3 points
  • 30-49 km/h over the limit: 4 points
  • 50 km/h or more over the limit: 6 points

You can find a list of other traffic offences that result in demerit points here.

Drivers convicted of speeding over 50 km/h can also:

  • receive a 30-day licence suspension
  • be charged with the more serious offence of stunt driving, which results in an automatic 7-day licence suspension, your car being impounded, and possible jail time

Demerit points remain on your record for 2 years.

Effects of demerit points

What demerit points mean for you depends on how many you have:

  • 2-8 points: the Ministry of Transportation may send you a warning letter.
  • 9-14 points: the Ministry of Transportation might require you to come for an interview to explain why they shouldn’t suspend your licence.
  • 15 or more points: your licence will be suspended.

If you have to go to an interview, you will get a Notice of Interview with the time, date, and location of the meeting. If you don’t go to the interview, your licence will be suspended

If your licence is suspended, you will get a letter from the Ministry of Transportation that tells you the date your suspension takes effect and that you need to surrender your licence. If you don’t surrender your licence, you can lose your licence for up to 2 years.

Young drivers

If you’re a novice or new driver, you will face harsher penalties for demerit points. For example, you can have your licence suspended after 9 demerit points.

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