How long do demerit points last in Ontario?

4 minute read Published on Dec 3, 2023 by BrokerLink Communications

Young commuter woman driving and looking worried

Demerit points, also known as points on your driver’s licence, determine your risk level on your driving record. Regardless of whether you hold a G, G1, or G2 licence, the Ontario demerit points system applies to you, but all drivers begin with zero demerit points when they first obtain their licence. From exceeding the speed limit to distracted driving, there are numerous traffic violations that can put a damper on your record and affect your car insurance when renewing your licence in Ontario.

So, how long do demerit points affect your record? To put it shortly points against your licence that you obtain for violating a traffic law will remain on your record for two years. However, convictions for any traffic offences are recorded for three years.

To learn more about demerit points, the team at BrokerLink is breaking down all there is to know in more detail below.

How demerit points work

Depending on the offence you commit, the demerit system will issue your licence a set number of demerit points. A single offence results in anywhere from two to seven points being recorded on your record; however, the total number of penalties is the same for all Ontario drivers:

G1 and G2 drivers

Beginner drivers will naturally have more severe G1 licence restrictions than more experienced motorists in Ontario. Because of this, traffic violations will hold more weight on your record. Motorists with two to five points will first receive a warning letter from the Ministry of Transportation. The penalty then increases from here, with six to eight points leading to a 30-day licence suspension and nine or more points resulting in a 60-day prohibition.

G drivers

Fully licenced drivers have a bit more flexibility when it comes to points, but like any motorist who is irresponsible, you can still face consequences. For example, two to eight demerits will get you a warning letter, whereas nine to fourteen points will result in a 30-day licence suspension. Lastly, 15 or more demerits will lead to an automatic suspension for anywhere between 30 days to two years.

Types of traffic violations

The seriousness of the offence you commit determines how many demerit points are awarded. Here's a closer look at the types of violations and points you’ll receive:

Two points

  • Disregard for pedestrian crossings
  • Hauling individuals in on sleds, bikes, skateboards, snowboards, and more
  • Refusal to use a seatbelt
  • Incorrectly opening a car door
  • Not making sure a young passenger is buckled in
  • Incorrect right turn or incorrect left turn

Three points

  • Bypassing a railroad crossing barricade
  • Failing to yield to traffic who have the right-of-way
  • Travelling on a one-way road in the wrong direction
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding tickets for going over the limit by 15 to 29 km/h
  • incorrectly passing another vehicle
  • Usage of a carpool lane improperly

Four points

  • Driving over the speed limit between 30 and 49 km/h
  • Tailgating other vehicles

Six points

Seven points

  • Leaving the scene of a collision
  • Failing to follow directions given by an officer of the law

Do parking tickets lead to demerit points?

Contrary to what you may have been told, parking tickets will not lead to demerit points, which also includes red light camera tickets. That said, if the parking company sends your tickets to collections, your credit score may be affected. So, keep this in mind when choosing whether or not to pay them or not.

How can I reduce the number of demerit points on my record?

If you have demerit points on your license for driving in Ontario and would like to lower them, you have a few options:

  • Safe driving: After two years of safe driving with no new convictions, demerit points may be eliminated.
  • Defensive driving lessons: Once every two years, completing an approved defensive driving course can reduce demerits by up to four points.
  • Early payment: Some traffic tickets have early payment discounts that could mean fewer demerit points, but this can vary depending on the offence.

How to check the number of points you have

So, how many demerit points do you have? It’s to be expected that drivers will want to check this before renewing all types of auto insurance. You can submit a request for your driver's abstract online or in person if you're interested in how many demerits points you have accrued. A certified edition costs $18, whereas an uncertified version costs $12 and includes the abstract with three to five years of history.

Do demerit points affect my insurance?

Demerit points are not a factor used by insurers to calculate your insurance rate. However, regardless of whether demerit points have been incurred or not, insurance companies do consider your driving history, and any prior traffic offences will have an impact on your premium, similarly to how an accident affects car insurance rates.

Do demerits points transfer between provinces in Canada?

You will need a new driver's licence when moving to a new province. When relocating to a new province, you typically have 60 to 90 days to update your licence, but it can vary between provinces and territories. If you move to another province or territory in Canada, your driving history typically follows you, including your demerits.

However, there are certain exceptions. For instance, if you are found guilty of a demerit offence in Ontario, the points will transfer to any other provincial licence, with the exception of British Columbia and Nunavut. Similarly, if you are found guilty of a demerit offence in a province that is excluded, no penalty points will be used against your driver's permit in Ontario.

Contact BrokerLink today

BrokerLink is your go-to for all car insurance solutions you’re searching for. Whether you have questions on What documents do I need for car insurance? or the demerit points system, don't hesitate to get in contact with our team online or over the phone at any time. You can also visit us in person at any of our locations.