If you are a Canadian resident from Québec or Ontario and are driving in New York State, you need to carefully follow the rules of the road. Countless people travel across the Canadian-New York border every day. For these reasons, New York state has a compact with Québec and Ontario provinces to exchange traffic ticket conviction information, and Québec and Ontario use that information to penalize their drivers.
How Demerit Points Transfer To Québec And Ontario
If you commit a moving violation anywhere in New York State and are convicted, the NY points will transfer onto your Québec or Ontario driver’s license as demerit points. The demerit points will be assessed as if the ticket was issued in the respective province. For this reason, Weiss & Associates, PC often recommends fighting NY traffic and truck tickets that are issued to Québec or Ontario drivers (but sometimes it is best to just pay it) but it depends on a few factors. You can always call us for a free ticket analysis and advice at 212-682-7373 or email us at email@example.com.
The Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) sets a demerit point system for Québec drivers. The points you might receive in New York will, in turn, roll over to the equivalent amount of demerit points in Québec. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation is similar. The Ontario demerit points counted against you in any traffic violation committed in New York State can be equivalent to a traffic offense in Ontario.
It is important to note that Québec and Ontario do not assess demerit points exactly like New York so we can in many instances negotiate a result where our Canadian clients get New York points but no Québec or Ontario demerit points. Of course, often are able to get our Canadian clients no New York points and no Canadian demerit points.
Speeding in New York With A Canadian License
Speeding in New York with a Québec or Ontario driver’s license still will count as a violation in either place. In Québec, the consequence depends on how fast you were going over the speed limit. Licensed Québec drivers who accumulate 7 to 14 demerit points will receive a letter from SAAQ about those points and any subsequent points. At 15 demerit points, SAAQ will revoke your Québec license for three months as the first time (6 months for the second time; and 9 months for the third time). If you are on probation, your license will be revoked for 6 months for only 4 (or more demerit points).
Ontario is slightly different. The Ministry of Transportation uses demerit points to determine whether to penalize drivers who have been convicted of traffic violations. Demerit points remain on your Ontario license for 2 years from the date of offense. Licensed drivers may accumulate 14 demerit points (while those on probation may only receive 5 demerit points). Upon reaching 15 demerit points (or 6 if you are on probation), the Ministry will suspend your driver’s license for 30 days, and up to 6 months for additional accumulations. Even with only 9 demerit points, the Ministry can require an interview which can result in a suspension of your driver’s license if it determines such action is appropriate (or if you fail to appear for it).
Consequences To Demerit Points in Canada
- New drivers that receive up to 2 points can get sent a warning letter.
- New drivers that receive 6 points might need to send a letter explaining the situation and why they deserve to keep their license.
- New drivers that receive 9 points can get a 90-day license suspension.
Fully Licensed Drivers
- Fully licensed drivers that receive 6 points could be sent a letter that warns them of the violation.
- Fully licensed drivers that receive 9 points might need to send a letter explaining the situation and why they deserve to keep their license.
- Fully licensed drivers that receive 15 points can result in a 30-day license suspension.
Specific to The Province of Québec
Demerit points are given in brackets. To know which bracket you are, it is determined by the type of license you have: driver’s, learner’s, or probationary. It’s determined by your age, and whether the driver even has a license.
There’s a 4-point bracket, 8-point bracket, 12-point bracket, and 15-point bracket.
4-point bracket holders are those with a learner’s license or probationary license, Class 6D (motor or scooter) as well as Class 8 (tractor) license holders that have had their license for less than 5 years, and those who do not have a license.
8-point bracket holders are people with a license under the age of 23.
12-point bracket holders are people with a license that are 23 or 24.
15-point bracket holders are people with a license that are 25 or older.
The consequence of demerit points in Québec:
- Licensed drivers with 7 to 14 demerit points will get a letter from SAAQ about those points and any subsequent points
- At 15 demerit points, SAAQ will revoke your license for three months as the first time (6 months for the second time; and 9 months for the third time)
- If you are on probation, your license will be revoked for 6 months for only 4 (or more demerit points).
- Insurance premiums are as follows:
- 0-3 demerit points $50
- 4-7 demerit points $100
- 8-11 demerit points $174
- 12-14 demerit points $286
- 15 or more demerit points $398
Specific to The Province of Ontario
Demerit points in Ontario are given based on the violation committed. Here is a break down of what that might look like:
- Motorist fails to remain at the scene of a collision
- Motorist fails to stop when signaled or asked by a police officer
- Careless driving
- Driver exceeds the speed limit by 50 km/hour (31 mph) or more
- Motorist fails to stop for a school bus
- Bus drivers that fail to stop at an unprotected railway crossing
- Driver exceeds the speed limit by 30 to 49 km/hour (18-30 mph)
- Driver follows another vehicle too closely
- Driver is holding a phone or tablet or viewing a screen while driving
- Driver exceeds the speed limit by 16 to 29 km/hour (9-18 mph)
- Driving through, around, or under a railway crossing barrier
- Driving the wrong way on a divided road or a one-way
- Driving on a closed road
- Driver fails to yield the right-of-way
- Driver fails to obey a stop sign, traffic control stop/slow sign, traffic light, or railway crossing signal
- Driver fails to report a collision or obey the directions of a police officer
- Driver fails to slow or move to another lane when passing a stopped emergency vehicle or tow truck with its amber lights flashing
- Driver improperly passes or improperly uses the high occupancy vehicle lane
- Improper driving when the road is divided into lanes
- Driver crosses a divided road where no proper crossing is provided
- Crowding the driver’s seat
- Driver improperly makes a right or left turn or turns where they are unable
- Improper opening of a vehicle door
- Towing people — on toboggans, bicycles, skis
- Unnecessary slow driving
- Driver reverses on a highway
- Motorist fails to lower headlamp beams
- Motorist fails to obey signs or signal
- Motorist fails to stop at a pedestrian crossing
- Motorist fails to share the road
- If the driver or someone under 16 years of age in the vehicle is not wearing a seat belt
- When an infant or child passenger is not properly secured in an appropriate child restraint system or booster seat
- When a passenger less than 50 pounds or 23 kg is not properly secure
The consequence of demerit points in Ontario:
Demerit points remain on your Ontario license for 2 years from the date you got the violation.
As a licensed driver, you can accumulate 14 demerit points (while those on probation may only receive 5 demerit points).
If you receive 15 demerit points (or 6 if you are on probation), the Ministry will suspend your driver’s license for 30 days. They will also suspend your license for up to 6 months for any additional points added.
With only 9 demerit points, the Ministry can require an interview. Depending on how the interview goes, it can result in a suspension of your driver’s license. Your license can also be suspended if you fail to show up for the interview.
How Weiss & Associates, PC Can Help You
Weiss & Associates, PC is staffed with a trained team of skilled lawyers. We not only fight to get your ticket potentially reduced or dismissed, but we also know what these tickets can do to your insurance. We do our best to save you from skyrocketing insurance, license suspension or revocation, and even points reduction.
We are very familiar with the demerit systems in Ontario and Québec and are often able to avoid or minimize points being added to your Canadian driver’s license. Of course, if you drive in New York State regularly, then we may recommend handling your case differently. Contact us at 212-683-7373 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to determine whether you should contest your ticket and, if so, the best strategy for your particular situation.
Résidents Canadiens avec une contravention pour infraction au code de la sécurité routière émise par l’’État de New-York
Une déclaration de culpabilité pour une infraction reliée à la conduite d’un véhicule par l’’État de New-York sera transférée à votre dossier de conduite du Québec ou de l’Ontario et les points d’’inaptitude y seront inscrits comme si les infractions avaient été commises au Québec ou en Ontario. Par conséquent, nous recommendons souvent aux résidents Canadiens de contester une contravention émise par l’’État de New-York.
Nous connaissons bien les systèmes de points d’’inaptitude des provinces du Québec et de ’Ontario ce qui nous permet de vous aider à soit, éviter ou minimiser les points d’’inaptitude transférés à votre dossier de conduite Canadien. Bien entendu, si vous conduisez dans l’’État de New-York de façon régulière il vous sera peut-être recommendé de gérer votre dossier d’une façon différente. Communiquez avec nous afin de déterminer si vous devez contester votre contravention et quelle est la meilleure stratégie à adopter dans votre situation.
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