I live in British Columbia and hold a B.C. driver’s licence. While visiting Ontario recently, I was pulled over by the OPP and told I had committed an offence that carries a fine and three demerit points. Will demerit points assigned in Ontario be applied to my B.C. driving record? – Barry
Demerits you pick up in Ontario won’t travel back with you to B.C.
“If a B.C. driver were to receive a violation ticket – for example, a speeding ticket – outside of our province, it would not be added to driving record in B.C.,” said Lindsay Wilkins, spokeswoman for the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), in an e-mail.
But, B.C. – along with Quebec and Nunavut – didn’t sign the Canadian Driver Licence Compact (CDLC), a 1990 agreement to share driving records between the provinces and territories.
And that lack of sharing goes both ways. If you had an Ontario licence and got a ticket in B.C., the offence wouldn’t appear on your Ontario driving record and you wouldn’t get the demerits.
The exception? Criminal Code of Canada violations, including impaired driving, get shared with all provinces and territories.
Will a suspension in Quebec affect my Ontario licence?
I’m from Ontario and I got caught doing 51 km/h over the speed limit in Quebec and got a seven-day licence suspension. Does my suspension transfer over? Do demerit points transfer over to Ontario? — Matt
Only some of what happens in Quebec stays in Quebec.
You’ll get the demerits, but you won’t get the seven-day suspension, Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation (MTO) said.
“If an Ontario driver is convicted of speeding in Quebec, Quebec will provide Ontario with the conviction information,” said Bob Nichols, MTO spokesman, in an e-mail. “This will be recorded onto the Ontario [driver’s licence] record and the applicable demerit points will be applied – six demerit points for exceeding the speed limit by 50 km/h or more.”
So, if you were from any other province and got snagged for speeding in Quebec, the demerits wouldn’t go onto your licence.
Out-of-province suspensions for provincial traffic act offences aren’t carried over into Ontario, Nichols said.
But suspensions because of a Criminal Code conviction apply everywhere in Canada.
I have an unpaid B.C. speeding ticket. Can I still go to the United States?
My husband received a speeding ticket while in British Columbia. We reside in Alberta. My question is regarding his out-of-country trip to Alaska. Is there any way he would have a warrant regarding the unpaid speeding ticket and be unable to cross the border? – Jennifer
An unpaid B.C. ticket won’t stop you from heading north to Alaska, the RCMP said.
“There’s no warrant that is issued and it won’t hinder them at the border,” said Cpl. Nancy Joyce, with the RCMP’s E Division traffic services. “They should pay it, though. My goodness.”
If you return to B.C., you won’t get pulled over for that unpaid ticket. And if cops pull you over for something else, they won’t see that you owe B.C. money, Joyce said.
But if you lived in B.C., you wouldn’t be able to renew your driver's licence or car insurance until you’d paid the fine, ICBC’s Wilkins said.
So, the worst thing that could happen to an out-of-province driver who won’t pay? B.C. could send your ticket to a collection agency.
We checked with other provinces and couldn’t find any that could force an out-of-province driver to pay a ticket.
But provinces do have the ability to go through the Canada Revenue Agency and take the amount owing from GST rebates and income tax refunds.
Will an overseas ticket do an Italian job on my licence?
On a recent vacation in Italy, I was snagged for speeding by one of their notorious roadside photo-radar machines. Can you tell me if a conviction in Italy or any information would be communicated with the Province of Ontario? — Geoff
If you were speeding in Rochester instead of Rome, a conviction would follow you home.
“Ontario only has a reciprocal agreement for driving convictions with the rest of Canada, New York and Michigan,” the MTO’s Nichols said. “Therefore any driving convictions obtained in any other jurisdiction would not be applied to an Ontario driving record.”
It’s the same story with other provinces – Quebec’s the only other province with international agreements (with Maine and New York).
While the agreements allow sharing of demerits, typically, photo-radar tickets in Canada (Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec) and the United States don’t come with demerits or appear on your driving record. Instead, the fine usually goes to the registered owner of the vehicle.
Have a driving question? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Canada’s a big place, so let us know where you are so we can find the answer for your city and province.