I live in Ontario and recently received a Quebec ticket for going 155 km/h in a 100 km/h zone. I’m old enough to know better, and I’m not very happy with myself. I know that the demerit points will follow me to Ontario, but can Ontario charge me with stunt driving as well? – John
If you live in Ontario, some of what happens in Quebec stays in Quebec.
You won't get charged for a Quebec ticket when you get back to Ontario – but you'll get the demerits and the offence will appear on your Ontario driving record. "While there would be no [Ontario] fines as the offence did not occur in Ontario, there would be demerit points," Lee Alderson, a senior issues advisor with Ontario's Ministry of Transportation (MTO), said in an e-mail.
When you're driving in another province, you are subject to the laws and penalties there.
But unless you’ve been suspended because of a Criminal Code violation, that out-of-province suspension won’t apply at home.
Plus, you won't be suspended or fined again for that same offence in your home province.
That’s true even if you got an out-of-province charge for something that normally comes with a higher penalty back home.
For instance, in Quebec, speeding 50 to 59 km/h over the 100 km/h limit gets you a $290 fine. Because it's less than 60 km/h over the 100 km/h limit, it's not considered excessive speeding in Quebec. But in Ontario, speeding more than 50 km/h over the limit is considered stunt driving and comes with a minimum fine of $2,000, up to six months in jail, a two-year licence suspension and an immediate seven-day suspension when police pull you over.
"The offence would have had to occur in Ontario to be subject to that penalty," Alderson says.
Demerits in most provinces
Speeding tickets also come with demerits. Whether you get them for an out-of-province ticket depends on where you live and where you got the ticket.
Most provinces and territories signed the Canadian Driver Licence Compact (CDLC), a 1990 agreement to share demerits and driving records.
So if you live in Alberta and got a speeding ticket in Newfoundland, for instance, it would appear on your record,
But British Columbia, Quebec and Nunavut didn't sign the CDLC.
That means that B.C. and Nunavut don’t share traffic tickets with any other provinces or territories. So if you live outside B.C. and you get a B.C. speeding ticket, you won’t get demerits, and it won’t appear on your driving record.
Likewise, B.C. drivers won't see out-of-province tickets on their records. This only applies to provincial offences. Any driving-related Criminal Code convictions, including impaired driving, appear on your driving record everywhere in Canada.
While Quebec didn't sign the CDLC either, it has separate agreements to share information with Ontario, Maine and New York.
“Ontario and Quebec have a conviction-exchange agreement where select offences, such as speeding, are sent back to the driver’s home jurisdiction,” Alderson says. “In this example, the information would be sent to Ontario and applied to the offender’s Ontario driving record.”
Like any other conviction, it will stay on your record for three years.
Only certain convictions are shared, including speeding, careless driving, running a red light and racing. You will also get the equivalent demerits added to your licence.
So if you’re an Ontario driver, that Quebec ticket for speeding 55 km/h over the limit will get you six demerits in Ontario, even though the offence only carries five demerits in Quebec.
Demerits affect your licence. For instance, if you get more than 15 demerit points in Ontario, your licence could be suspended for 30 days. Why does all this sharing matter? Once an out-of-province conviction appears on your driving record, your insurance company can use it to raise your rates.
“If you are convicted of racing or stunt driving, you will now be in the ‘high risk’ insurance market,” said Anne Marie Thomas, senior manager of partner relationships at Insurance Hotline, a rate-comparison site. “The premium increase could be as much as two or three times what you were paying before.”
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.
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