1 in every 14 fatal accidents is caused by an unlicensed driver. This is why if you are caught driving without a valid driver’s licence, you could face significant penalties, including fines and jail time.
In this article, we will discuss the consequences of driving without a license in Ontario and how to fight the charge if you are arrested. We will also answer some of the most frequently asked questions about this topic.
Some Interesting Facts About Driving Without a Licence
Here are some interesting facts about driving without a licence we’ve gathered from all over the world:
- More than 75% of all unlicenced drivers are male.
- 20% of all accidents in the U.S are caused by unlicensed drivers.
- 1 out of every 25 novice drivers has admitted to driving without a valid licence at least one time.
- 11 times more injury crashes occur due to unlicenced driving.
- 44.1% of novice drivers driving with an invalid licence die in case of a fatal accident.
- There is a 74% likelihood of consuming alcohol if you were driving without a proper licence.
What are the Laws Regarding Driving Without a Licence?
Following are the major laws regarding driving without a licence in Ontario:
1. You Must Not Drive Without a Licence:
It is against the law to drive without a licence in Ontario. If you are caught driving without a licence. The highway traffic act of Ontario states that:
“32 (1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway unless the motor vehicle is within a class of motor vehicles in respect of which the person holds a driver’s licence issued to him or her under this Act.
32 (2) No person shall drive a streetcar on a highway unless he or she holds a driver’s licence.”
2. Always Carry Your Licence:
You must always carry your licence while driving. If you are stopped by a police officer and cannot produce your licence, you may be charged under the highway traffic act.
“33 (1) Every driver of a motor vehicle or streetcar shall carry his or her licence with him or her at all times while he or she is in charge of a motor vehicle or streetcar and shall surrender the licence for reasonable inspection upon the demand of a police officer or officer appointed for carrying out the provisions of this Act.”
3. Never Let Anyone Without Licence to Drive:
“32 (11) No person who is the owner or is in possession or control of a motor vehicle or combination of vehicles shall permit any person to drive the motor vehicle or combination of vehicles on a highway unless that person holds a driver’s licence containing any endorsements that are required to drive that motor vehicle or combination of vehicles under the circumstances in which the person will be driving.”
4. Never Let a Novice Driver Drive:
A novice driver is someone who just got their G1 or G2 licence. If you let a novice drive your car, you can be charged. Ontario’s highway traffic act says:
“32 (11.1) No person who is the owner or is in possession or control of a motor vehicle or combination of vehicles shall permit a novice driver, as defined, to drive the motor vehicle or combination of vehicles on a highway while contravening a condition or restriction imposed upon the novice driver by this Act or the regulations.”
Who is Exempted From Licence Laws in Ontario?
You may be exempted from following the licence laws in Ontario if any of the below conditions apply to you:
- If you are older than 16 years, a resident of some other province of Canada, complying with your own province’s licence rules and regulations.
- If you are a resident of some other country or state and hold an international driver’s permit. But you must be 16 years old to fall under this category.
- If you are a citizen of another country, who has not resided in Ontario for over three months of any year and has complied with the driving rule of your specific country.
- If you have shifted to Ontario less than sixty days ago. But you must hold a subsisting driver’s licence of the province where you shifted from to enjoy this exemption.
What Does Driving Without a Licence Means in Ontario?
Driving without a licence in Ontario can mean different things depending on the situation. If you are caught driving without a valid licence, you may be subject to a fine, and your vehicle may be impounded. In some cases, you may also be charged with a criminal offence.
1. You Forgot to Carry a Licence:
If you are stopped by a police officer and asked to produce your driver’s licence, it is mandatory for you to do so. The police officer is authorized to penalize in this scenario. If you decide to go to court, you will lose likely. Because the burden of proof is with you. You have to prove that you were carrying a valid driving licence, not the other way around. However, if you are unable to show your driver’s licence, it is generally considered a relatively minor offence.
2. You Don’t Have a Valid Licence:
It is possible that you don’t have a valid driving licence while driving. But not having a valid driving licence is an elaborate term. Your licence might not be valid under the following conditions:
Your licence was suspended:
It is possible that your licence was suspended due to the following reasons, but you continued driving anyways:
- Suspension due to medical reasons
- Zero blood alcohol concentration for novice and young drivers
- Failure to pay fines
- Accumulation of demerit points
- Careless driving
- Mandatory suspensions
- Administrative suspension
- Novice driver violations
Your licence was Expired:
If you are caught driving with an expired licence, you may be subject to a fine. The fine amount will depend on how long your licence has expired for. In some cases, you may also be required to take a driver’s licence reinstatement test.
Your licence was Cancelled:
You are not allowed to drive your car if your licence has been cancelled. Your licence might be cancelled for the following reasons.
- If you took a driver’s re-examination test and failed.
- If you don’t pay your licence reinstatement fee or monetary penalty after a suspension
- If your bank refuses to honour a cheque for licence fees.
- If you hand in your driver’s license to the Ministry of Transportation on your own accord, or if it is given or returned to another jurisdiction by order of law.
Your licence was Prohibited:
If you are convicted under the criminal code, your licence would be prohibited. This means you might not be able to drive a vehicle for a certain period.
In this case, you are not only breaking the law by driving without a valid licence but also driving while your ability to do so safely is in question. This can lead to much harsher penalties, including a criminal record. At the same time, your insurance company may also refuse to provide any coverage.
3. You Don’t Have a Licence at All:
This is the most severe scenario of all. This means that you never went to take a driver’s licence test and have never had a driver’s licence. If you are caught driving without a licence, you may be subject to a fine, and your vehicle may be impounded. You can also be jailed for up to six months.
What Happens if You’re Caught Driving Without a Valid Driver’s Licence?
If you’re caught driving without a valid driver’s licence in Ontario, you could face a fine of $200 to $1,000. You may also get demerit points, have your vehicle impounded, or face potential jail time.
1. If you forgot to carry a licence:
As drivers must carry their licence while driving, if you are caught without yours, you may be subject to a fine. The fine amount will depend on the province in which you were caught. In Ontario, the minimum fine is $85. If you choose to fight the ticket in court, you will likely lose, and your fine might be increased up to $500.
2. If you are driving with a suspended licence:
If you are caught driving with a suspended licence in Ontario, you may be subject to several penalties. It includes a fine between $1,000 and $5,000 for the first offence. However, for every subsequent offence, you will be fined between $2,000 and $5,000. You could also face imprisonment for up to six months or both this time.
3. If you are driving with an expired licence:
Service Centre Ontario will remind you to renew your licence that is about to expire. But in some cases, if you have changed your address or name, you might not get the reminder. This could result in you driving with an expired licence without even knowing it. You will be fined if this happens and you are caught driving with an expired licence. This fine will be in the range of $200 to $300. But usually, the sticker plates and licence expire together. Hence, if you have an expired licence, you will also have an expired sticker. You might have to pay an extra $85 for it.
An expired licence means that your driving privileges are no longer valid. This means that if you are caught driving with an expired licence, you will be treated as a new driver. This could lead to higher insurance rates and penalties.
If your licence has expired for too long, you will have to retake the written and road tests. The length of time after which you will have to retake the tests depends on the province or territory where you live.
4. If you never applied for a licence:
Without license, driving in Ontario is a serious offence, and if it is determined that you never even applied to get one, you are looking at a fine of about $265. In addition to that, you might also have to pay an additional $5 court cost. Although no demerit points will be added to your driving record, still this conviction would become a part of your record. Due to this, your insurance rates would go up.
So if you never applied to get your licence and got caught driving, the best thing to do would be to pay the fine, get your licence, and avoid further penalties.
What is the Effect of Driving Without a Licence on Insurance Rates?
A conviction for driving without a licence will result in an increase in your insurance rates in Ontario. The increase will depend on the insurer, but it is typically between 20% and 25%.
There are many reasons why your insurance rates could be increased if you’re caught driving without a licence in Ontario. For one, it’s simply against the law to do so. Insurance companies are well aware of this and will often charge higher rates for those who choose to break the law.
Additionally, driving without a licence can be extremely dangerous. You are putting yourself at risk, but you’re also putting other innocent people on the road in danger. This is something that insurance companies take very seriously, and they will often charge higher rates for those who put others at risk in this way.
Finally, those who are caught driving without a licence in Ontario will typically have their driver’s licence suspended or revoked. This means that they will no longer be able to legally drive in the province, and their insurance rates will typically reflect this. If you’re caught driving without a licence in Ontario, expect your insurance rates to increase. It’s simply not worth the risk.
Driving without a licence in Ontario is a serious offence that can result in several penalties, including fines, imprisonment, and increased insurance rates. If you’re caught driving without a licence, the best thing to do is pay the fine and get your licence as soon as possible. This will help you avoid any further penalties and ensure that you can legally drive in the province. Thanks for reading! We hope this article has been helpful.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you buy a car without a valid driver’s licence in Ontario?
No, you cannot buy a car without a valid driver’s licence in Ontario. You must have a valid driver’s licence to operate a motor vehicle on any road in the province. If you are caught driving without a valid licence, you could face significant fines and penalties.
Can you renew your driver’s licence online?
Yes, you can renew your driver’s licence online in Ontario. You will need to provide a credit card for payment and have a valid email address to complete the process. Renewing your driver’s licence online is simple and convenient, and it will save you time at the Ministry of Transportation office.
What is a temporary licence?
A temporary licence is a driver’s licence valid for a limited period. It is typically issued to new drivers who have not yet received their full licence. Temporary licences are also sometimes issued if your licence has expired and you are waiting for your renewed licence to arrive. If you have a temporary licence, you must obey all the same rules and regulations as those with a full licence.
If you are caught driving without a valid temporary licence, you could face the same penalties as those who are caught driving without a valid licence.
How long does a suspended license stay on your driving record?
A suspended licence will remain on your driving record for three years in Ontario. If you are caught driving with a suspended licence, you could face significant fines and penalties, including imprisonment.
What is the lead time for applying and receiving a licence in Ontario?
It typically takes about two weeks to receive your driver’s licence in Ontario once you have passed the written and road tests. If you are renewing your licence, it will usually arrive in the mail within two weeks as well. You can check the status of your application online or by calling the Ministry of Transportation office.
What is the reinstatement fee for licence?
The reinstatement fee for a driver’s licence in Ontario is $281. This fee must be paid before your licence is reinstated. You can pay the fee online, by mail, or in person at a Ministry of Transportation office.
Is driving without a license a criminal offense in Canada?
No, driving without a licence is not a criminal offence in Canada. However, it is a severe offence like impaired driving.
Can you go to jail for driving without a license in Ontario?
Yes, you can go to jail for driving without a licence in Ontario. The maximum penalty for the offence is six months in prison.