Ontario NDP pledge to lower auto insurance rates by 40% if elected in June. This shows the importance of auto insurance in local circuits of Ontario. It is a legal requirement to have car insurance when driving on public roads in Ontario. Unfortunately, there are still some drivers who choose to operate their vehicles without coverage. If you are caught driving without insurance, you will face significant penalties, including fines and license suspensions.
This article will discuss the rules and penalties for driving without insurance in Ontario. We will also answer some of the most frequently asked questions about this topic.
Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act
The Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act requires all drivers in Canada to have a minimum amount of third-party liability coverage. Third-party liability insurance protects you from paying for damages that you may cause to someone else as a result of an accident.
Section 2 of the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act states that:
“2 (1) Subject to the regulations, no owner or lessee of a motor vehicle shall,
(a) operate the motor vehicle; or
(b) cause or permit the motor vehicle to be operated,
on a highway unless the motor vehicle is insured under a contract of automobile insurance.”
What are the Penalties for Driving Without Insurance?
Under the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act, every driver in Ontario must have valid car insurance. If you are caught driving without insurance, you could face fines, licence suspension, and vehicle impoundment.
The first time you are caught driving without insurance, you will face a fine of $5,000-$25,000. If you are caught driving without insurance a second time, you will face a fine of $10,000-$50,000. You may also have your licence suspended for up to one year and have your vehicle impounded for not more than three months.
What if You’re Not Carrying the Insurance Card?
It is mandatory for drivers to carry their insurance cards with them at all times while driving. If you are stopped by a police officer and cannot provide proof of insurance, you will be fined $200-$400.
Section 3 (1) of the Insurance Act states,
“3 (1) An operator of a motor vehicle on a highway shall have in the motor vehicle at all times,
(a) an insurance card for the motor vehicle; or
(b) an insurance card evidencing that the operator is insured under a contract of automobile insurance,
and the operator shall surrender the insurance card for reasonable inspection upon the demand of a police officer.”
What if you Make a False Statement about Auto Insurance?
It is an offence under the Automobile Insurance Act if you knowingly make a false statement of insurance. This may result in a fine of $10,000. The Act states:
“13 (11) No person shall, in certifying under paragraph 1 of subsection (8) that a motor vehicle is insured under a contract of automobile insurance, make a statement that he or she knows or ought to know is false.”
How Many Demerit Points Do You Get for Driving Without Insurance in Ontario?
You will not receive any demerit points for driving without insurance. However, your licence may get suspended as a result of this offence.
What Happens When Police Officer Asks You to Show Proof of Insurance?
Whenever a police officer stops and asks you to show proof of insurance, you must act on it immediately. This is because not producing proof on insurance is a Revers Onus Charge. Reverse Onus Charge means that you are the one who must prove to have valid car insurance. The police officer does not require to prove that you don’t have insurance.
If you’re stopped by the police and asked to show proof of insurance, you’ll need to provide your vehicle insurance card. If you don’t have your card with you, the officer may ask you to call your insurance company to confirm that you’re insured.
If the officer is not satisfied that you have insurance, they may give you a ticket or impound your vehicle. If your vehicle is impounded, you’ll have to pay fees to get it released. You may also be subject to other penalties, such as suspension of your driver’s licence. The police officer may give you the summons to appear in court if he establishes that you don’t have any insurance.
Therefore, it is important to ensure that you always have proof of insurance with you when you’re driving. If you’re stopped and can’t provide proof, you could face serious consequences.
Can You Drive Someone Else’s Car Without Insurance in Ontario?
Yes, you can drive someone else’s car without insurance in Ontario as long as you have a valid driver’s license and the vehicle owner has insurance. If you get into an accident while driving someone else’s car, the owner’s insurance will cover the damages.
However, there are a few points worth noting if you are driving someone else’s car without insurance:
- If you regularly borrow someone else’s vehicle, make sure you are listed as a secondary driver on their insurance agreement.
- You may consider buying non-owner auto insurance. This type of insurance will cover you if you’re in an accident while driving a car that doesn’t belong to you.
- If you get a traffic ticket while driving someone else’s car, police will accept the owner’s proof of insurance.
- In case of an infraction, you will have to pay fines. Plus, any demerit points will go on your driving record.
What to Do if You’re Caught Driving Without Insurance in Ontario?
If you are caught driving without insurance in Ontario, you must follow the steps below:
1. Stop Driving:
You will need to stop driving immediately if you are caught driving without insurance.
2. Pay the Fine:
You will be required to pay a fine if you are caught driving without insurance. The amount of the fine will depend on the severity of the offense.
3. Contact an Insurance Provider:
Immediately contact an automobile insurer to obtain insurance coverage.
4. Get Your Licence Reinstated:
You will be required to provide proof of insurance to the Ministry of Transportation. Once the ministry has received this proof, your licence will be reinstated.
5. Drive Carefully:
Remember to drive carefully and obey all traffic laws once you have insurance coverage. Driving carefully will help you avoid getting into an accident and incuring fines or penalties.
How To Fight a No Insurance Ticket in Ontario?
No insurance tickets are costly and can lead to higher insurance rates, so it’s important to fight them if you receive one. The best way to do this is by gathering evidence that proves you had insurance at the time of the infraction. This may include a copy of your insurance card, an online account statement, or a letter from your insurer. If you can provide this evidence to the court, you may be able to have the ticket dismissed.
If you’re unable to provide proof of insurance, you may still be able to fight the ticket by proving that you were not the driver at the time of the infraction. This can be done by providing an alibi witness or security footage that shows someone else was driving your car. If you can successfully prove that you were not the driver, the ticket should be dismissed.
No one ever plans on being in a car accident, but the sad reality is that they happen every day. And if you’re involved in a crash that wasn’t your fault, the other driver’s insurance company may not be so quick to pay up. That’s why it’s essential to have your own auto insurance policy in place.
Driving without insurance in Ontario is a serious offence resulting in significant fines and penalties. Insurance tickets are serious offences. If you receive one, it’s important to fight it by gathering evidence that proves you had insurance at the time of the infraction or that you were not the driver. By doing so, you may be able to have the ticket dismissed and avoid costly penalties.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is driving without insurance a criminal offence in Ontario?
No, driving without insurance is not a criminal offence in Ontario. However, it is an offence under the compulsory automobile insurance act, and you can be fined up to $5,000 if you are caught driving without insurance. If you are involved in an accident and do not have insurance, you may also be sued by the other driver(s) involved.
How much is the ticket for not having insurance?
The fine for driving without insurance in Ontario is between $5,000 and $50,000. For the first offence, they start from $5,000 and go up to $25,000. For a subsequent conviction, the fine will start from $10,000 and may go as high as $50,000.
In addition to this one will have to pay 25% victim surcharge fees and $5 as a court processing fee. Therefore, if someone is fined $5,000 they will likely pay $5,000 + 25% of $5,000 ($1,250) + $5 = $6,255 in total.
Can you go to jail for driving without insurance in Ontario?
The short answer is no, you cannot go to jail for driving without insurance in Ontario. However, there are significant penalties for driving without insurance, including a fine and a licence suspension.
If you are caught driving without insurance, you will also be required to obtain insurance before your licence can be reinstated. In some cases, drivers caught driving without insurance may also have their vehicles seized.
Can you lose your licence for driving without insurance?
Though you will not lose your licence for driving without insurance in Ontario, it may be suspended. Driving without insurance is a serious offence and can have very costly consequences. If you are caught driving without insurance, the licence suspension period can range from 30 days up to one year.
What happens if an uninsured driver flees the scene of the accident?
If you are hit by an uninsured vehicle, and they flee the scene of an accident, it will count as an offence under the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario. This may result in fines ranging between $200 and $2,000. If the driver is caught and convicted, their licence may be suspended for two years. Seven demerit points will also be applied to the driver’s record. However, if the fleed driver is found guilty under the criminal code, they may serve up to 5 years in jail.
If you are hit by an uninsured driver who flees the scene, uninsured auto coverage protects you in such a scenario. Alternatively, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. However, it can be difficult to track down a hit-and-run driver, so you may not be able to collect any compensation even if you are successful in filing a claim or lawsuit.
Can you keep a car without insurance in Ontario?
Yes, you can keep a car without insurance in Ontario, but it must be registered and plated with a valid permit. The car must also be stored in a garage or on private property. If the car is found on public roads without insurance, it will be impounded, and you will have to pay storage and towing fees to get it.
How does driving without insurance conviction affect your insurance rates?
Driving without insurance conviction will affect your insurance premiums in Ontario. Your rates will become high, and you may have difficulty finding an insurance company willing to insure you. The reasons behind this are:
1. Insurance companies view drivers who have been convicted of driving without insurance as a higher risk. This is because these drivers have demonstrated that they are willing to flout the law and drive without insurance, which puts themselves and other road users at risk.
2. Drivers who have been convicted of driving without insurance tend to make more claims on their insurance policies than those who have not been convicted. This is because they are more likely to be involved in a car accident or incidents where they need to make a claim.
How long does driving without insurance stays on your driving record?
Most states will keep drivers’ insurance status records for at least three years. This means that if Ontario drivers are caught driving without insurance, the infraction will stay on their record for at least three years.
What happens if an uninsured driver injures you?
If an uninsured driver injures you in Ontario, you may be able to sue the driver for damages. In addition to that insurance company is liable to pay your medical bills of up to $200,000 (Though the type of car insurance vary, this is the standard amount paid by the accident benefits portion of a regular car insurance policy).
Family protection endorsement is another way to make sure that you’re covered under these circumstances. This is insurance coverage that pays for damages if you or anyone in your family is hit by an uninsured or underinsured motor vehicle driver. The amount of coverage varies from insurance company to company, but it is usually between $25,000 and $1 million. Hence, always make sure you have adequate car insurance coverage.