Lost Your Licence? Here Are Your Next Steps
Driver’s license suspensions can be a source of significant stress and inconvenience. In Ontario, many situations can lead to a suspended license, including unpaid fines, accumulating too many demerit points, or committing certain criminal offences. Understanding the procedures following a license suspension is crucial, as well as knowing how to navigate the reinstatement process. This comprehensive guide will walk you through your next steps, helping you regain your driving privileges and peace of mind.
Understanding Licence Suspension in Ontario
In Ontario, your driver’s license could be suspended for various reasons. These can range from non-payment of fines, failure to comply with a court order, medical reasons, failing to maintain insurance or conviction for a traffic offence like impaired driving. Among these, non-payment of fines is quite common, often surprising drivers when their licenses are suspended.
Driving with a suspended license is a serious offence in Ontario. If caught, you may face hefty fines and further suspension of your license, with the possibility of jail time in some cases. A crucial point to understand is that driving without a license, whether due to suspension or otherwise, is considered a serious offence. Although it might not always constitute a criminal offence, it’s typically treated as a major provincial offence which can lead to severe consequences.
The Process of License Reinstatement in Ontario
After a license suspension in Ontario, you must fulfill specific obligations before you can legally drive again. It’s important to remember that your license will not automatically be reinstated at the end of your suspension period.
Here are the general steps to follow:
Wait out the suspension period
The suspension period could range from a few days to several months, depending on the reason for the suspension.
Pay all outstanding fines
You must pay all your outstanding fines if your license was suspended due to unpaid fines. Your license will not be reinstated until all fines are paid.
Attend any required programs or meetings
In some cases, you might need to complete remedial programs like Back on Track for alcohol-related offenses, or attend interviews with officials from the Ministry of Transportation.
Pay the reinstatement fee
To reinstate your license, you must pay a fee. As of my knowledge, the cut-off in September 2021, the standard license reinstatement fee in Ontario, was $281. This fee is subject to change, and it’s always best to check the latest information on the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s website.
Reapply for your driver’s licence.
Sometimes, you may need to apply for a new driver’s license and pass the necessary tests. This depends on the terms of your suspension.
Once your license is reinstated, ensure you have valid insurance before you start driving again.
The Case of 30-Day License Suspension in Ontario
In Ontario, you can have your license suspended for 30 days for reasons such as accumulating too many demerit points or as a penalty for a driving-related offence.
In the case of a 30-day license suspension, the reinstatement process is quite similar to the general process. You must wait out the suspension period, pay the reinstatement fee, and provide proof of payment to the Ministry of Transportation. Make sure you’ve settled any outstanding fines and addressed any other conditions related to your suspension before you attempt to reinstate your license.
What To Do If You’re Caught Driving With a Suspended License
Being caught driving with a suspended license in Ontario is a serious offence that can lead to further penalties. If caught, you may face a minimum fine of $1,000 for a first offence and between $2,000 and $5,000 for subsequent offences, according to the Highway Traffic Act. You could also face further license suspension or even imprisonment in some cases.
If you’re caught driving with a suspended license, the most crucial thing to do is consult with a lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer can guide you through the legal process, potentially mitigating penalties or even arguing for the charges to be dropped, depending on the specifics of your case.
Bayne Sellar Ertel Macrae: Your Guide Through License Reinstatement
Facing a license suspension can be daunting, but you don’t have to navigate it alone. Bayne Sellar Ertel Macrae is here to help. As one of the leading law firms in Canada, we specialize in various areas of criminal defence, including driving offences and license reinstatement.
Our team can help you understand the specifics of your case, advise on the best course of action, and represent you in court if needed. With our expertise and commitment to protecting your rights, we can help you get back on the road legally and safely.
Understanding the license suspension and reinstatement process is crucial to regaining your driving privileges in Ontario. By knowing the reasons for license suspension, the steps for reinstatement, and the penalties for driving with a suspended license, you can make informed decisions and avoid further complications.
However, this guide is not a substitute for legal advice. Each case is unique and requires a detailed understanding of the law and the situation’s specifics. If you face a license suspension, consider seeking legal counsel to guide you through the process.
For professional guidance, contact Bayne Sellar Ertel Macrae. Our team of experienced lawyers is ready to provide you with the support and representation you need to navigate the challenges of license suspension and reinstatement.