How Tricky is Having Unpaid Out-of-Province Ticket in Canada?

Most drivers in Canada are unaware that penalties from breaking traffic rules outside their hometown can go on their home record, except in British Columbia, Quebec and Nunavut. These three provinces are exempted from sharing driving records with other regions according to the 1990 Canadian Driver License Compact (CDLC) Agreement, which means that driving offences in these provinces will not be recorded if you don’t live there and vice-versa. However, Criminal Code convictions would be valid in all regions even if the offence was in another state.

The demerit points and the severity of the penalty and the sharing of records within each province vary upon agreement. Quebec and Ontario share certain documents within the CDLC, outside that there are other agreements made with international alliance such as the agreement between Ontario with New York and Michigan, Quebec with Maine and New York.

According to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, only certain out-of-province demerit points such as speeding, disobeying traffic signals, etc. will be added to the Ontario license.

When an offender does not pay an out-of-province ticket, BC agencies have the authority to go after the ticket holder while other Provinces can go through The Canada Revenue Agency and “take the amount from income tax refunds and GST rebates”, said McMurchy, spokesman for Saskatchewan Government Insurance.

If you have an unpaid out-of-province ticket, your home province cannot prevent the renewal of registration or license as they would have in your home province. For example, Manitoba police do not have the authority to penalize a driver from Ontario in Manitoba, but can only be detained by the police.

The driver with an out-of-province ticket can be led to detention when he gets to that Province where he got the ticket. Due to this different agreement and varied penalty, many citizens often get pulled-over or end up in custody without being sure of the consequences or the causes.