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Getting a traffic ticket can be a reality check, but if you're travelling in another province, it can just lead to confusion. What happens when you get an out of province ticket, and what does it mean for your driving record? With so many Canadians exploring the country, we read up on the Highway Traffic Act to answer these very questions. 

You’re on the Ski-To-Sky Highway heading up to Whistler after a four-stop (!!!) flight from Kenora, but you don’t even care because the GPS says you’ll be there in 49 minutes, which seems like a lot so you push the pedal just a little bit until it’s 48 minutes. A bit more…47… 46…

And, boom.

You got a ticket in another province.

You smile nicely, take your ticket and get on your way. And then, if you’re smart, you go online and pay your fine as soon as you can.

But why? Are they really going to cross the country to come after you?


But they may send your file to CRA for collections, which will come out of your tax refund next year (with interest).

The negative effect on your credit rating from being sent to collections, and the additional interest you’d have to pay on money you borrow for two years following, will far out-value the cost of the ticket.

And depending on what jurisdiction you were pulled over in, the police (or sheriff) may send your file to a private collection agency, which can be a whole other set of problems you don’t need.

So just pay it.

Can you get demerit points for an out-of-province ticket?


As far as the Ontario Ministry of Transportation is concerned, an out-of-province ticket carries the same weight as an in-province ticket vis-à-vis demerit points.

Also, criminal vehicular offences committed in other provinces (including dangerous driving, DUI,  failure to remain at the scene of a collision and others) will result in a suspended licence in Ontario.

Can you fight an out-of-province ticket?

Sure. But you’ll have to return to the province you were ticketed in to appear in local court. Depending on where you live and how far you have to go, it might not be worth the cost or your time.

It’s important to note that tickets — like convictions for speeding — can affect your car insurance premium. So no matter where you are, be sure to know the rules of the road, and abide by them.

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Avoiding out-of-province tickets

If you’re planning to be away, a quick refresher on your destination’s speed limits is a good idea. You’ll obviously see the speed limits on the road when you get there, but you’ll be more cognitively aware of them if you’ve seen them once.

You should also check to see what the red light rules are. Most places in Ontario allow for a right turn on the red, but this isn’t necessarily the case where you’re going — Montreal and New York City are two places where red-light right turns are not permitted.

Flubbing this rule is an easy way to ruin your vacation in a hurry.

Getting a ticket in the U.S.

Ontario has reciprocal deals with New York State and Michigan regarding demerit points, so infractions there will add demerit points here. And you’d be wise to pay tickets from the U.S. in short order because you won’t want to deal with American collections agencies.  

If your car doesn’t display miles per hour, try to commit the common conversions to memory:

•    25 mph = 40 km/h
•    50 mph = 80 km/h
•    60 mph = 100 km/h
•    75 mph = 120 km/h

While the rush of a vacation or hustling from boardroom to boardroom on a business trip can lead to getting nailed for speeding, try not to make a habit of it. While you may pay it and forget it, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation won’t — and neither will your insurance provider.  

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