Canadian Driver

canadian-flag-300x225Each day, a significant number of Canadians cross the border into New York and a large number of New Yorkers travel into Canada. Many travelers find themselves on the New York State Thruway, where the police are notorious for giving out plenty of traffic tickets.

If you are a Canadian driver traveling into NY, you need to be extra careful and understand that you may be in more trouble than you originally thought if you receive a NY traffic ticket.



Canada Has Reciprocity With New York

Although the United States and Canada operate under different laws and legal systems, both countries share driver information with one another.

This information includes who receives a traffic ticket as well as when and where. In other words, Canada has reciprocity with New York (and vice versa).

This means New York State will transfer notices of conviction to Ontario and Quebec provinces. Once they have this information, they will assess demerit points against your Canadian driving record.

How Demerit Points Work in Quebec

The Société de l’assurance automobile du Quebec (SAAQ) made it abundantly clear that an equivalent offense committed in another province or in an American state that Quebec has a reciprocal agreement with (e.g. NY) will result in demerit points being put on your driving record as if the offense occurred in Quebec itself.

Put simply, if you received a New York traffic ticket for an offense that is recognized in Quebec, then you will likely receive demerit points on your Canadian driver’s license. The points you receive will be set by the SAAQ point system based on the equivalent offense that you committed. Remember, you will only be allowed to receive a maximum of 15 demerit points on your license.

If you receive more than 15, you will lose your driving privileges for a set duration of time (usually 30 days) and your license could be taken away (depending on the offense you commit).

Demerit Points for Ontario Drivers

Remember, Ontario also has reciprocity with New York. According to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, demerit points will be assessed against you for any traffic violation that you commit in NY that is equivalent to a traffic offense in Ontario.

What are the Ramifications of Speeding in NY With a Canadian License?

If you received a NY speeding ticket, the number of demerit points that Quebec will put on your license directly depends on the speed you were going and how many miles over the posted speed limit you were traveling.

For instance, if you received a speeding ticket for driving 80 miles per hour in a 65 mile per hour zone (i.e. exceeding the limit by 24 kilometers per hour), you would receive 2 demerit points. If you received a speeding ticket for going 90 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone (i.e. exceeding the limit by 56 kilometers per hour), you would receive 10 demerit points.

It is crucial to note that Quebec does not assess demerit points for only traveling 10 kilometers per hour or less over the posted speed limit. In other words, if you hire an experienced traffic ticket attorney who is able to get your traffic violation reduced to a ticket for simply going 6 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, Quebec will not assess any demerit points against you.

However, in Ontario, speeding tickets tend to range from 3 to 6 demerit points.

  • More specifically, if you exceed the speed limit by 16-29 kilometers per hour, you will receive 3 demerit points.
  • If you exceed the speed limit by 30-49 kilometers, you will receive 4 demerit points.
  • If you are caught going 50 kilometers or more, then you will receive 6 demerit points.
  • Lastly, Ontario does not assess demerit points for speeding 15 kilometers or less over the posted speed limit.

Therefore, if you hire a traffic ticket attorney who is able to get your ticket reduced to one for traveling 9 miles per hour or less over the posted speed limit, you will not have to worry about having demerit points assessed against you.

Penalties Associated With Demerits

If you are a new driver and get 2 or more demerit points, you will be sent a warning letter. If you get 6 points, you may need to provide a good explanation for why you should be allowed to keep your license. At 9 points, your license will be suspended for 60 days.

If you are a fully licensed driver and receive 6 demerit points, you will be sent a warning letter. Once you obtain 9, you could be compelled to explain why you should be allowed to keep your license. However, if you receive 15 points, your license will be suspended for 30 days.

Aside from the possibility of having your license suspended or revoked, receiving demerits will cause your insurance to skyrocket. You can also incur hefty fines. Consequently, it is crucial to hire an experienced traffic ticket attorney who can help negotiate and argue on your behalf in order to reduce your offense or get it dismissed outright.


630 thoughts on “Canadian Driver”

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  1. Hi,

    I am a resident of Ontario, Canada and I received a speeding ticket in Alexandria Bay going 70 in a 55.

    Just wondering how much this will cost and if it results in any points in your opinion? Thanks

    • Sadie- You are facing a 4 point ticket in NY, with a fine of $393. As you are an ON driver, 3 demerit points will transfer for this rate of speed.

  2. Hello,
    I’m Ontario resident, received a speed ticket for going 75 in a 55 work zone near North Hudson (NY).
    I rented car the same morning (which I was not fully familiarized with) to take a friend and our aunt to family matter in NY.
    I was next to a truck trailer, which seems unstable (may be the wind). I saw the work zone coming with one lane.
    To be safe, I decided to speed and pass him (concentrated to manoeuver). As soon as I passed him I started slowing down and got my exit where the cop followed me.
    I did mention to the cop: I was passing the truck, I did see the speed limit zone and didn’t know my speed, but still gave me the ticket.
    It will cost me 6 points and $$. What are my solutions? Should plea not guilty and try to explain my case?
    Thank you

    • Pete – pleading guilty and ‘explaining’ the situation will not assist you. If you would like to fight this violation, you must plead not guilty and either obtain a reduction, or bring this matter to trial.

  3. I received a speeding ticket for going 70 in a 55 work zone (VTL 1180 OF). I plead not guilty and received an amended charge 1102 Fail to comply. What fine and fees should I expect to pay and what demerit points would there be against my Ontario license?

  4. Hi I am a Canadian living in Quebec and I received a speeding ticket in NY State on Sunday doing 83 in a 65 what would it cost to take on this file?
    The ticket was issued in the Town of Chesterfield – City of Keeseville on the I87

  5. Hello,
    I am a Canadian living in Ontario and I received a speeding ticket in Syracuse, NY last August. I received a fine of $195 USD but I have not paid it nor have i received anything in the mail about it. I know Ontario and NY state have an agreement, can I just go to service Ontario to fix this or do I have to send in my credit card information by mail to the NY state office?

    • Andrea – I suggest you contact the court where this violation occurred in order to clear up any outstsanding issues against your license.

  6. I’m Canadian living in Ontario, I received a speeding ticket in NY in December and lost 6 demerit points according to the NY system. I paid the fine and have now received a Driver Responsibility assessment statement to the tune of $300.00. Failure to pay this assessment will result with the following…

    Failure to pay will result in your NY state driver’s license, privilege to obtain a NY state driver’s license and/or privilege to drive in NY state SUSPENDED.

    Do I need to pay this since I’m not a US resident and do not have or will ever need a NY state driver’s license?

  7. Hi…I am a Canadian residing in Ontario, i got a ticket last December in Alexandria Bay New York State. The court fine is 273$ which I am willing to pay a.s.a.p. Hence I received also another letter from DRIVER RESPONSIBILITY ASSESSMENT STATEMENT requesting me to pay 450$. I am a bit confused. do I have to pay the DRA fine too? As out-of-state driver what s the impact on my driving license in case i don’t pay it? Thank you.

    • Elvis – if you do not pay the Driver Responsibility Assessment fee, NY will suspend your license. This suspension will transfer to your home state. Thus, you must pay all assessment fees that are due to NY.

  8. hello,
    i received a speeding ticket and was offered a plea of 1202 (b) 1, what would my fine be and I also have to complete a defensive driving course. The ticket is in cayuga county. i am an Ontario resident, how can I find the website to do the course on line.

  9. Hi,

    I received a speeding ticket in october 2015 which resulted in 6 demerit points. I paid the ticket in full, however have not paid the DRA .
    What are the consequences of not paying, and can I contest this? Also, will I be denied entry into NY with the unpaid DRA fine?

    Thank you.

  10. I received a speeding ticket for going 70 in a 55 zone. I usually also use a garmin so I can track my speed in miles. This time I was driving my husband’s vehicle due to the weather forecasts in buffalo. I was watching my speedometer and was sure I was driving between 60 -65. I have done as he asked … I sent back the guilty plea but also added a note that I travel this route frequently driving my 90 year old mother to Ontario for a break and then back to her home in PA and that I never had a speeding ticket in Ellicottville, that I typically use a garmin but forgot to bring it along on this quick trip to meet my sister in ny to lessen my trip. What do most Ontario drivers do to try to get some leniency and what will this cost?

  11. I am an Ontario resident. While driving back from Florida, I received a speeding ticket at Interstate 81 near Watertown, NY, a mile from the Canadian border, driving 73 in a 55 zone. The police vehicle was parked a few feet away from where the signs change from 65 to 55, which didn’t leave much time to lower my speed. I hadn’t seen the 55 sign, but I know ignorance is not an excuse. The ticket indicates I have 48 hours to respond by mail if I plead not guilty (it happened yesterday). Should I plead not guilty or guilty? If I plead guilty, according to your web site, I am subject to 3 demerit points, correct? How much would I have to pay for the fine? Many thanks.

    • That is correct, you are facing a 4 point ticket in NY – which transfers as 3 demerit points. You must answer the ticket by the date as it appears on the front of the ticket – ‘return or appear in person on or before.’

  12. Hi

    I received a traffic ticket by driving along I 90 New York State. I was driving 80 mph in the 65 mph driving zone. Could you please let me know what is the fine for this ticket and what are my option to defend? Am I going to receive demerit points since I am living in Ontario?

  13. Hello,
    I am a Quebec driver. Last december 26th, I embarked on a trip with my family to go visit Washington D.C. It was my first time driving on New York State roads and unfortunately I got a speeding ticket after passing another vehicle. I was driving on the right shoulder at 105 km/h, the limit speed, this was controlled by my cruise control and my GPS. Concentrated in the maneuver, I was not really concient what was my speed while passing the other car but, after passing I took the right shoulder again and I slowed down until 105 km/h, it was at this moment that I saw the patrol behind my car with its headlights on.

    The uniform traffic ticket says that my speed was 80 mp/h (about 129 km/h) on I88 in Town of Worcester… I must say honestly that it is maybe possible, because I was doing a passing maneuver on a highway, but that took only some seconds and the rest, my whole driving was and is always safe and according to the law.

    When the officer came, I didn’t be able to speak, explain, ask or understand about what was she saying about the incident and the contravention because my english is really limited, unfortunately no functional to have that kind of conversation (I am even writting this with google translator help).

    I do not see any amount to pay on the ticket and I do not know what is the procedure to follow, of course I do not want to create a bad record in New York State and much less to affect my record in Quebec.

    Thak you very much if you have some recomendation to share,

    • Fernando – I suggest you contest this violation as it does carry substantial fines and penalties. Please clarify the precise speed infraction that you are being charged with.

  14. Hi there, I received a ticket for going 88mph in a 65 zone by radar on I 390 N/B and it states to mail a plea to North Dansville Town Court by 18th of Jan. It is my first offence and I’m on a Ontario licence but from Ireland temporarily living in Canada, what would the cost of the ticket be and best thing to do, I wanna just get it resolved quickly

    • The cost of this ticket is $393, along with a $300 assessment fee. Whether you chose to fight this will likely depend on how long you plan on residing in ON.

  15. I lost my ticket, in order to pay it on the NYC site I need the ticket number. Is there anyway for me to get it using my license plate or something?

  16. Hi, I received a ticket on the I290 near Amherst NY for 71 in a 55 zone, just after exiting from the I90W. The problem is, I didn’t see a posted 55 speed limit until after the cop pulled me over. The speed limit on the I90 was 65, so I thought I was only 6 over. Is this a valid defence for a not guilty plea?

    • No, ignorance of the law is unfortunately not a defense. While there are other ways to contest your ticket, this is not one of them.
      Contact us at 888-883-5529 and we will be able to further assist you.