In British Columbia, you will not automatically lose your driving licence once you reach a certain number of penalty points. However, your premium will increase if you receive more than three points in a 12 month period. Also, your licence may be suspended if the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles decides that a driving ban is in the public interest. Or, you may lose your licence if your driving infraction falls under the Criminal Code of Canada.
Driver Penalty Points BC
When you violate a driving law, you may be given a fine and/or penalty points. The number of penalty points you receive depends on the offence. It is usually somewhere between two and 10 points. For example, distracted driving is four points, whereas driving while suspended is 10 points.
Every 12 months, ICBC looks at the number of new penalty points you have accumulated. If you have more than three points on your licence, you will have to pay a Driver Penalty Point Premium. The amount depends on the number of points you have. This must be paid in addition to your insurance and any fines you have received. You have 30 days in which to make the payment, or you will be charged interest.
How many penalty points before I lose my licence?
In British Columbia, there is not a set number of penalty points you can have before receiving a licence suspension. This differs from some other countries. In the UK, for instance, drivers are automatically disqualified if they accumulate 12 or more penalty points in a three year period.
However, having too many penalty points can land you in trouble. Usually, if you get between nine and 14 penalty points in a two year period, you receive a warning letter from the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles (also known as RoadSafetyBC). This confirms that your driving is being monitored.
If you then acquire more points, the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles must decide whether a driving ban is in the public interest. If so, you will receive a Notice of Intent to Prohibit through the post. Therefore, you are at risk of a licence suspension if you get between 15 and 19 penalty points in a two year period.
The limit is lower for novice and learner drivers. If you are under the Graduated Licencing Program, you could receive a driving suspension if you accumulate between two and six points in a two year period.
Criminal Code of Canada
You may also have your licence suspended if your driving infraction breaches the Criminal Code of Canada. For example, if you are convicted of impaired driving, you will likely face a licence suspension.
Have you received a Notice of Intent to Prohibit?
If you receive a Notice of Intent to Prohibit through the post, you have two options available. Either, you can accept the licence suspension. Or, you can make an Application for Review. In this application, you outline the reasons why you should not lose your licence. You have just 21 days to submit your response. We recommend asking one of our lawyers to help you with this application. This ensures the best legal argument is put forward.
At Mickelson & Whysall, we help people defend all kinds of driving offences and prohibitions. We can help you keep your driving privileges. If you have received a Notice of Intent to Prohibit, or you are concerned that you may lose your licence, please contact us for practical legal advice.