In British Columbia, there is not a set number of penalty points you can have before receiving a licence suspension. However, if you get a minimum of 15 driver penalty points on a Class 5 licence within a two-year period, you will receive a letter from RoadSafetyBC informing you that you are going to be prohibited from driving for anything from three to eight months.
To reinstate your licence, you may need to pay any outstanding fines or debts, complete any required programs, and pass any tests.
Driving is a privilege that comes with responsibilities. In British Columbia, as in many other places, accumulating demerit points can lead to the suspension of your driver’s license. And your premium will increase if you receive more than three points in a 12-month period
In this guide, we’ll delve into the details of license suspension in BC, shedding light on the number of points that can trigger suspension, the types of offenses that can accrue points, and steps you can take to prevent losing your driving privileges.
A letter from RoadSafetyBC
Getting thar letter telling you that you can’t drive can be really stressful. We can help you.
It’s important to take action if you get this letter, like appealing the decision or doing a program for responsible drivers to shorten the prohibition period.
Remember, this driving ban can have a big effect on your everyday life and work, so it’s vital to drive safely and prevent future violations.
What offenses contribute to these points?
When you violate a driving law, you may be given a fine and/or penalty points. Penalty points are given for things like speeding, driving recklessly, or not stopping at a red light. The number of penalty points you receive depends on the offence. It is usually somewhere between two and 10 points.
Speeding: A Common Offense
Speeding is one of the most common traffic violations that can lead to demerit points. Depending on the extent of the violation, you can accumulate:
- 3 points for driving 40 km/h over the speed limit, and the fine of $368
- 3 points for driving 60 km/h or more over the speed limit, and the fine of $483
It’s important to stay within the speed limits to avoid these points.
Reckless Driving: Points to Ponder
Reckless driving is a serious offense that not only poses a danger to you but also to other road users. If you’re caught driving recklessly, you could face:
- 6 points for driving without due care and attention
- 4 points for using electronic device while driving or emailing/texting while driving, and fine of $368
These points can add up quickly and bring you closer to license suspension.
Disobeying Traffic Signals: A Costly Mistake
Disobeying traffic signals might seem like a minor mistake, but it can result in:
- 2 points for running a red light or stop sign
- 2 points for failing to yield the right-of-way
You will also have to pay a fine of $167.
These seemingly small infractions can contribute to the accumulation of points.
Other fines that contrubute to the Driver Penalty Points BC
- For edistracted driving is four points,
- driving while suspended is 10 points.
- Slow driving is 3 points
Driving Under the Influence: Zero Tolerance
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.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense that can lead to immediate license suspension, even for a first-time offense. It’s essential to have a designated driver or use alternative transportation if you’re impaired.
Evaluating penalty points by ICBC and Driver Penalty Point Premium
Every 12 months, ICBC looks at the number of new penalty points you have accumulated and assigns penalty points according to Division 28 for each hazardous moving violation conviction reported there.
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.
Can I check how many points I have on my driving record?
Yes, you can check how many points you have on your driving record in BC. You can request a (N) print from ICBC, which is a record of your basic driving history and any commercial vehicle-related convictions in the last five years1. You can also look up the amount of points for each traffic offence on the ICBC website
How many penalty points before I lose my licence in BC?
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.
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.
Are there ways to reduce demerit points?
According to the web search results, there are a few ways to reduce demerit points in BC. One way is to temporarily surrender your licence to ICBC for at least 30 days, which will reduce or eliminate your Driver Penalty Point premium. Another way is to wait until the points expire, which usually takes five years.
However, there is no option to apply for a good behaviour period or take a driver improvement course to clear your points in BC, unlike in some other provinces.
The best way to avoid demerit points is to drive safely and follow the law.
Can I appeal 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.
Vancouver Driving Offences Lawyers
It’s always better to be cautious and prevent violations rather than facing the consequences of points and potential license suspension. However if you face the licence suspension or any other driving charges, do not hestate to contact us.
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.