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Driving without insurance

Even if you haven’t been pulled over before, you’ve probably heard the phrase “license and registration please,” coming from police officers on TV. What’s not usually talked about on TV is that in Canada, you’ll be asked for your pink insurance card as well. If you can’t produce proof that your vehicle is insured, you can receive a got caught driving without insurance Ontario.

The reality is that driving without insurance is against the law, resulting in fines and charges on your driving record. It might seem unfair, but the “driving without insurance” fine in Ontario exists because it puts you, your passengers, and others on the road at risk. You can find out more about why auto insurance is required by law in Ontario on our aha insurance blog.

Purchasing insurance isn’t necessarily the most fun part of owning a car (it’s OK, we know!), but having insurance coverage should help you feel more confident on the road. If you have been charged by the police for not having insurance, it’s a good time to start considering your insurance options to help protect yourself in the future.
The fine print on driving without insurance

It’s possible to be charged with two different offences related to driving without insurance and fines in Ontario:

  1. Operating or allowing a motor vehicle to be operated without insurance.
  2. Failure to show your insurance card upon a police officer’s request.

It’s possible to be ticketed and fined for failure to surrender your insurance card even if you do have insurance but either forgot to put your pink slip in your car or misplaced it. In this case, it would be worthwhile to prove you have insurance in court, which would likely lead to the charges being dropped. If you’re an aha insurance customer and you lost your pink slip, you can access a digital copy anytime right here.

Other insurance providers may offer a similar service for accessing your proof of insurance documents.

If you do have to pay a fine for not surrendering your insurance information, it will be recorded on your driver’s abstract for 3 years and could potentially affect how much you pay for insurance over that time period.

What if you don’t own the car?

Only the owner of a vehicle can be charged with a charge for driving without insurance because the owner is the only person responsible for making sure that the vehicle is properly insured. However, if you’re driving a car that you don’t own, you should still make sure that the insurance card is in the vehicle because you could still be charged with failure to surrender proof of insurance.

In addition, the owner of the car could still be charged for allowing a motor vehicle to be operated without insurance if a police officer chooses to investigate whether the vehicle was insured at the time you were pulled over. The police have up to three years to perform an insurance coverage investigation.

How much is a fine for driving without insurance in Ontario?

You will not be arrested for driving without insurance because it’s not a criminal offence, but Ontario does take it very seriously. You will be faced with other fines and penalties, such as having your car impounded. The Provincial Offence Act tacks on an additional 25% surcharge to your fine and ( you could get your car impounded for up to 3 months.

If you are unable to show an officer your insurance card and you’re the owner of the vehicle you’re driving, you can be fined between $50.00 and $500.00 plus surcharge taxes. If you don’t show the police proof of insurance but you also don’t own the vehicle you’re operating, you can be fined $65.00. Otherwise, “driving without insurance” fines in Ontario can be up to five thousand dollars plus a surcharge tax.