If you’re wondering whether to tell your insurer about a speeding ticket you received in another province or the U.S., just remember that we live in the digital age.
When an Ontario resident, for example, receives a speeding ticket in another province it will show up on your driving abstract as an out-of-province speeding ticket. You have to pay the fine or it will go to collections. And just like any other traffic ticket that shows up on your driving record, it could impact your insurance rates.
When a Canadian resident receives a speeding ticket in the U.S, it can also impact your driving record. Many states and Canadian provinces have reciprocal agreements whereby they exchange information about traffic tickets, including those that are unpaid.
If your home province has such an agreement with a state with which it has a reciprocal agreement, they will share your ticket information with your province’s licensing office. This also means that you could receive demerit points, and the ticket could impact your insurance rates.
Ontario, for example, has reciprocal agreements with all Canadian provinces and territories as well as the states of New York and Michigan.
Bigger troubles in U.S.
Snowbirdadvisor.ca further cautions Canadians who travel to the States each year and do not pay their tickets that if they ever get pulled over in the same state again, you could be facing even bigger troubles.
They advise of some of the following consequences you can encounter:
Denied entry into the U.S.: If you have been convicted of a traffic violation in your absence and have not paid it, that could hurt your chances of being allowed entry into the country and affect your NEXUS standing.
Licence suspension: If you ever get pulled over for any reason in that state again and you have unpaid traffic tickets, you could find out that your licence has been suspended, resulting in bigger legal issues and costs.
Negative credit rating: Unpaid tickets are often handed over to collection agencies and that can negatively affect your credit rating.
Finally, any Canadian travelling to the U.S. should know that if their licence is expired – or expires while you’re away – you can get a ticket for driving with an expired Canadian driver’s licence or licence plate.
How much does a speeding ticket increase car insurance?
A speeding ticket does not necessarily increase your insurance. Some insurers in Ontario, for example, will not increase your rates for one speeding ticket – usually if it is a minor infraction. Other companies will. Also, if you receive a number of tickets in a short time period, you can expect your rates to increase.
So, do I tell my insurer about a ticket or not?
Often, insurers become aware of a speeding ticket when it comes time to renew your policy. Any traffic ticket, including speeding tickets, will remain on your Ministry of Transportation driver’s abstract for three years from the conviction date. It’s common for insurers to contact the ministry and check a driver’s abstract.
To see if a ticket is still on your record, you can order a driver’s record from Service Ontario.
The other way your insurer can find out about your speeding ticket is if you tell them, and honesty is always a good policy.