It is an offence under the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act of Ontario to drive in Ontario without car insurance, however, it is not a criminal offence (an offence contained in the Criminal Code of Canada). Driving with no insurance is taken quite seriously in Ontario.
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Pursuant to the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act of Ontario, no owner of a motor vehicle shall operate or permit that vehicle to be operated without valid insurance.
Section 2 of the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act reads as follows:
2. (1) Subject to the regulations, no owner or lessee of a motor vehicle shall,
(a) operate the motor vehicle; or
(b) cause or permit the motor vehicle to be operated,
on a highway unless the motor vehicle is insured under a contract of automobile insurance.
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The punishment for driving with no insurance is set out in section 3 of the Act which states:
(3) Every owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who,
(a) contravenes subsection (1) of this section or subsection 13 (11); or
(b) surrenders an insurance card for inspection to a police officer when requested to do so, purporting to show that the motor vehicle is insured under a contract of automobile insurance when the motor vehicle is not so insured,
is guilty of an offence and is liable on a first conviction to a fine of not less than $5,000 and not more than $25,000 and on a subsequent conviction to a fine of not less than $10,000 and not more than $50,000 and, in addition, his or her driver’s licence may be suspended for a period of not more than one year.
As such, the penalties for driving without insurance can be summarized as follows:
- 1st conviction – minimum $5,000 fine, maximum $25,000 fine.
- 2nd or subsequent conviction – minimum $10,000 fine, maximum $25,000 fine.
- Pursuant to the Provincial Offences Act, a 25% victim fine surcharge is added to the fine imposed by the Court. A $5,000 dollar fine would incur a $1,250 victim fine surcharge and a $50,000 fine would incur a $12,500 victim fine surcharge.
- In addition to the above fines, your drivers license may also be suspended for a period of up to 12 months.