Understanding Quebec’s demerit point system
Infractions listed in the Quebec Highway Safety Code, in addition to the fine, may impose demerit points. In fact, when you are found guilty of an offence, demerit points may be added to your driving record depending on the offense. This could lead to a license suspension for a specified number of months.
Demerit points are added to the driving record when the person pays their fine once a judgment is rendered.
It is important to understand that there are several types of driver's license demerit point brackets that vary depending on the age of the driver and the nature of the license.
Types of demerit point brackets.
● Foreign or international permits
● People without a permit *
● Learner's licence
● Probationary licenses
The probationary license is the first regime you obtain when you pass the theoretical and practical exam imposed by the S.A.A.Q. This bracket is imposed on you for 2 years continuously, regardless of your age.
* People who do not have a license and who drive a vehicle illegally, after having accumulated 4 demerit points or more, will have their right to obtain a driving license suspended for a period of between 3 months and 1 year.
Applies to driver's licence holders under age 23
Applies to driver's licence holders age 23 or 24
Applies to driver's licence holders age 25 or older
If you get your probationary license on January 01, 2019 when you are 45 years old, the 4-point bracket will end on January 01, 2021, and since you will be 47 years old on that date, you will get a 15-point bracket. You don't have to go through all the brackets.
It should be taken into consideration that if a suspension occurs during the probationary license, the 2-year period in order to obtain the regular license will be extended by the time of the suspension.
Driver's license suspension and other penalties.
When you accumulate demerit points identical to or in excess of what your bracket allows you to obtain (example: 15 points / 15 points), you face a driver's license suspension that can range from 3 months to 1 year. You can consult with an SOS Ticket lawyer to see if this suspension can be avoided or reduced.
If ever your license is your livelihood or an essential condition of your employment, you can get a restricted license. It is important to contact a SOS Ticket lawyer to find out how to obtain it and how to request it.
How to avoid traffic violations and demerit points in Quebec.
Having a driver's license in Quebec is not a right, but a privilege and it is important to adopt responsible and vigilant driving in order to avoid a suspension. Here are some tips that will help you in your driving:
● Pay particular attention to the signage in order to respect the authorized speed limit.
● Make sure you have a reasonable distance between yourself and other vehicles.
● Remember to put on your flasher when changing lanes.
● The right lane is not a passing lane.
● Use a cell phone mount on your car and do not use your phone while driving