Driving Without Insurance in Canada

What Can Happen If You Drive Without Car Insurance in Canada?August 16, 2021

You are cruising down the interstate on your ride home after a weekend game night. After the massive victory, you are on cloud nine, and nothing can ruin your night. Wait. Is it a siren? You were so pumped up that your foot was stomping on the gas pedal!

When the cop reaches your vehicle, he kindly requests your driver’s license and proof of insurance. You go to get your insurance form from the glove box, but you forgot to put it back after contacting to renew your coverage. It seems like your evening may be spoiled after all.

If you forget your insurance papers, you will have to appear in court to present proof of insurance to have the charges dismissed. But what if you do not have insurance? What should you expect if you get pulled over?

 

What to Expect if you are Pulled Over Without Insurance in Canada

Canadian law requires drivers to present proof of insurance to a police officer if they are pulled over. That is why it is critical to keep a copy of your certificate of insurance in the vehicle with you.

Even if you have insurance but forgot your paperwork, you could still face fines and penalties for not having your documents at that time.

Some possible consequences include:

  • A fine of $81 can be imposed if you fail to submit proper insurance documentation when requested
  • Failure to show a validation decal on the license plate results in a $109 punishment

However, if you are caught driving without insurance, you could face penalties such as:

  • $250 fine and/or up to 3 months in jail if you are driving without insurance under a valid driver’s certificate
  • $300 to $2,000 fine and/or up to 6 months in jail if you are driving without valid vehicle liability coverage

If the court decides you are guilty of driving without insurance, you must pay the fees. Your attorney can utilize your good driving history to decrease your fines if you have one. Typically, the consequences for a first offense are less severe than for repeat offenders.

 

Canadian Fines for Driving Without Insurance by Province

Each province in Canada has different penalties for driving without insurance, depending on if a driver is a first-time or repeat offender.

 

Province First Time no Insurance Second Time no Insurance
Alberta $2,875 to $10,000 + 15% surcharge $5,000 to $20,000
British Columbia $598 $2,300
Manitoba $5,000 to $25,000 $5,000 to $25,000
New Brunswick $500 to $2,000 $500 to $2,000
Newfoundland $2,000 to $4,000 $3,000 to $5,000
Northwest Territories $500 to $5,000 $500 to $5,000
Nova Scotia $2,000 to $4,000 $3,000 to $5,000
Nunavut $500 to $50,000 $500 to $50,000
Ontario $5,000 to $25,000 $10,000 to $50,000
Prince Edward Island $600 to $2,000 $600 to $2,000
Quebec $2,800 $2,800
Saskatchewan $580 7-day vehicle seizure
Yukon $400 to $2,000 $700 to $2,000

Auto insurance laws are different in each Canadian province. For example, Ontario does not have public coverage. Instead, private insurance firms cover both bodily injuries and property damage. On the other hand, British Columbia covers both through public insurance.

 

Is Driving Without Car Insurance in Canada a Criminal Offense?

No, driving without auto insurance is not a criminal offense in Canada, although different provinces may still charge fines and penalties. Some of the consequences include having your vehicle impounded, your license suspended, or serving jail time. If you fail to produce your evidence of insurance when you are pulled over, but you have coverage, the fines tend to be less severe.

Mandatory Car Insurance in Canada

In most provinces, drivers must carry both liability and bodily injury coverage as part of their auto insurance policy.

Alberta

In Alberta, drivers need $200,000 in accident benefits and third-party liability from a private insurer. Collision and comprehensive coverage are optional. Repeat offenders could spend up to 60 days in jail and face a license suspension.

British Columbia

You must have at least $200,000 in liability coverage as a driver in British Columbia from a public or private insurer.

Manitoba

The Manitoba Public Insurance provider offers mandatory public accident benefits, liability, and uninsured driver coverage. Your minimum requirement for liability protection is $200,000.

New Brunswick

Drivers in New Brunswick must purchase auto insurance from a private insurer with at least $200,000 in liability coverage. Driving without insurance could get you jail time and a license suspension.

Newfoundland

Private insurance is available for Newfoundland drivers with a minimum of $200,000 in liability protection.

Northwest Territories

In the Northwest Territories, you can purchase mandatory auto insurance coverage from a private insurer with at least $200,000 in liability protection.

Nova Scotia

Mandatory liability insurance in Nova Scotia requires drivers to have at least $500,000 in coverage. Drivers can buy insurance from private insurers.

Nunavut

The minimum requirement for auto liability insurance in Nunavut is $200,000 and is available from private insurers.

Ontario

You must purchase private insurance in Ontario with at least $200,000 in third-party liability coverage.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island does not have public insurance, but you can fulfill the minimum $200,000 liability coverage requirement with a private insurer.

Quebec

In Quebec, drivers are required to have at least $50,000 in liability protection. If you are involved in an accident without insurance in Quebec, you could lose your license if property damage exceeds $500.

Saskatchewan

Public auto insurance is available for drivers in Saskatchewan to cover the minimum $200,000 liability requirement.

Yukon

Yukon drivers must buy auto insurance from a private insurer with at least $200000 in liability coverage.

 

Driving Someone Else’s Car Without Insurance in Canada

If you drive someone else’s car like your parents’ or friends’, their auto insurance policy should cover you if you have a valid license. Typically, coverage protects the vehicle, regardless of who is driving.

 

Learn More About Auto Insurance in Canada

You can find out more about the dangers of driving without insurance in Canada; reach out to our agents here at Duliban Insurance Brokers today. Our knowledge and experienced professionals have all the tools needed to provide you with more insight into the consequences of driving without insurance.

We look forward to answering your inquiries.

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