Many drivers are familiar with the sinking feeling that comes with being pulled over by the police. Getting a speeding ticket can be stressful, embarrassing, and costly. But what happens if you’re caught speeding outside of your home province or in the U.S.?
Whether you’re taking a road trip across Canada or driving over the border to the States, receiving a ticket for speeding (or any other traffic offence) comes with consequences and requirements. Here’s what you need to know.
Do I have to pay a speeding ticket that was issued outside of my home province?
The short answer is yes, you always have to pay a speeding ticket, even if you received it outside of your home province or in another country. Like with a ticket issued close to home, an out-of-province ticket will provide you with the options of either paying within a specified timeframe or disputing the charge in person in court. You can’t simply ignore the ticket and hope it will disappear.
Missing your payment deadline could send your fine to a collection agency, which could negatively impact your credit rating. Some provinces go straight to the Canadian Revenue Agency for collection, which means that your GST refund could be withheld until the ticket is paid. And if you’ve got an unpaid ticket from the United States, it may delay or prevent you from crossing the border in the future. If you’re caught on a second infraction in the same state, you could face a licence suspension or even jail time.
Could a speeding ticket from another province or state affect my car insurance premium?
When it comes to your car insurance, the location where a traffic ticket was issued doesn’t matter. A ticket will be added to your driving record as an out-of-province offence, and it could lead to an increase in your premium. Even if you haven’t told your group’s insurance broker about a traffic ticket, they’ll pull up your driving record at renewal time and see the offence, and your premium will likely go up.
Do I have to report a speeding ticket to my group’s insurance broker?
While there isn’t usually a penalty for not telling your group’s broker about a new speeding ticket — either within or outside of your home province — it’s your responsibility to keep your broker informed of any changes to your driving record. Whether you tell your group’s broker about the ticket or not, the infraction will appear on your record for three years and will ultimately still affect your premium when it’s time for renewal.
Ultimately, the best way to avoid costly traffic tickets — and the insurance premium increases that tend to come with them — is to follow the rules of the road and pay attention to speed limits wherever you might be driving.
Bonus tip: Consider setting your speedometer so it reads in miles instead of kilometres if you’re driving in the U.S., as it’ll help you stay within the posted speed limits.
If you have any questions about how your own car insurance policy might be affected by an out-of-province speeding ticket, contact your group’s licensed car insurance broker today.
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