What consequences will a Canadian speeding ticket have on a US resident?
August 19, 2014 3:13 PM   Subscribe

I got clocked speeding in an area of Montreal with an 18 mph speed limit (that I didn't know about). I got a ticket and was sent on my way. As a US citizen and resident, I have questions about what impact (if any) this ticket will have on my license, insurance, and--if I choose not to pay the ticket--my ability to return to Canada. (Note: I am not seriously considering ignoring the ticket, I'm just curious.)

My questions are fourfold:

1) Will this ticket be reported back to my state and my insurance company? Related to this, will the ticket be a trigger for a rate increase, or do insurance companies only care about US moving violations that do not result in accidents?

2) Will the 'demerit points' associated with the ticket count as points against my US license?

3) If I pay the ticket (and by default, plead guilty), does that alter any of the above?

4) If I elect not to pay the ticket and ignore it, will it cause me problems in returning to Canada, even if I am not driving the same car and not using my driver's license to enter the country? It's probably relevant to note here that the police officer did not take my passport, just my US license.
posted by yellowcandy to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total)
What state is your license from? A lot of states have reciprocal agreements.
posted by jeather at 3:42 PM on August 19, 2014

Jeather, it's from NY. I know there's some reciprocity, but it's unclear to me how far it goes.
posted by yellowcandy at 3:48 PM on August 19, 2014

Well, the regulations are here.

If you don't pay, they send it to NY, who will enforce payment. There is a little grid at the bottom telling you what will give you points on your NYS license, it depends on what the ticket says the offense was. "For the purposes of driver licensing records, each jurisdiction shall recognize a declaration of guilt in the other jurisdiction concerning one of its residents as if the violation were committed in the home jurisdiction. Points shall be assessed and suspensions or revocations issued in accordance with the appendix to this Agreement."

I have no idea about (4), though.
posted by jeather at 4:00 PM on August 19, 2014

Here's the NY DMV page on the issue:

The New York State DMV does not record out-of-state convictions of moving traffic violations of New York State non-commercial licensed drivers, except for traffic offenses committed in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in Canada.
As best as I remember friends in similar circumstances, jeather has it right. And yes, you will have problems re-entering Canada if you don't pay.

That being said, if you got a ticket in NYC or on LI, I could tell you the best way to deal with it given how each jurisdiction handles moving violations (very differently!). But I have no idea what the best course of action is for the Canadian ticket WRT potential plea bargains, etc.

TL;DR: Don't ignore it.
posted by Brian Puccio at 7:02 PM on August 19, 2014

« Older I want to hear about your weird yummy pizza orders...   |   Crowdfunding a previously venture-funded education... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.