Ask Anne Marie: If a Traffic Ticket Stays on My Record for Three Years, When Does the Three-Year Countdown Start?

We frequently highlight auto insurance questions sent to our resident insurance expert, Anne Marie Thomas. From fault determination for a collision to driving without insurance, Anne Marie answers them all.

This week’s question is about traffic tickets and comes from Mila, who asks:

“You mentioned that minor infractions remain on your record for three years. I received a ticket for going 15 km over the speed limit and plan to fight the ticket in court. Do the three years begin when I originally received the ticket or when the court convicts me (if it does)? Thank you.”

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An survey last year found that seven in 10 Canadian drivers (68%) say they regularly drive five to 15 km/hour faster than the posted speed limit. Speeding is one of the most common traffic tickets that drivers receive, and it could result in a 10% increase in premiums, explains Anne Marie.

“The three-year countdown does not start on the day the ticket is handed to you by the officer. Instead, police issued speeding tickets will remain on your driving record for three years starting from the date you pled guilty (e.g., pay the fine) or the date you’re found guilty by the court if you fight the ticket. Depending on your driving record, pleading guilty or being found guilty could result in a 10% increase in your rate.”