Can you get points off your licence in BC?
Traffic tickets usually mean driver penalty points. With the added insurance fees that accompany points, drivers often ask us if there is some way to get points off your licence in BC.
In BC, the fine for a driving offence often pales in comparison to the amount of money you eventually have to pay in driver penalty point (DPP) premium. The premium is calculated based on the number of driving offences on your record and is added to your auto insurance.
The cost of DPP premium is an infuriating burden. There are options to reduce your DPP, however, arguably the cure is worse than the disease.
What are driver penalty points?
In many cases in BC, if you are convicted of a traffic violation, you will get driver penalty points. Points stay on your driving record for five years. The number of points depends on the seriousness of the offence. Here are the number of points you can expect to receive for some common driving offences:
- Speeding – 3 points
- Speed in school zone – 3 points
- Excessive speeding – 3 points
- Use of an electronic device while driving – 4 points
- Disobey construction signs – 3 points
- Drive without due care and attention – 6 points
- Motor vehicle-related Criminal Code offence – 6 or 10 points
- Driving While Prohibited/ Suspended – 10 points
ICBC applies DPP premium based on penalty points to discourage drivers from committing offences. It looks at the number of points you have accumulated in the previous 12 months and if there are more than three, it adds DPP premium to your insurance.
The Superintendent of Motor Vehicles can also intervene and prohibit drivers if they start to accrue too many points. Having the threat of a driving prohibition hanging over your head is particularly stressful and a good reason to want to get points off your licence in BC.
How to reduce driver penalty point premium
One way to reduce or eliminate driver penalty point premium from your insurance is to temporarily surrender your licence to ICBC.
Giving up your licence for one year from your birthday will eliminate your DPP premium entirely. Alternatively, giving up your licence for a minimum of 30 days will reduce your DPP premium. If you have a driving prohibition of 60 days or more or you are temporarily unable to drive, you are also eligible for a reduction in payment.
This option is not for everybody. Arguably, not being able to drive for 30 days to a year is more of a punishment than the added insurance fees. However, if you cannot afford the exorbitant costs, it might be your only option.
Don’t pay that ticket
It’s fairly common for people to get spooked into paying a traffic ticket. They get a ticket and think, “I’ll just pay the fine and forget about it.” Unfortunately, they get stuck with the penalty points.
When you pay a traffic ticket or miss your deadline to dispute a violation, you are effectively admitting guilt. This means you accept all the related penalties, including penalty points. The only way to stop points from being added to your licence is to dispute the ticket.
We can’t stress this enough: if you pay the fine, there very little you can do to remove the related points. Your best option is to dispute the ticket. You lose nothing by challenging a ticket. Your punishment if you admit guilt or if a court finds you guilty will be exactly the same. That’s why it makes sense to file a dispute.
The BC Driving Lawyers are experienced at handling traffic ticket disputes. We have a proven track record of achieving positive outcomes for our clients that includes preventing penalty points from being added to their records. Give us a call on 604-608-1200 for a free consultation.