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How many points does it take to lose your licence in BC?

There are many reasons why your driver’s licence can be taken away from you. One potential way is if you incur too many driver penalty points from traffic tickets such as speeding or impaired driving. But how many points does it take to lose your licence in BC?

While the number might be differ from person to person, this blog will look at the system in place to suspend drivers on the basis of a poor driving record.

Other reasons for prohibitions

Your licence can be suspended if you are convicted of certain offences. There are a number of driving offences under the Criminal Code that can lead to a licence suspension. They include criminal impaired driving, dangerous driving, and taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

There are also a number of offences under BC’s Motor Vehicle Act that carry the penalty of a potential prohibition. For instance, if you are convicted of a driving without a valid driver’s licence, and drive again. If you are stopped by police the notice on your driving record will inform them you have a previous conviction for driving without a valid licence. The police will issue you a driving prohibition there and also and impound your vehicle.

Similarly, if you are convicted of driving while prohibited, you will receive a further prohibition of at least 12 months, regardless whether it is a first offence or not.

Of course, there are a slew of driving prohibitions associated with impaired driving in BC, including Immediate Roadside Prohibitions and Administrative Driving Prohibitions.

Driving prohibition for points

While it’s possible to get a driving prohibition for these offences, it is also possible to get a driving prohibition if you rack up too many driver penalty points. Driver penalty points are issued for a wide range of traffic tickets and driving infractions in BC.

The Superintendent of Motor Vehicles, aka. RoadSafetyBC, operates something called the Driver Improvement Program (DIP). Under the DIP, the Superintendent has the power to monitor your driving record and, if you start to incur too many penalty points, it can also revoke your driving privileges.

But how many points does it take to lose your licence?

If you get a minimum of 15 driver penalty points on a Class 5 licence within a two-year period, you will receive a letter from RoadSafetyBC informing you that you are going to be prohibited from driving for anything from three to eight months. This letter will most likely be a Notice of Intent to Prohibit, in which case you have 30 days to submit an appeal or else your licence will automatically be suspended. Alternatively, it might be a Notice of Prohibition, in which case your prohibition will have already begun.

If you incur between nine and 14 penalty points RoadSafetyBC will issue a warning letter informing you that any further points will result in a driving prohibition.

For Class 7 drivers, the threshold for intervention is much lower. If you are an ‘N’ or ‘L’ driver, RoadSafetyBC can issue a prohibition or Notice of Intent to Prohibit for as few as two penalty points within two years.  

High-risk driving

The Superintendent of Motor Vehicles has the authority to prohibit a person from driving if it is considered to be in the public interest. This means that drivers who are found to pose a risk to public safety can be removed from the road even if they have no previous points on their driving record. This can happen when a driver engages in a high-risk driving behaviour.

Driving can be considered high-risk for various reasons, such as if a person is driving too fast for the location or the weather conditions, if they were impaired by alcohol or drugs, if they endangered people’s lives or they caused property damage. The police can request the Superintendent considers driver for a prohibition if they believe they pose a threat to public safety.  

What to do if you get a driving prohibition for points

If you have received a traffic ticket and you are worried about the number of penalty points on your record, you may be wondering how many points does it take to lose your licence. You may be able to dispute the ticket to prevent intervention by RoadSafetyBC. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to prevent the penalty points from incurring a driving prohibition.

If you have already received a warning letter, Notice of Intent to Prohibit, or Notice of Prohibition, fear not because all is not lost. If you ac quickly you can save your licence. You are entitled to appeal to the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles. It is crucial you submit a well-reasoned argument as to why you should not be given a driving prohibition. If you need help making a submission, the BC Driving Lawyers can help. We have decades of combined experience helping people to stay on the road. Give us a call on 604-608-1200 to find out how we can help you.