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What happens if I do not pay a speeding ticket in British Columbia?

Many people are frustrated when they receive speeding tickets. They worry about the cost and points associated with the ticket and sometimes decide they will not pay for the ticket.

The problem, if you do not pay a speeding ticket, is that it can affect your ability to renew your license and insure your vehicle.

ICBC, unlike other provinces, does not issue warrants for unpaid traffic tickets. Typically, unpaid tickets, unlike bylaw offences, also do not get sent to collections in BC. But it has happened.

There is also legal authority for ICBC to take action related to unpaid traffic tickets, but as of right now, they do not do this as well.

But ICBC does have a strong hold on you, in the sense that your ability to apply for insurance, obtain insurance, and renew your driver’s license is all contingent on your having paid any outstanding debts to the government. This means that if you do not pay your traffic ticket, ICBC is waiting in the wings to collect that money from you, when you have to go renew your license or your car insurance.

You cannot simply wait out the consequence of a speeding ticket. After all, it is not as though the government does not want its revenue from you.

However, if you are worried about being arrested for not paying your ticket, you likely will not be. Again, although ICBC could do this, the reality is that it does not happen in BC. There are good policy reasons for this, including that it is generally bad for the government to punish people for not being able to afford to pay fines.

In addition to not having your license renewed, ICBC will also deny you access to other services. ICBC or the government may stop you from renewing your BC ID, your Care Card, or even engaging with other government services that are done through ICBC offices.

So, there is no good reason not to pay a speeding ticket when it is due. If you really want to avoid paying for a ticket, the best thing to do is dispute it.

If you are considering disputing a speeding ticket, don’t hesitate to contact us, we’re always happy to help.