Suspended Licence? An Impaired Driving Lawyer Can Help Get It Back!

Have you been charged with DUI in Ontario? Being convicted of driving under the influence and losing your driver’s licence can significantly disrupt your day-to-day life. This is especially true if you drive to work or live where public transit is hard to access.

According to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act (HTA), a DUI conviction can result in:

  • A criminal record.
  • Impounding of your vehicle.
  • The loss of your driving licence.

And the process of licence reinstatement can be even more confusing because of its complexity.

If you have a suspended licence in Ontario thanks to an impaired driving conviction, do not lose hope. You can get it back – with the help of an experienced impaired driving lawyer.

Here, we discuss why driver’s licences are suspended and how to get yours back.

Why Your Driver’s Licence May Have Been Suspended

Ontarians convicted of driving offences have to go through two licence suspensions: the first during their arrest and the second one after conviction.

But before you start legal endeavours to get your licence back, you need to know why it was suspended in the first place. If you don’t know, contact the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO). The following are reasons that can lead to a licence suspension:

  • Unpaid Fines

This is the most common reason why drivers get their licence suspended or are charged with driving while under suspension. In this case, you have to pay all the fines to get back your licence. If you can’t pay the entire fine, you can ask the court about alternative payment plans. Once approved, you can get your licence back from the MTO. 

  • Suspended Period Imposed by the MTO

Violating any laws under the HTA or Criminal Code of Canada can lead to the MTO suspending your licence.

For example, stunt driving is not a criminal offence as it falls under the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario. (Stunt driving includes excessive speeding, street racing, contests, and engaging in dangerous driving practices in a motor vehicle on a road or highway).

However, as per July 2021 updates to Ontario’s stunt driving rules, getting charged with stunt driving leads to an immediate 30-day licence suspension and vehicle impoundment. In addition, you can be fined between $2,000 and $10,000. Novice drivers can get four or more points taken off their licence and a 30-day licence suspension.

  • Family Law Matters

As per the Family Responsibility Office (FRO), your licence can be suspended if you do not pay child or spousal support. The only way to get your licence back is by paying your outstanding support obligations. Once you do, the FRO will communicate with the MTO to give your licence back.

  • For Medical Reasons

Your driver’s licence can be suspended for medical reasons as well. As per HTA rules, healthcare providers have to report any medical conditions to the MTO that may prevent you from driving safely.

In that situation, you can discuss the issue with your family doctor. Once your doctor gives you the green light to safely drive, they will contact the MTO to allow you to get your licence back.

How Can You Get Your Licence Back in Ontario?

The process of getting your licence back is called licence reinstatement. Follow these steps to get your licence back.

  • Read the Letter from the MTO

Go through the MTO letter to understand why your licence was suspended and what information and forms they need so they can consider reinstating it.

For example, if your licence was suspended for a medical reason, contact a healthcare provider to fill out the form the MTO sent you to provide your medical fitness report. It is best to ask your family doctor or nurse practitioner if they can support you in this process. Then, send the medical documentation to the MTO.

  • Pay Any Outstanding Fines

If you have any outstanding fines, pay them. Your reinstatement fee can be as high as $281. You can pay the fine online or in person at an Ontario service centre. (This fee does not apply to those whose licence has been suspended due to a medical condition.) You may also have to pay applicable fees for any written/road tests.

  • Consult a Criminal Lawyer

If you have been convicted of a DUI, contact an experienced criminal lawyer in Toronto. Once your charges are removed, you will get documents that state that the suspension has been lifted.

Once the suspension is lifted, you can apply to renew your driver’s licence. You will have to pass certain tests depending on the length of the suspension. For example:

  • A vision test for one to three years of suspension
  • Vision test, written knowledge test, and two (G1 and G2) road tests for 3 to 10 years of suspension
  • For more than 10 years of suspension, reapply as a new driver and retake all tests

If your licence is already suspended, follow these procedures to get your driver’s licence back. Of course you won’t have to go through all these difficulties of getting your licence reinstated if you don’t get convicted of DUI in the first place. Fortunately, experienced criminal lawyers can strategize a strong defence to save your licence.