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What Happens If You Don’t Pay Your Driving Ticket On Time?

Traffic Tickets
Jason Baxter

If you have been issued a driving ticket, also known as a traffic ticket, the fine associated with the offence for which you received the ticket will be listed on the left side of the ticket.

When the Fine is Due

What many drivers don’t realize is that the traffic ticket fine is not due until they are convicted of the offence.

You have three options, which are listed on the back of the ticket for what to do. 

  1. You can pay the traffic ticket fine immediately, which means you are pleading guilty to the offence.
  2. You can choose to plead guilty with an explanation, in which case you will be assigned a date to appear in court. You may or may not have to pay a fine following your court appearance and explanation, at the discretion of the justice of the peace.
  3. You can choose to go to trial, which will also result in a court date. You may or may not have to pay the fine, or only pay a partial fine, if the justice of the peace decides you are not guilty of the offence or that the fine is too high.

Due dates for fines following court appearances are set by the court, but they could be as quickly as within 15 days. 

If you don’t respond to the traffic ticket at all, usually within 30 to 45 days, you will be convicted of the offence and usually have 15 days to pay the fine. 

What Happens if You Don’t Pay the Fine

There are many consequences of not paying your traffic ticket fine. Depending on your local jurisdiction, your case may be sent to a collection agency who will seek payment. 

Added Fines & Fees

Fines may be increased and fees may be added to the fine as a consequence of failing to pay.

Driver Licence Suspension

Your drivers licence may be suspended due to unpaid traffic ticket fines. To get your licence back, you will first need to pay all outstanding fines and additional fees. In Ontario, you will also need to pay a $281 reinstatement fee.

Unable to Get or Renew Licence Plates 

Some municipalities will deny you the ability to get or renew licence plates for your vehicles.

Demerit Points

Of course, upon conviction, any demerit points associated with the conviction are added to your driver’s licence.

What Should You Do?

If you want to avoid the costly consequences of not paying your fine, and give yourself the best chance of avoiding the fine entirely, you should always choose option three listed on the back of your ticket.
And to maximize your chances of getting the charges against you dismissed, you should hire a specialized traffic ticket attorney. X-Copper’s team of traffic ticket lawyers, paralegals, and former police officers understand court procedures, know how to defend your rights, and get the best possible outcome for you.

To learn more about the consequences of being convicted of traffic offences, check out our article The Hidden Penalties of Traffic Tickets

4 Replies to “What Happens If You Don’t Pay Your Driving Ticket On Time?”

  1. Got a tint ticket and a muffler noise ticket both at the same time last week just going home each is $110 can you assist with this?

    1. Dear Gwynne,

      Thank you for reaching out to us. Tint and noise tickets could potentially go on one’s driving record if one were to plead guilty or pay/accept the fines. We can certainly assist, and welcome you to call us at 1-888-XCOPPER (1-888-926-7737) for a free consultation at your convenience.

      Best regards,


  2. I received a final notice to pay a speeding ticket (Camera speeding)… going 41kms in a 30km, back in August 2023!
    I forgot to pay it ??!!
    Now I have a notice that I was to pay this ticket on February 25, 2024 !!
    It’s now March 1st ….. I PAID THIS TICKET online today !!
    I was wondering since I’m 5 days late again paying it… will there be any problems??!!
    I’m so forgetful about this ticket !!
    I have 35years of NO CONVICTIONS and this was my first speeding ticket… I’m very concerned I’ve messed up my perfect driving record ?!

    1. Hi Diana,

      We’re sorry to hear about your current situation. We welcome you to contact us at 1-888-XCOPPER for a complimentary consultation at your convenience.

      Best regards,
      The X-Copper Team


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