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What Happens on a U.S Highway Stays in the U.S? Not Exactly

Traffic Tickets
jason-baxtorJason Baxter

When driving cross-border you might be tempted to cut the long drive short by going over the speed limit. After all, you’re just coming into the U.S for a quick visit, maybe just a short weekend getaway or shopping trip. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that any traffic tickets you get while in the U.S are invisible. Canada and the U.S have a reciprocal relationship when it comes to traffic violations. This means if you get a ticket in the U.S, specifically the states of New York and Michigan, you could see demerit points on your Canadian driving record.

What to do if you’re Pulled Over in the U.S?

Behave in a respectful manner as you would if you were being pulled over in Canada; signal, pull over to the shoulder, and have your licence and registration ready to show the officer. Do not dismiss the ticket or the officer simply because you are not a U.S resident.

Pay the Fine or Fight the Ticket?

Many Canadians assume paying the fine is less of a hassle because they don’t want to travel to take care of the ticket. We strongly suggest not accepting the ticket and just paying the fine. This would mean you plead guilty for the offence and your Canadian driving record could accrue demerit points. Contact X-Copper and we can discuss your options to fight the ticket.

Could my Insurance be affected by an Out of Province Ticket?

Absolutely! Any conviction you receive out of province or in the states of New York and Michigan could result in demerit points placed on your record. Those demerit points have the same repercussions as if caused by an in-province offence. In order to avoid higher insurance premiums it is advised to not ignore your tickets or to assume a guilty plea automatically without discussing your options.

Some examples of traffic offences outside Ontario that will add demerit points:
• speeding
• failure to obey a stop sign
• failure to obey a signal light
• failure to stop for a school bus
• racing
• failing to remain at or return to the scene of an collision
• careless driving

So if you’re planning on hitting the road cross-country or to the United States we suggest taking extra caution. If you’d been hit with an out of province ticket call X-Copper at 1-888-XCOPPER to discuss how we can help fight your ticket.


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