In reply to a few of Sonics comments,
The police do not have access to any database that will tell them if a vehicle or driver are insured. The reason you may see some drivers charged with failing to have a valid insurance card is that this offence can be laid against the driver of the motor vehicle.
A charge of driving without insurance can only be laid against the registered owner of the motor vehicle. This is a reverse onus offence for the sole reason that the police and prosecutor have no access to insurance company data and the driver/owner must provide proof that they in fact have insurance.
Recent court case,
R. v. Persaud, 2015 ONCJ 344
e) After so doing, he stopped the Dodge motor vehicle, and requested the Driver’s Licence, Ownership Registration and Proof of Insurance from the male driver, who was the sole occupant of the vehicle.
f) The driver produced an Ontario Driver’s Licence in the name of Nel Prashad, born on December 11th 1959 with an address of 62 Skyvalley Drive in Brampton, Ontario. The digitized photograph on the Licence matched the likeness of the driver, and the officer was satisfied with his identification.
g) Mr. Prashad did not produce the permit nor any proof of insurance with respect to the vehicle.
h) After a brief conversation with the driver, the officer permitted him to leave without laying any charges.
i) On September 4th 2014 at approximately 3:35 pm he called State Farm Insurance “and received certain information” and he was not satisfied that the said motor vehicle was insured.
j) He then charged the defendant with "Permit Motor Vehicle to be operated Without Insurance" contrary to section 2(1) (b) of the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act.
Does that not suggest police DO have access if they so request. Even if that requires a phone call, police officers DO have access to your insurance.
i'm surprised that an insurance company would release personal information by phone to somene who cant be identified. I'd never call someones insurance company. Not my job to prove you have insurance. If i have any doubt I lay the appropriate charge or charges and let the accused person deal with the prosecutor.
As for identifying drivers who may not be licenced or may be suspended, the only indication that police get of a susupended person is if that person is also the owner of the motor vehicle in question. Therefore the only may to determine if a driver has a valid licence is to pull that vehicle over and check.
This may be true, but I'm not entirely convinced on it. When my brother's license became suspended, I was stopped considerably more often than normal to ask for license and registration. He was not the owner of the vehicle, unless you're implying it's a coincidence. I was also under the impression that they had access to license suspensions under a vehicle, as he was always registered as a secondary driver.That would be because when the officer ran your plate, you were also run and a close hit would have come up with someone with the same last name and close particulars. If your brother had ever driven your car as well, and was stopped by police, he would have been associated to your motor vehicle in the police agencies local database.
"probable cause" is a very American term and even though there is usually another reason to pull over a motor vehicle it is not a requirement under the Highway Traffic Act at this time mainly because driving in Ontario is not a right. It is a privilege that has to be earned and may be taken away.
We both agree, that legally, driving is considered a privilege. However, just because it's a privilege doesn't necessarily mean that other rights are legally allowed to be violated. For example, just because you're driving the police isn't allowed to stop you and search your vehicle without reasonable grounds. Probable cause was just used interchangeably by me in place of reasonable grounds, the Canadian requirement (in this context).
Search of the motor vehicle is a totally separate issue.