licensed in another province at time of suspension

btwilliger
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licensed in another province at time of suspension

by: btwilliger on
Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:50 pm

I have an unusual situation.

I was traveling down the 401, noticed a speed trap, and started flashing my lights -- in order to warn oncoming drivers.

Within a 30 seconds, a car slowed, crossed the grass, and approached me from behind. Lights appeared, and I then realised that this was an officer in an undercover car.

The officer pulled me over, and while he was polite, clearly his motivation was to 'get that guy' that was warning oncoming traffic of speeders. We discussed things for a while, with me making it clear that I find the inane speeding laws to be beyond reproach. All in all, it was a polite conversation.

After the conversation was over, the officer decided to run my license. Unbeknownst to me, I had a suspended license. Here is where it gets interesting.

I have a Quebec driver's license, and my "Ontario Driver's license" was suspend *while I had my Quebec driver's license*.

I say "Ontario driver's license", because.. after this incident I approached the MTO, and was told I still had an active driver's license in Ontario. When I notified them (three separate people, in three separate calls) that I have a Quebec driver's license, and have had one for years -- they said there was 'no way to cancel my Ontario license'.

No, I'm not joking. Three separate people in the MTO said they don't know how to cancel my Ontario license.

The prosecutor in this case, during disclosure (initial summons), has told me that I am "responsible to notify the MTO when I move". When I did move to Quebec, I had to hand in my Ontario license, and Quebec told me that they would "send it back to Ontario". I am not entirely sure what I could have done to prevent this scenario, as I had no idea I was suspended, didn't even realise I had unpaid fines (apparently the tickets go back *years*), and wasn't even a licensed Ontario driver when the suspension occurred!

In truth, I don't see how my Ontario license could have even still be valid .. that is, outside of the move to Quebec, it should have expired due to lack of payment by now!

So, how is a driver with a license in another province, supposed to know about a suspension? Someone with a license in another province, for *years* prior to the suspension?? I'm not sure why this is even moving forward to court?


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by: hwybear on
Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:22 pm

Once you have a licence in Ontario in remains for life. You can turn the licence in, but all details on MTO remain intact. Unpaid fines still remain against the Ontario licence until paid. So your licence would have said 2 things on it when the officer checked: expired licence and suspended. A driver has 6 days to notify the MTO of a change of address.

If a person say from Alberta (with Alberta DL) gets stopped and charged, then convicted, an Ontario Drivers Licence is generated to keep track of the outstanding fines and convictions. If not paid the licence status for the generated Ontario licence is then changed to "suspended". So if this person from Alberta gets stopped 10yrs later , he/she is still suspended in Ontario.
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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by: btwilliger on
Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:46 pm

hwybear wrote:Once you have a licence in Ontario in remains for life. You can turn the licence in, but all details on MTO remain intact. Unpaid fines still remain against the Ontario licence until paid. So your licence would have said 2 things on it when the officer checked: expired licence and suspended. A driver has 6 days to notify the MTO of a change of address.

If a person say from Alberta (with Alberta DL) gets stopped and charged, then convicted, an Ontario Drivers Licence is generated to keep track of the outstanding fines and convictions. If not paid the licence status for the generated Ontario licence is then changed to "suspended". So if this person from Alberta gets stopped 10yrs later , he/she is still suspended in Ontario.
Interesting. Thanks for that info. The three separate people at the MTO I called, could have perhaps explained that to me.

That being said, I still do not see how I failed to do whatever due diligence a citizen would normally take.

First, who the heck calls all the agencies of the province they used to live in, and informs them that they've moved? At best, you inform the new province, and they inform the old. Even Quebec's health agency takes your Ontario health card, and does the same!

In this case, I was even told by Quebec that they would send my old license "back to Ontario", with notification that I now had a Quebec license, address, etc. I don't believe it is reasonable for me to distrust Quebec, my new province in this task. When I'm told that there are treaties between the provinces, by provincial agents in my province of residence.. it should be reasonable to believe them.

Somewhere, Ontario did not properly update my new address, when they received my old license from Quebec. I believe, again, that this is not my fault.

Does my reasoning sound ... reasonable?




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by: btwilliger on
Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:50 pm

cruzmisl wrote:No it doesn't. You should have just paid your fines. You know you got the tickets and you know you didn't pay them so its no one else's fault.
Actually, your reasoning is not sound. It is quite customary for the crown to ask for a certified copy of the suspension letter, and they are doing so in my case.

If they are asking for a certified copy of that letter, then clearly that letter being sent is of some importance. What is important here, is whether or not it was reasonable for me to be unaware of THE SUSPENSION.

I am not in court for failing to pay fines. I am in court for driving with a suspension.

Living in Quebec for YEARS before the suspension ever took place, makes it quite reasonable that I was unaware of the suspension.

One can banter all they like about whether or not I had unpaid tickets. That's not the issue -- at all.

(One can get all huffy and puffy and talk about how I missed paying something -- missing a payment on something isn't illegal in this country.. that's because most SANE and REASONABLE people know that sometimes people have busy lives, and may overlook things.)


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by: hwybear on
Sat Dec 04, 2010 6:13 pm

btwilliger wrote:. It is quite customary for the crown to ask for a certified copy of the suspension letter, and they are doing so in my case.
It is not just your case, the certified copy of MTO documents is used for everyone, whether it be unpaid fines/demerit points/child support/unlicenced, expired plates, use plates not authorized etc ....so nothing special...nothing new, same old routine for police/crown/courts.
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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by: cruzmisl on
Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:09 pm

btwilliger wrote:
cruzmisl wrote:No it doesn't. You should have just paid your fines. You know you got the tickets and you know you didn't pay them so its no one else's fault.
Actually, your reasoning is not sound. It is quite customary for the crown to ask for a certified copy of the suspension letter, and they are doing so in my case.

If they are asking for a certified copy of that letter, then clearly that letter being sent is of some importance. What is important here, is whether or not it was reasonable for me to be unaware of THE SUSPENSION.

I am not in court for failing to pay fines. I am in court for driving with a suspension.

Living in Quebec for YEARS before the suspension ever took place, makes it quite reasonable that I was unaware of the suspension.

One can banter all they like about whether or not I had unpaid tickets. That's not the issue -- at all.

(One can get all huffy and puffy and talk about how I missed paying something -- missing a payment on something isn't illegal in this country.. that's because most SANE and REASONABLE people know that sometimes people have busy lives, and may overlook things.)
You are in court for failing to pay fines and as a result your licence was suspended. Had you paid the fine you wouldn't have been suspended.

The suspension just didn't just recently happen. You just recently got caught.

No one is huffy and puffy and you're correct not paying isn't illegal. The subsequent suspension is though.

Regardless of where you live, 7 days after the suspension takes effect it is considered served and is valid.


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by: btwilliger on
Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:11 am

hwybear wrote:
btwilliger wrote:. It is quite customary for the crown to ask for a certified copy of the suspension letter, and they are doing so in my case.
It is not just your case, the certified copy of MTO documents is used for everyone, whether it be unpaid fines/demerit points/child support/unlicenced, expired plates, use plates not authorized etc ....so nothing special...nothing new, same old routine for police/crown/courts.
?

Yes, I realise it is 'nothing special', that's why I said it is 'customary'.

However, those documents are key to the crown's case, and also key to my defense.


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by: hwybear on
Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:16 am

btwilliger wrote:?

Yes, I realise it is 'nothing special', that's why I said it is 'customary'..
sorry bt...had only seen being "used in my case" :oops:
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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by: btwilliger on
Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:25 am

cruzmisl wrote: You are in court for failing to pay fines and as a result your licence was suspended.
No, not at all. I am not in court for failing to pay fines and having my license suspended. At all. Period.
cruzmisl wrote: Had you paid the fine you wouldn't have been suspended.
Quite true. However, I am not in court for failing to pay fines. I am in court for driving while suspended. There are dozens of ways to end up with a suspended license... and that is all I am in court for.
cruzmisl wrote: The suspension just didn't just recently happen. You just recently got caught.
At no point in time did I said it just happened.
cruzmisl wrote: No one is huffy and puffy and you're correct not paying isn't illegal. The subsequent suspension is though.
No, having a suspended license is quite legal. You're not making sense.
cruzmisl wrote: Regardless of where you live, 7 days after the suspension takes effect it is considered served and is valid.
Not true. You really should stop trying to provide advice, unless you are well versed in the law. Take this for example:

http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statut ... .htm#s52s1

Sub-section 2:
Deemed date of service

(2) Notice sent by registered mail under clause (1) (a) or by mail under clause (1) (b) shall be deemed to have been given on the seventh day after the mailing unless the person to whom the notice is sent establishes that he or she did not, acting in good faith, through absence, accident, illness or other cause beyond his or her control, receive the notice. 2000, c. 26, Sched. O, s. 4.
Yes, "unless the person to whom the notice is sent establishes that he or she did not, acting in good faith, through absence, accident, illness or other cause beyond his or her control, receive the notice.".

I am able to establish that, as I was living in another province for over a year prior to the suspension notice being mailed, and I had also reason to believe that Ontario knew where I lived -- as my new Province told me they would inform Ontario.

That is quite certainly "acting in good faith" and "cause beyond my control".... I do not control Ontario's inability to process information from Quebec.

Please, take more care in the statements you make here. People's lives can be severely affected by what you say!


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by: btwilliger on
Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:26 am

hwybear wrote:
btwilliger wrote:?

Yes, I realise it is 'nothing special', that's why I said it is 'customary'..
sorry bt...had only seen being "used in my case" :oops:
No worries, I see you help with a lot of info on here, including quite a bit of help you provided earlier to me.

Thanks for that. Misreads will happen.


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by: cruzmisl on
Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:12 am

No, not at all. I am not in court for failing to pay fines and having my license suspended. At all. Period.
Correct. You are in court for driving while your licence is suspended
I'm not sure why this is even moving forward to court?
Because it's illegal to drive with a suspended licence despite your reasoning.
Not true. You really should stop trying to provide advice
The information I gave is correct. 7 days the suspension is considered served but even that isn't true. Its actually 8 days because you don't count the mailing day. You meet the criteria either way.
I do not control Ontario's inability to process information
Do you control your ability to pay your fines?

I'm just telling you how it is. Go to court, present your defence to the JP and see what happens. No one said you were guilty. Maybe you'll get a sympathetic JP.


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by: btwilliger on
Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:38 am

cruzmisl wrote:
Not true. You really should stop trying to provide advice
The information I gave is correct. 7 days the suspension is considered served but even that isn't true. Its actually 8 days because you don't count the mailing day. You meet the criteria either way.
No, the information you provided is absolutely not correct. You can not take one little piece of legislation, and just ignore parts that say 'unless'. Exclusions are there for a reason, and that reason is to protect the innocent.

I do not meet the criteria, because, as I mentioned before:
Deemed date of service

(2) Notice sent by registered mail under clause (1) (a) or by mail under clause (1) (b) shall be deemed to have been given on the seventh day after the mailing unless the person to whom the notice is sent establishes that he or she did not, acting in good faith, through absence, accident, illness or other cause beyond his or her control, receive the notice. 2000, c. 26, Sched. O, s. 4.
cruzmisl wrote:
I do not control Ontario's inability to process information
Do you control your ability to pay your fines?

I'm just telling you how it is. Go to court, present your defence to the JP and see what happens. No one said you were guilty. Maybe you'll get a sympathetic JP.
I don't need sympathy, just a JP that follows the legislation.


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by: Traffic Law on
Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:48 pm

Interesting read. I think that the defendant has a good case on this one. As long as he can prove on balance of probabilities that he took all reasonable steps to ensure that his address was changed (i.e Quebec advised as such) and actually surrendered his Ontario driving license (in Quebec) at the time of obtaining a Quebec one. Im my opinion any reasonable person would be entitled to believe that, for all effective purposes, his address has been changed and any subsequent suspension in Ontario would be sent to his new address in Quebec. A defence of officialy induced error (as long as there is prove of all of the above).




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