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Technical question about failure to provide car ownership
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:15 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:53 pm
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I did a lot of research before posting here but could not find any answers to my question from what I understand if you do not provide it during the pull over then you can't provide it at the police station or in court as it will do nothing. My question is what is the time limit during the pull over that I have to provide the car ownership? Below I will list what happened.

My grandma recently took a turn for the worse and was on the waiting list to go into a nursing home when a spot becomes available you have 24 hours to take it or you are put to the bottom of the list. So we rented a truck to move her stuff(My dad and I) we loaded the truck he drove that I drove his car behind. He gave me his insurance slip and I obvious have a valid drivers license. During this trip I get pulled over. I was given no reason as to why just that the officer wanted to see my license insurance and car ownership. I provide the license and insurance instantly officer says they will go to there car as I try to locate the ownership.


I check the glove box the hand rest box etc I can't find it 60 seconds had passed cop gives back license and insurance asks who's car it is I say my fathers as we are moving my grandma to a nursing home and he is driving the moving truck and I am driving his car. Officer says he is giving me a ticket for failure to provide ownership. I explain to him that I am sure its in here and he gave me just under 60 seconds to locate it and if I could please have like 2 more minutes to cont to look for it. Officer says he does not have time for that I then say the nursing home is right beside the police station(we were 2 blocks from both and they are DIRECTLY beside eachother) that I could go to my dad and he could show me where it is in the car and I could show it at the police station within the next 10 mintues. He says that won't reverse anything and that I am failing to provide it now.

I then ask once more for just 60 seconds more to look for it he says he does not have time for that hands me the ticket and says have a nice day. As he is driving away I find it(was clipped to the mirror above where you sit) I didn't think to look there in the 50-60 seconds I was given to locate it. I drive behind him waving hoping he stops but he pulls into the police station I don't want to follow him there so I call the police station number and explain I was just pulled over 60 seconds ago and the whole story and if I could come show it to them they tell me it will change nothing if I want to argue the ticket I must go to court.


So my question is what is the legal time limit I have to provide ownership upon being pulled over? I would have to imagine its longer then 50-60 seconds as it may not be you're car so you need time to check the logical places or you may be old and move slow etc etc. I thought it was a valid request to have an additional 1-2 minutes to try and locate this paper for them as I felt 50-60 seconds was not enough time. I also thought it was fair that I was willing to provide it within 5 minutes of the pull over to the police station that the officer pulled into. I could be wrong though just looking for good advice/opinions on this.

Thanks so much for you're time whoever responds to this :)


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Re: Technical question about failure to provide car ownershi
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:49 pm
Posts: 2110
Location: Ontario
The Highway Traffic Act simply states that you’re required to surrender your ownership upon demand. In short when the officer asks for it, you need to provide it. The HTA does not provide a grace period in which you can search your vehicle for the document.

That being said Courts are cognizant of the fact that people don’t drive around with their ownership in their hands. Drivers will obviously require a brief moment to retrieve the document from their glove box, purse, wallet, etc. But I think in Court would also expect drivers to reasonably know where the ownership is and be able to retrieve it promptly. I’m not aware of any case law that would require police to provide you with anything more than a brief opportunity to locate the document. I’d say there’s an onus on the driver to ensure the documents are in the vehicle and readily accessible prior to driving it.

In your case, I’d suggest a first attendance meeting. Some busy jurisdictions will withdraw the charge outright if you can show you had a valid ownership on the date of the offence. Others will offer a greatly reduced fine. I’m sympathetic to what you’ve said, but I don’t think it would be enough to beat the charge at trial.


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Re: Technical question about failure to provide car ownershi
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:15 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:53 pm
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Stanton wrote:
The Highway Traffic Act simply states that you’re required to surrender your ownership upon demand. In short when the officer asks for it, you need to provide it. The HTA does not provide a grace period in which you can search your vehicle for the document.

That being said Courts are cognizant of the fact that people don’t drive around with their ownership in their hands. Drivers will obviously require a brief moment to retrieve the document from their glove box, purse, wallet, etc. But I think in Court would also expect drivers to reasonably know where the ownership is and be able to retrieve it promptly. I’m not aware of any case law that would require police to provide you with anything more than a brief opportunity to locate the document. I’d say there’s an onus on the driver to ensure the documents are in the vehicle and readily accessible prior to driving it.

In your case, I’d suggest a first attendance meeting. Some busy jurisdictions will withdraw the charge outright if you can show you had a valid ownership on the date of the offence. Others will offer a greatly reduced fine. I’m sympathetic to what you’ve said, but I don’t think it would be enough to beat the charge at trial.



Yea thanks for the useful information I will try that. I do agree to an extent that drivers in most cases should know and be able to retrieve the ownership promptly but there is cases where they should give you at least 2-3 minutes. Like if parents are going on vacation and allowing there kid to use there car then they obviously should give/tell where it is. But in my case when you get a call and have 24 hours to act to move an elderly person to a nursing home nothing is planned and small things are forgotten. I didn't even know I would be driving anyones car until the truck was loaded my dad was smart enough to think to give me the insurance slip but i highly doubt anyone in this rush situation would think to tell you exactly where the insurance slip is.

I didn't want to gain any special treatment as people go through a lot worse then having a mom/grandma have to go to a nursing home I just wanted my fair chance to find the ownership to provide to the police officer and it is not like I was requesting 5-10 mins I asked for 2 mins then when they said no I asked for 60 seconds another no. The kicker was I explained everything to the police officer that the last 24 hours have been crazy and I am really disorganized and I said sorry for this as I am sure it was frustrating for them as anyones job can be sometime but when I called the police station 10 minutes after this to ask if I could show them the lady said "did they write anything down that you had 24 hours or something to provide it as most officers will do this esp if you explained this situation to them as why you were driving the car at that time and were not organized"

Some people including police officers are really scumbags and are no different then the tobacco companies trying to sell to kids in schools in the 70's or the drug companies passing a drug that does bad things to you but will be highly profitable. They will do anything to make money aka fill there quota.


So I guess I use option 3 and request a trial then talk to the crown to try and make a deal or get lucky and they will drop it? What is worst case if I go with this that I just have to pay the 110$? If I lose in trial I don't have to pay anything extra like court fee's etc do I?

Is this kind of thing even good money management of tax payers dollars for the goverment? Anyone who can provide that they had valid ownership at the time of the offense is going to select trial and worst case is you still pay the same amount best case you pay less or nothing and they are paying judge/crown/police officer to miss work to show up and pay someone else to work there shift and countless other things? so spend like 1000$ to try and get 110$.....sounds like they should be allowing people to provide insurance/ownership/license within 24 hours after the fact at the police station and spend the money elsewhere like on the roads or maybe even make ohip cover dental or something.


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