The topics in the Dial-A-Law series provide only general information on legal issues within the province of Alberta. This service is provided by Calgary Legal Guidance funded in part by the Alberta Law Foundation. The purpose is to make you aware of your legal rights and responsibilities. This is not legal advice. If you require legal advice, you should contact a lawyer.
This topic will discuss the demerit point system in Alberta.
Alberta has a demerit point system where demerit points are accumulated against your driver’s license for each traffic offence you are convicted off. Demerit points are assigned to a client’s driving record in accordance with the Regulations under the Motor Vehicle Administration Act. If you accumulate or receive too many demerit points you can lose your license and your insurance premiums may increase. The Alberta Driver Control Board may suspend your license if they consider you have a poor driving record based on the number of demerit points you have accumulated. The Board can suspend your license for however long they see fit. Prior to the suspension of your license, you will receive a 10-day notice of the hearing. You may attend the hearing to give your statement with or without the presence of a lawyer. Among other things, the Board will consider your driving record, your attitude to driving, and your driving skills when making their final decision.
Demerit points will begin to accumulate on your license from the date of conviction, and will remain on your driving record for 2 years from the date of conviction.
The following offences will result in the indicated number of demerit points:
You will receive 7 demerit points for:
- Failing to remain at the scene of an accident
You will receive 6 demerit points for:
- Speeding more than 50 km/hr over the speed limit
- Careless driving
You will receive 5 demerit points for:
- Failing to stop, and provide information to a police officer
- Failing to stop at an uncontrolled railway crossing
- Failure to stop for a vehicle carrying explosives, gas or flammable liquids
You will receive 4 demerit points for:
- Speeding 30 km/hr over the speed limit (up to 50 km/hr)
- Following too closely
- Failing to stop for school bus
- Failure to yield right of way to a pedestrian or another vehicle
You will receive 3 demerit points for:
- Speeding 16 km/hr over the speed limit up (up to 30 km/hr)
- Passing another vehicle in a playground or school zone, at a pedestrian crosswalk, or improper passing.
- Driving on the wrong side of the road or highway
- Failing to yield to the vehicle on the right
- Blocking passing vehicles
- Turning left when unsafe to do so
- Failing to stop before entering a highway, or driveway
- Failing to yield to a pedestrian
- Failing to stop for traffic signs, such as stop signs or yield signs, or proceeding before it is safe to do so.
- Failing to stop at traffic lights (red and yellow) including flashing lights
- Stunting on a highway
- Failing to report an accident
- Impeding a passing vehicle
You will receive 2 demerit points for:
- Speeding over 1 km/hr over the speed limit (up to 15 km/hr)
- Failing to obey traffic control
- Driving outside the right lane of the road and occupying 2 lanes
- Impeding traffic
- Passing on a solid line
- Failing to change lanes safely, or failing to signal change
- Improper turns
- Illegal U-turns
- Unsafe lane change
- Failure to signal
- Failure to obey instructions of traffic control device
Fully licensed drivers who collect a total of 8 but not more than 15 demerit points will receive notification regarding their driving record. If you accumulate 15 demerit points within a 2-year period, your license will be suspended for 30 days. If you accumulate 15 demerit points twice within a 2-year period, you will lose your license for 3 months. If you accumulate 15 demerit points 3 times in a 2-year period, then you lose your license for 6 months. If a suspension Order is issued, there may be conditions that must be completed before the license will be given back. There is also a fee that must be paid before the license is returned.
You may find out how many demerit points you have against your license at the local Alberta Registry Private Service Center. The usual cost of a driver’s abstract is approximately $20 plus service charges. You may take an approved defensive driving course before you reach 15 demerit points on your license which will result in 3 points being taken off your license. This can only be done once every 2 years. Your license will be reinstated when your demerit points are down to only 7 demerit points.
If you want more information regarding demerit points levied against your license for specific offences, contact the Driver Records in Edmonton at 780-427-8230. You may go through the Government Rite number at 310-0000 if you do not live in the Edmonton area.