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Understanding the Points System

The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) adjusts your driver risk premium and driver penalty point premium based on how many points you have. Under the British Columbia Motor Vehicle Act, you will receive points on your driving record for every traffic, speeding, or another driving offence. Certain Criminal Code violations will also result in adding points to your record.

Points are not desirable and are often referred to as “black marks” on your driving record. Violations vary on their point valuation. Most traffic tickets will result in two or three points. Speeding tickets are three points.

Traffic Tickets and Points

If you plead guilty to a driving offence or if you are convicted of a traffic offence, then points will be added to your record. When you pay a traffic ticket, you are essentially admitting that you have done something wrong and deserved the ticket. To avoid adding points to your record, you must dispute the traffic ticket.

You have 30 days from the date of the ticket to fight it. The citation will specify how you should dispute it. Failing to contest the ticket, even if you do not pay it, by the deadline will automatically add points to your record as well.

You do not get any points for minor violations of city bylaws or parking tickets.

The Driver Penalty Point Premium

Your points have a direct effect on how much you pay in insurance premiums with the ICBC. Every year, the ICBC will review your points and send you a bill for your penalty point premium. This fee will vary depending on how many points you have on your record. A bill should arrive approximately four weeks before your birthday each year.

For example, if you have four points, your premium will be $175. If you have five points, your premium is $230. Six points will lead to a $300 premium. The maximum fee is $24,000, and it is for 50 points or more. You will only receive a bill if you have had four or more points added to your record in a 12-month period, which stops five months before your birthday.

While you will only be billed once for your points, the ICBC continues to keep a record of your points as part of your driving record.

Driver Risk Premiums

In 2007, driver risk premiums were addedas a means to deal with more serious traffic offences. Points are reviewed every three years. You will be required to pay a driver risk premium if you have had:

  • A driving-related Criminal Code violation (e.g., impaired driving)
  • A Motor Vehicle conviction that is worth 10 points or more (e.g., driving while suspended)
  • An excessive speeding conviction
  • Two or more roadside prohibitions or suspensions

The driver risk premium is assessed in addition to required insurance payments, but it does not include the driver penalty premium. The fee will vary depending on the number of convictions that you have. Excessive speeding, for example, is $320. One Criminal Code conviction is $905, and it is $3,760 for two Criminal Code convictions within a three-year period.

Bills arrive for driver risk premiums once per year, but because the fines are assessed based on a three-year period, you will essentially end up paying the assessment three times. For example, even though excessive speeding’s fee is $320, you are assessed for the next three years, which means you end up paying a total of $960 over three years.

Personal Injury Lawyers in British Columbia

How many points a person has on their driving record is often helpful information in a car accident claim. If you or a loved one have been involved in a collision, call our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURTor visit our website to speak to someone now about your claim.