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Got a ticket, can’t find it. What now?
July 26, 2018

I lost or misplaced the traffic ticket I received and can’t find it anywhere. What do I do now? Here’s a scenario we can all relate to and understand or better yet some of us may have experienced this first hand ourselves.

So recently you were driving heading back home from an evening out with some friends and family and you arrive at a red light. Your car is fully stopped. Suddenly you decide to look away from the road and check your phone’s GPS in an effort to try and make sure you’re heading in the right direction, so you can get to your destination on time. Suddenly you see flashing lights and you get pulled over by a police officer for what he thinks is you playing around with your phone. Now the cop is issuing you a ticket for being a distracted driver (even though you probably didn’t deserve it). A couple of weeks go by and you suddenly remember you need to pay your ticket but for some reason you can’t find it. What do you do now? What are the consequences? Will you need to pay an additional fine for losing your ticket? Will you need to spend the night in jail (ok maybe not that extreme but you get where we’re going with this). With all these questions swirling around inside your head it’s easy to lose yourself and start panicking.

Lucky for you losing or misplacing your ticket is not the end of the world. In fact, it’s not as bad as you might think. You need to remember that what’s most important is making sure to pay your ticket.

If your ticket was issued in Ontario, you can go to any courthouse in Ontario with your driver’s license. When you present your identification at the clerk's counter or cashier's counter, they will be able to see all tickets that are outstanding under your name so you can go ahead and pay them.

Municipalities run their own courts therefore some municipalities may allow you to pay fines online, but you usually need the offence number on the ticket. If you don't have it, you'll have to go in person. In some provinces, like B.C., Alberta and Quebec, you won't be allowed to renew your car's registration if you have unpaid traffic tickets. 

Interestingly enough, this does not apply to residents of Ontario. There, you will still be able to renew your registration (get new stickers for your licence plate) if you have unpaid Highway Traffic Act violations, like speeding or distracted driving tickets but if you have unpaid parking tickets this will bar you from renewing your registration in Ontario.

For any reason if you chose not to pay the ticket or basically ignore it, you will be convicted of the offence you received the ticket for in the first place. 90 days following your conviction, you will have your licence suspended and will not be able to claim you didn't know even if you didn't get a notification from the Ministry of Transportation.

It’s always important to make sure you never leave any tickets unpaid whether they be tickets for driving offences or parking tickets. Misplacing or losing your ticket is no reason to panic. It’s also important to note that when receiving a ticket, you will have a limited amount of time to contest it and a little longer when it comes to paying your ticket. Failure to settle outstanding tickets within this time frame could lead to criminal charges.

Don’t take any chances if you received a ticket don’t hesitate to contact to get all the information and help you need.