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Three different types of traffic tickets

Getting a ticket is something almost every driver will endure at some point, so it’s a good idea to know what types of tickets you could get, and your options for each.

These may vary slightly by province, so make sure you read your ticket for more details.

Parking infraction notice

Commonly known as a parking ticket, this is given for parking a motor vehicle in a prohibited space, in a fire route, or for a period longer than permitted. These tickets do not affect your driver’s license or insurance, and there are two options:

  • plead guilty and pay the fine; or
  • ask for a trial date to dispute the ticket.

Offence notice

An offence notice includes all minor and major traffic violations including speeding, stop sign and traffic light infractions. These tickets come with three options: 

  • plead guilty and pay the fine;
  • plead guilty with an explanation; or
  • dispute the charge by going to trial.

Pleading guilty with an explanation may give the chance for reduced sentencing or an extended due date for payment. Disputing the charge could do the same, as well as provide an opportunity to have the ticket dismissed, if you can prove it to be incorrect.


A summons is given for serious offences such as careless driving, DUI, and streetracing. These tickets are considered a criminal offence, and they require you attend court. The fines can be up to $5,000, a license suspension, and a jail sentence. It’s a good idea to seek legal representation for this type of traffic ticket. A lawyer or paralegal may be able to help reduce the charge and demerit points.

Read More

How to defend a traffic ticket

Do I have to pay an out-of-province traffic ticket?

Do I have to pay parking tickets from a private company?

Out-of-province traffic tickets will probably go on your record