Ontario ombudsman to investigate driver’s licence suspension system

Some drivers say police or their insurance company, not the province, are informing them about suspended licenses

Ontario’s ombudsman is investigating how the government handles driver’s licence suspensions, after hearing that some drivers didn’t know for years their licence had been yanked.

Paul Dube says his office will look into how the province communicates licence suspensions and reinstatements to drivers who were suspended for unpaid fines.

Dube says his office has informally suggested improvements to the suspension and reinstatement fee notification letters, but the problems continue, suggesting a systemic problem.

The ombudsman says he has heard from some people who had unwittingly been driving with a suspended licence for years, and when they found out – through their insurance company or police – the government made them go through the graduated licence system again to get them reinstated.

Dube says if those drivers are in a collision, it could be catastrophic if they were not covered by insurance.

The Ministry of Transportation sends about 130,000 suspension notices a year to drivers who haven’t paid traffic fines.

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Transcontinental Media G.P.