False Evidence of Insurance

About

Fail to Surrender Insurance CardUnder the Compulsory Insurance Act of Ontario a driver while operating a motor vehicle on a roadway shall:

  • have an valid insurance card for the motor vehicle
  • giving evidence that the vehicle is insured with liability insurance
  • surrender the insurance card for inspection upon the demand of a police officer

Driver to Produce Valid Insurance

Where a driver operates a motor vehicle on the roadway, the driver must surrender to a police officer proof of validate liability insurance for the vehicle.

Where a police officer finds that the proof of insurance is not valid or fraudulent the officer may:


Insurance Offences

The law states that no person shall:

  • have a false or invalid insurance card in his or her possession
  • use a false or invalid insurance card
  • sell, give, deliver or distribute a false or invalid insurance card
  • produce for inspection any other evidence,
    • that they know or ought to know is false or invalid, that the motor vehicle is insured under a contract of automobile insurance.

The statue of limitations for charges under the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act is 3 years.


Insurance Implications

A conviction on the drivers abstract for producing false evidence of insurance will affect any new insurance application.

Insurance companies may perceive that that applicant is unscrupulous or dishonest, there by increasing the risk to the insurance company.


Conviction on Driving Records

Once the driver is convicted of a traffic ticket, the court sends a notice to the Ministry of Transportation.

Upon receiving the record of conviction, the Ministry of Transportation adds the court conviction to the driving record.

Driving abstracts are available to anyone who has the drivers licence number for a fee payable to the Ministry of Transportation.

Therefore the way the insurance company will finds out about the ticket is;

Each insurance company is a private company with their own set of rules and standards.

Some insurance companies will not increase insurance rates for one ticket and others will. The problem is drivers don’t know what the insurance company is going to do, and if asked, there is a chance they will increase it due to the inquiry.

Drivers need to keep their driving records clear.


Fines

The penalty for producing false evidence of insurance is:

  • on a first conviction to a fine of not less than $10,000
    • and not more than $50,000, and
  • on a subsequent conviction to a fine of not less than $20,000, and
    • not more than $100,000.

What is the Victim Fine Surcharge?

  • The provincial government adds a victim fine surcharge (VFS) to every non-parking fine imposed under the Provincial Offences Act.
    • It is deposited into a special fund to help victims of crime.
  • The amount of the VFS is usually 20 per cent of the imposed fine.
    • For example, a $100 fine would result in a $20 surcharge.
    • Fines over $1,000 carry a surcharge of 25 per cent.

Penalties

The fine is the only penalty for producing false evidence of insurance.

A police officer may remove the licence plates from the vehicle where they find the vehicle being operated on a roadway without insurance.

Where a validation sticker has been placed on the licence plate, the officer may investigate the validity of the original application.

Where the officer finds that a statement was made that the vehicle was insured when it was not, the officer may charge that owner with making a false statement to the ministry in writing.

Under the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act, there is a statue of limitation of 3 years.

Meaning that the officer may investigate an occurrence from 3 years ago and lay a charge or charge for each occurrence.


Impounding motor vehicle

Upon conviction for this offence a judge may order that the motor vehicle,

  • shall be seized,
  • impounded and
  • taken into the custody of the law
    • for a period of not more than three months.

Demerit Points

There are no demerit points for this offence.


Suspensions

There is no licence suspension for producing false insurance.


Unpaid Fines

Any driver maybe suspended where any fine goes into default.

Where the licence is suspended for an unpaid fine, the licence will be suspended until the payment is made to the court.


Legal Definition

Possession, use, sale, etc., of false or invalid insurance card

13.1 (1) No person shall,

(a) have a false or invalid insurance card in his or her possession that he or she knows or ought to know is false or invalid;

(b) use a false or invalid insurance card that he or she knows or ought to know is false or invalid;

(c) sell, give, deliver or distribute a false or invalid insurance card that he or she knows or ought to know is false or invalid; or

(d) produce for inspection any other evidence, that he or she knows or ought to know is false or invalid, that the motor vehicle is insured under a contract of automobile insurance.

Offence

(2) A person who contravenes this section is guilty of an offence and is liable on a first conviction to a fine of not less than $10,000 and not more than $50,000 and on a subsequent conviction to a fine of not less than $20,000 and not more than $100,000.

Definition

(3) In this section,

“contract of automobile insurance” means a contract of automobile insurance made with an insurer.

Case Law

R. v. Scantlebury, 2016 ONCA 453
2016-06-08 | 7 pages | cited by 1 document
false insurance — fine — motor vehicle — sentence — leave
[…] [2] The applicant was charged on July 21, 2014 with operating a motor vehicle without insurance, contrary to s. 2(1) (a) of the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.25 , surrendering false evidence of insurance to a police officer, contrary to s. 2(3) (b) of the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act , and […] An ex parte trial was held in her absence, and Justice of the Peace Cruz convicted the applicant of driving with no insurance and of surrendering false evidence of insurance to a police officer.


R. v. Owusu, 2007 ONCJ 147 (CanLII)
2007-04-05 | 15 pages | cited by 2 documents
mens rea — insurance card — wilful blindness — false insurance — motor vehicle
[…] Charge: Knowingly Having a False Insurance Card in his possession contrary to the […] ¶1.The Defendant is charged with knowingly having a false insurance card contrary to section 13.1(1) (a) of the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act R.S.O. 1990, c. C.25 , as amended. […] It follows that the only issue to be decided by the court is whether the prosecution has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was “knowingly” in possession of a false insurance card.


R. v. Edwards, 2007 ONCJ 581 (CanLII)
2007-12-05 | 13 pages
mens rea — wilful blindness — false insurance card — justice of the peace — offence
[…] [1] On January 19, 2006, Steven Edwards was convicted of the offence of “knowingly have false insurance card”, contrary to s. 13.1(1) (a) of the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act, R.S.O., 1990, c. 25 , as amended. […] … the charge in this case indicates when you knowingly have false insurance. […] For all of these reasons I find that the defendant possessed the requisite knowledge to support a finding of guilt, whether he actually knew that he was acquiring a false insurance card, whether he was reckless by proceeding in the face of the risk or whether he was wilfully blind in that he shut his eyes because “looking […]