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Driving Convictions in Alberta: How They Impact Your Insurance

Apr 27, 2023 1:52:41 PM

Driving convictions can have a significant impact on your auto insurance premium and driving record. It is important to understand what constitutes a driving conviction and the different infractions on the road. In this article, we will explore the various types of driving convictions in Alberta, from minor to major infractions, criminal code convictions, and what they ultimately could end up costing you on your insurance. 

What is a Driving Conviction? 

Driving convictions are tickets where you were pulled over by law enforcement. Photoradar tickets, parking tickets, and tickets unrelated to your driving performance (like having a burned out headlight) do not impact your insurance premiums. You will only need to pay the fine. Convictions related to driving performance will impact you insurance premiums. More information about driving convictions can be found here

Minor Convictions

There are 41 minor driving convictions in the province of Alberta. For the most part, they can be boiled down into four main categories.

  1. Speeding
  2. Improper signaling/turning
  3. Failing to stop/yield
  4. Improper gap management/use of lanes


  • Speeding at an unreasonable rate (less than 30 km/h over posted limit)
  • Exceeding speed limit by up to15 km/h: General, construction zone, passing emergency vehicles, and flashing yellow light crossing
  • Exceeding speed limit by over 15 km/h but no more than 30 km/h: General, construction zone, passing emergency vehicle, and flashing yellow light crossing


Improper Signaling/Turning/Passing

  • Failing to signal when stopping, changing lanes, or turning
  • Improper turns: At a traffic control device, turning left or right, making a U-turn, etc.
  • Passing on a hill, curve, or near a railway crossing
  • Passing on left when view is obstructed or traffic is present
  • Failing to pass in a safe manner/without returning to the right side of the road
  • Passing by driving off the roadway, parking lane, or when unsafe
  • Passing another vehicle stopped at a crosswalk
  • Impeding a passing vehicle

Failing to stop/yield

  • Failing to stop: Before entering a highway, at a stop sign, for an emergency vehicle, at a railway crossing, at a red light, when meeting oncoming traffic on a narrow road, etc. 
  • Failing to yield right of way to a pedestrian: At an alley, crosswalk, green light or green arrow, etc.
  • Failing to yield to a vehicle: At an an intersection, yield sign, traffic circle, merge sign, etc.

Improper Gap Management/Use of Lanes

  • Driving around barriers at railway crossings
  • Proceeding when unsafe: At an intersection, railway crossing, around a school bus, etc.
  • Driving the wrong way on a one-way
  • Driving left of the centre line
  • Unauthorized following within 150m of an emergency vehicle with sirens or lights on
  • Driving too slow/impeding traffic
  • Backing up unsafely or where prohibited
  • Failing to obey direction of an officer

Major Convictions

Major convictions are more serious infractions that can be committed in a vehicle. These have some of the greatest impacts on the price of insurance. There are 16 infractions that can be broken down into 4 main categories.

  1. Speeding
  2. Stunt driving
  3. Unauthorized use
  4. Failure to Stop


  • Speeding in a school zone or playground zone
  • Speeding over 50km/h above the posted limit: General, construction zone, passing an emergency vehicle, and flashing yellow light crossing

Stunt Driving

  • Careless driving
  • Racing
  • Driving on a bet or wager

Unauthorized Use

  • Driving without a valid licence
  • Driving in the presence of alcohol (novice driver)
  • Driving during prohibited time (novice driver)
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving without insurance


Failure to Stop

  • Failure to remain at the scene of an accident (hit and run)
  • Failing to stop for a school bus, uncontrolled railway, or vehicle carrying explosives
  • Failing to stop for an officer

Criminal Code Convictions

Criminal code convictions on a driving record may carry a prison sentence for the crime. Here are some of them:

  • Criminal negligence causing bodily harm or death by motor vehicle
  • Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm or death
  • Impaired driving (drug or alcohol)
  • Impaired driving causing bodily harm or death
  • Failure to provide blood or breath test on demand
  • Failing to stop a motor vehicle being pursued by an officer 
  • Failing to stop at the scene of an accident knowing bodily harm or death has occurred

Criminal Code Convictions

How Long do Driving Convictions Stay on my Insurance Record?

 While driver's licence demerits only stay on your licence for two years, minor and major convictions stay on your record for three years. Three years plus one day past your conviction date, your insurance premiums will no longer be impacted. Criminal code convictions will remain on your insurance record for four full years.

How much will driving convictions impact my insurance?

Here is a breakdown from the Alberta Insurance Rate Board on how driving Convictions impact your insurance premiums. 

Number of Convictions Surcharge
Minor Convictions Major Convictions Criminal Code Convictions
1 0% 25% 300%
2 25% 50% 450%
3 35% 100% For each additional conviction, add 150% to the previous 
4 50% 200%
5 75% 400%
6 100% 800%
7+ Double for each additional conviction.  Double for each additional conviction.

If you were to have an annual auto insurance premium of $2,000, here is what the cost for convictions would look like for you.

Number of Convictions Surcharge
Minor Convictions Major Convictions Criminal Code Convictions
1 $2,000 $2,500 $8,000
2 $2,500 $3,000 $11,000
3 $2,700 $4,000 $14,000
4 $3,000 $6,000 $17,000
5 $3,500 $10,000 $20,000
6 $4,000 $18,000 X
7 $6,000 $34,000 X

Driving convictions are serious. If you commit a driving infraction, it could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. 

Can Defensive Driving Classes Lower My Insurance Premium?

No they can not. If you take a defensive driving course, you can get a maximum of three demerits on your licence removed, however, they will remain on your insurance record. You will still see an increased premium. 



Minor convictions, such as speeding or improper signaling, can result in fines and higher insurance costs and a fine. Major convictions, like distracted driving, can have severe consequences to your finances. Understanding the various categories of driving convictions and the associated penalties can help you stay safe on the road and avoid unnecessary costs and legal issues.

Are you three years conviction free? We want to hear from you! You may be eligible for discounts on your auto insurance! Give us a call today to get connected. 

Call us 1-855-475-0959

Jake McCoy

Written by Jake McCoy


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