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What is a Driver's Abstract?

Registering a car in Canada

What is a Driver's Abstract?

Understanding a Driver Abstract is crucial for anyone involved in the Canadian driving community. This document is an official record that outlines your driving history, including any traffic violations, accidents, or suspensions you may have incurred. It plays a vital role in various scenarios, such as when applying for auto insurance, where it can influence your insurance rates based on your driving record.

Additionally, employers often require a driver abstract for positions that involve driving as part of the job responsibilities. Knowing how to obtain and interpret your driver abstract is essential for maintaining a responsible and informed driving profile in Canada. Our page aims to demystify this important document, guiding you through its significance, the process of obtaining it, and how it can impact various aspects of your driving life in Canada.

Types of Driver Abstracts in Canada

Standard

A Standard Driver Abstract provides a detailed report of your personal driving history, typically covering a period of the last three years. It includes information on your traffic violations, accidents, and any driver's license suspensions, making it essential for personal insurance or legal purposes.

Commercial

Commercial Driver Abstract specifically caters to those holding commercial driving licenses, offering a more comprehensive insight into their professional driving record. It not only includes personal driving details but also encompasses commercial vehicle-related offenses and professional qualifications, crucial for employment in commercial driving sectors.

When Should You Request a Driver's Abstract?

Requesting a Driver Abstract is a crucial step in various circumstances, both for personal and professional reasons. If you’re applying for auto insurance, an abstract can significantly impact your rates. Insurers often assess your driving history to determine the risk factor and subsequently, your premiums. It’s wise to request one before shopping for insurance, so you are aware of what insurers will see.

In the realm of employment, a driver abstract is frequently required for jobs that entail driving, such as delivery, trucking, or chauffeuring. Employers use this document to verify your driving record and ensure reliability and safety. It’s especially critical for commercial drivers to maintain a clean abstract, as it directly influences their employability and professional reputation.

Legal and administrative situations also warrant obtaining a driver abstract. For instance, in the case of traffic violations or court proceedings related to driving offenses, an abstract provides a comprehensive view of your driving history, which can be pivotal in legal judgments.

For personal purposes, reviewing your driver abstract periodically is a good practice. It allows you to keep track of your driving record and rectify any errors. In summary, whether for insurance, employment, legal matters, or personal awareness, understanding the timing and reason for requesting a driver abstract is a key component of responsible vehicle operation in Canada.

Personal Driver's Abstract

How to get a driver's abstract?

Follow these 3 easy steps

Step 1

Determine the Type of Abstract Required

Step 2

Choose Your Method of Application

Step 3

Complete the Application and Pay the Fee

Select Your Province Below

Learn the province specific rules and guidelines

Alberta
Alberta
British Columbia
British Columbia
Manitoba
Manitoba
New Brunswick
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan

Select Your Province Below

Learn the province specific rules and guidelines

Alberta
Alberta
British Columbia
British Columbia
Manitoba
Manitoba
New Brunswick
New Brunswick
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador
Ontario
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan

Driver's Abstract FAQ

A driver’s abstract is a record of your driving history. In Canada, you can order your personal driver’s abstract online, in-person at a registry office, or by mail. Each province and territory has its own process, but typically you’ll need to provide your name, license number, date of birth, and payment. The fee is usually around $10-15. Your abstract will be mailed to you within 2-3 weeks. Make sure to order it directly from the provincial/territorial government, as third party sites often charge extra fees.

A driver’s abstract provides a summary of your driving record over the past 1-5 years depending on the province. It will show any collisions, convictions, license suspensions, and driving prohibitions. It also includes basic information like your name, license number, and class of license. The abstract does not show demerit points. Importantly, it only includes information from within Canada – any driving history abroad will not be on your Canadian abstract.

Driver abstracts typically cover your driving history for the past 1-5 years, depending on the province. For example, Ontario provides uncertified 3-year abstracts and certified 5-year abstracts. Alberta issues 3-year and 5-year abstracts. British Columbia provides 5-year abstracts. The best way to get your full history is to request an extended abstract directly from the province or territory.

No, a standard driver’s abstract does not include demerit points. It will list any driving convictions, which may have resulted in demerit points, but it does not show the number of points itself. To get your current demerit point total, you would need to request your driver record directly from the province.

A driver’s abstract is a condensed summary of your key driving information over the past few years. A driver’s record, sometimes called a certified driver’s record, shows your complete history. The record provides full details on collisions, convictions, suspensions, current number of demerit points, and more. Driver records also include documents like letters and medical reports related to your license.

Common situations when you need a driver’s abstract include applying for a job that involves driving, renewing or updating your car insurance policy, renting a car, appealing a license suspension, validating your safe driving history when moving to a new province, and any legal proceedings related to a driving offence.

Driver’s abstracts do not technically expire. However, potential employers and insurance companies will typically want to review an abstract that is recent, within 1-3 months. For your own records, it’s recommended to obtain a new abstract annually to review your driving history and ensure accuracy. Any changes to your record like collisions, convictions, or suspensions require you to order an updated abstract.

No, driver’s abstracts contain personal information and can only be issued to the licensed driver. The exception is an employer can request abstracts for employees who drive as part of their job with the driver’s consent. Insurance companies may also request your abstract when applying for a policy as the primary driver. For any other situation, the abstract must be obtained directly by the driver.

No, a driver’s abstract is not a criminal background check. An abstract only provides information related to your driving history, such as collisions, convictions, suspensions, and current license status. It does not show any non-driving criminal offences or charges. For a complete background check, you would need to obtain a criminal record check from your local police.

Most convictions for driving offences remain on your abstract for 3-5 years from the offence date. More serious Criminal Code convictions like impaired driving can stay on your abstract for up to 10 years. Even when a conviction drops off your abstract, it remains on your driver record permanently in most provinces.

Yes, if you find any incorrect or incomplete information on your abstract, you can dispute it with the provincial/territorial transportation department. Submit a request in writing identifying the error, along with any supporting documents. The department will investigate and make corrections to your driving record as necessary. Make sure to get an updated abstract.

There is no way to completely clear or wipe your driving history in Canada. Any collisions, convictions, and suspensions remain permanently on your driver record. However, you can improve your abstract by maintaining a clean driving history over time. Minor offenses drop off your abstract after a few years. Taking driving courses may also help reduce insurance costs.

If you lose or misplace your paper driver’s abstract, you can easily order a new copy online or through a registry office. As long as you have your license number and details, you can retrieve and print your abstract again. There is no limit on how many times you can request your abstract. Just expect to pay a small administrative fee each time.

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