'Absolutely wrong': Ont. driver's licence suspended over 34-year-old ticket
CTVNews.ca Staff, with a report from CTV Barrie's Krista Sharpe
Published Thursday, May 16, 2019 7:36PM EDT
An Ontario man is fuming after receiving a notice indicating his driver’s licence had been suspended due to a ticket he claims he paid more than 30 years ago.
Ralph Corrente of Wasaga Beach, Ont. was issued a ticket for an improper lane change back in 1985 but just recently received a notice in the mail indicating his licence had been suspended because the ticket was never paid.
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“They even got my name wrong on the ticket,” he told CTV Barrie.
Corrente said he has been driving with a suspended license for the past two weeks as a necessity. He drives his ill wife to the hospital once a week and has an 85-year-old mother who needs day-to-day help.
Paralegal Stephanie Columbus said old unpaid tickets have been popping up more frequently since the Ontario Ministry of Transportation switched to a digital system about 10 years ago.
“Whether things got lost in translation during that change over, or what exactly is happening, we don’t know,” she said.
“Most of the time we find that, they recall that they paid it at the time, but of course they don’t have receipts, they can’t prove it.”
Corrente decided to pay the ticket at the Barrie courthouse on Thursday, but plans to appeal it on principle.
“You can’t come to someone after 35 years and ask for a payment,” he said. “That’s absolutely wrong.”
Most driving infractions in Ontario do not have a statute of limitations, meaning there is no time limit for the Ministry of Transportation to issue a fine or suspension.
That said, the Ontario ombudsman released a report in September concerning licence suspensions and recommended the ministry provide drivers with advanced notice and bring back a 21-day grace period for any suspensions.