We’re going to look at the potential consequences of not renewing your license. As usual, this article is focused on the consequences of not renewing your license in Manitoba, specifically – these consequences depend entirely on rules and regulations set forth by MPI. If you’re not in Manitoba, the rules in your jurisdiction could be different – though in any jurisdiction, a license that hasn’t been renewed probably means a lapse in insurance too, which (in most places) makes it illegal to drive.
There are a few important things to distinguish, though the consequences for lapsing on any of these fronts is more or less the same. Your insurance can lapse, your driver’s license can go unpaid, and you can opt not to renew your driver’s license. In any of these scenarios, it may be illegal for you to drive.
We’ll push lapsed insurance aside for now (we may run another blog on the topic). Driver’s Licenses have an annual fee that must be paid. When your driver’s license hasn’t been paid for by your renewal date, as long as it is not your full 5 Year Driver’s License Renewal, MPI won’t cancel/lapse the license immediately. They will, however, send you letters indicating that you need to pay or the license will be cancelled by a certain date. Should you not receive these letters, they may still cancel your license. It’s therefore imperative that you pay for your license every year (even though you only need to renew it every five years).
When you’re driving without a license, you’re also driving uninsured. Even if your Insurance is paid for, MPI’s Autopac Coverage doesn’t excludes coverage when an individual is driving without a license. It’s also illegal to drive without a license. The penalties for driving uninsured/without a license are spelled out in The Highway Traffic Act. In Section 239(1), you’ll see that a violation of one of the provisions of the Act (which include the requirements to be licensed and insured) can net you a fine of up to a maximum of $2000. You may also be disqualified from holding a license for up to a year.
Coming back to lapsed insurance for a moment – driving without insurance is incredibly risky. You have no liability coverage, so injury to another person and/or damage to their vehicle, or even damage to your own vehicle will not be covered. What’s more, when driving without a license results in someone’s death, the penalties outlined in The Highway Traffic Act become much steeper – the fine becomes unlimited, and you can be sentenced to up to two years in prison.
All in all, it’s incredibly important to pay for your annual license fee every year and keep renewing your license every five years. You’ll be protecting yourself and others, and ensuring that the stringent standards we set for drivers are maintained – for everyone’s safety. If you no longer driver and do not want to pay for the fees of a Driver’s License you can get a Manitoba I.D Card instead.
Need a hand renewing your license or getting a Manitoba ID Card? Our Winnipeg Autopac agents are here to help. We can guide you through automatic payments, the renewal process, insuring your vehicles, and much more.