Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What options do I have when I get a ticket?
  2. Can I pay my ticket immediately, or do I have to wait for the response period?
  3. Can I have another person appear or act on my behalf?
  4. What if the ticket was issued in the name of a company?
  5. What if the ticket was issued to me, but I was not driving?
  6. What if I do not respond by the final response date?
  7. Can I still dispute a ticket even if I have received a Notice of Default Conviction?
  8. What will happen to my Manitoba Public Insurance Driver Safety Rating if I am convicted of a traffic offence?
  9. What can I do if I cannot afford to pay the complete fine amount right now?
  10. Where will my hearing be held?
  11. What happens in the courtroom on the hearing date?
  12. What happens if I miss my hearing date?
  13. If I do not agree with the court’s decision, can I appeal my conviction?
  14. What if I move?
  15. What should I do if I received a Summons, Appearance Notice or Promise to Appear?
  16. What are the court’s hours of operation?
  17. What if my final response date is on a weekend or holiday?
  18. What can I do if there is a hold on my driver’s licence or vehicle registration?

1. What options do I have when I get a ticket?

During the response period shown on your ticket, you must either:

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2. Can I pay my ticket immediately, or do I have to wait until the response period?

The response period on the ticket allows time for the agency that issued the ticket to file it with the court, so it can be entered in the court system. If you want to admit the offence and pay your ticket right away, you can go to any Provincial Court office or mail your payment to 373 Broadway in Winnipeg (R3C 4S4). If you want to admit the offence and pay online, you will need to wait until the response period shown on the ticket. You must provide your ticket number when making any payment.

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3. Can I have another person appear or act on my behalf?

You can go to court on your own or have someone represent you. A representative could be a friend, relative, business associate, lawyer or paid agent. Paid agents and lawyers represent people in court for a fee.

To authorize another person to act on your behalf, you must give him/her your written authorization to give to the court. A justice may order you to appear personally or may refuse to allow a person to act as your representative if, in his/her opinion, the person is not able to properly represent or advise you.

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4. What if the ticket was issued in the name of a company?

If the owner of the vehicle named on the ticket is a corporation, the court may require that a director or officer of the corporation show identification and proof of his/her authority, such as a copy of the articles of incorporation, each time he/she appears or acts on behalf of the corporation. If a person, other than a director or officer appears or acts, he/she will be required to produce written authorization on letterhead, signed by a director or officer of the corporation.

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5. What if the ticket was issued to me, but I was not driving?

According to section 229(2) of The Highway Traffic Act, if you are the registered owner of a vehicle, you are responsible for any offence under The Highway Traffic Act, designated regulation, rule or by-law. You, as the registered owner, usually face the same penalties as an individual charged as the driver.

Photo enforcement tickets are issued to the registered owner of the vehicle. If you are the registered owner, and want to have someone else deal with the ticket, you must give written authorization to the court.

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6. What happens if I do not respond by the final response date?

If you do not respond on, or before, the final response date, you will be considered to have committed the offence. A default conviction (a conviction made in your absence without the involvement of a justice) will be entered against you and a $50 default conviction penalty will be added to the fine shown on your ticket. If you do not pay the full amount, you may not be allowed to get or renew a driver’s licence or vehicle registration. Unpaid amounts may be sent for third-party collection, which may affect your credit rating.

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7. Can I still dispute a ticket even if I have received a Notice of Default Conviction?

You can appear before a justice and apply to have the conviction set aside within 30 days after being given a Notice of Default Conviction, unless the justice allows more time. The justice may set aside your default conviction if satisfied that you did not receive the ticket or a default conviction notice or that exceptional circumstances prevented you from dealing with your ticket, such as extended absence from Manitoba or a serious medical condition. If the default conviction is set aside, you can admit or dispute the offence.

If you admit the offence, the justice will give you the opportunity to make a submission about the fine amount and/or time to pay. Based on your submission, the justice may impose the fine on the ticket, or if satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist, impose a lesser fine than indicated on the ticket or give you a reprimand. If you receive a reprimand, no monetary fine is imposed. Court costs or surcharges, in any amount, can still be assessed and the conviction will still show on your driving record.

If you dispute the offence, the justice may hear the matter at that time or have the court set a hearing date for you. You will be notified by the court of the date, time, and location of the hearing.

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8. What will happen to my Manitoba Public Insurance Driver Safety Rating if I am convicted of a traffic offence?

The court is not responsible for the Driver Safety Rating system. Go to the Manitoba Public Insurance website for this information.

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9. What can I do if I cannot afford to pay the complete fine amount right now?

If you cannot afford to pay the complete fine by the response date, go to your nearest Provincial Court Office and ask to talk to a justice. If you are asking for more time to pay, you will need to admit the offence and tell the justice why you need more time to pay your fine. The justice will review your information and may allow you more time to pay if satisfied that you are facing unusual circumstances.

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10. Where will my hearing take place?

Hearing dates are scheduled in the court centre closest to where the offence happened. For example, if you received a ticket in Thompson, the hearing would take place in Thompson (even if you live in Winnipeg).

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11. What happens in the courtroom on the hearing date?

Please refer to the The Guide for Defendants.

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12. What happens if I miss my hearing date?

If you miss your scheduled hearing date for your ticket, you will be considered to have committed the offence and a default conviction will be entered against you, without the involvement of a justice. The fine indicated on your ticket, and a $50 default conviction penalty, will automatically be imposed.

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13. If I do not agree with the court’s decision, can I appeal my conviction?

There are some circumstances in which you can appeal a ticket to the Court of Queen’s Bench. An appeal is only available after:

  • a conviction made in Provincial Court
  • an order made by a justice under The Provincial Offences Act

An appeal of a conviction may be brought only with the court’s permission and only if the appeal raises a legal issue. An application for an appeal to the Court of Queen’s Bench must be made by completing and submitting an Application for Leave to Appeal and Notice of Appeal within 30 days of the court decision. For more information, visit your nearest Provincial Court Office.

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14. What if I move?

It is your responsibility to make sure the court office has your current address, so you can receive important notices and documents from the court. You can visit your nearest Provincial Court office, phone 204-945-3156 or toll free: 1-800-282-8069 (ext 3156) in Manitoba, or complete and mail the Notice of Address Change form to report any address changes.

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15. What should I do if I received a Summons, Appearance Notice or Promise to Appear?

If you received an Appearance Notice, Promise to Appear or Summons, you, or someone on your behalf, must go to court at the time and place shown on the document and/or any other time specified by the court. If you fail to appear:

  • You may be convicted in your absence and the conviction will be entered on your record.
  • A default conviction penalty may be added to any other penalty given.
  • A warrant may be issued for your arrest.
  • You may be charged under The Provincial Offences Act with the offence of failing to attend court. If convicted, you may have to pay a fine of not more than $5,000 or go to jail for not more than six months, or both.

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16. What are the court’s hours of operation?

Manitoba Provincial Court offices are open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, except holidays.

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17. What if my final response date is on a weekend or holiday?

If your final response date on your ticket is on a weekend or holiday when the court office is closed it is automatically extended to the next business day.

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18. What can I do if there is a hold on my driver’s licence or vehicle registration?

You will not be allowed to renew your driver’s licence and/or vehicle registration, if you have an unpaid fine. You can call 204-945-5850 in Winnipeg to ask how much you owe and where to pay your fines. Once all unpaid fines are paid in full, you will be given a release form to take to any Autopac agency to renew your driver’s licence or vehicle registration.

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