Are Traffic or Parking Tickets Included in Bankruptcy?

‍In the complex world of financial insolvency, many people often wonder, Are Traffic or Parking Tickets Included in Bankruptcy?. This question arises due to the uncertainty surrounding the nature of these fines and whether they are considered debts under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

Understanding Bankruptcy

Before we delve into the specifics, let’s first understand the concept of bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a legal process that allows individuals or businesses unable to pay their debts to get a fresh start. However, not all debts are treated equally in bankruptcy. Some may be discharged, while others are not.

The Intricacies of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act

Under Section 178 (1) of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, certain debts are specifically excluded from being discharged in a bankruptcy. These include:


  • Parking tickets.
  • Speeding tickets.
  • Any court-imposed fines as a result of an offence.


This means that these types of debts survive bankruptcy and must be paid despite the bankruptcy filing.

Dealing with Traffic and Parking Tickets

The only known method to reduce a ticket or fine is to return to the court that assessed the ticket or fine and request a reduction. This typically involves a court hearing where the debtor presents their case. However, this process can be complex and time-consuming.

The Controversy Around Highway Tolls

An interesting point of contention arises when we consider highway tolls – think 407 in Ontario. The issue of whether these charges are eliminated by bankruptcy has been the subject of several court cases.

The 407 company has consistently maintained that their debts are not eliminated by bankruptcy. They assert that they have the right to prevent your license from being renewed unless the charges are paid, even if you file for bankruptcy.

As of early 2014, this matter had been through two levels of court, and the 407 company had lost both times. However, given the financial implications, they have decided to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court on Appeal. Until they have exhausted their appeals, they will, unfortunately, continue to interfere with license renewals.


In conclusion, traffic and parking tickets are not included in bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. While the process of reducing these fines involves returning to court, it’s not a guaranteed solution. As for highway tolls, the legal battle continues, with the 407 company adamant about their charges not being eliminated by bankruptcy.

Understanding the ins and outs of bankruptcy can be a complex task. It’s always advisable to consult with a bankruptcy professional or attorney to navigate these waters and make informed decisions regarding your financial future.

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