Defensive Driving Course logo

Remove License Points, aka Driving Record Points, with a Defensive Driving Course

Instructor:

Last Updated on
How To Remove License Points

Keeping your driving record clean isn’t just about avoiding fines—it’s also about keeping your insurance costs low and staying on the road.

Let’s examine why your driving record matters, what happens if you get too many points, and how defensive driving courses can help you.

Understanding Points on Your License

What are License Points & Driving Record Points?

License points and driving record points are one in the same. In different areas, people refer to these points by either name. These points are like bad marks on your record for breaking traffic rules. If you get too many points, you can face serious consequences.

Consequences of Accumulating Points

  • Higher Insurance Rates: Points can make your insurance costs go up by 20-30%.
  • Risk of Losing Your License: If you get too many points quickly, you could lose your license. For example, in Virginia, getting 18 points in 12 months can lead to a suspension.
  • Fines and Penalties: Points often come with fines and mandatory driving courses.

Types of License Loss

  • Suspension: Losing your driving privileges temporarily.
  • Revocation: Losing your license permanently, with the potential of reinstatement, which requires a long, expensive process.

A Clean Record with Defensive Driving

What is a Defensive Driving Course?

A defensive driving course teaches you safe driving techniques to keep you out of trouble.

Defensive Driving Benefits

  • Reduce Accidents: Learn how to avoid accidents.
  • Improve Driving Skills: Sharpen your driving skills.
  • Lower Insurance Costs: Many insurers offer 5-20% discounts for completing a course.
  • Reduce Points: In some states, completing a course can help remove points from your record.

Types of Defensive Driving Courses

  • Online Courses: Flexible and convenient, allowing you to learn at your own pace.
  • In-Person Courses: Structured classes with live instructors.

How Defensive Driving Courses Help Reduce Points

Each state has different rules, so check your state’s specific regulations below to understand eligibility and benefits.

Process of License Point Reduction

  • Enroll in an Approved Course: Make sure the course is state-approved.
  • Complete the Course: Finish all the course requirements.
  • Submit Certificate: Provide the completion certificate to the DMV or relevant state authority.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Varies by State: Each state has its own rules about how often you can take the course to eliminate points.
  • Specific Violations: Some states only allow point reduction for certain violations.

Practical Tips for Keeping Your Driving Record Clean

  • Stay Informed: Know the traffic laws in your state.
  • Drive Defensively: Always be aware of other drivers and anticipate potential hazards.
  • Avoid Distractions: Keep your focus on the road—no texting or eating while driving.
  • Take Refreshers: Periodically take defensive driving courses to keep your skills sharp.

Defensive driving courses can help remove points on your driving record, improve your driving skills, and lower your insurance premiums. Enroll in a defensive driving course to manage your driving record proactively and avoid costly penalties.

State-by-State Breakdown

Regulations Reduction Example
Alabama Points for violations; suspension at 12-24 points in 2 years Points fall off after 2 years; no reduction program 2 points for minor speeding, 5 points for failure to yield

According to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding (1 to 25mph over speed limit)—2 points
  • Speeding (26 or more mph over speed limit)—5 points
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—3 points
  • Failure to yield right of way5 points

Point totals and suspensions:

  • 12-14 points in a 2-year period—60 days
  • 15-17 points in a 2-year period—90 days
  • 18-20 points in a 2-year period—120 days
  • 21-23 points in a 2-year period­—180 days
  • 24 and above points in a 2-year period—365 days

In Alabama, points “fall off” two years after they are earned. Alabama does not currently have a point reduction program. Points earned from a ticket will not count toward the total if permission is granted to take a traffic school course.

Alaska Points for violations; suspension at 12 points in 12 months 2 points off every 12 months of violation-free driving; 2 points off for defensive driving course 2-6 points for speeding depending on severity

According to the Alaska Department of Administration, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding (in school zone)—6 points
  • Speeding (3-9 mph over speed limit)—2 points
  • Speeding (10-19 mph over speed limit)—4 points
  • Speeding (20 or more mph over speed limit)—6 points
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—4 points
  • Failure to yield right of way4 points

Point totals and suspensions:

  • For a standard non-commercial license, 12 points in 12 months or 18 points in 18 months will result in a license suspension or revocation*
  • For provisional license holders, 6 points in 12 months or 9 points in 24 months will result in a mandatory driver improvement course

* Reinstatement of a license after a suspension or revocation involves reapplying for a license. You probably don’t want to risk it!

In Alaska, two points “fall off” for every 12 months of violation-free driving. Alaska’s point reduction program will remove 2 points with the completion of an approved defensive driving course. The process can be repeated once every 12 months. Points earned from a ticket will not count toward the total if permission is granted to take defensive driving.

Arizona Points for violations; suspension at 8 points in 12 months Points fall off after 3 years; no reduction program 3 points for speeding, 6 points for disregarding traffic control

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding3 points
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—6 points
  • Failure to yield right of way6 points

Point totals and suspensions:

  • 8 points in a 12 month period—Mandatory Traffic Survival School and possible 12 month license suspension

In Arizona, points “fall off” three years after they are earned. Arizona does not currently have a point reduction program. Points earned from a ticket will not count toward the total if permission is granted to take a traffic school course.

Arkansas Points for violations; hearing at 14 points Points fall off after 36 months; no reduction program 3 points for minor speeding, 8 points for reckless driving

According to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

The Arkansas Administrative Points system assesses points to your record ranging from 3 points for minor speeding up to 8 points for reckless driving.

If you get 10 points or more, a warning letter will be sent to warn of possible sanctions on your license if more points are accrued.

If you get 14 or more points, a hearing will be automatically scheduled. A Hearing Officer will explain the consequences of the points on your record, which could include probation or suspension of your driving privileges. If you do not attend the hearing, your license is automatically suspended.

Points will drop off of your record 36 months after they are accrued. The state of Arkansas does not currently have a point reduction program.

California Points for violations under NOTS system Points masked by traffic school; fall off after 39 months 1 point for minor infractions, 2 points for DUIs

California uses a program called The Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) in which a driver will receive points against their record for violations (including out-of-state violations) ranging from 0-3 points per offense.

  • One point convictions include speeding or unsafe vehicle
  • Two-point convictions include hit-and-run and DUI
  • Three-point convictions include major convictions while driving commercial vehicles

Once a driver starts to accrue points against them, some sanctions may be imposed on their driving privileges.

Level One – Warning Letter

  • 2 points within 12 months
  • 4 points within 24 months
  • 6 points within 36 months

Level Two – Notice of Intent to Suspend

  • 3 points within 12 months
  • 5 points within 24 months
  • 7 points within 36 months

Level Three Order of Probation/Suspension—You will receive a one-year probation that includes a six-month suspension of your drivers license effective 34 days from the date that the order is mailed for the following:

  • 4 points within 12 months
  • 6 points within 24 months
  • 8 points within 36 months

Level 4 – Violation of NOTS Probation—You will receive a NOTS violation of probation and your license will be suspended if:

  • Any one or two-point violation during a probation period
  • Any violation during a suspension
  • Failure to appear in court for a traffic violation
  • Any driver under the age of 18 years violates provisional probation because of a responsible collision, a Failure to Appear, Failure to Pay, or any other reportable violation.

Violations in these cases may result in an additional six-month suspension as well as an additional year of probation.

California does not have a point reduction system at this time, but in some cases, you can prevent the points from going on your record after a ticket by taking a traffic school course. Otherwise, minor infractions will clear after 39 months.

Colorado Points for violations; suspension varies by age group Points fall off after 3 years; no reduction program 1-12 points for speeding depending on severity

According to the Colorado Department of Revenue, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding (5-9 mph over speed limit)1 point
  • Speeding (10-19 mph over speed limit)4 points
  • Speeding (20-39 mph over speed limit)6 points
  • Speeding (40 mph or more over speed limit)—12 points
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—4 points
  • Failure to yield right of way4 points

Your license can be suspended for accumulating too many points for traffic tickets. It will typically be suspended for six months, but it can be extended for repeat offenders. Here are the point limits by age group.

17 and Under

  • 6 or more points in 12 months
  • 7 or more before turning 18

18-21

  • 9 or more points within any 12 months
  • 12 or more within any 24 months
  • 14 or more between ages 18-21

21 and over

  • 12 or more points in 12 months
  • 18 or more in 24 months

Chauffeur Points

People who drive for a living (limo drivers, cab drivers, etc.) may be entitled to chauffeur points if they can prove that the points occurred in the course of their job. These points can accumulate to a higher total before suspension occurs.

  • 16 or more points in 12 months
  • 24 or more in 24 months
  • 28 or more in 48 months

Colorado does not currently have a point reduction program. In some cases, you can attend a traffic school course (defensive driving) to reduce or prevent the points from being placed on your record after a ticket.

Connecticut Points for violations; suspension at 10 points No point reduction program 1-5 points depending on severity

In Connecticut, 1-4 points will be applied to your record upon conviction of a traffic offense. You will receive 5 points if the offense results in negligent homicide or for operating a school bus at excessive speeds. The points stay on your record for 24 months from your conviction date.

If you receive 6 points, you will receive a warning letter from the state. If you get 10 or more, your license will be suspended for 30 days If you receive 10 more, you will lose your license for up to 24 months.

The state of Connecticut does not have a point reduction program at this time.

Delaware Points for violations; suspension starts at 8 points Points halved after 12 months; 3 points off for defensive driving course 2-5 points for speeding depending on severity

According to the Delaware Department of Motor Vehicles, points will be assessed on your driving record for traffic violations. Too many points may result in sanctions being placed on your driving privileges.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding (1-9 mph over speed limit)—2 points
  • Speeding (10-14 mph over speed limit)—4 points
  • Speeding (15-19 mph over speed limit)—5 points
  • Speeding (20 mph or more over speed limit)—5 points and may result in additional actions including suspsension
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—3 points
  • Failure to yield right of way—2 points

Calculated points are credited at full point value for the first 12 months from the date of violation. After the initial 12 months have expired, the calculated points will be credited at one-half point value for the next 12 months. All actions are based upon total calculated points within a 24-month period following the offense.

  • 8 Points—Warning letter
  • 12 Points—Driver must complete a driving course within 90 days or face a two-month license suspension.
  • 14 Points—4-month suspension
  • 16 Points—6-month suspension
  • 18 Points—8-month suspension
  • 20 Points—10-month suspension
  • 22 Points—12-month suspension

If your license is suspended, the driver must complete or have completed a behavior modification/attitudinal driving course within the previous two years as of the time of reinstatement to be eligible for reinstatement.

After 12 months from the date of conviction, the DMV credits points are counted at one-half value. This means that if you received 6 points, after 12 months, they downgrade to 3. You may also be able to utilize a defensive driving course to remove up to 3 points from your record.

Florida Points for violations; suspension at 12 points in 12 months 4-hour Basic Driver Improvement course can prevent points 3 points for speeding, 6 points for leaving accident scene

According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding—3 points
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—3 points
  • Passing a stopped school bus—4 points
  • Reckless driving—4 points
  • Leaving the scene of an accident—6 points

These points will remain on your record for at least five years. If you accrue too many points in a certain timeframe, your driving privileges will be suspended.

  • 12 points in 12 months—30-day suspension
  • 18 points in 18 months—3-month suspension
  • 24 points in 36 months—1-year suspension

A driver with a suspended license may apply for a hardship license. To obtain a hardship license, the driver must submit proof of an Advanced Driver Improvement (ADI) school completion and pay a reinstatement fee along with other applicable license fees. (Additional suspensions may require additional clearance requirements). A hardship license restricts driving to employment or business purposes only.

If the suspension period has expired, the driver may apply for a full reinstatement of the driving privilege by submitting proof of an Advanced Driver Improvement (ADI) school enrollment and paying a reinstatement fee along with other applicable license fees, to any Florida driver license service center. (Additional suspensions may require additional clearance requirements).

You may be able to take a 4-hour Basic Driver Improvement course to prevent the points from a traffic ticket from being added to your record. If you received two or more tickets at the scene, or if you have already taken a Basic course, you will most likely be required to take an 8-hour Intermediate Driver Improvement course. You can only take one of these courses once per 12-month period and five total courses in your lifetime. Once the points are added to your record they will drop off 36 months from your conviction date. Other than that, there is no way to reduce the points already on your record.

Georgia Points for violations; suspension at 15 points in 24 months Up to 7 points off every 5 years with defensive driving course 3 points for moderate speeding, 6 points for reckless driving

The Georgia Department of Driver Services employs a point system to monitor and sanction drivers who repeatedly violate the state’s traffic laws. Points range from two to six points depending on the particular offense. You will not receive any points for the following convictions:

  • Driving “Too fast for conditions”
  • Speeding less than 15 mph over the posted limit
  • If you are not a resident of Georgia

A driver that accumulates 15 or more points in a 24 month period will have their license suspended. Georgia residents can request a point reduction through the Department of Driver Services.

Up to 7 points can be reduced every five years by taking a defensive driving course. Once you complete a course, simply take it to a DDS Customer Service Center or mail the original certificate to:

Georgia Department of Driver Services
P.O. Box 80447
Conyers, Georgia 30013

Hawaii No point system; records all convictions Traffic school can dismiss minor infractions Minor infractions dismissed by traffic school; stay on record for 10 years

The state of Hawaii does not use a point system to assess penalties for “problem drivers”. In some cases, minor infractions can be dismissed so that they do not appear on your record.

You will need to contact the court within 21 days of receiving a citation. Ask them if it would be possible to have the ticket dismissed by attending traffic school (defensive driving). If the ticket is reported to your record, it will remain there for 10 years.

Idaho Points for violations; suspension at 12-24 points Points drop off after 3 years; defensive driving course every 3 years removes 3 points 3-4 points for speeding, 3 points for failure to yield

According to Idaho.gov, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding (1-15 mph over the posted limit)—3 points
  • Speeding (16 or more mph over the posted limit)—4 points
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—3 points
  • Failure to yield—3 points

Point totals and suspensions:

  • 12-17 points in a 12-month period—30 days
  • 18-23 points in a 2-year period—90 days
  • 24 or more points in a 3-year period—180 days

Points will drop off of your record three years after the date of the conviction. You can also utilize a defensive driving course once every 3 years to reduce your total by three points. In many cities, you can remove all points associated with a ticket by taking a Traffic Safety Education Course. This can be done once every three years as well and will be suggested by the officer when the citation is being written and must be agreed upon by the driver at that time. These courses do not remove the conviction from your record, just the points themselves. Further, they will not negate a disqualifying action for CDL violations.

Illinois Points for violations; suspension varies by point accumulation Points drop off after 5 years; no reduction program 5-50 points for speeding depending on severity

According to CyberdriveIllinois, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding (1-5 mph over the posted limit)—5 points
  • Speeding (11-14 mph over the posted limit)—15 points
  • Speeding (15-25 mph over the posted limit)—20 points
  • Speeding (26 or more mph over the posted limit)—50 points
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—20 points
  • Failure to yield—20 points

If you receive three tickets in one 12-month period, your license will be suspended. The number of points accumulated will determine the length of the suspension.

  • 15-44 points— two-month suspension
  • 45-74 points— three-month suspension
  • 75-89 points— six-month suspension
  • 90-99 points—nine-month suspension

Points will stay on your record for at least five years. If you maintain a clean record for a few consecutive years, the Secretary of State will typically start removing the offenses older than five years. Illinois does not currently have a point reduction program.

In most counties, you can take a defensive driving course to prevent a violation from adding points to your record.

Indiana Points for violations; suspension at 18 points in 24 months Defensive driving program every 3 years removes 4 points 2-6 points for speeding depending on severity

According to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Indiana law assesses a point value for each conviction of moving violations. The point value relates to the seriousness of the offense in posing a risk to traffic safety. Point values for offenses range from zero to ten, depending on the violation.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding (1-15 mph over the posted limit)—2 points
  • Speeding (16-25 mph over the posted limit)—4 points
  • Speeding (26 or more mph over the posted limit)—6 points
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—4 points
  • Failure to yield—4 points

Any person convicted of two or more traffic offenses within a twelve-month period may be required to complete a BMV approved Driver Safety Program (DSP). Any young driver that is convicted of two violations before the age of 21 will be required to complete a DSP.

If a driver accumulates 18 or more points in any 24-month period, their license could be suspended. Indiana drivers can utilize a Driver Safety Program to remove 4 points from their record every three years. Points will automatically drop off two years after the conviction date.

Iowa Points for major offenses; suspension at 3 incidents in 12 months No point reduction program Points for major offenses like DWI, speeding 25 mph over limit

Iowa’s point system differs from other states as points are only recorded for major offenses, things like DWI, leaving the scene of an accident, or speeding 15 or more miles over the speed limit. However, a license will be suspended for three tickets or accidents (or a combination of the two) within any 12 month period. License suspension may also occur for a single conviction of driving 25 mph or more over the posted limit.

Points accumulated on an Iowa record will stay there for at least 5 years. Driving While Intoxicated convictions stay for 12 years

The state of Iowa does not have a point reduction program at this time, but some courts will allow a Driver Improvement Course (Defensive Driving) to prevent suspension.

Kansas No point system; suspension for 3 offenses in 12 months Defensive driving course can prevent ticket from being added Minor violations stay on record for 3 years, serious for 5 years

Kansas does not utilize a point system, but they do record every moving violation. Minor violations stay on your record for three years, while more serious offenses remain for five years. If you are convicted of three offenses within any 12-month period, your license can be suspended.

In many cases, a defensive driving course can be utilized to prevent a traffic ticket from being added to your driving record.

Kentucky Points for violations; suspension at 12 points in 12 months Points drop off after 2 years; traffic school can prevent points 3-6 points depending on offense

According to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, a point system is used to determine the safety of its motorists. Any driver that accumulates 12 points or more (7 points for drivers under the age of eighteen) within any 12-month period may have their license suspended. The points are removed from your record two years from the conviction date.

Here is a small list of common offenses and their associated point values.

  • Speeding, failure to yield, improper turn, texting while driving—3 points
  • Reckless driving, failure to yield to an emergency vehicle—4 points
  • Improper passing—5 points
  • Failure to stop for a school bus, receiving two violations at one occurrence—6 points

In many cases, a driver may take a Kentucky State Traffic School course to prevent the points from a ticket from being added to their record. Kentucky does not have a point reduction program.

Louisiana No point system; records all convictions Defensive driving course can keep a ticket off the record Defensive driving course typically used for ticket dismissal

The state of Louisiana does not use a point system for traffic tickets, but they do record all convictions on your record. If you get too many convictions on your record, you will run the risk of your driving privileges being suspended. If you receive a ticket, you can typically utilize a defensive driving course to keep it off of your record.

Maine Points for violations; suspension at 12 points Points drop off after 1 year; 3 points off with Maine Driving Dynamics course 2-8 points depending on severity

The state of Maine uses a points system to track potentially problematic drivers. If you get too many points, your drivers license may be suspended. 

Here are some examples of the number of points assigned to different offenses.

Two Points

  • Littering
  • Tailgating
  • Headlight or turn signal violation

Four Points

  • Operating without a license
  • Failure to obey a stop sign or light
  • Failure to yield

Six Points

  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Driving in the wrong direction
  • Minor in possession of drugs or alcohol

Eight points

  • Driving while license suspended

The points drop off of your record one year after the conviction. Additionally, every year that a driver does not receive a traffic conviction, the Secretary of State will give the driver a one-point credit. You can store up to 4 credits and use them in the event that you do receive a ticket.

According to the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety you can also take the Maine Driving Dynamics course to remove three points from your driving record.

Maryland Points for violations; suspension at 8 points Points removed after 3 years if no serious offenses; no reduction program 1-5 points depending on offense

According to the Maryland MVA, Indiana law assesses a point value for each conviction of moving violations. The point value relates to the seriousness of the offense in posing a risk to traffic safety.

Here are a few examples of possible points that are assessed:

  • Speeding (1-9 mph over limit)—1 point
  • Speeding (10-29 mph over limit)—2 points
  • Speeding (30 mph or more over limit)—5 points
  • Failure to Yield—1 point
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—2 points

Here are the steps the MVA will take as points accumulate on a driving record:

  • 3 to 4 points—The MVA will send you a warning letter
  • 5 to 7 points—The MVA will require you to enroll in a Driver Improvement Program (DIP)
  • 8 to 11 points—The MVA will send you a notice of suspension
  • 12 or more points—The MVA will send you a notice of revocation

Points on a Maryland driving record will be removed three years after conviction as long as the driver has never had a previous license suspension or revocation, DUI conviction, or has ever left the scene of an accident. Other than time, Maryland does not currently offer a point reduction program.

Massachusetts Points for violations; surcharge threshold at 3 violations Safe driver incentive plan; points drop off after 6 years 2-5 points depending on severity

According to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV), points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to surcharges and potentially a suspension of driving privileges.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding (1-10 mph over speed limit)—2 points
  • Speeding (11-30 mph over speed limit)—3 points
  • Speeding (over 30 mph over speed limit)—5 points
  • Failure to obey traffic signals—2 points
  • Improper passing—2 points

Surchargeable Events:

  • Three surchargeable events within a two-year period require a mandatory driver retraining course.
  • Seven surchargeable events within a three-year period result in a 60-day license suspension.

Suspension Thresholds:

  • If you accumulate three speeding violations within a 12-month period, your license will be suspended for 30 days.

License Suspensions for Junior Operators:

  • For drivers under 18, the penalties are more severe, including longer suspension periods and mandatory additional retraining courses for repeat offenses.

Insurance Impact:

  • Surchargeable points not only affect your driving record but also increase your insurance premiums significantly.

Point Removal:

  • Points for violations stay on your driving record for six years.
  • There is no specific point reduction program, but the Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP) can reward good driving behavior with lower insurance premiums.

Defensive Driving Courses:

  • While Massachusetts does not have a formal point reduction system, completing a state-approved defensive driving course can help reduce insurance premiums.
  • Safe driver incentives under the SDIP can result in discounts for taking approved driving courses.

Keeping your driving record clean in Massachusetts involves understanding the point system, adhering to traffic laws, and considering defensive driving courses to potentially lower your insurance costs. Regularly monitoring your driving record and addressing violations promptly can prevent long-term consequences and maintain your driving privileges.

Michigan Points for violations; suspension varies by accumulation Basic Driver Improvement Course can remove 2 points once in lifetime 2-6 points depending on severity

According to the Michigan Secretary of State, points are assessed on your driving record with any traffic conviction. If you accumulate too many points, your driving privileges could be in jeopardy. The points will drop off of your record two years after the conviction.

Here are a few examples of possible points that are assessed:

Two points

  • Speeding—up to 10 mph over limit
  • An open container of alcohol

Three points

  • Failure to stop for a school bus or crossing guard
  • Careless driving
  • Speeding—1-15 mph over limit

Four points

  • Drag racing
  • Speeding—16 or more mph over limit
  • Failure to yield to emergency vehicles

Six points

  • Fleeing the scene of an accident
  • Reckless driving
  • Operating under the influence

In some cases you can use a Michigan Basic Driver Improvement Course (BDIC) to keep points from being added to your record after a ticket. You can also use one of these courses to remove two points from your current record, but you can only do this ONCE in your life, so use it wisely!

Minnesota No point system; records all convictions Defensive driving course can reduce insurance premiums All traffic convictions recorded; impacts insurance rates

Minnesota does not utilize a point system to track your violations. They do record all traffic convictions and those convictions will negatively impact your insurance rates.

A drivers license suspension can occur from unpaid citations or a lapse in insurance coverage. If the Minnesota DVS does suspend your license, you will receive a letter from Driver and Vehicle Services explaining the reason for the suspension. The Minnesota DPS website is a resource where Minnesota drivers can check the status of their licenses.

Mississippi No point system; records all convictions Defensive driving course can keep a ticket off the record Convictions negatively impact insurance rates and can lead to suspension

Mississippi does not utilize a point system to track your violations. They do record all traffic convictions and those convictions will negatively impact your insurance rates and may result in your drivers license being suspended or even revoked.

There are a number of situations that may result in the suspension of a Mississippi drivers license:

  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
  • Driving without insurance
  • Reckless Driving
  • If you’re found at fault in a fatal accident
  • If you abandon your vehicle on a public highway
  • If you steal a vehicle or any parts of a vehicle
  • If you’re convicted of enough serious traffic offenses
Missouri Points for violations; suspension at 8 points in 18 months Points fall off gradually; traffic school can prevent points 2-3 points for speeding, 4-6 points for driving without a license

According to the Missouri Department of Revenue, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

In some cases, the number of points assessed for a citation depends on who writes the ticket.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding—3 points if written by a state trooper, 2 points if written by a sheriff’s deputy or city police officer
  • Running stop sign—2 points if written by a state trooper or sheriff’s deputy. If the citation was written by a city police officer you will receive one point unless running the sign results in an accident. In this case, you will receive two.
  • Driving without a license—2 points for a first offense, 4 for a second, 6 for a third or subsequent offense

If a driver accumulates a total of 4 points in 12 months, the Department of Revenue will send a point accumulation advisory letter.

If a driver accumulates a total of 8 or more points in 18 months, the Department of Revenue will suspend their driving privileges on the following schedule.

  • 1st suspension—30 days
  • 2nd suspension—60 days
  • 3rd (and subsequent) suspensions—90 days

The Department of Revenue will revoke a driver’s license for one year if you accumulate:

  • 12 or more points in 12 months
  • 18 or more points in 24 months
  • 24 or more points in 36 months

When driving privileges are reinstated following a Point Suspension or Revocation, the Department of Revenue reduces total record points to 4.

For every point-free year driven, driving record points will be reduced on the following schedule:

  • 1 year—total remaining points reduced by one-third
  • 2 years—remaining points reduced by one-half
  • 3 years—points reduced to zero

At the time of a citation, a driver can ask permission to complete a Driver Improvement Program (DIP) course. If permission is granted, the points from the violation will not appear on the driver’s record.

Montana Points for violations; suspension at 15 points in 36 months Points drop off after 3 years; no reduction program 2-5 points depending on severity

In Montana, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding—3 points
  • Racing—5 points
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—2 points
  • Failure to yield—2 points

If a driver accumulates six points on their record within 18 months, the court may require counseling or they may have to retake the Montana license examination. If a driver adds 15 points to their record within 36 months, their driver’s license will be suspended for 6 months, and it will be mandatory for you to join a Driver Rehabilitation Program.

Montana does not currently have a point reduction program, but points will be removed three years after the date of the violation.

Montana drivers can check the status of their driving records anytime for free.

Nebraska Points for violations; suspension at 12 points in 2 years Defensive driving course every 5 years removes 2 points 1-4 points for speeding depending on severity

According to the Nebraska DMV, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding (5-10 mph over the posted limit)—2 points
  • Speeding (10-35 mph over the posted limit)—3 points
  • Speeding (36 or more mph over the posted limit)—4 points
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—1 point
  • Failure to yield—1 point

Out of state violations carry the same point penalties as if the ticket was received in state.

In Nebraska, accumulating 12 points in a two year time period (counting from the last date of violation) causes automatic revocation of the operator’s license under the Nebraska Point System.

Nebraska does have a point reduction program. Once every five years, Nebraska drivers can complete an approved Driver Improvement (Defensive Driving) course for a two point reduction.

Nevada Points for violations; suspension at 12 points in 12 months Points drop off after 12 months; 3 points off with traffic safety course 1-4 points for speeding depending on severity

According to the Nevada DMV, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding (1-10 mph over the posted limit)—1 point
  • Speeding (11-20 mph over the posted limit)—2 points
  • Speeding (21-30 mph over the posted limit)—3 points
  • Speeding (31-40 mph over the posted limit)—4 points
  • Speeding (41 or more mph over the posted limit)—4 points
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—4 points
  • Failure to yield—4 points

Drivers will receive a mailed notification from the DMV’s Driver License Review Section when they reach 3 or more driving record points. If between 3 and 11 points accumulate, the driver may have 3 points removed by completing a DMV-approved traffic safety course.

If a driver receives 12 or more points in any 12-month period, their drivers license will be automatically suspended for 6 months. They will be mailed a certified letter before the suspension and have the right to a hearing through the Office of Administrative Hearings.

New Hampshire Points for violations; suspension varies by age and accumulation 3 points off with driver improvement course; points fall off after 3 years 1-4 points depending on severity

According to the New Hampshire DMV, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding (1-24 mph over the posted limit)—3 points
  • Speeding (25 or more mph over the posted limit)—4 points
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—3 points
  • Failure to yield—3 points

Whether or not a license will be suspended depends on the age of the driver and the number of points accumulated.

For drivers under 18:

  • 6 Points in one calendar year—Up to 3 months suspension
  • 12 Points in two calendar years—Up to 6 months suspension
  • 18 Points in three calendar years—Up to 1 year suspension

For drivers 18-21:

  • 9 Points in one calendar year—Up to 3 months suspension
  • 15 Points in two calendar years—Up to 6 months suspension
  • 21 Points in three calendar years—Up to 1-year suspension

For drivers over 21:

12 Points in one calendar year—Up to 3 months suspension
18 Points in two calendar years—Up to 6 months suspension
24 Points in three calendar years—Up to 1 year suspension

New Hampshire does allow the removal of 3 driving record points with the successful completion of an in-person driver improvement course. Otherwise, you will have to wait three years for the points from a citation to be removed.

New Jersey Points for violations; surcharge at 6 points in 3 years Points fall off after 1 year; defensive driving course removes 2 points 2-5 points for speeding depending on severity

According to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding (1-14 mph over the posted limit)—2 points
  • Speeding (15-29 mph over the posted limit)—4 points
  • Speeding (30 or more mph over the posted limit)—5 points
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—2 points
  • Failure to yield—2 points
  • Citation received out of state—2 points

New Jersey drivers who accumulate six or more points in three years will be assessed a surcharge. Reaching a total of 12 or more points will result in a license suspension.

Driving record points will “fall off” at a rate of 3 points for every 12 months of incident free driving. In addition, New Jersey offers three other point reduction methods:

  • Complete a Defensive Driving Program and 2 points will be removed. This process can be repeated once every five years.
  • Complete a Driver Improvement Program at the request of the MVC. This will remove 3 points and can be used once every two years.
  • Complete a Probationary Driver Program, a one-time, court-ordered way to remove 3 points from a driving record.
New Mexico Points for violations; suspension at 7 points in 12 months Points fall off after 1 year; no reduction program 3-8 points for speeding depending on severity

In New Mexico, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation conviction. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding (1-15 mph over the posted limit)—3 points
  • Speeding (16-25 mph over the posted limit)—5 points
  • Speeding (26 or more mph over the posted limit)—8 points
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—3 points
  • Failure to yield—3 points

As a driver accumulates points over a 12-month period, the MVC will take the following actions:

  • Six points—The MVC will send a warning letter outlining the penalties that will result from future traffic violations.
  • Seven points—The judge is permitted to order a license suspension of up to three months for drivers with seven to 12 points.
  • 12 points or more—Accumulating 12 points within 12 months will result in a 12-month license suspension.

According to the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division, a driver will have to complete an 8-hour, Traffic Safety Bureau approved Driving Safety course to restore their license following a points suspension.

New Mexico does not currently have a point reduction program, but points will come off of a driver’s record a full 12 months after the date of violation.

New York Points for violations; suspension at 11 points in 18 months Point and Insurance Reduction Program removes 4 points every 18 months 3-11 points for speeding depending on severity

According to the New York DMV, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding (1-10 mph over the posted limit)—3 points
  • Speeding (11-20 mph over the posted limit)—4 points
  • Speeding (21-30 mph over the posted limit)—6 points
  • Speeding (31-40 mph over the posted limit)—8 points
  • Speeding (40 or more mph over the posted limit)—11 points
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—3 points
  • Failure to yield—3 points

If a driver in New York accumulates 11 or more points in an 18-month period, their license may be suspended. If they receive 6 or more points in 18 months, they will be charged a Driver Responsibility Assessment fee.

New York offers drivers the opportunity to reduce the impact of points if they complete an approved Point and Insurance Reduction (PIRP) course. These courses can be completed once every 18 months to mask 4 points on a driving record and to qualify the driver for a 10% reduction of their auto insurance premiums.

New York drivers can check their driving record points for free at MyDMV.

North Carolina Points for violations; suspension at 12 points in 3 years Points drop off after 3 years; driver improvement clinic removes 3 points 1-4 points for various offenses

According to the North Carolina DMV, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension. Drivers with tickets may also be charged with insurance points, causing significant increases in premiums.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding—2 to 3 driving record points and 1 to 4 insurance points depending on the posted limit and the number of miles over that limit the driver was traveling
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—3 driving record points and 1 insurance point
  • Failure to yield—3 driving record points and 1 insurance point

In North Carolina, a driver’s license will be suspended for 60 days if they accumulate 12 points in a 3-year period. If they add eight more points in the following 3-year period, their license will be suspended for 6 months. A third (or subsequent) suspension will result in a one-year suspension. Once a suspension has been served, all points will be eliminated from the driver’s record.

Once a driver has reached an accumulation of seven points, he may be required by the court to complete a Driver Improvement Clinic. Successful completion will result in the elimination of 3 points.

As far as insurance is concerned, the following consequences may follow the accumulation of insurance points:

  • 1 point: 30% increase in premium costs
  • 2 points: 45% increase in premium costs
  • 3 points: 60% increase in premium costs
  • 4 points: 80% increase in premium costs
  • 8 points: 195% increase in premium costs
  • 10 points: 260% increase in premium costs
  • 12 points: 340% increase in premium costs
North Dakota Points for violations; suspension at 12 points Points drop off after 3 months; no reduction program 1-15 points for speeding depending on severity

According to the North Dakota Department of Transportation, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding—1 to 15 points depending on the posted limit and the number of miles over that limit the driver was traveling
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—2 points
  • Failure to yield—2 points

Once a driver’s total driving record points exceed 11, a 7-day license suspension must be served for each point over 11. Once the suspension has been served, the point total is reset to 11. The point total is further reduced by one point for every three months without a traffic ticket.

Ohio Points for violations; suspension at 12 points Points drop off after 3 years; no reduction program 2-4 points for speeding depending on severity

According to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding—2 points
  • Speeding (25 or more mph over the posted limit)—4 points
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—2 points
  • Failure to yield—2 points

In Ohio, if a driver accumulates six points on their driving record, a warning letter will be sent letting the driver know what lies in store for them should they accumulate 12 points. A 12-point suspension will require the driver to take the following steps to have their license reinstated:

  • Serve a six-month suspension
  • Complete a remedial driving course
  • File a certificate of insurance (SR-22/bond)
  • Pay a reinstatement fee
  • Retake complete driver license exam

Ohio does not have a point reduction program at this time, but points will be removed three years from the date of issuance.

Oklahoma Points for violations; suspension at 10 points in 5 years 2 points off with defensive driving course; points fall off after 1 year 2-3 points for speeding depending on severity

According to the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding—2 points
  • Speeding (25 or more mph over the posted limit)—3 points
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—2 points
  • Failure to yield—2 points

In Oklahoma, if a driver accumulates 10 points in a five year period, their license is subject to suspension. Multiple point suspensions carry longer periods of suspension.

  • First Suspension—1 month
  • Second Suspension—3 months
  • Third Suspension—6 months
  • Fourth (and subsequent) suspension—12 months

There are two ways to reduce points in Oklahoma, time and defensive driving.

  • Time—If a driver goes twelve consecutive months violation-free, two points are removed from the driver’s record. If a driver goes three consecutive years violation-free, all remaining points will be removed.
  • Defensive Driving—Once every two years, Oklahoma drivers can complete an approved 6-hour defensive driving course for a two-point reduction from their driving record.
Oregon No point system; records all convictions Defensive driving course can prevent ticket from being added License restrictions and suspensions based on violations

Oregon doesn’t use a point system, but the state does record each moving violation on your driving record. According to the Oregon Department of Transportation, license suspensions will occur in the following circumstances.

  • If you are under 18 and have received two tickets or have had two accidents (or one of each), the DMV will restrict your license for 90 days. This restriction means that you will only be able to drive for employment purposes. If you receive a third conviction or accident the DMV will suspend your license for 6 months.
  • If you are 18 or older, the DMV will restrict your drivers license to daytime driving only for 30 days if you receive three tickets or have three accidents (or a combination totaling three) during an 18-month period. If you receive a fourth conviction or accident, the DMV will suspend your license for 30 days. For each violation or preventable accident after four within a 2-year period, the DMV will suspend your license again for 30 days.

If you are requested to appear in an Oregon traffic court and you fail to do so, your license will be suspended for 10 years or until the DMV receives proof that the case has been cleared with the court.

If your license is suspended you will need to pay a $75 reinstatement fee as well as fulfilling any other requirements ordered by the court.

Pennsylvania Points for violations; suspension varies by accumulation Points fall off after 12 months; no reduction program 2-5 points for speeding depending on severity

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding (6 to 10 mph over speed limit)—2 points
  • Speeding (11 to 15 mph over speed limit)—3 points
  • Speeding (16 to 25 mph over speed limit)—4 points
  • Speeding (26 to 30 mph over speed limit)—5 points

If any of these speeding violations occur in an active work zone, the penalty will also include a 15-day license suspension.

  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—3 points
  • Failure to yield right of way—3 points

A series of consequences accompanies each accumulation of six driving record points.

  • First Accumulation—The driver will have 30 days to pass a special written examination covering knowledge of safe driving practices, departmental sanctions, and related safety issues. If the driver fails to pass the exam, his or her license will be suspended until such time they can pass. If the test is passed within 30 days, two driving record points will be removed.
  • Second Accumulation—The second time a driver accumulates six points on their record, they will be required to attend a departmental hearing. At the hearing, an examiner will review the driver’s record and may recommend one or more of the following:
    • A 15-day license suspension
    • That the driver take a special on-road driver’s examination, or
    • Take no action
  • If one of the first two recommendations are taken, two points will be removed after the successful completion of either. Failure to attend this meeting will result in a 60-day license suspension.
  • Third Accumulation—Driver will be required to attend another departmental hearing where it will be determined if a 30-day suspension will be initiated. Failure to attend this meeting will result in a 60-day license suspension.

In Pennsylvania, three points are removed after 12 consecutive months of violation free driving. Outside of the methods listed above, Pennsylvania does not have a point reduction program.

Rhode Island No point system; records all convictions Defensive driving course can keep a ticket off the record Various violations can lead to license suspension or revocation

Rhode Island does not utilize a point system to track your violations. They do record all traffic convictions and those convictions will negatively impact your insurance rates and may result in your drivers license being suspended or revoked.

There are several situations that may result in the suspension of a Rhode Island drivers license:

  • Being convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Three convictions for reckless driving within a year
  • A conviction for using a vehicle in the commission of a felony
  • Failing to stop if you are involved in an accident that kills or injures someone
  • Using an altered or fake license to buy alcohol.
  • Frequent driving offenses
  • Being a reckless or negligent driver
  • Driving a vehicle without the owner’s consent
South Carolina Points for violations; suspension at 12 points Points halved after 1 year; defensive driving course removes up to 4 points 2-6 points for speeding depending on severity

According to the South Carolina DMV, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

Points are assessed to your license for moving violations in South Carolina or any other state or if you receive a military court-martial traffic conviction. One year after the points are accrued, they are reduced by half. The remaining points drop off after the second year.

If you have a learner’s permit, a provisional license, or a special restricted driver’s license and you accumulate six or more points, your license will be suspended for six months for Excessive Points. Some violations, like DUI’s, require a mandatory suspension and do not fall under the point system.

You can reduce your points by taking the National Safety Council’s 8-hour Defensive Driving Course. To get the reduction, the following stipulations apply:

  • The course cannot be taken online except for the virtual classroom course provided by the National Safety Council.
  • The course must be eight hours of classroom training.
  • The course must be taken in South Carolina.
  • The course must be taken after the violation date.
  • A course can only be taken once in a three-year period.
  • If your license is in danger of suspension, the course must be taken before the suspension begins. A point reduction course will not reverse a suspension.
South Dakota Points for violations; suspension at 15 points in 12 months Points drop off after 2 years; no reduction program 2-4 points for various offenses

According to the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding—2 points
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—3 points
  • Failure to yield right of way—4 points

Any South Dakota driver who accrues 15 points in 12 consecutive months or 22 points in 24 consecutive months is subject to suspension. South Dakota currently does not have a point reduction program. Points are removed from your record over time. The length of time the points remain is dependent on the severity of the violation. Most start “falling off” at the two-year mark.

Tennessee Points for violations; suspension at 12 points in 12 months Points drop off after 2 years; traffic school can prevent points 1-8 points for speeding depending on severity

According to TN.gov, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding (1 to 5 mph over speed limit)—1 point
  • Speeding (6 to 15 mph over speed limit)—3 points
  • Speeding (16 to 25 mph over speed limit)—4 points
  • Speeding (26 to 35 mph over speed limit)—5 points
  • Speeding (36 to 45 mph over speed limit)—6 points
  • Speeding (46 or more mph over speed limit)—8 points
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—4 points
  • Failure to yield right of way—4 points

Drivers who accumulate twelve or more points on their driving record within any 12 month period are sent a notice of proposed suspension and given an opportunity to attend an administrative hearing. If they fail to request a hearing, their driving privileges are suspended for a period of six to 12 months. Following a citation, a traffic school course will prevent points from being added to a driver’s record, a privilege that can be exercised once every five years.

Tennessee does not currently have a point reduction program, but points “fall off” after two years of citation-free driving.

Texas Points for violations; suspension at 14 points in 24 months Points drop off after 1 year; defensive driving course prevents points 2-3 points for speeding, 3 points for accidents

According to the Harris County Justice Courts, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

Points are assessed for Texas or out-of-state moving violation convictions: two points for a conviction, and three points for a conviction that resulted in a crash. For each consecutive 12 month period that an individual does not receive any points for a moving violation, one point will be deducted from the individual’s total points.

In Texas, the accumulation of 14 or more points in a 24 month period will likely lead to suspension. Texas does not have a point reduction program, but points associated with a traffic violation will not be added to a driving record with the successful completion of an approved Driver Safety (Defensive Driving) course.

Utah Points for violations; suspension varies by accumulation 50 points off with defensive driving course; points drop off after 2 years 2-75 points for speeding depending on severity

According to the Utah Department of Public Safety, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding (1 to 10 mph over speed limit)—35 points
  • Speeding (11 to 20 mph over speed limit)—55 points
  • Speeding (21 tor more mph over speed limit)—75 points
  • Speeding (20 or more mph over on the interstate)—2 points
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—50 points
  • Failure to yield right of way—60 points

Suspension is dependent on the type of license the driver holds.

  • A driver under 21 years of age with a provisional license who accumulates 70 or more points in three years, may be suspended or denied for one month to a year, depending upon the severity of the record.
  • A driver 21 years of age or older with a non-commercial drivers license who accumulates 200 or more points in three years, may be suspended for three months to a year, depending upon the severity of the record.

Utah’s point reduction program allows for the deletion of 50 points with the completion of an approved Driver Improvement course. The course may be taken for a point reduction once every three years. A Utah driving record also improves over time. After one full year of violation-free driving, the number of points on your record will be reduced by half, and after two years the points will be deleted entirely.

Vermont Points for violations; suspension at 10 points Points fall off after 2 years; no reduction program 2-6 points for speeding depending on severity

According to the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding (1 to 10 mph over speed limit)—2 points
  • Speeding (11 to 19 mph over speed limit)—3 points
  • Speeding (1 to 19 mph over on the interstate)—2 points
  • Speeding (20 or more mph over speed limit)—6 points
  • Speeding (20 or more mph over on the interstate)—2 points
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—2 points
  • Failure to yield right of way—2 points

A Vermont drivers license will be suspended with the accumulation of 10 points in two years. In Vermont, points “fall off” two years after they are earned. Vermont does not currently have a point reduction program.

Virginia Demerit and safe points system; suspension at 18 demerit points Safe points added for good behavior; driver improvement course adds 5 safe points 3-6 points for speeding depending on severity

According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, Virginia drivers can receive either “demerit points” or “safe points”. Demerit points are added after a traffic violation where safe points are added after one year of violation-free driving. These points serve to cancel one another out to help keep the point total lower.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding (1 to 9 mph over speed limit)—3 points
  • Speeding (10 to 19 mph over speed limit)—4 points
  • Speeding (20 or more mph over speed limit)—6 points
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—4 points
  • Failure to yield right of way—4 points

In Virginia, points “fall off” two years after they are earned. Virginia’s point reduction program allows for the addition of five safe points with the successful completion of a Driver Improvement Course (DIC). A DIC can be taken for this purpose once every 24 months. Points earned from a ticket will not count toward the total if permission is granted to take a traffic school course.

Virginia drivers can check their points for free online.

Washington No point system; records all convictions Defensive driving course can prevent ticket from being added License suspensions based on number of violations

Washington is one of 11 states that does not use a point system for driving records, but there are rules in place governing suspensions and revocations.

According to the Washington Department of Licensing, if a driver receives 6 moving violations in a 12 month period or 7 moving violations in a 24-month period, their license will be suspended for 60 days. There is a 1 year probation period following the suspension. During probation, if another moving violation is received, the driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days for each offense and the 1-year probation will reset.

Regaining a Washington license will necessitate the filing of an SR-22, a $75 reinstatement penalty (in addition to other licensing fees), and application for a new license. Additional steps may also be required.

West Virginia Points for violations; suspension at 12 points Points fall off after 2 years; defensive driving course removes 3 points 3-6 points for speeding depending on severity

According to the West Virginia Department of Transportation, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding (11 to 14 mph over speed limit)—3 points
  • Speeding (15 to 19 mph over speed limit)—5 points
  • Speeding (20 or more mph over speed limit)—6 points
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—3 points
  • Failure to yield right of way—3 points

Point totals and suspensions:

  • 12-13 points—30 days
  • 14-15 points—45 days
  • 16-17 points—60 days
  • 18-19 points—90 days
  • 20+ points—License remains suspended until total falls below 11 points

In West Virginia, points “fall off” two years after they are earned, although the violation still appears for five. West Virginia’s point reduction program allows drivers to remove three points from their records every 12 months with the successful completion of an approved defensive driving course. More detailed information about the West Virginia point system can be found in this brochure.

Wisconsin Points for violations; suspension at 12 points in 12 months Points fall off after 5 years; defensive driving course removes 3 points 3-6 points for speeding depending on severity

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, points will be added to a driver’s record following a traffic violation. Accumulation of sufficient points will lead to a license suspension.

Point examples of common citations:

  • Speeding (11 to 19 mph over speed limit)—4 points
  • Speeding (20 or more mph over speed limit)—6 points
  • Disregarding traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)—3 points
  • Failure to yield right of way4 points

Wisconsin drivers will face license suspension any time they accumulate 12 points or more in a 12 month period. The duration of the suspension depends on the type of license they carry.

Point totals and suspensions, probationary license or instructional permit:

  • 12-30 points—6 months
  • More than 30 points—1 year

Point totals and suspensions, regular license (including CDL)

  • 12-16 points—2 months
  • 17-22 points­—4 months
  • 23-30 points—6 months
  • More than 30—12 months

Drivers in Wisconsin who have had their licenses suspended may qualify for an “occupational license” that will allow them to commute to work or necessary medical care if no other means of transportation is available.

In Wisconsin, points “fall off” five years after they are earned. Wisconsin’s point reduction program allows for the removal of three points every three years with the completion of an approved traffic safety course. Points earned from a ticket will not count toward the total if permission is granted to take a traffic school course.

Wyoming No point system; records all convictions Defensive driving course can keep a ticket off the record License suspensions based on major and minor infractions

Wyoming is one of 11 states that does not use a point system for driving records, but there are rules in place governing suspensions and revocations.

A driver in Wyoming will face penalties after a major driving infraction or a series of minor ones. Major infractions include things like DUIs, drug-related offenses, and at-fault accidents involving a death or serious injury; minor infractions would include things like basic traffic citations.

Penalties for such infractions in Wyoming can include:

  • A driver’s license suspension, revocation, or cancellation.
  • Wyoming Department of Transportation fees and traffic court fines.
  • Driver Improvement/Defensive Driving course completion requirements.
  • Community service and/or jail time, depending on the severity of your offense.
  • Court penalties and sentencing requirements.
  • Driving restrictions when you get your driving privileges back.
  • Behavior adjustment and evaluation programs.

More details about how driving record offenses affect the right to drive can be found in the Wyoming driver manual.

Driving Record Points & Defensive Driving Q&A

Can I Take a Defensive Driving Course to Reduce Points in Every State?

No, the availability and regulations vary by state.

How Often can I Take a Defensive Driving Course for Point Reduction?

This depends on state regulations, but typically, you can take a point reduction course once every 12 to 36 months.

Will Completing a Defensive Driving Course Affect My Insurance Rates?

Yes, in many cases, completing a defensive driving course can lower insurance premiums, as many insurers offer discounts for course completion.

From the blog:
Learn More About Defensive Driving
Defensive Driving Benefits Make Happy Drivers
The Benefits of Taking a Texas Defensive Driving Course
Dismiss tickets and lower insurance costs with an online defensive driving course. Stay safe, meet job requirements, and refresh your driving skills easily.
Instructor: John Fabel
Texas
Dangers of Drowsy Driving and How to Avoid It
Discover the dangers of drowsy driving and strategies to avoid it. Learn tips to stay alert and understand fatigue's impact.
Instructor: John Fabel
Free Course
Drug and Alcohol Effects on Driving Safety
Learn about drug and alcohol effects on driving. Understand the safety risks of substance use and preventive measures.
Instructor: John Fabel
Free Course
It’s time to move on from your moving violation.
Learn More Start Your Course