Using Defensive Driving to Eliminate Driving Record Points

by John Fabel | Last Updated: June 10, 2021

Did your third grade teacher ever threaten that your bad behavior was going to wind up on your permanent record? Mine sure did. Fortunately, in spite of all the shenanigans I got up to, there didn’t seem to be a record after all.

However, as a grown up, there is a permanent record that follows you around and it can cost you big money. Of course, I’m speaking of your driving record.

A driving record is a listing of every incident and accident you have ever had behind the wheel. Each of these is assessed a point value and the number of points you accrue can lead to fines, higher insurance premiums and, perhaps, even the suspension or revocation of your license. Keeping your point total down is a great way to save money and to keep you from having to take the bus.

Losing your license can occur in two ways, suspension and revocation. What’s the difference?

Every state keeps a record on its drivers, and 39 of them use points to keep score. The ones without a point system issue suspensions and revocations much more subjectively. We will discuss specifics in the state-by-state section below.

In the states with point systems, it is imperative that drivers remove any they have accumulated as quickly as possible. There are two ways that these points can come off of a driving record. The first is time. Without any further violations, points will eventually be removed, usually within one to five years.

In some states, points can be reduced by completing a driver safety course. This process is commonly known as a point reduction program. The state of New York calls its program “PIRP,” which stands for points and insurance reduction program because after completing a course, insurance companies in the state are required to lower a driver’s insurance rates. Even if it is not required of insurance companies in your state, there’s a very good chance that you will be able to reduce your insurance anyway. Most major insurance companies have some sort of “safe driver discount” that they extend to drivers who voluntarily complete a driver safety course.

In some states, you can use a driver safety class to prevent or mask the points that would normally be added after a traffic ticket.

The way you keep points off your driving record isn’t nearly as important as keeping them off. How you do that depends upon where you live. We are going to run down how points are handled in every state and, if possible, how drivers in that state can remove them.

Find Driving Record Information Your State

AlabamaHawaiiMassachusettsNew MexicoSouth Dakota
AlaskaIdahoMichiganNew YorkTennessee
ArizonaIllinoisMinnesotaNorth CarolinaTexas
ArkansasIndianaMississippiNorth DakotaUtah
CaliforniaIowaMissouriOhioVermont
ColoradoKansasMontanaOklahomaVirginia
ConnecticutKentuckyNebraskaOregonWashington
DelawareLouisianaNevadaPennsylvaniaWest Virginia
FloridaMaineNew HampshireRhode IslandWisconsin
GeorgiaMarylandNew JerseySouth CarolinaWyoming

State-by-State Driving Record Point and Suspension Rules

Alabama

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.

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.

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Alaska

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.

* 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.

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Arizona

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.

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.

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Arkansas

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.

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California

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.

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

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.

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Colorado

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.

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.

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Connecticut

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.

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Delaware

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.

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.

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. Meaning, 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.

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Florida

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.

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.

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.

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Georgia

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:

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

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Hawaii

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.

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Idaho

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 totals and suspensions:

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.

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Illinois

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.

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.

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.

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Indiana

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.

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.

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Iowa

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.

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Kansas

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.

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Kentucky

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.

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.

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Louisiana

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.

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Maine

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.

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.

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Maryland

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:

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

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.

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Massachusetts

Michigan

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:

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!

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Minnesota

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.

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Mississippi

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:

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Missouri

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.

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.

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

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:

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.

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Montana

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.

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.

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Nebraska

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.

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.

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Nevada

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.

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.

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New Hampshire

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.

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:

For drivers 18-21:

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.

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New Jersey

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.

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:

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New Mexico

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.

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

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.

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New York

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.

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.

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North Carolina

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.

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:

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North Dakota

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.

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.

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Ohio

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.

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:

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

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Oklahoma

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.

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.

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

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Oregon

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 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.

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Pennsylvania

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.

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

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.

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Rhode Island

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:

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South Carolina

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:

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South Dakota

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.

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.

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Tennessee

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.

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.

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Texas

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.

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Utah

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.

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

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.

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Vermont

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.

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.

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Virginia

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.

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.

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Washington

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.

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West Virginia

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.

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.

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Wisconsin

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.

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.

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.

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Wyoming

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:

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

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John Fabel

I have a long and checkered history with defensive driving. I took my first "court invited" course at age 15 and realized immediately that there had to be a better way. Since that first experience, I have gone on to teach defensive driving classroom courses and to author four internet courses in 2 states. After nearly 25 years in the industry, I can help you find a course that will be the best fit for you.