How Many Points Does It Take To Lose Your License?

by Jim on December 31, 2022

A driver’s license suspension can either be indefinite or definite. The duration of the suspension depends on the gravity of the offenses that led to the suspension. Ideally, indefinite suspensions do not have end dates, while definite suspensions do.

Points are assigned to the license of any driver who violates traffic regulations. The points vary in number and in accordance with the severity of the offense committed.

Rule will change from state to state, but generally speaking drivers who rack up 11 or more points within 18 months will temporarily lose their driving privileges.

How Many Traffic Points Does It Really Take To Lose Your License

The DMV uses point allocation to identify and discourage both in and out-of-state drivers from engaging in unsafe behavior that endangers their own lives and that of other road users.

By assigning negative points that ultimately lead to license suspension on the driving records of reckless drivers, they become less inclined to engage in risky behavior while driving. By accumulating a total of 11 points within 18 months, you risk temporarily losing your driving privileges.

What Is The Point System?

Most states use a point system or some other means of holding drivers accountable for traffic infractions and misusing their vehicle operating privileges. The point system discourages unsafe driving habits by assigning driver’s license points to the records of traffic law violators. Accumulating negative points on your license will ultimately lead to the suspension of your driving privilege once the 11-point limit has been exceeded within an 18-month period.

Whenever a driver is found guilty of reckless driving, driving above a posted speed limit, committing a felony involving a motor vehicle, or engaging in other bad habits that are against traffic law, such a person accumulates the exact number of points associated with said offenses which will then be added to their point total.

For instance, getting caught using a cell phone while driving or ignoring traffic signs will result in four points assessed against your driver-license. In comparison, unsafe lane changes and speeding tickets will result in 3 negative points assigned to one’s driving record. Usually, drivers who violate traffic laws and cause fatal road accidents and property damage in the process can expect six points on their driving records.

Certain traffic violations attract zero points on the offender’s license, although these are usually very minor moving violations. Inversely, certain traffic offenses can get one’s license suspended temporarily. In contrast, others can warrant an indefinite suspension due to the significant risk factor they hold, DUIs, refusing a chemical test, and DWIs, for instance.

Your Driving Record And Why It Matters

The records of every driver in the United States are held by the DMV or similar state agency. The driving details of all drivers in the country do not suddenly disappear at some point. On the contrary, all traffic convictions stay on record regardless of the severity of the offense. Typically, each driver record consists of personal information and other details such as citations, tickets, accumulated points, and even graduated courses.

Drivers can inquire about their total point value and each violation date by visiting any DMV branch. Now, what matters is to try not to rack up points all at once or within a short period, as it can lead to a license suspension.

Most Common Reasons For Suspended or Revoked Licenses

A license suspension is a repercussion of committing major traffic violations, for instance, driving under the influence or accumulating points on your license. Refusing to stop for a school bus or getting a DUI charge can warrant an immediate license suspension. However, committing other minor traffic offenses can only lead to a suspension when the 11-point limit has been breached.

How Long Does A License Suspension Stay On Your Record?

Negative points can stay on a driver’s license for over a year. When no action is taken to get the points system authorities to remove points from your driver’s license, a license suspension would be in order after the eleven-point mark has been reached. While there are ways to get a license reinstated after it has been suspended, the conviction remains indefinitely.

How Having A License Suspension On Your Record Can Affect Other Aspects Of Your Life

A minor traffic citation may not have as long-lasting effects as a serious traffic violation, especially when such an offense is committed repeatedly. Getting a license suspension due to accumulated traffic tickets or too many driver’s license points can have a negative impact on almost every other aspect of your life. Here are several ways it can.

1. Your Credit Score

Not being able to meet up with court costs or traffic ticket payments could cause one’s credit score to suffer. If a collection agency gets involved, the impact could be even worse than expected. Having a good credit score is critical as it’s a key factor when looking for accommodation and purchasing vehicles.

2. Your Right To Vote

Traffic infractions like getting a DUI or committing an on-road felony might cause your right to partake in the voting process to be revoked. Convicted felons not only forfeit the right to vote, but they also lose the right to hold public office, be firefighters, serve on a jury, and may even face travel restrictions.

3. Insurance Premium Rates

The amount you usually pay for insurance will skyrocket the instant your traffic offense goes on your driving record. The reason your insurance premium will be one of the first things affected is that insurance companies have access to their policyholders’ driving records. This means that there’s a very good chance that they’ll know when and why your license has been suspended, which can lead to increased premium rates, in which case you’ll need to participate in an insurance reduction program.

4. Job Prospects

Getting arrested by a police officer for committing a serious motor vehicle offense is sufficient reason for termination from the workforce. The chances of this happening are higher for people with jobs involving driving, such as commercial drivers.

A major factor that increases the chances of getting fired is that insurance companies tend to add to the charges for using company-owned vehicles when specific traffic infractions have been committed. Having a DUI on one’s driving record can be a major hassle in terms of finding employment, as most employers consider it a red flag.

Final Words

There are several ways drivers can avoid getting their driving privileges suspended once they find out they are about to cross the point threshold. Such ways include requesting point expungement, enrolling in a defensive driving course, and becoming better drivers.

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