What are Driver's License Points

Jul 18, 2022 By Susan Kelly

You are legally allowed to drive with your driver's license. You are expected to follow traffic laws in return. Many states use points to track your driving record if you are cited for moving violations. Insurance companies also record infractions. These points systems are intended to encourage safe driving habits and discourage dangerous driving. Too many points can lead to your license being suspended, revoked, or raised. This is how points work on a driver's license.

Points Vary Depending On the Severity of the Violation

The driver's license points system is designed to help states and insurance companies spot high-risk drivers. If you are cited for certain moving violations, points may be added to your driving record at the state level. Your points can vary depending on the nature of your violation.

Driving 1-10 mph faster than the posted speed limit in New York can result in three points. Five-point offenses include reckless driving, unsafe cellphone use while driving, failing to stop for school buses, and improper use. The website of your state's department for motor vehicles (DMV) may provide information about its points system.

All States Do Not Use Point Systems

Nine states don't use points for keeping track of bad drivers. However, that doesn't mean you are exempt from liability if you rack up violations. These states monitor your driving record and decide if your license should or not be suspended. In Oregon, for example, if four convictions or four accidents have occurred in the past 24 months, your license will be suspended or taken away. Your rates can be affected by violations, as auto insurers will review your driving record.

Not All Traffic Violations Result in Points

Some infractions will not result in points against your driver's license. Where you live, parking violations might not count towards your points total. Minor violations can still result in you being ticketed. Even if you don't have any points, you still need to pay for the ticket. A ticket can lead to higher car insurance rates.

Points Systems of Insurance Companies

Insurance companies are not obligated to follow the same points system as your state's motor vehicle agency. Insurers may use their points systems instead to assign points for driving violations. Your license will not be suspended if you accumulate points from an insurance company. However, they can cause an increase in insurance premiums and even lead to your policy being canceled if you accumulate too many.

Certain insurance policies and companies may be more strict in assigning points. Allstate's optional Accident Inforgiveness coverage will not raise your rates if you are involved in an accident.

Points May Be Removed From Your Driving Record

You might be eligible to receive points for certain violations of the law. This option may be worth considering. Make sure the state has approved you for the course. You can't remove points from your license for more serious offenses, like driving while impaired. You will generally need to wait until your state's time limit expires.

The Tickets You Get Are Not Eligible For Points

Check your driving record to determine how many points are on your record. You can view your driving record online in many states. You will find a link labeled "Driver's License Check" or similar. You may have to submit a written request form if you cannot find the link.

Lower Your Car Insurance Rates

You can do several things if your auto insurance premiums have risen due to a traffic violation. You could try these things:

  • Ask about discounts: Bundling your homeowners and car insurance with one company may result in a discount or paperless billing.
  • Increase your deductibles: Higher deductibles could lead to a lower premium. In the event of an accident, make sure you have enough money to pay your deductibles.
  • Improve your credit: Your credit score can be improved, resulting in lower insurance rates. Ask your insurance company to restore your policy if your credit score rises.
  • Take a look around: Comparing rates offered by different insurance companies can help you choose the right policy for your budget and needs. To get a fair comparison of costs, consider both the deductibles and premiums.
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