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DMV Point System

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What is the DMV Points System?

The points system is a demerit point system created to help create a safer driving environment and penalize those who fail to obey traffic laws.

The point system is commonly referred to as the DMV point system since it is usually enforced by the Department of Motor Vehicles or equivalent government department responsible for handling the issuance of driver’s licenses.

“Germany was the first country to introduce the point system to drivers back in 1974”

While it fell under initial controversy the results of the point system dramatically showed a great reduction in high risk driving habits after the first year. The USA was quick to adopt this although it did take some time for all 50 States to adopt the point system and even today depending on where you are ticketed not all of the states report to each other so a driver could technically get a ticket in one state but never have it show on his/her license since they live out of state. While the DMV Point System is a great tool for punishing high-risk drivers it also has transformed into a very political and difficult system to standardize nationwide.

Is the Point System the same for all drivers?

No. While all mature drivers are subject to the same Point System for the state they reside a much tighter set of rules have been established for new drivers in most States – especially those with some form of graduated driver license system. However after a couple years when a young driver gets a driver license without restrictions they will fall into the same point system as everyone else.

What are Points and how do they affect my driver’s license?

Demerit points are points added to your driving record based on conviction for certain moving violations and other traffic offenses (such as not wearing a seatbelt). Depending on the particular type of Demerit Point system in place a driver will have points added or subtracted to their driving record for each convicted offense. In some states for example every driver starts with 12 points and points are gradually taken away each time a qualifying conviction occurs. In other states drives start with ZERO points and points are simply added when a convicted traffic offense occurs. It’s basically the same thing – just a different use of math for how points are applied.

If a driver receives too many points their license may be suspended or even revoked in extreme cases however the primary goal of the point system is to simply identify and deter high risk drivers. Added benefits also include a much more efficient legal process for dealing with risk drivers cutting down on legal bills.

What are some traffic offense that will earn you points?

If you follow the rules of the road then you probably have nothing to worry about it however be aware that almost any traffic offense (excluding parking tickets) have possible points attached to a conviction. Some of the most common ones including running a red light, left turn on a red light and speeding beyond maximum posted speed limits. More serious offenses (which will earn you a lot of points) include reckless driving, failure to stop for a school bus and other any type of DUI or DWI offense.

Each offense has a pre-determined value and once you accumulate enough points within a given period of time (usually 12 points in 2 years) then you can be subject to serious consequences. For most people this means getting pulled over at least 4 times for a speeding ticket and pleading guilty to each and every one however its not hard to get multiple tickets at the same time so with some bad luck (and bad judgment) its easy to see how close a drivers license suspension could be if you ignore traffic laws. When it comes to car insurance companies they understand exactly how much of a higher risk any person is when convicted of a traffic offense vs. those good drivers with a clean driving record so expect to pay high car insurance rates after any conviction.

How long do Points stay on my driving record?

This will vary by State but demerit points usually only stay on your record for 2 years. For full details of traffic offense which accumulate points and answers to questions such as how long points stay on your driving record view our state by state guide below.

DMV Point System Guide by State


  • Alabama Point System
  • Alaska Point System
  • Arizona Point System
  • Arkansas Point System
  • California Point System
  • Colorado Point System
  • Connecticut Point System
  • Delaware Point System
  • Florida Point System
  • Georgia Point System
  • Hawaii Point System
  • Idaho Point System
  • Illinois Point System
  • Indiana Point System
  • Iowa Point System
  • Kansas Point System
  • Kentucky Point System
  • Louisiana Points System
  • Maine Point System
  • Maryland Point System
  • Massachusetts Point System
  • Michigan Point System
  • Minnesota Point System
  • Mississippi Point System
  • Missouri Point System
  • Montana Point System
  • Nebraska Point System
  • Nevada Point System
  • New Hampshire Point System
  • New Jersey Point System
  • New Mexico Point System
  • New York Point System
  • North Carolina Point System
  • North Dakota Point System
  • Ohio Point System
  • Oklahoma Point System
  • Oregon Point System
  • Pennsylvania Point System
  • Rhode Island Point System
  • South Carolina Point System
  • South Dakota Point System
  • Tennessee Point System
  • Texas Point System
  • Utah Point System
  • Vermont Point System
  • Virginia Point System
  • Washington Point System
  • West Virginia Point System
  • Wisconsin Point System
  • Wyoming Point System

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