A Guide To Calculating DMV Points
Virginia uses a point system for rating drivers. Being aware of how the DMV assigns points can help individuals know what to expect and how to prepare for the future when facing a potential traffic violation conviction. Discover how to calculate DMV points and explore the available legal options when charged with a traffic offense by contacting a Virginia traffic law attorney from Driving Defense Law at (757) 929-0335.
DMV Points Explained
According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, the DMV assigns safe points for sound driving practices and demerit points to unsafe drivers, explained below.
Motorists receive a single safe driving point for every year that they have a valid driving license without suspensions or violations. A single driver may accumulate up to five of these points, which the DMV awards toward the beginning of April for the previous year.
Drivers can accrue five of these points by finishing driver improvement clinics. For drivers who receive a court order to complete such a clinic, whether they can accrue safe points depends on the court. If permitted, these motorists must provide the court with evidence of clinic attendance to gain these points.
The DMV gives drivers demerit points when they receive a traffic violation conviction to identify and penalize high-risk motorists. These points remain on the individual’s record for two years after the date of the offense.
Drivers accrue additional demerit points each time they commit an offense, with more severe violations leading to a greater number of these points. Eventually, after accruing too many demerit points, a motorist might have their driver’s license suspended by the DMV.
What Happens When a Driver Is Convicted of a Traffic Offense?
Per the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, the court contacts the DMV in the event of a traffic violation conviction. The DMV then does the following:
- Updates the driver’s record with the conviction
- Adds demerit points to this record, with the number of points varying depending on the offense’s severity
- Issues a suspension order if the offense is particularly serious
- Potentially issues the driver with an order for completing a driver improvement clinic
- Contacts the motorist’s insurer to inform them of the conviction
How Do You Find Out How Many Points Are on Your License?
Motorists who have been convicted of traffic offenses within the past two years may wonder, “How many points do I have?” Virginia drivers can determine the number of points they have by visiting the DMV’s website and logging into their profile.
How Many Points Do You Need To Suspend Your License?
The answer to this depends on the motorist’s age:
- Aged 20 and over: These drivers can have their licenses suspended when they accrue 12 points or more within a year, or 18 points within two years, unless they complete a driver improvement clinic within three months. Motorists who collect 18 points within a year, or 24 points within two years, can expect an automatic 90-day suspension, and can only get their license reinstated by finishing a driver improvement clinic.
- Between 18 and 19: Motorists at this age must complete a driver improvement clinic when they receive demerit points. If they do not attend, they could receive a license suspension.
- Under 18: If guilty of any traffic violation, drivers within this age bracket must finish a driver improvement clinic within 90 days to keep their license. Drivers of this age who gain two convictions receive an automatic 90-day suspension and, if they acquire three convictions, they either receive a one-year suspension or have their license revoked until they are 18.
Acquire a more comprehensive understanding of how to calculate DMV points and get help when facing traffic charges by arranging a consultation with a Virginia traffic law attorney from Driving Defense Law.
What Are 4 Points on Your License?
In addition to the speeding offenses listed below, here are examples of the types of traffic violations resulting in motorists receiving four points on their licenses:
- Reckless driving: A number of actions may be charged as reckless driving, depending on the circumstances. Examples may include speeding in a construction zone or under hazardous conditions, and failure to stop before joining a highway.
- Passing: Examples include passing another vehicle when it is not safe to do so or passing to the left of an oncoming vehicle.
- Stopping and yielding: Not stopping for pedestrians or emergency service vehicles, not yielding when turning left, not yielding to funeral processions, and not yielding right-of-way are examples of these violations.
- Keeping right: These offenses include not keeping right on streets or highways or when crossing intersections.
- Following and signaling: Improper signaling, following other motorists too closely, or not signaling when pulling off a curb all result in four demerit points.
- Railroad crossings: Such violations include not complying with a railroad crossing signal, such as by failing to stop at these crossings.
How Many Points Is Speeding?
The amount of demerit points given for speeding varies between offenses, as outlined below:
- Three points: Motorists receive three demerit points on their record if they are found to have impeded traffic due to driving at a slow speed; the same number of points may be applied for driving between 1 and 9 mph over the speed limit.
- Four points: Driving between 10 and 19 mph over the speed limit adds four demerit points.
- Six points: Speeding over 85 mph, or at least 20 mph over the speed limit, leads to six points.
How Long Do DMV Demerit Points Stay on a Driver’s Record?
DMV demerit points stay on an individual’s driving record for two years after the offense date. Just because the DMV removes these points from a person’s record does not mean they also remove the conviction; these happen at different times.
Drivers can see how long traffic violation convictions remain on a person’s record by visiting the DMV’s website and looking at the value within the parentheses next to the violation. If there is an asterisk beside the violation, the conviction permanently remains on the motorist’s record.
Insurance Company vs DMV Demerit Points
Insurers sometimes assign drivers their own points to the individual’s insurance record when they receive notification of a traffic-related conviction. Individual insurance firms that do this develop their own insurance points systems to recognize risky drivers so they can adjust insurance premiums accordingly. These are completely separate from the demerit points issued by the DMV.
Contact a Virginia Traffic Law Attorney Today
Accruing DMV demerit points can be a cause of concern for drivers. Consider contacting a seasoned Virginia traffic law attorney to understand this point system more effectively and how it can impact a driver’s legal rights. Gain more knowledge about DMV points calculations and find out how Driving Defense Law can aid those facing possible traffic violation convictions by calling (757) 929-0335.