What You Should Know About Driver’s License Points

Driver’s License Points
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Contrary to other point systems, driver’s license points, aren’t a reward but a punishment, a way to sanction drivers whose actions have endangered their own lives and the lives of others around the.

By knowing all there is to know about the point system, you may be able to reduce their period of validity or even prevent them by driving with more care. For instance:

  • not all states use a point system
  • depending on gravity of the offense, the number of points you will be assigned and the longer the time those points will remain on your record.
  • there are ways to remove the points from your driver’s license
  • if you accumulate several points in little time, your driving privileges might be reviewed more closely.

Find all the necessary information to understand and prevent points on your driving record, next.

How Do Points Work?

Even though not all states have a point system, most of them do. The best thing you can do is steer clear of points in your driving license, since these are given to drivers who violate some traffic law. Each traffic offense has its number of points assigned by law of each state.

Clearly, the more serious the traffic infringement is, the more points you will get. However, it’s not possible to rack up an infinite amount of points. If you surpass a certain number in an established period of time, your license may be suspended or even revoked.

Important: The driver’s license point system is different in each state, so to know how yours is regulated, you can browse your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

How Driver’s License Points Affect You

Auto insurance companies have their own points system that takes into account different car accidents or infractions but also considers things that may not be that important to traffic law entities, like the price of your vehicle and the driving frequency. Nonetheless, they could use the DMV’s points system as reference to raise your premium rate. They even have a formula to do it.

Apart from this, and as previously mentioned, drivers could lose their license if they surpass the limit number of points. Depending on the severity of the infraction, a license could be suspended or revoked due to certain number of driver’s license points. Even though you can pay to have your license reinstated, it will be a steep price.

What Can I Do if My Insurer Increases My Rate?

Although it’s true that your car insurance company will probably increase your premium rate if you have any traffic offenses on your driving record, there are some strategies to soften the economical strain.

1. You Can Buy a Policy That Includes an Accident Forgiveness Feature

This policy is offered to first time offenders who are the party at fault in a car accident. It could be an intelligent purchase given that premium rates rise exponentially when the insured makes a mistake that causes a traffic accident. Bear in mind that your must purchase this feature beforehand.

2. You Can Try Asking for Which Discounts You Apply for

One of the most common discounts is awarded to clients that drive up to 12,500 miles per year, since fewer miles mean lower risk. It’s also quite standard to pay your insurance renewal in advance in order to get a discount that is around 8%. In some cases, companies award a discount to clients that are students with high grades. It’s even common to get a discount for short commutes.

3. You Could Start Looking for Other Insurance Policies

Researching and comparing with other policies in other auto insurance companies is a great way to see if you can obtain a better rate somewhere else. Risk is rated differently in every company and insurers will do their best to draw in a new client.

Which Tickets Increase More Points?

The number of points varies depending on the traffic infraction. They generally won’t be added in cases like failure to wear the car seat belt, except if the driver is under 16 years old, or running a red light. What are considered minor offenses typically get no points, although it may be necessary to pay a fine.

The state where you live is also a variable when considering the number of points per offense, but, as a general reference, a non-serious driving offense awards fewer points than a serious offense. That is why, for example, driving your car with a broken headlight awards very few points, if any, while a speeding ticket could have a larger impact on your license. DUIs are one of the most serious offences and enough to suspend a license.

As an example of how points are assigned, in Massachusetts a minor traffic law offense generates 2 points while a major offense can lead to a 5-point increase. In the state of West Virginia, minor infractions like littering generate 2 to 3 points, whereas major ones, like reckless driving, can award from 5 to 8 points. New York gives 3 points for not stopping at a stop sign and 11 points for speeding over 40 mph.

Driver’s license points work differently in every state and some of them don’t even have a point system. What counts is that drivers prevent any traffic infraction with safe driving. Nonetheless, accidents do happen and it’s best to know how to react and how to prevent license suspension as well as insurance premium increase. If you want to learn more about your state’s point system, simply contact your local DMV office.