How Can I Check How Many Points Are On My License?
Last Updated on December 21, 2021
Most states use a points system to track driving violations. By checking points on your license, you can avoid deeper penalties.
In most states, you can check how many points are on your license by visiting the Department of Transportation or the Department of Motor Vehicle website. Alternatively, you can contact the DMV or visit the DMV in person. Some states charge a small fee ($5 to $15), while others do not.
Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about checking the number of points on your license.
How Driver’s License Points Work
Most states use points to track speeding tickets, at-fault accidents, and other violations. More severe penalties come with higher points. The more points you get, the more penalties you face.
After you receive a certain number of points, the DMV may suspend your license. Some states force you to pay to remove points. In other states, your points disappear automatically after a certain period with no driving violations.
You do not receive points for parking tickets or other non-moving violations. Instead, you only receive points for speeding tickets, reckless driving citations, and other moving violations.
Each state has a different points system. Some states do not use any type of points system.
How Do Driver’s License Points Affect Insurance?
Insurers typically use a separate points system to track driving history. The more violations you have, the more “points” you receive. The more points you have, the higher your insurance premiums will be. This point system may be similar to the points system used in your state.
North Carolina is the only state with a statewide program for insurance points. In North Carolina, insurers use the DMV’s points system to directly calculate rates.
Ultimately, driver’s license points and insurance premiums are not linked to one another directly. However, drivers with high numbers of license points will pay higher rates for car insurance.
How to Remove Points
States have different points systems. Some states automatically remove points after a certain period of safe driving. Other states require you to undergo driver training to remove points.
Some of the common ways to remove license points in the United States include:
- Wait for points to expire. Most states allow a certain number of points to expire after 1 to 2 years of safe driving history. If you have driven safely for 2 years with no violations, for example, then the DMV may remove 2 points from your license.
- Take a driver safety course. Many states allow drivers to take a driver safety course to remove points (or avoid adding more points to their license). If you already have points on your license and want to avoid adding more points, for example, then you may be able to take a driver improvement course within 90 days of the second conviction to avoid a license suspension.
- Pay a fee. In some states, the DMV charges a fee to remove points. If you want to remove points from your license or avoid license suspension, then you may need to pay a fine. Failing to pay this fine could result in license suspension.
How to Check Driver’s License Points
It’s important to track the number of points on your driver’s license. Points can impact insurance premiums and lead to license suspension.
To check the number of driver’s license points, try these strategies:
Visit the DMV Website: In most states, you can easily check your number of driver’s license points by visiting the DMV website. Many DMV websites have online forms. Submit a request through this online form, pay a fee, and receive detailed information about your driver’s license points.
Mail a Request: In some states, you can mail a request to check the number of driver’s license points. You should be able to find a mail-in request form on the DMV website. Or, you can visit the DMV in-person to complete the mail-in request form.
Visit the DMV In Person: Depending on your state, you may be able to visit the DMV in person to request a copy of your driving record and check your number of driver’s license points.
Expect to pay a fee of $2 to $30 to request a copy of your driving record and check the number of points on your license.
You will also need to provide your license number, birth date, and Social Security Number.
Other Tips for Checking Driver’s License Points
Having points on your driver’s license is bad. Accruing additional points can lead to license suspension and other penalties.
If you are concerned about having points on your license, then practice the following tips:
Check your Record: Many drivers are surprised to discover how many points are on their driving record. Some violations are worth a surprising number of points, for example, while others are worth very few points. By checking your record, you can know exactly how many points are on your record, which makes it easier to implement the following tips.
Check Points Limits and Restrictions: How many points does your state need before it suspends your license? Some states have a limit of around 7 points. That means the DMV could suspend your license after just two or three minor incidents. Check points limits and restrictions to avoid being surprised.
Drive More Safely: In most states, you can remove points from your license by practicing safe driving habits for 12 to 36 months. The longer you go without a violation, the more points will be removed from your license.
Know How to Remove Points: Some states make it easy to remove points. You may be able to pay a fee to remove points, for example. Other states make you wait to remove points. In some states, you can remove points by taking a defensive driving course. If you’re approaching the points limit for license suspension, then check how to remove points. It could be the difference between keeping and losing your license.
How Many Points is Each Violation Worth?
Different states have different rules for points. However, most states use a system of around 1 to 3 points for minor traffic violations and 4 to 6 points for more serious violations.
Here’s how much sample violations are worth in an average state:
1 Point: Improper use of designated travel lanes, using a cell phone while driving, violating child safety restraint rules, or distracted driving.
2 Points: Possessing an open container of alcohol while driving, failing to adequately secure a load leading to an accident, second offenses for any 1 point violations, or driving 15 to 18mph over the speed limit.
3 Points: Driving 19 to 23mph over the speed limit, failing to obey a traffic control device, failing to obey a police officer, and other moving violations.
4 to 6 Points: Reckless driving, improper passing on hull or curve, speeding 24mph or more over the limit, unlawfully passing a school bus, or aggressive driving, among other violations.
Points may vary based on the number of offenses. If this is your first time violating child safety restraint rules, for example, then you may receive a warning. After your second or third offense, however, the DMV may add 1 to 2 points to your license. Additionally, the DMV may add 1 point to your license for a single minor offense, and then add 2 to 3 points for each additional instance of that same offense.
Final Word on Checking Driver’s License Points
Checking the number of points on your license is easy. Contact the DMV, then request a copy of your driving record.
In most states, you can request a copy of your driving record online. Expect to pay a small fee ($2 to $30). Your driving record will state the number of points on your driver’s license and any incidents that caused those points to accrue.
To check the number of points on your driver’s license today, contact your state DMV.