How Do You Get Rid of Points on Your Driver’s License?
Last Updated on June 10, 2020
Having points on your driver’s license can increase your car insurance rates. Often you’ll be paying more for car insurance until the points are removed from your license completely, which can be anywhere from three to five years after the incident. However, it is sometimes possible to have points removed from your driver’s license before this time period has passed. Continue reading below to learn more about these points, how long they stay on your license, and most importantly – how to remove them.
How Points Are Assessed
Nearly every state has a point system for tracking how safe of a driver you are. When you get a traffic ticket, you are assessed a point value on your driver’s license in accordance with the severity of the ticket. Depending on the state and the violation, points added for a single ticket could range anywhere from one point to eight points.
In addition to the points on your license affecting your car insurance rates, points are also used to determine if you are allowed to drive. If you accumulate too many points on your license within a specified period of time, you could face a license suspension or revocation. If that happens, your car insurance rates will skyrocket, even after you get your license back.
How Long Points Stay On Your License
Points will remain on your license naturally for three to five years, depending on your state’s requirements. Some insurance companies look at your driving record going back five years to determine your car insurance rates, while others only go back three years. How far back the insurance company looks at your driving history may not be based on how long points remain on your license. It is a good idea that once points are removed from your license you shop around for new car insurance rates based on your new motor vehicle report.
Removing Points from Your License
It is possible in most states to have points removed from your license. There are a few different ways that this can happen depending on your state. Points will drop off automatically after the prescribed time period, but if you want to have them removed before that you will need to put forth some time and effort to the cause.
How to Remove Points: State-by-State Breakdown
Please review the table below to see how you can get points removed in your state.
|State||How to Remove Points|
|Alabama||Alabama has no point removal program. Points remain on your record permanently, although they will no longer count for suspension purposes after 2 years.|
|Alaska||Drivers in Alaska can use the Alaska Point Reduction program to remove up to 2 negative points from their license by attending a defensive driver training program. You can take this program once every 12 months, and the Alaska DMV will remove 2 points from your license with each course completion.|
|Arizona||Arizona has no point removal program. Drivers receive points on their permanent record if convicted of certain moving traffic violations. If you have received a traffic ticket but have not yet been convicted, then you may be able to take a defensive driving course to avoid having points added to your license.|
|Arkansas||Arkansas has no point removal program. Insurance companies can view points on your license for up to 3 years. Employers can view points on your license for longer, depending on the severity of the violations.|
|California||California has no point removal program. Most points remain on your license for 3 years, although points for serious offenses (like DUIs) may remain on your record for longer. Drivers in California can hide points from insurance companies by attending traffic school. You can attend traffic school to hide points once every 18 months.|
|Colorado||Colorado has no point removal program. If the Colorado DMV suspends your license due to points, then you may be able to reverse that suspension by providing your Hearing Officer with evidence you have changed your bad driving habits.|
|Connecticut||Connecticut has no point removal program. Points stay on your driving record for 2 years from the date of the infraction.|
|Delaware||Drivers in Delaware can temporarily remove 3 points from their driving record with a defensive driving course. This 3 point credit expires after 3 years, and you’ll need to take a refresher course to remove the 3 points once again. The DMV removes points from your record over time. After 12 months, your points only count at half-value. However, points from more serious convictions may permanently remain on your record.|
|Florida||Florida has no point removal program. If you have received a violation in Florida but have not yet been convicted, then you may attend an approved driver training school to avoid adding points to your record for that violation.|
|Georgia||Drivers in Georgia can request to have points removed from their record every 5 years by completing an approved driver training program. You can remove a maximum of 7 points from your record, and you must present your course certificate to the Georgia DDS to qualify.|
|Hawaii||Drivers in Hawaii no longer receive points for traffic violations, although the state tracks convictions on each driver’s permanent record. Having too many convictions can lead to fines and/or suspension of driving privileges.|
|Idaho||Drivers in Idaho can reduce their point total by 3 points once every 3 years by completing a driver training program approved by the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD). You receive a certificate, then mail or fax it to the ITD to remove points from your record.|
|Illinois||Illinois has no point removal program. Most points remain on your driver’s license for 4 to 5 years. Less serious offenses may remain on your record for just 3 years, while more serious offenses could stay on your record for more than 5 years.|
|Indiana||Indiana allows drivers to take a defensive driver training program to get a 4-point credit on their driving record. You can apply this credit once every 3 years. You can retake the course within the 3 year window to extend the window by another 3 years.|
|Iowa||Iowa has no point removal program. Any points will remain on your record for 5 years, although points from major offenses (like a DUI) can remain on your record for up to 12 years. You can take a drug, alcohol, or driver training course, but it will not remove points from your record (although it could lower insurance premiums).|
|Kansas||Kansas’s DMV does not use a point system, although the DMV tracks all past convictions on your driving history. If you have multiple serious convictions, then your license could be revoked or suspended. You can attend a driver training program to qualify for an insurance discount, although it will not remove offenses from your record.|
|Kentucky||Kentucky has no point removal program. Points remain on your driving record for 2 years from the date of conviction, although the entry will remain on your record for 5 years. If you have received a violation but have not been convicted, then you may be able to attend a driver training program to avoid points, although you can only do this once every 12 months.|
|Louisiana||Louisiana’s OMV does not use a point system, although the DMV tracks past convictions on your license. If you have multiple, serious violations, then your license could be revoked or suspended. You can take a driver training course to reduce insurance premiums, although it will not remove points or violations from your record.|
|Maine||Drivers in Main can take a Driving Dynamics course to get a 3-point credit on their driving record. You can take this course once every 1 year. Driver’s license points in Maine expire after one year, and drivers receive a single point credit for each year they drive conviction free.|
|Maryland||Maryland removes all driver’s license points from your record 3 years after your conviction, which means no points or violations appear on your record, although you need to meet specific criteria. Offenses and points are only removed if you have not been convicted of another moving violation or vehicle-related criminal offense within the previous 3 years; your driver’s license has never been revoked or suspended; you have never been convicted of DUI, failing to remain at the scene of a fatal or injury accident, or a violation similar to the above. Even if you don’t meet these criteria, you can submit a request to the MVA to manually expunge your record, depending on the severity and type of violation.|
|Massachusetts||Massachusetts has no points system, although the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) tracks violations. Having multiple violations within a 1 to 3 year period can lead to license suspension. Violations never truly ‘fall off’ your driving record, although the RMV only considers violations within the last 5 years.|
|Michigan||Michigan has no point removal system. Points from a driving violation remain on your record for 2 years from the date of conviction. Drivers in Michigan may attend driver training school to hide points from insurance companies, assuming you have received a violation but have not yet been convicted. You will receive a notification from the Michigan Secretary of State if you are eligible for this program.|
|Minnesota||The Minnesota DVS has no points system. However, the DVS tracks past convictions, and drivers with multiple convictions within a 1 to 3 year period may face license suspension or revocation. Drivers in Minnesota can take a driver training course to lower insurance premiums, although it will not remove offenses from your record.|
|Missouri||Missouri has no point removal system. However, the Missouri DPS will automatically remove points on your driving record for every year you drive without getting additional points. Your points drop by one-third the first year of clean driving, one-half the second year, and to zero in the third year.|
|Mississippi||The Mississippi DPS has no points system, although the DPS tracks past convictions. Drivers with too many convictions or multiple serious convictions within the last 3 to 5 years may face license suspension or revocation or higher insurance premiums, among other penalties.|
|Montana||Montana has no point removal system. Convictions remain on your driving record for 3 years. Points are removed from your record after 3 years, although the convictions remain on your record permanently. Convictions older than 3 years cannot impact insurance premiums, although convictions for 2 or more DUIs can impact premiums for over 5 years.|
|Nebraska||Nebraska has no point removal system. Points from convictions remain on your driving record for 5 years. Drivers with more than 12 points in a 2 year period (from the last date of violation) will have their license automatically suspended.
|Nevada||Nevada allows drivers to attend traffic school to receive a 3 point credit on their driving record. You can only take this credit if you have 3 to 12 points on your driving record, and you cannot take the course if you have traffic violations pending (prior to a conviction).
|New Hampshire||New Hampshire has a points system, and drivers in New Hampshire can take a Driver Improvement course to remove 3 points from their record. You must attend the course in-person within the state of New Hampshire. If you do not take the course, violations remain on your record for 3 years.|
|New Jersey||Drivers in New Jersey can remove 2 points from their license by completing an approved defensive driving course. You can take the course once every 5 years. Drivers who complete the course are also eligible for up to a 10% reduction on car insurance premiums for 3 years.|
|New Mexico||New Mexico has no point removal system. Drivers who have had their license suspended because of excessive point accumulation can take a driver training course to reinstate their license.|
|New York||Drivers in New York can remove 4 points from their license every 18 months by completing an approved traffic school course. This point reduction only applies to convictions within the last 18 months, and points from previous convictions will not be removed. You cannot use this point reduction as credit towards future violation points, and your total point count will not drop below zero. You cannot reduce points to overturn a suspended license.|
|North Carolina||A judge or driver license hearing officer may require you to attend a driver training course if you accumulate 7 or more points on your record. After completing the course, the DMV will remove 3 points from your record. Not all drivers are eligible for this point removal system, and it will not remove points from all offenses.|
|North Dakota||Drivers in North Dakota can remove 3 points from their driving record by taking an approved defensive driving course. You can take this course once every 12 months. The course removes points on your driving record, although it cannot apply as credit towards future violations.|
|Ohio||Ohio does not technically have a point removal system, although it does have a point credit system. Drivers in Ohio with 2 to 12 points may complete a Remedial Driving Course to receive a 2 point credit. The course does not remove points, but it does act as a credit against future convictions.|
|Oklahoma||Drivers in Oklahoma can receive a 2 point credit on their driving record after completing an approved defensive driving course. You can take this course once every 24 months. Oklahoma also has an automatic point removal system: your points will automatically drop by 2 every 12 months you go without accumulating additional points. If you go 3 years without receiving points, then all points are removed from your record.|
|Oregon||Oregon has no points system, although the Oregon DMV tracks all driving violations. Your license will be suspended for 30 days if you are convicted of 3 traffic violations within a 1.5 year period. The DMV tracks violations for up to 5 years. Violations remain on your record permanently, although they stop impacting your license or insurance after 5 years.|
|Pennsylvania||Pennsylvania has no point reduction system. However, the state will automatically remove 3 points from your driving record for every 12 consecutive months you go without receiving points on your record. Once your driving record is reduced to 0 points, and remains at 0 points for 12 consecutive months, your record is considered clean, and any new points will be treated like your first points ever accumulated.|
|Rhode Island||Rhode Island does not assign driver’s license points, although the DMV tracks driving convictions. If you have multiple violations within a 3 to 5 year period, then your license could be suspended or revoked. Penalties depend on the severity and number of convictions.|
|South Carolina||Drivers in South Carolina can remove 4 points from their license by taking an approved driver training course. The course is 8 hours long, and you must attend the course in-person. You can take this course and remove 4 points from your license every 3 years.|
|South Dakota||The South Dakota Department of Public Safety (DPS) uses a points system, and any driver who accrues 15 points in 12 consecutive months (or 22 points in 24 consecutive months) may have their license suspended. You cannot remove points from your license, although points disappear automatically after 12 to 24 months of clean driving.|
|Tennessee||Tennessee has no point removal system. Drivers who receive 12 or more points within a 12 month period will have their license suspended and are required to attend a hearing. At this hearing, the driver should receive an opportunity to take a driver training program to avoid license suspension, or to reduce the length of the suspension.|
|Texas||Texas repealed its Driver Responsibility Program in 2019, which means drivers in Texas no longer receive points for violations. However, the Texas DMV tracks violations, and violations can impact insurance premiums. You can still take a defensive driver course to receive an insurance discount.|
|Utah||Drivers in Utah can remove 50 points from their driving record by completing a driver safety course. You can take the course to reduce points once every 3 years. Utah also has an automatic point reduction system: points on your license are reduced by half after 1 year of safe driving (i.e. driving without receiving points), then removed entirely after 2 years of safe driving.|
|Vermont||Vermont has no point removal system. Drivers who accumulate 10 or more points within a 2 year period will have their license suspended. Points remain assessed against your record for 2 years from the date of conviction.|
|Virginia||Drivers in Virginia can attend an approved Driver Improvement Course or Driver Improvement Clinic once every 24 months to receive a 5 driving point credit on their driving record.|
|Washington||Washington’s DOL has a points system, although the state does not have a point removal system. If you receive 6 moving violations in a 12 month period, or 7 moving violations in a 24 month period, then your license will be suspended for 60 days. You can reinstate your license by providing proof of financial responsibility (SR-22) or applying for a new license.|
|Washington, D.C.||Points are active on a DC driver record for two years from the disposition date. You can receive “Good Points” on your license for various acts. You receive 1 Good Point for every calendar year you do not receive a moving violation. Good Points are automatically applied to the oldest moving violation on your driving record, as well as your total points overall. Good Points, however, are not applied to major moving violations. You can maintain a maximum of 5 Good Points on your driving record, and Good Points expire after 5 years.|
|West Virginia||Drivers in West Virginia can remove 3 points from their license by attending a defensive driver training course. You can take this course once every 12 months. You must attend the course in-person. This point reduction is applied to any convictions on your record, and it cannot be applied as credit towards future convictions.|
|Wisconsin||Wisconsin uses a points system, and drivers in Wisconsin can remove 3 points from their record by taking an approved traffic safety course. You can take this course to reduce points once every 3 years.|
|Wyoming||The Wyoming Department of Transportation (DOT) tracks traffic violations, although the DOT does not use a points system. Drivers with multiple or serious offenses could have their license suspended or revoked.|
Requesting Removal of Points After Good Driving
In some states, such as New Jersey, you can request removal of driver’s license points if you go a full year without getting any traffic violations and points added. This is basically a reward for good behavior. In New Jersey, you can have up to three points removed after one year of good driving behavior. You have to talk to the DMV and fill out the required forms to request the point removal.
Defensive Driving School
Taking a defensive driving course is another way that you can get points removed from your license. Most states allow you to remove up to three points from your license by taking a state-approved defensive driving course. These courses are sometimes provided by the state DMV, or they may be provided by a private party.
When you take the defensive driving course, you will still need to request the removal of the points from your license. There will be forms available with your state’s DMV that will need to be filled out to request the point removal, with proof of the defensive driving course submitted. Often you will not be able to have the points removed if the defensive driving course was ordered by the courts as part of a plea bargain in a traffic violation case.
What to Do After You Have Points Removed
Even if you have points removed from your driver’s license, your car insurance rates may not show an improvement right away. Your car insurance company bases your rates on your driving record at the time that you got your policy. Most car insurance companies do not run a new motor vehicle report until it is time to renew your policy, or other changes are made to your policy.
If you prepay for your car insurance up to six months or a year in advance, you won’t see a benefit to getting points removed until your policy renews. However, if you pay your car insurance by the month, you may be able to get better rates right away. You can talk to your car insurance agent about the possibility of running the motor vehicle report again to try to lower your rate.
It may be a good idea to shop around for the best rates after getting points removed from your driver’s license. The company you chose when you had points on your license may not have the best deal for good drivers. Shopping around for the best rates could save you a lot of money, particularly if there are changes to your driving record.