How Do I Get Points On My Driver’s License Removed?
Whenever you're convicted of moving violations (running a red light, speeding, tailgating), you'll be given demerit points. If you collect enough of these points, you could be hit with hefty fines and even have your license suspended.
As a result, you'll want to do everything in your power to remove points whenever they accumulate. But is this possible and, if so, how can you get those points removed?
What is the Impact of Having Too Many Points on My Drivers’ License?
License suspension is the main risk of accumulating too many points, but it will also affect your insurance rates.
Auto insurance companies often have their own point systems that account for a host of moving violations, as well as car accidents. If you accumulate points in the system established by your insurance company, you may be hit with a surcharge and your rates will increase.
In essence, you're being penalized for a bad driving record, as those points and the violations that caused them place you in a higher risk category and mean you're more likely to make a claim.
Can I Get Points Removed?
Technically, driver's license points remain indefinitely, unless they are removed following a court order. However, they will only have an effect for between 2 and 6 years, depending on your state and the severity of the offense.
If you have multiple points on your license and they still have an effect, your state may offer a point reduction program, as noted below.
How Do I Remove Driver's License Points in My State?
- Alabama: Although there is no point reduction program in Alabama, the points you accumulate will not count toward a suspension two years after the offense.
- Alaska: Drivers in Alaska can complete a defensive driving course to remove points from their license. These courses are available once every 12 months.
- Arizona: You can't remove points from your license in Arizona, but if you have a ticket and have yet to be convicted, you might be able to complete a defensive driving course to prevent the points from being added.
- Arkansas: There is no program for removing driver's license points in Arkansas.
- California: For violations yet to result in a conviction, you can attend traffic school and prevent insurance companies from seeing those points. This option is available every 18 months.
- Colorado: There is no program for removing driver's license points in CO.
- Connecticut: There is no program for removing driver's license points in CT.
- Delaware: Complete a defensive driving class to remove three points from your license.
- D.C.: Online defensive driving courses are available to drivers who have received permission from their local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
- Florida: You can't remove points from your license in Florida but you can attend driver improvement school to prevent them from being added in the first place.
- Georgia: Send a request to the Department of Driver Services (DDS) to remove points from your license. They will ask you to complete a driver improvement course and this can be done every 5 years.
- Hawaii: Does not have a points system.
- Idaho: Complete a defensive driving course to remove three points.
- Illinois: Doesn't have a point reduction program.
- Indiana: Complete a Driver Safety Program to remove four points. This option is available every 3 years.
- Iowa: Doesn't have a point reduction program.
- Kansas: Does not have a points system.
- Kentucky: You can't remove points from your license but can take a driving course to prevent them from being added.
- Louisiana: Does not have a points system.
- Maine: A Driving Dynamics course is available to remove 3 points from your license.
- Maryland: Points are removed from your driving record automatically after 3 years.
- Massachusetts: Doesn't have a point reduction program.
- Michigan: If you have received a notice from the Michigan Secretary of State, you can hide points from your driving record after completing a defensive driving course.
- Minnesota: Does not have a points system.
- Mississippi: Does not have a points system.
- Missouri: Your points will be reduced every year that you don't have a conviction.
- Montana: Doesn't have a point reduction program.
- Nebraska: Doesn't have a point reduction program.
- Nevada: Take a driver training course to gain 3 driving point credits.
- New Hampshire: In-person Driver Improvement courses are available to drivers with 3 or more points on their license.
- New Jersey: A defensive driving course is available to remove 2 points. It can be taken every 5 years.
- New Mexico: Doesn't have a point reduction program.
- New York: You can remove 4 points from your license by completing a defensive driving course. It's available every 18 months.
- North Carolina: A Driver Improvement Clinic is offered to drivers with 7 or more points and can remove 3 points upon completion.
- North Dakota: Take a defensive driving course to remove 3 points. Available every year.
- Ohio: Get a two-point credit upon completion of a defensive driving course.
- Oklahoma: Completion of a defensive driving course grants a two-point credit.
- Oregon: Does not have a points system.
- Pennsylvania: Doesn't have a point reduction program.
- Rhode Island: Does not have a points system.
- South Carolina: Take a driving course to remove 4 points from your driving record.
- South Dakota: Doesn't have a point reduction program.
- Tennessee: Doesn't have a point reduction program.
- Texas: Doesn't have a point reduction program.
- Utah: Point reduction is available through a defensive driving course.
- Vermont: Doesn't have a point reduction program.
- Virginia: Point reduction is available through a defensive driving course, available every 24 months.
- Washington: Does not have a points system.
- West Virginia: Drivers in West Virginia can complete a defensive driving course every year to remove 3 points from their license.
- Wisconsin: Complete a traffic safety course for a 3-point reduction.
- Wyoming: Does not have a points system.
How Many Points Will I Get for Traffic Violations?
The total points you receive will depend on the violation and your location.
A minor violation is not punished as harshly as a major violation. Minor traffic violations include:
- Running a Red Light
- Getting a Speeding Ticket
- Improper Lane Changes
- Illegal Overtaking
- Exceeding the Speed Limit in a School Zone or Construction Zone
Major traffic violations lead to more serious consequences. Not only will you lose more points from your license, but you may also be hit with fines and jail time:
- Driving with a Suspended License
- A DUI Charge
- Reckless Driving
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident
How many points you get from these traffic violations will depend on your state, as noted below:
|State||Minor Violations||Major Violations|
|District of Columbia||2||8|
Summary: Driver's License Points, Removals, and Auto Insurance Companies
Whether you have lots of violations and points or you're worried about accumulating them, just remember the following:
- Auto insurance companies have their own points systems and these take many different things into account.
- Traffic tickets, DUIs, hit-and-runs, and even texting while driving can earn you points.
- If you accumulate too many points, you could lose your license.
- More points lead to higher insurance rates
- You may be able to remove points from your license by completing driving courses, but it depends on your state.
- In most states, points don’t disappear from your driving record but cease to impact it after a few years.
- The exact length of time that points stay on your record will depend on the violation and your state.
As always, prevention is the best cure. Driving safely, avoiding violations, and sticking within the speed limit will prevent any problematic violations and resulting points.