DMV Point System in Massachusetts
Driving Record Points & Penalties in Massachusetts
When you commit traffic violations, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) will add points to your driving record. Too many driving record points can lead to driver's license suspensions, reinstatement requirements, driver improvement programs, court requirements, and increased car insurance rates.
On this page you'll find a basic overview of the Massachusetts driving record point system and its influence on your driving privileges.
If you have specific questions about your driver's license or the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles point system, please contact the MA RMV.
In Massachusetts, the bad driver point system is called "surchargeable points" and is based on the state's Safe Driver Insurance Program (SDIP). Massachusetts is a state where auto insurance rates are set by the government. So the state's auto insurance companies and the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) work closely together to develop systems that work for everyone involved.
The Safe Driver Insurance Program allows insurance companies to issue surcharges or discounts on insurance premiums based on driving records. So, if you have a poor driving record, Massachusetts will hit you with both mandated insurance surcharges and will also count "surchargeable events" that can result in suspension of your MA driver's license.
Every time you are convicted of a moving violation―like a speeding ticket, for example―you get a "surchargeable event" on your record and a resulting charge on your insurance bill. The same holds true for criminal motor vehicle violations, like driving while under the influence of alcohol.
On the other hand, a clean driving record can reduce your auto insurance costs.
The surchargeable point schedule reflects point assignments in Massachusetts with the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). Surchargeable offenses are broken up into the following categories:
- Major traffic violation.
- Major at-fault accident.
- Minor at-fault accident.
- Minor traffic violation.
In terms of your license status, the Massachusetts RMV cares a lot more about the number of violations you accumulate than the points, which have more to do with your insurance coverage. You face a driver's license suspension if:
- You have 3 surchargeable events and/or moving violations within 2 years.
- You have 5 surchargeable events within 3 years. (Applies to latest finding or conviction prior to September 30th 2010).
- You have 7 surchargeable events within 3 years.
If you need or want to check the status of your driver’s license, you might want to order a driving record report. This record will spell out if your MA driver’s license is currently valid. If your driver's license was revoked or suspended, the report will indicate that according to what’s on record at the Massachusetts RMV. This report will also show points against your driver's license and, in some cases, information on any accidents you have had.
Surchargeable points will result in increases in your car insurance premium.
NOTE: Massachusetts car insurance companies are not required to follow the SDIP; however, they must have their own merit-based rating system to help determine premiums.