DMV Point System in Michigan
Traffic violations in Michigan are generally scored on a points system. Like demerits at school, the worse the infraction, the more points you pick up.
When you're convicted of a traffic violation, you'll be responsible for paying fines and, in some cases, court fees.
And those points are about as tough to shake as your shadow on a sunny day. The bottom line? If you get 'em, you've got 'em―for 2 years from the date of your conviction.
You may be eligible for point removal from your driving record by completing a state-approved Basic Driver Improvement Course (BDIC). Before enrolling, confirm eligibility with the SOS.
The below is just a sampling of common offenses and the points associated with them. For a complete list, refer to the Michigan Vehicle Code.
- 6 points
- Manslaughter, negligent homicide, or other felony involving use of a motor vehicle.
- Operating under the influence of liquor or drugs.
- Failing to stop and give identification at the scene of a crash.
- Reckless driving.
- Unlawful blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more.
- Refusal to take a chemical test.
- Fleeing or eluding a police officer.
- 4 points
- Drag racing.
- Operating while visibly impaired.
- Under 21 years old with any measurable blood alcohol content.
- 16 MPH or more over the legal speed limit.
- Failure to yield or show due caution for emergency vehicles.
- 3 points
- Careless driving.
- Disobeying a traffic signal or stop sign or improper passing.
- 11 to 15 MPH over the legal speed limit.
- Failure to stop at railroad crossing.
- Failure to stop for a school bus, or disobeying a school crossing guard.
- 2 points
- 10 MPH or less over the legal speed limit.
- Open alcohol container in vehicle.
- All other moving violations of traffic laws.
- Refusal of Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) by anyone under 21 years old.
Not only do you pick up points for violations while driving your car, truck, or motorcycle, but you can even break into the box score while scooting around on your snowmobile or quad. Yep, the tickets you pick up on your off-road recreational vehicle―specifically, alcohol-related ones―show up on your driving record. So you could lose your license while using your ORV up at your cabin.
Whenever you need or want to check the status of your driver’s license, you can order a driving record report. This record will spell out if your driver’s license is currently valid. Should your license have been revoked or suspended, the report will indicate that according to what’s on record at the SOS. This report will also show points against your license and, in some cases, information on any accidents you have had.
"Reexamination" really makes the whole process sound like you have a chance―you know, study hard, don't guess; that kind of exam. In fact, it really is more like an IRS tax audit, and about as nerve-racking.
You can be tapped for a reexamination for a number of reasons, including accumulating 12 points in a period of 2 years.
Obviously, if you are called for a reexamination, you probably have earned it. After all, they don't call people with spotless driving records in for a chat.
If you are scheduled for a driver assessment reexamination, you will receive a notice telling you when and where to appear. There are a number of assessment offices throughout the state.
Your reexamination could include vision and knowledge tests as well as an on-road performance test. You may also be required to provide a medical or vision statement for review. You'll also have an opportunity to talk with the examiner and to explain your side of the story.
You may walk away without any changes to your driving privilege. Or, you may have your license suspended, restricted, or revoked.
If your license is restricted, suspended, or revoked, you will be given your appeal rights and licensing reinstatement information.
It should come as no real surprise that many reexaminations are of new drivers, especially younger drivers.
In Michigan, first-time licensees are placed on probation for a minimum of 3 years. To get off probation, you have to be accident- and ticket-free for the last 10 months of your probationary period.
The Secretary of State's probationary program gets even tougher if you have a history of unsafe driving during your probation. You'll be ordered to a driver assessment reexamination if, for example, you continue to receive tickets during your probation.
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