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  • DMV Point System in New Hampshire

    New Hampshire's Demerit Point System

    New Hampshire, like many states, uses a DMV Demerit Point System to discipline drivers for unsafe driving.

    The DMV Point System assesses points against your license for several different offenses. The number of points are given according to the seriousness of the offense. The greater the degree of misuse the more points assessed.

    In general, ways you can abuse your driving privileges include carelessness, recklessness, destruction of personal or public property, and disregard for New Hampshire State Traffic Laws.

    So what are the details of the point system? The Driver's Manual lists the offenses grouped by point category. If you get ticketed, your citation will list the offenses with points. The violations not pre-printed on the traffic tickets are listed on the Department of Safety website.

    Details of the Point System

    The following is a list of offenses that will lead to points.

    • Operating without vehicle registration available in the vehicle.
    • Failing to obey inspection requirements.
    • Failing to obtain a New Hampshire driver's license.
    • Driving an unregistered vehicle.
    • Failing to produce a license when requested by a police officer.
    • Failing to abide by license restrictions.
    • Operating a vehicle with improper class of license.
    • Failing to comply with directions from a police officer.
    • Disobeying any traffic control device.
    • Following too closely.
    • Driving on a sidewalk.
    • Failing to yield right of way.
    • Failing to obey stop and yield signs.
    • Driving without a license.
    • Improper passing.
    • Speeding.
    • Disobeying a police officer.
    • Driving after license revocation or suspension.
    • Vehicle title alteration.
    • Racing and/or reckless driving.
    • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

    This list of violations in the DMV point system is not complete.

    Points stay on your driving record on for 3 years.

    Check Your Driver's License Status

    If you need or want to check the status of your driver’s license, you might be able to 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 Should your license have been revoked or suspended, the report will indicate that according to what’s on record at the DMV. This report will also show points against your license and, in some cases, information on any accidents you have had.

    Suspension of Your Driver's License

    Suspension of your driver's license, from 3 months to 1 year, is a direct result of the DMV Demerit Point System. How many points can you accumulate before suspension? It depends on your age. There are three age categories:

    Drivers under 18 years old

    • 6 points in 1 calendar year: 3 months suspension.
    • 12 points in 2 consecutive years: up to 6 months suspension.
    • 18 points in 3 consecutive years: up to 1 year suspension.

    Drivers Under 21 year old

    • 9 points in 1 calendar year: up to 3 months suspension.
    • 15 points in 2 consecutive years: up to 6 months suspension.
    • 21 points in 3 consecutive years: up to 1 year suspension.

    Drivers age 21 years old and older

    • 12 points in 1 calendar year: up to 3 months suspension.
    • 18 points in 2 consecutive years: up to 6 months suspension.
    • 24 points in 3 consecutive years: up to 1 year suspension.

    Costs of License Suspension

    Once you have crossed over the limit and lose your license for any period of time, the penalty goes beyond fines and licensing fees. It is common for auto insurance rates to increase after suspension.

    In New Hampshire, a driver or automobile owner is not required to carry automobile insurance. However, once you have lost your license to suspension or revocation, the state can require you carry a minimum of auto liability insurance at your own expense.

    There are other costly problems that creep up when your license is suspended. New Hampshire does not have a hardship or work exception so you can drive to your job. Without a driver's license, how will you get to work or school? How much time will you spend time trying to schedule rides? Will you have to give up your job because you can't show up for work? Having a driver's license is a privilege and you will be glad for taking the responsibility seriously.

    Any suspension or revocation will be reported to the National Driver Register. You cannot apply for a driver's license in another state while your New Hampshire license is under suspension. If your license has been under suspension in another state and now you are applying for a New Hampshire drivers license the suspension must be cleared so that your out of state license is valid before you are able to get a New Hampshire driver's license.

    Habitual Offender

    To be named a habitual offender in New Hampshire, the Director of Motor Vehicles agrees that your behavior shows disrespect for the law and indifference to safety. Your driving record and a hearing will decide if your license should be revoked.

    Being declared a habitual offender is grave. Should you be stopped driving a vehicle after having been declared a habitual offender you could be sent to jail. The strong position New Hampshire takes on habitual offenders speaks directly to their safety commitment for all people traveling on the state highways and roads.

    To earn back your New Hampshire driver's license, habitual offenders must meet all the requirements of the court including suspension, driver improvement training, and other related coursework. The Decertification Habitual Offender form must be filed to start the process. A determination will be made by the Bureau of Hearings.

    Point Reduction Program

    So you made a few driving judgment errors and now you have accumulated points on your license. If you could only reduce the number of points on your license you could limit your risk of suspension. In New Hampshire, you are eligible for a reduction of 3 points.

    To take advantage of this reduction program you must attend an approved Driver Improvement Program.