- Location: Utah
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People usually want to score points―with the boss, a date, the in-laws, a credit report. Where you don't want to score points is on your driving record. Under Utah's Driving Improvement Program, the Driver License Division issues points on your license for certain types of traffic violation convictions, and more is definitely not better.
Not only will you have to pay court fines for moving violations, but accumulating points on your license can increase what you pay for car insurance. Yes, the insurance companies will find out; they check your driving record when you renew your insurance, and sometimes all it takes is one speeding ticket to boost your rates.
You also risk having your insurance canceled outright if the company decides your driving habits give you a higher chance of becoming involved in an accident. At that point it may even become difficult for you to find another insurer willing to cover you, and driving without insurance is illegal.
Beyond that, if you are dinged 200 points for traffic convictions in a three-year period, you will be asked to appear for a driver license hearing and may be placed on probation or have your license suspended or revoked for three months, six months, or one year. You may also be required to take the defensive driving course offered by the Utah Safety Council ($40).
If you're under 21, it takes only 70 points to trigger a hearing and possibly the suspension or revocation of your license.UTAH POINT SYSTEM
- Reckless driving: 80 points
- Speeding (depending on severity): 35 to 75 points
- Failure to yield right-of-way: 60 points
- Following too closely (tailgating): 60 points
- Wrong side of road: 60 points
- Wrong way on one-way street: 60 points
- Running a red light: 50 points
- Running a stop sign: 50 points
- Improper lookout: 50 points
- Improper passing: 50 points
- Negligent collision: 50 points
- Other moving violations: 40 points
- Comprehensive list of violations and points
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 Should your license have been revoked or suspended, the report will indicate that according to what’s on record at the DLD. This report will also show points against your license and, in some cases, information on any accidents you have had.
Fortunately, points on your record aren't permanent, and the system is designed to forgive you eventually if you become a better driver. Points for a particular violation remain on your license for only three years from the date the violation occurred, but you can clear them more quickly by avoiding future violations.
Half your points will be removed if you drive for one year without any further convictions, and two successive years of perfect driving will clear all points from your license. Additionally, you may be eligible to have a further 50 points removed from your driving record when you complete the defensive driving course mentioned above, but you can do this only once in a three-year period.
Bear in mind that if you had your license in another state suspended or revoked, you can't apply for a license in Utah until you've cleared your out-of-state license. If you earn so many points that your Utah license is revoked, you'll have to pay $25 to get it reinstated when you're eligible―that's on top of any court fines you had to pay.
Information about the consequences for driving while under the influence of alcohol and drugs is covered on our DUI & DWI page.Articles
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