- Location: Virginia
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Like other states, Virginia's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has a points system used to assess drivers. Certain traffic offenses are punishable by fines, license suspension or revocation, possible jail time, and/or points against your driving record.
When you receive convictions for traffic offenses, the courts communicate with the DMV. The DMV then assigns points and posts the conviction(s) to your driver record.
The point duration for demerit points is two years; that means, the points stay on your record for two years. The actual convictions you receive from the offenses may remain on your record even longer.
Virginia also gives you safe driving points. For every full calendar year that you hold a valid Virginia license and have no violations or suspensions, you get one safe driving point. You can earn up to five of them and use them to offset your demerit points.
For example, if an offense you commit carries three points, but you already have one safe driving point, you will only receive two demerit points for the offense. Driver improvement clinics are another way you can earn safe driving points.
There are many traffic violations that are punishable with demerit points in Virginia. Some do not earn demerit points, but if you are convicted, they will still post on your driving record.
To see which violations receive points and how many, as well as how long the convictions stay on your record, download the Moving Violations and Point Assessments brochure. You will need Adobe's free Reader software to view it.
Here's a sampling of common offenses and their point assignments:
- Violation of left turn on red: 3 points
- Improper U-turn: 3 points
- Improper passing: 3 points
- Speeding 1-9 MPH over the speed limit: 3 points
- Improper signal: 4 points
- Following too closely: 4 points
- Failure to yield right-of-way: 4 points
- Driving 10-19 MPH over the speed limit: 4 points
- Driving more than 20 MPH over the speed limit: 6 points
- DUI: 6 points
Accumulating too many points within will lead to your license being suspended. Your vehicle's insurance rates will most likely rise then, too.
If the violation or points total leads to suspension, the court will issue an order of suspension and possibly order you to satisfactorily complete a driver improvement clinic.
Insurance companies can access your record to determine whether you are a safe driver. With too many points, your rates may skyrocket. While insurance companies use DMV points to evaluate you, they also have their own points systems. These are totally separate from the DMV's system.
The total number of points that will lead to a suspension are as follows:
Under Age 18
If you're younger than 18 and convicted of a demerit point traffic violation, you will be required to complete a driver improvement clinic. If you do not complete this requirement within 90 days, the DMV will suspend your license.
Age 18 or Older
- If you accumulate 12 demerit points within 12 months, or 18 demerit points within 24 months, you will be required to complete a driver improvement clinic. If you fail to complete this course within 90 days, the DMV will suspend your license.
- If you accumulate 18 points within 12 months or 24 points within 24 months, the DMV will automatically suspend your license.
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 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.Articles