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    Washington, D.C. Driving Record Points & Penalties

    In Washington, D.C., the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) keeps track of your driving habits and traffic violations by adding points to your driving record when you break traffic laws.

    Accumulating too many driving record points can be bad news. Whether you've built up points over time by committing a handful of minor traffic offenses, or have earned a large number of points for a single major traffic offense, too many driving record points will generally result in a driver's license suspension or revocation.

    On this page you'll find a general overview of the Washington, D.C. point system.

    If you have specific questions about your D.C. driver's license or driving record points, please contact the WA, D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

    The Washington, D.C. Point System

    In the District of Columbia, keeping the roads safe is every driver's responsibility. When a driver violates the rules of the road and receives a traffic ticket, the Department of Motor Vehicles assigns demerit points to that motorist's driver's license in an effort to deter dangerous driving behavior.

    The DMV uses a point system to promote safe driving habits. The purpose of the point system is to warn drivers who could be at risk of having their driving privileges revoked or even suspended. The WA, D.C. DMV assesses points to drivers for certain moving violations no matter where they take place―in the District of Columbia or another jurisdiction.

    How Points are Assessed

    Points are assessed when you receive a traffic ticket, fail to pay a ticket, or are convicted of a violation in court. The type of offense will determine the number of points you receive. When a driver accumulates a high enough number of points, their driver's license can be suspended and then revoked.

    After you accumulate 10 to 11 points, your WA, D.C driver's license will be suspended for 90 days. You will receive an "Order of Suspension" from the D.C. DMV.

    After you accumulate 12 points or more, your driver's license will be revoked for at least 6 months. You will receive an "Order of Revocation" from the D.C. DMV, and your driving privileges will be revoked until they are officially reinstated.

    Washington, D.C. Point-Causing Violations

    Here are a few examples of offenses that will lead to points on your Washington, D.C. driving record:

    • Following too closely behind another vehicle.
    • Operating a vehicle with the wrong class of driver's license.
    • Driving a car in violation of a restriction on your driver's license.
    • Speeding.
    • Leaving the scene of an accident.
    • Turning off your headlights to avoid being seen by police.

    It is important to keep in mind that your driving record has an impact on your car insurance rates. If you have a lot of points on your driving record, you might see your insurance premiums skyrocket.

    Check Your D.C. 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.

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