DMV Point System in Wisconsin

The points system is a method used in many states not only in order to help keep track of the driving infractions for individual license holders, but to also remind drivers of the importance of driving safely and abiding by the rules of the road.

What Is The Point System?

The traffic courts in Wisconsin send notification to the Wisconsin DOT each time a driver is convicted of a driving violation. The points entered against the driving record depend on the nature of the infraction. Each driver begins with a clean driving record.

We've explained how Wisconsin's point system works below. However, you'll also want to refer to the Department of Transportation's resources.

Probationary Drivers

If you have a probationary driver's license, any infractions that would cause points to be entered on your driving record are worth double points after your first conviction during the probationary period.

Points Problems

If you accumulate a total of 12 points or more against your record in any period of 12 months, your driver's license will be suspended for a period of 2 months.

Another reason to keep points off of your driving record is automobile insurance. When an insurance company is writing a new policy for you or renewing an existing policy, they always check your driving record.

Points on a record can mean anything from a slight increase in premium payments and a major increase in premium payments to cancellation of your insurance policy. Keeping your record clean not only saves money in traffic tickets, but can save you a bundle in car insurance costs.

What Are the Points Numbers?

The following offenses will earn points for Class D drivers:

  • Eluding or attempting to elude an officer.
  • Failure to give aid after an accident.
  • Driving with a revoked or suspended license.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Street, drag or other racing/reckless driving.
  • Speeding.
  • Violation of occupational license.
  • Weaving or other deviation from a traffic lane.
  • Driving on the wrong side of a street or highway.
  • Failing to yield.
  • Failing to yield to an emergency vehicle.
  • Imprudent driving or too fast for conditions.
  • Inattentive driving.
  • Failing to stop for school bus/red lights flashing.
  • Accelerating unnecessarily.
  • Violation of arterial or traffic control.
  • Driving wrong way on a one way street.
  • Failing to dim bright headlights.
  • Failure to give proper turn or other signal.
  • "Tailgating" or following too closely.
  • Passing illegally.
  • Having improper brakes or lights.
  • Driving on an expired license or without a license.
  • Driving with multiple licenses.
  • Prohibited or illegal turning.
  • Violation of license restriction.
  • Depriving another vehicle use of a full lane.
  • Parking on highway in a traffic lane.
  • Defective speedometer in vehicle.

You can also see the list of convictions for commercial driver's licenses and for motorcycle-specific infractions on the points system page of the Wisconsin DMV website, or in the Codes with Charge Points PDF document, which can be viewed using the free Adobe Reader.

Reducing Points

If you have been convicted of a moving violation that has added points to your driving record, you can take steps to reduce points if you attend an approved traffic safety course. Points will be removed once you successfully complete the course. You can only have a reduction in points every 3 years.

Defensive Driving is the Answer

One of the best investments you can make in your driving career is attendance at a defensive driving class or other traffic school. The defensive driving training has proven so successful in teaching drivers how to avoid dangerous traffic situations that it has become a required course for many professional drivers.

If your company hires drivers, ask your insurance company about a discount if you require your drivers to attend a defensive driving program. Some insurance companies have begun offering this discount to companies who choose to train their drivers in the basics of collision avoidance and traffic safety awareness.

Check Your Driver's License Status

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 Wisconsin Department of Transportation. This report will also show points against your license and, in some cases, information on any accidents you have had.

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