DMV Point System in Tennessee

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The Tennessee Department of Safety (DOS) uses a point system to track the citations you've received. If you're used to driving yourself to work or school on a daily basis, having enough points on your record could throw a big wrench in your day-to-day routine.

Points & Your TN Driving Privileges

In Tennessee, your age determines the factors for license suspension:

  • Younger than 18 years old: 6 points or more in 12 months.
    • Required to:
    • Potential license suspension period depends on the amount of points you have:
      • 6 to 9 points: 3 to 6 months.
      • 10 points or more: 6 months.
  • All other drivers: 12 points or more in 12 months.
    • Option to attend an administrative hearing where you may be given the option to complete a defensive driving course IN LIEU of license suspension.
    • License possibly suspended for 6 to 12 months.

For certain offenses, like DUI and DWI, the TN Department of Safety will automatically revoke your driving privileges, regardless of the points on your record.

Check out our guide to suspended licenses for details on reinstating your Tennessee driver's license.

Driving Record Check-Up

Checking your Tennessee driving record is as important as checking your credit score.

Take the time to check your driving record today so you can make the necessary preparations if the DOS suspends your driver's license.

Tennessee DOS Point Schedule

The severity of a traffic ticket will determine how many points are added to your record. Here are some common traffic violations and their corresponding point values. For the full point schedule, visit the Department of Safety's point value page.

NOTE: Commercial drivers face higher point penalties AND automatic license suspension for certain offenses. Take a look at our suspended CDL guide for more information.

Offenses with Fewer Points

Here are a few examples of traffic tickets that will add the least amount of points to your driving record:

  • Speeding over the posted limit by:
    • 1 through 5 MPH: 1 points.
    • 6 through 15 MPH: 3 points.
    • 16 through 25 MPH: 4 points.
  • Driving too fast for conditions: 3 points.
  • Failing to use turn signals: 3 points.
  • Blocking traffic: 3 points.
  • Distracted driving: 3 points.
  • Driving without a license: 3 points.
  • Involvement in an accident resulting in:
    • Property damage: 3 points.
    • Bodily injury: 4 points.
  • Improper passing another vehicle: 4 points.
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road: 4 points.
  • Failing to report an accident: 4 points.

Offenses with Higher Points

Below are some examples of traffic offenses that will add the most points to your record:

  • Speeding over the limit by:
    • 26 through 35 MPH: 5 points.
    • 36 through 45 MPH: 6 points.
    • 46 MPH or more: 8 points.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident: 5 points.
  • Reckless driving: 6 points.
  • Failing to yield to emergency vehicles: 6 points.
  • Using a cell phone while driving (if younger than 18 years old): 6 points.
  • Failing to stop at a railroad crossing: 8 points.
  • Passing a school/church bus letting passengers off: 8 points.
  • Contribution to a crash involving casualties: 8 points.
  • Driving with a suspended/revoked license: 8 points.
  • Fleeing law enforcement: 8 points.
Insurance Rates on the Defensive

DID YOU KNOW: An increase in points on your record can also mean an increase in your auto insurance rates.

If you just got a traffic ticket and are worried about paying more for insurance, consider taking a TN defensive driving course. You could qualify for DISCOUNTS on car insurance by enrolling.

Clear Your Tennessee Record

The TN Department of Safety will not count points against you once 2 years have passed from the date of a traffic conviction.

Unfortunately, taking a defensive driving course will not remove points from your record. So, the best way to keep those points away? Be a conscientious driver and brush up on your Tennessee traffic laws.

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