DMV Point System in Washington DC

If you're used to driving yourself to work, school, or the local grocery store, accumulating enough points on your record could turn your day-to-day routines upside down.

The Washington D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) uses a point system to track the traffic tickets you've received (even outside of D.C.).

On this page you'll learn the basics of the DMV's point system.

How Points Affect Your Driving Privileges

The D.C. DMV will suspend OR revoke your driver's license if you have enough points on your record at any given time. The amount of time you'll be without driving privileges depends on the number of points you've accrued:

  • 10 to 11 points: License suspended for 90 days.
  • 12 points or more: License revoked and cannot be reinstated for at least 6 months.

For the most serious offenses your license will be automatically revoked in addition to having points added to your record.

Review our suspended driver's license page to learn about the D.C. DMV's license suspension policies AND reinstating your driving privileges.

For the Record, Check Your Points!

It's important to know how many points are on your record, especially if you were just issued a traffic ticket. Check your D.C. driving record so you can make necessary preparations if you discover you're in danger of losing your driving privileges.

D.C. DMV Point Schedule

The severity of each traffic ticket determines how many points the D.C. DMV adds to your record. Below, you'll find a list of common traffic violations and the points they carry. For the complete point schedule, take a look at the Department of Motor Vehicles' point system chart.

Remember, if you get a ticket outside of Washington D.C., points will still be assessed against your driving record as if you'd committed the traffic offense in D.C. So, if you're leaving D.C., take your good driving habits with you!

* NOTE: Commercial drivers may receive increased point assessments AND immediate license suspension for certain offenses. Check out our suspended CDL guide to learn about reinstating your commercial driving privileges.

Low Point Violations

Below are some traffic violations that add fewer points to your driving record:

  • Following too closely behind another driver: 2 points.
  • Driving with a license that's been expired for less than 90 days: 2 points.
  • Not wearing a seatbelt: 3 points.
  • Speeding over the limit by:
    • 11 to 15 MPH: 3 points.
    • 16 to 20 MPH: 4 points.
    • 26 MPH: points and additional fines.
    • 30 MPH: criminal offense with points and higher fines.
  • Failing to stop for a school bus: 4 points.
  • Overtaking a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk for a pedestrian: 3 points*

*Certain violations also carry higher fines.

Moderate Point Violations

The D.C. DMV will add a moderate amount of points to your record for offenses including (but not limited to):

  • Driving unsupervised with a learner's permit: 5 points.
  • Speeding 21 MPH or more over the limit: 5 points.
  • Failure to give pedestrians the right of way: 3 points.
  • Failing to yield to emergency vehicles: 6 points.
  • Reckless driving: 6 points.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident that DID NOT result in injury: 8 points.

High Point Violations

Below are some traffic offenses carrying the highest point values. If you're ticketed for any of the following violations, the DMV will automatically revoke your driver's license:

  • Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury: 12 points.
  • Eluding the police: 12 points.
  • Driving with:
    • A suspended/revoked driver's license: 12 points.
    • Someone else's license: 12 points.
  • Assault OR homicide with a motor vehicle: 12 points.
  • DUI/DWI: 12 points.
Points & Your Insurance Rates

DID YOU KNOW: More points on your record could mean HIGHER auto insurance rates? Understand how traffic violations can affect your insurance rates, especially if you're in the market for new car insurance.

Clear Your D.C. Driving Record

Having a clean driving record is essential to maintaining your driving privileges. Luckily, points only remain on your D.C. record for 2 years after receiving a traffic ticket.

For immediate point removal you can request to take a DMV-approved online defensive driving course after receiving a traffic ticket. To do so, you must:

  • Plead guilty to the charges AND pay all necessary fines.
  • Have your request approved by a D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles hearing examiner.
    • If you were issued a traffic ticket outside of D.C., you'll also need to get approval from the jurisdiction where you received the citation.
  • Complete the defensive driving course within 30 days of receiving approval from the hearing examiner.

The sooner you can remove points from your driving record, the better! By completing a defensive driving course, you can avoid an increase in your auto insurance rates and enhance your overall driving skills.

DMV.ORG BBB Business Review