Like all states, Virginia has a point system for your driving record. When you first get your driver’s license, you start out with zero points. However, you can receive demerit points for traffic violations and good driving points if you are a safe driver.
Points on your driving record can have a significant impact on your ability to drive in our Commonwealth. If you receive too many points on your driving record in a relatively short period of time, your driver’s license could be suspended.
How Are Demerit Points Assessed by the DMV?
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) assesses demerit points on your driving record if you get a traffic ticket. There are three categories of demerit points: three-point violations, four-point violations, and six-point violations. The number of points assessed will depend on the seriousness of the traffic infraction.
You can find a list of how many demerit points are assessed for traffic tickets on the DMV website. Common three-point violations include:
- Speeding less than 10 mph above the posted speed limit
- Impeding traffic by driving too slowly
- Improper passing
- Improper turns
- Violation of right turn or left turn on red rules
- Failing to obey traffic signs and signals
Traffic offenses that will result in four demerit points include:
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Speeding between 10 and 19 miles over the posted speed limit
- Following another vehicle too closely
- Failing to stop when entering a highway
- Failing to yield to pedestrians
The most serious traffic violations will result in the accumulation of six demerit points. They include:
- Reckless driving
- Illegally passing a school bus
- Manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter
- Driving after being declared a habitual offender
- Driving when your license is suspended or revoked
How Long Will Demerit Points Stay on Your Driving Record?
The length of time demerit points will remain on your driving record will depend on the specific offense that the points were assessed for. All six demerit point violations remain on your driving record for 11 years except for speeding 20 mph or more over the speed limit, which remains on your record for five years.
Most four demerit point assessments will remain on your driving record for three to five years. Three-point violations for speeding or impeding traffic also stay on your record for five years. Other violations that result in an accumulation of three points will be removed from your driving record after three years.
Why Demerit Points Are Important to You
The number of points you have on your driving record can have an impact on your life in two ways. They will affect how you are treated if you are pulled over for a traffic offense by the police and how you are sentenced by a judge if you must go to a court hearing for your traffic offense.
In addition, the DMV can put you on probation or suspend your driver’s license if you accumulate too many driving points within a certain amount of time. If you collect 18 demerit points within 12 months or 24 points within 24 months, your driver’s license could be automatically suspended.
How to Accumulate Safe Driving Points
The Virginia DVM will also award you with safe driving points for being a safe driver. You are given one safe driving point for each year you drive without any traffic violations or driver’s license suspensions. You can accumulate a maximum of five safe driving points on your driving record.
If your driving record is not good, you may be able to improve it by taking a driving improvement clinic. A judge has the discretion to add five safe driving points to your record for successful completion of the course.
Contact an Attorney for Help With Demerit Points on Your Driving Record
Are you disputing the number of demerit points on your driving record? Were you charged with a traffic violation that will result in demerit points being assessed on your record? Our experienced driver license restoration lawyers are here to explain your options to you and mount a strong defense to any charges you face so that you receive the least possible punishment. Start a live chat or call our Manassas office to schedule your free consultation today.