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4 FAQs about Virginia’s driving points system

| Aug 26, 2020 | Traffic Violations |

After receiving a traffic ticket, drivers often choose to pay the fine and move on. However, the true cost of that ticket can last for years.

In Virginia, the DMV subtracts a certain number of points from a driver’s record each time he or she receives a traffic conviction. Having too many points removed within a certain period could lead to much higher insurance premiums and even license suspension

How long do demerit points stay on record?

Negative points stay on a driver’s record for two years from the date of the offense. However, the conviction itself may stay on record for 3 to 11 years.

How many demerits does the DMV assign for a violation?

For each offense, the DMV removes 3, 4 or 6 points. Examples of 3-point offenses include driving 1 to 9 miles per hour over the speed limit or making an improper U-turn. 6-point violations may include speeding 20 miles per hour over the limit, failing to give a proper signal or receiving a DUI.

How many demerits are too many?

Receiving 12 demerits within 12 months or 18 in 24 months may lead to mandatory completion of a driver safety program. If a driver receives 18 negative points in 12 months or 24 in 24 months, he or she may face immediate license suspension followed by six months of probation.

How do demerit points affect insurance rates?

While demerit points do not directly impact insurance premiums, even a single traffic conviction may lead to significantly higher rates for several years. According to the U.S. News & World Report, on average one speeding ticket raises rates by $308, and receiving a DUI may increase rates by an average of $1,048.

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