What is the Driver Point System?

Posted on by Defensive Driving | in Defensive Driving Tips

Do you remember in kindergarten when the teacher would keep track of how many times you misbehaved? With your first offense, you got your name on the chalkboard and a warning, the second you got a mark next to your name and a time out, and the third you got sent to the principal’s office? Well, apparently many DMV’s across the country think that this is such a good idea that they implemented it into the driving system. For most states across the country, when you get a ticket, you not only get a fine, you also accumulate points that show up on your driving record.

How do I get points?

Just like in kindergarten, every time you do something wrong, you get points. The more severe the action, the more points you receive. Some states have very complex point systems with each individual infraction receiving a different amount of points. Texas is one of the simpler states: For a moving violation you get two points and if that violation results in an accident you get three. If you are unclear, speeding, reckless driving and running red lights are some of the most common moving violations. Basically, anything you do wrong while your car is actually moving counts against you. Texas does allow you a free pass if you are speeding less than 10% over the speed limit or receive a seatbelt infraction.

Why do the points matter?

First off, the points that you receive stay on your record for a pre-designated amount of time. For example, in Texas the points will stay active for three years. The state is not too quick to forgive and forget when it comes to safety on the road.

In kindergarten, you got a time out when your “points” accumulated. With the driver point system, you get fines. Each state is slightly different with how many points it takes to receive these fines. In Texas, at the end of a given year, if you have six points you will get a $100 fine, with an extra $25 added for each additional point. And remember, points stay on your record for three years, so you will potentially be paying the fine for three years. Not only that, but many insurance companies will also increase your premiums based on how many points you have on your record.

So what is equivalent to getting sent to the principal’s office? How about getting your license suspended. If you get too many points in too short of a time, you will lose your driving privileges. In Texas, it only takes four moving violations (8 points) in a 12-month period to get your licensed revoked.

So the next time you are thinking about speeding or running a red light, remember that the ticket itself only represents your name on the chalkboard. The consequences are far from over.

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