UPDATED: Sep 4, 2020
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How do you have points removed from your license? Can you remove points from your license if you take a class? Do they just go away on their own? Whether you want to know how to get points removed from drivers licenses in California, Ohio, Michigan, Florida, or anywhere else, keep reading. Understanding auto insurance is vital to saving money.
Most states use a points-based system to regulate drivers. Certain violations are worth a certain number of points. If you collect too many points in a span, then you could face fines or license suspension. Can you pay to have points removed from your license? In some states, yes, while in others, points are automatically removed after three to five years.
Fortunately, every state allows point removal on driver’s licenses. The driver’s license points are never permanent. Some states deduct points for attending traffic school, for example. Other states force you to wait for four or five years.
You need to shop around for auto insurance, especially if you have points on your license. Not every company looks at your driving record the same way, so some may charge you less. Compare quotes today to get the best auto insurance rates you can. Before learning more about how to get points removed from your license, enter your ZIP to start getting quotes even if you have points on your license.
How Long Points Stay on Your Record
Before we dive in, it’s important to note that each state has its own driving and car insurance laws, according to NOLO. When you break those laws, that’s where the points come in.
For example, AAA says that most states require you to carry at least minimum auto insurance. If you do not meet those minimums, you can get a fine and points issued by the state. Even if you are driving safely, you can still rack up points on your license.
Is there a way to remove points from your license permanently? First, let’s make one thing clear. In most states, points technically stay on your record permanently unless expunged by a court order. However, these points should only impact you for two to six years, depending on the severity of your violation.
A DUI you received twenty years ago will not impact your insurance premiums today, but a speeding ticket you received last month will affect insurance premiums.
Let’s compare a clean driving record to what one accident, speeding ticket, or DUI can do to your auto insurance rates.
|Company||Average Annual Rates with Clean Record||Average Annual Rates with 1 Accident||Average Annual Rates with 1 DUI||Average Annual Rates with 1 Speeding Violation|
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One accident can raise your monthly auto insurance rates about $81, and one speeding ticket adds about $45 a month. You can see how multiple tickets would make your rates skyrocket.
Watch this video to learn more about points on your driver’s license.
So, how do I remove points from my driving license to keep rates low?
It’s important to how to get penalty points removed from driving license. Rules vary widely between states. Read our state-by-state breakdown below. Enter your zip code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates. Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
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Get to Remove Points from your License in Every State
Can you pay to get points off your license? Can I get points off my license if I take a defensive driving class? There are many different ways to get points removed from your license, so keep scrolling to learn how to get points removed off your license where you live.
Alabama does not currently have a point reduction program. Points remain on your record permanently. However, two years after a traffic conviction, the point count for that conviction will no longer count for suspension purposes.
Alaska drivers are eligible for the Alaska Point Reduction program. You attend and complete an approved defensive driving course, then get two negative points removed from your license.
Any driver in Alaska can take a defensive driving course for point reduction once every 12 months. After completing the course, the course provider will notify the DMV of your completion, and two points will be removed from your driver’s license record.
Arizona does not have a point reduction program. Points are added to your permanent driving record if you are convicted of a moving traffic violation.
However, if you have received a traffic ticket but have not yet been convicted, then you may be able to take a defensive driving course and avoid having the points added to your license altogether.
Arkansas does not have a point reduction program. All points added to your driver’s license remain viewable by insurance companies for three years. Employers can view driver’s license points for a longer period of time. Points from more severe convictions stay on your record for a longer period of time.
California does not have a point reduction program. Points remain on your driver’s license for 3 years, although certain severe violations can stay on your license for longer.
If you have received a violation but have not yet been convicted, then you may be able to attend traffic school and have the points “masked” from insurance companies, although you can only do this once every 18 months.
Colorado does not have a point reduction system. However, if your license is suspended due to an excessive number of points on your record, then you may be able to reduce the length of the suspension if you provide the Hearing Officer with evidence that you have changed your bad driving habits.
Connecticut does not have a point reduction system. Points remain on your driver’s license for two years from the date they were assessed.
You can receive a three-point credit in Delaware by taking a defensive driving course. This credit is applied to a driver’s point total after completing an approved defensive driving course, and the credit remains valid for three years, after which the credit is removed.
You can take another defensive driving refresher course to maintain the three-point credit.
District of Columbia
Drivers in Washington, D.C. may be able to take an approved online defensive driving course to remove points from their record. However, you must receive prior approval from a DC DMV Hearing Examiner.
Florida has no point reduction system for drivers. However, if you have received a violation but have not yet been convicted, then you may attend a driver improvement school to avoid having points added to your driving record for a particular violation.
Points stay on your record in Florida for three years. Depending on the accumulation of points, you could face further suspensions:
- 12 months earned within 12 months leads to a 30-day suspension
- 18 points earned within 18 months lead to a 3-month suspension
- 24 points earned within 36 months lead to a 12-month suspension
Typically, minor incidents in Florida – like a speeding ticket – are worth around three points. More serious incidents – like a DUI – are worth 6 or more points.
Drivers in Georgia can send a request to the Department of Driver Services (DDS) to reduce the number of points assessed against their driving record. You can remove a maximum of seven points once every five years.
To receive a point reduction, you must successfully complete an approved driver improvement course, then present your certificate of completion to the Georgia DDS. Points stay on your record in Georgia for two years.
Drivers in Hawaii no longer receive points for traffic violations. However, convictions are still recorded to the driver’s traffic abstract, and multiple convictions on your record can lead to fines or loss of license.
Drivers in Idaho can request to reduce their point total by three points every three years by completing an approved defensive driving course.
You can avoid an impending driver’s license suspension for point accumulation by taking an approved defensive driving course, although the course must be completed prior to the date on which your suspension takes effect.
Illinois has no point reduction system. Points remain on your driver’s license for four to five years, depending on the severity of the violation.
Drivers in Indiana can take a Driver Safety Program course to receive a four-point credit on their driving record. This credit can be applied every three years.
You can take an additional course within the three year time period to extend the credit. The credit will be extended three years from the date on which you took the additional course.
Iowa has no point reduction program. Points remain on your driver’s license for 12 months.
Kansas’s DMV does not use a point system to track traffic violations. However, the DMV does keep a record of past convictions on your driving record. Multiple and/or serious violations can lead to license suspension or fines.
There’s no way to remove these convictions from your record (aside from waiting for them to disappear over time).
Kentucky has no point reduction system for drivers. Points remain on your driving record for two years from the date of conviction, although the conviction entry itself remains on your record for five years.
If you have received a violation but have not yet been convicted, then you may be able to take a driving course to avoid having points added to your driving record.
You’ll need a referral from the District Court in the jurisdiction where the violation occurred. You can take a defensive driving course for this purpose once every 12 months.
Louisiana’s OMV has no point system to track violations, although it does have a record of past convictions. Serious and/or multiple violations can lead to the suspension of your license.
Drivers in Maine can complete a Driving Dynamics course to get a three-point credit applied to their driving record. This course can be taken once per year to renew the credit.
Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration automatically removes (or ‘expunges’) all points and violations from your driving record three years after your conviction, assuming you have no other incidents (moving violations, criminal offenses, or other incidents) within that period of time.
If you have been convicted of another violation within that period of time, then you can request a manual expungement of your record at the MVA website.
Massachusetts has no point reduction program. Points from traffic violations remain on your record for six years from the date they were received, and insurance companies can view these points (and use them to influence insurance premiums) for six years.
Michigan has no point reduction system, and points remain on your driving record for two years from the date of conviction. Drivers in Michigan who have received a violation but have not yet been convicted may be able to attend a defensive driving course to have points hidden from insurance companies.
However, you’ll need to receive a notice from the Michigan Secretary of State.
Points assessed by the Michigan Department of State stay on your driving record for two years – even for more serious convictions like a DUI. However, two DUI convictions within a seven-year period can lead to permanent license suspension.
Minnesota’s DVS has no point system for traffic violations, although they do keep a record of past convictions for each driver. If you have multiple and/or serious violations within a certain period of time, it can lead to higher insurance premiums or even license suspension.
Mississippi’s DPS has no point system for tracking traffic violations. However, the DPS does maintain a record of past convictions for each driver. If you have multiple and/or serious convictions within a certain period of time, it can lead to license suspension.
Missouri has no point reduction system for drivers. However, the Missouri DPS will automatically reduce the number of points on your driving record for every year you drive without a new conviction. Your points are reduced by one third for your first clean year, half for your second clean year, and to zero for your third clean year.
Montana has no point reduction program. Points from traffic violations remain on your driving record for three years from the date of conviction. Points are removed from your driving record automatically after three years and will no longer affect insurance rates.
However, the conviction remains on your driving record permanently. Furthermore, convictions for your second DUI (or any subsequent DUIs) within five years will impact insurance premiums and could potentially lead to license suspension.
Nebraska has no point reduction program. Points remain on your license for five years before being removed.
Drivers in Nevada can take a driver training course to receive a three-point credit on their driving record. However, you cannot take this course if you have traffic violations pending, nor can you take it if you have more than 12 points on your driving record.
Drivers in New Hampshire who have accumulated three or more points on their driving record can take a ‘Driver Improvement’ course to have three points removed from their record. Courses must be taken in-person.
If you do not take the Driver Improvement course, the traffic violation remains on your record for three years.
Drivers in New Jersey can take a defensive driving course once every five years to reduce their point total by two points.
New Mexico has no point reduction program. If your license is suspended due to excessive point accumulation, then you may be able to take a defensive driving course to renew your license.
Drivers in New York can reduce their point total by four points once every 18 months by completing an approved defensive driving course. Point reduction only applies to violations that occurred within the last 18 months, and points for earlier violations cannot be removed.
Point reduction cannot be used as credit towards future violation points, and your point total cannot be reduced below zero. You are not eligible for point reduction if your license has already been revoked or suspended.
Furthermore, point reduction will not cancel or prevent license suspension for violations like DWI, DWAI, or three or more speeding violations within 18 months.
Drivers in North Carolina with more than seven points on their driving record may be told to take a Driver Improvement Clinic by a judge or hearing officer. If you successfully complete the Driver Improvement Clinic, three points will be removed from your driving record.
Not all drivers qualify for this point credit, and you need to speak with a hearing officer to confirm point removal.
Drivers in North Dakota can remove three points from their driving record once every 12 months by taking a defensive driving course. You cannot receive credit for future violations: you can only reduce points that are already on your driving record.
Drivers in Ohio with two to twelve points on their driving record may be able to take a defensive driving course to get a two-point credit. Completing the course does not remove existing points on your driving record, although it can negate the impact of future traffic convictions.
Drivers in Oklahoma can take a defensive driving course to get a two-point credit on their driving record. Courses can be taken once every 24 months. Your points are also automatically reduced by two if the driver goes 12 consecutive months without receiving a traffic conviction.
If you go three consecutive years with no convictions, then the points on your record will be reduced to zero.
Oregon’s DMV does not use a point system to track traffic violations, although the DMV does maintain a record of past convictions on your driving history. Drivers with multiple and/or serious convictions may have their licenses revoked or suspended.
Pennsylvania has no point removal system for drivers. However, three points will be removed from your driving record for every 12 consecutive months without a violation.
After your driving record is reduced to zero and remains at zero for 12 consecutive months, any further accumulation of points will be treated as your first accumulation of points. In other words, your record is completely expunged after 24 consecutive months without a violation.
Rhode Island’s DMV has no point system for tracking traffic violations. However, the DMV does maintain a record of past convictions on your driving history. If you have multiple and/or serious convictions on your record, it could lead to higher insurance premiums and license suspension.
Drivers in South Carolina can take a defensive driving course to reduce their point total by four points. The course must be taken in-person and takes eight hours. You can take the course and reduce your pints by four once every three years.
South Dakota’s DPS has no point reduction program. However, the DPS tracks violations, and drivers with multiple and/or serious violations within a short period of time may face higher insurance premiums or license suspension.
Tennessee has no point reduction program. Drivers who accumulate 12 or more points within a 12 month period will receive a notice of proposed suspension. At this point, the driver can attend an administrative hearing.
At this hearing, you should be given the opportunity to take a defensive driving course to avoid your suspension (or reduce the length of your suspension). Drivers with more serious violations, however, may not be given this opportunity.
Texas has no point reduction program. However, the Texas DMV tracks convictions, and drivers with multiple convictions in a certain period of time may face license suspension or higher insurance premiums.
Drivers in Utah can remove 50 points from their driving record by completing a Defensive Driving course. The course can be taken once every three years. Drivers can also improve their driving record over time by maintaining a clean record.
After one full year without a traffic violation, the points on your record will be reduced by half. After two years without a conviction, points will be removed entirely.
Vermont’s DMV has no point reduction program. Drivers who accumulate 10 points or more within a two year period will have their license suspended.
Drivers in Virginia can attend a DMV-approved defensive driver course once every 24 months to add safe driving point credits to their record.
Washington’s DOL has no point system for tracking traffic violations, although the DOL does maintain a list of prior convictions. If you have multiple and/or serious convictions within a certain period of time, your license may be suspended.
Drivers in West Virginia can attend a DMV-approved defensive driving course once every 12 months to remove three points from their driving record. It must be an in-person course, and credit only applies to points already on the driving record (there’s no credit towards future convictions).
Drivers in Wisconsin can reduce their point total by three by completing an approved traffic safety course. You can take this course and reduce your points once every three years.
Wyoming’s DOT has no point system for tracking traffic violations, but the DOT does maintain a record of past convictions. Drivers with multiple and/or serious convictions on their record in a short period of time may face higher insurance premiums and license suspension.
You can see each state is very different in what is required to have points removed from your license. What stays the same is your need to compare auto insurance quotes.
Not every company will look at your points the same, so getting multiple quotes is the best way to get great coverage at the cheapest rates. Enter your ZIP now to start getting quotes, no matter how many points are on your driver’s license.