Learn About Driver’s License Point Systems

Demerit points are points that have been added to drivers’ licenses as a result of traffic violations or other infractions. A driver accumulates points on license whenever they receive a traffic ticket or conviction, and senior drivers are not exempt from the system. Drivers often ask “How long do points stay on your license?” to determine when their licenses are no longer at risk, because multiple points can cause significant penalties. Seniors must understand the point system to keep their driving privileges and to ensure they are not classified as “high risk drivers,” which are drivers who may receive additional punishments for breaking traffic laws due to their previous charges. Although most states have their own system for drivers, there are basic concepts that are present in all states utilizing the system. To learn how penalty points are distributed, calculated and managed and how they may affect you as a senior driver, review the following sections.

What is the Driver’s License Point System?

Demerit points serve as an extra means of punishing drivers for dangerous driving practices. Most U.S. states have a version of the driver point system with the authority to suspend or revoke licenses. The system is administered by the state DMV or BMV and assigns infractions the appropriate number of points and determines how many points seniors can have before facing a suspension or revocation of their licenses. Not only do the penalty points help control senior drivers’ behavior on the roads by making them cautious of receiving more points, but they also help track and monitor seniors’ driving records.

The purpose of adding points to licenses is to decrease the prevalence of repeated infractions and to provide insurance companies and local law enforcement officers with an easy way to identify and respond to troublesome drivers. For instance, speeding ticket points can accumulate quickly and discourage senior drivers from committing a speeding violation or from traveling too slowly. Additionally, insurance companies can access this information when deciding which drivers are the best to insure financially. However, drivers accruing demerit points for speeding can also help generate necessary revenue. Therefore, the demerit point system can be beneficial for various reasons, and seniors should be aware of the implications that the system presents.

How does the Point System Work?

When demerit points are distributed to senior drivers, they will automatically be included in their license records. According to the state’s penalty point system, the correct number of points will be added to seniors’ drivers licenses. If the total number of points exceeds a certain number within a predetermined period, then they may face serious penalties. Consequences of receiving too many points indicate lesser responsibility and include fines and license suspensions. Senior drivers can expect to have increased vehicle insurance premiums due to more careless driving points and may lose their licenses permanently.

However, the demerit point system does not condemn every senior driver who may earn a lot of points to higher premiums and no driving privileges. Instead, seniors are given the chance to reduce the number of demerit points they have received to prevent penalties and extra fines. To do so, seniors must participate in driving courses that teach safe driving practices and explain common traffic laws. While these courses do not offer point reductions for seniors in every state, most states enable senior drivers to earn discounts on liability insurance for taking approved classes. Seniors who have already exceeded the maximum penalty points in their state may not be eligible to register for these classes.

What are common traffic violations that earn penalty points?

The number of driving points seniors receive is based on the traffic violations that they commit. Despite the fact that drivers license points disappear from most records after a few years, seniors must be careful on the roads and abstain from committing violations. Additionally, senior drivers should understand basic traffic laws to prevent accidents.

Minor traffic violations may receive up to four points on drivers license, which is the most common point value for traffic violations. Other moving and parking violations will earn seniors one to four points on their licenses’ as well. However, serious violations can earn significantly more points – up to eight. Seniors should have an idea as to how many driving record points each violation receives to avoid confusion and ensure that they are not at risk of exceeding the maximum points.