California DMV points system

A Guide to California DMV Driving Point System

Did you know that fines and insurance hikes aren’t the only penalty incurred from traffic tickets? The California DMV points system has corresponding point values for every possible traffic offense. For example, if an individual receives a sign violation ticket, one point is added to the offender’s license. Let’s examine the basics of the California DMV driving point system, and go over the process of effectively dismissing your points.

What is the California DMV Driving Point System?

The purpose of the California DMV points system is to use a simple quantitative tracking system to monitor the safety habits of California drivers. As for the system itself, when the DMV receives a traffic violation of accident report, traffic violation points are added to the offending individual’s driving record. Depending on the severity of the traffic incident, point totals will often vary. More points are added to driver’s records when a large-scale offense occurs. For instance, if a driver is cited for exhibition of speed (street-racing) and driving under the influence, a minimum of 2 points will typically be added to the driver’s record. If a high number of points is incurred by an individual, they will likely have their license suspended, along with expensive fines and a possible jail sentence. Infractions will increase in fine amounts if there are points on your driving record from previous offenses.

How are California DMV Points Penalized?

Some traffic violations add points to your license, while others do not. There are 4 types of violations regarding points—the main traffic violation type adds points to your DMV record, while the 3 others are merely financial burdens. If a driver commits a violation of the law while their vehicle is in motion, a “moving violation” has occurred. One example of a moving violation is a common speeding ticket. This violation type will add California DMV points to your record.

On the other hand, non-moving violations, paperwork violations, and cell phone violations do not add points to your DMV record. Non-moving violations include parking citations and fix-it citations. Paperwork violations refer to insurance and various forms of vehicle documentation. Cell phone violations revolve around using a mobile phone while driving a vehicle.

While these three latter penalty classes will not add points to your license, you should still attempt to fight them—many of these citations will remain on your driving record and could dramatically increase your insurance rates. The “Negligent Operator Treatment System” can also penalize drivers. Violations under this classification include exceeding the stated maximum speed according to a traffic control device. This offense adds one point to a driver’s record. The mere act of disobeying a traffic officer can add a point to one’s record as well. 2-point infractions include driving a vehicle in a reckless manner, and driving under drug or alcohol influence. These point additions can be catastrophic to someone’s DMV record.

Commercial driver’s do not get off easy regarding the California DMV points system. They can receive moving violation points to a further extent than casual drivers. Commercial California DMV points are added to these individual’s records at one and a half times the normal value and rate. This tricky rule also applies to drivers under the age of 18, drivers who accumulate 4 points in 1 year, 6 points in 2 years, or 8 points in 3 years. These people can also have their California driver’s license suspended, depending on their residing county.

Removing California DMV Points from Your Record

So, you’ve accumulated a point or 3 on your driving record. How do you get them removed? Simply put, time is the best method. California DMV points will be automatically cleared from your record if you keep a clean driving record for a certain time frame. It takes 39 months for a one-point violation to be cleared. On a much more impactful level, DUI violations or hit and run occurrence will stay on violator’s records for a minimum of 10 years. Points will remain on an individual’s record for an additional 5 years if a failure to appear in court occurs, regardless of the infraction severity. (skipping a DUI court date will hold points on a driver’s record for an additional 10 years)

Not willing to wait? The good news is that there are proven methods of beating your infraction, avoiding court, and preventing points from accumulating on your record. The DMV allows you to check point status at this link:

If there is a point you want removed, look up the corresponding citation and fight it through a Trial by Written Declaration, if the violation occurred recently. If this fails, a trial de novo can be requested, which is essentially a second chance at pleading your case. Attending traffic school is often presented as a pathway to removing points from one’s record.

Get Rid of Your Points with TicketBust

If you do get cited and accumulate a few California DMV points, don’t panic. A ticket fighting service can help you avoid citation penalties, negating the DMV points in the process. Find out how TicketBust can assist you, and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.