Maximum Points Allowed on Your Driver’s License (Complete Guide)

The maximum points allowed on your driver’s license depends on the state you live in. Accruing points could result in a suspension or even permanent license revocation. In most states, drivers can reduce points with a Defensive Driving Course.

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UPDATED: May 20, 2022

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: May 20, 2022Fact Checked

If you have a driver’s license, you’ve likely heard of points systems that can affect your ability to drive and maintain your driver’s license. So what are the maximum points allowed on your driver’s license?

It depends on what state you live in; in some states you’ll have a lower maximum point requirement while other states have higher point values per violation, but allow for more points. And in a few states, driver’s don’t have to deal with a points system.

We know finding information on this can be frustrating, but not to worry. We’ve done the research for you. Read through this article to find out how points affect your license, how points and your driving record can affect your car insurance rates, and more.

Before we get started, use your ZIP code to get a free quote on car insurance, regardless of what points may be on your license.

Driver’s License Points and Car Insurance Basics

What might cause you to get points on your driver’s license? Is there a DMV points system in your state? What about finding out how many points are on your license? What does it mean when you have four points on your license? Read through the next few sections to find out the answers to these and other questions.

How do you get points on your driver’s license?

Drivers license points are points that are assigned to your license when you are the cause of a car accident, are ticketed for speeding, reckless driving, DUI, or another traffic offense (typically referred to as a moving violation).

In most states, points stay on your license for three years. However, the violation itself may remain on your record longer.

State Tracking of Driver Violations
Driver Violation SummaryFrom the Experts
Whether or not non-moving violations are recorded on your department of motor vehicle driving record depends on your stateNolo
Moving violations can result in rate increase of between 12 and 130 percent depending on the insurer and severity of the violationQuadrant Information Services
42 states and Washington DC maintain driver points systemsNolo
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In many states, a DUI offense will be reported on your driver’s license for a longer period of time.

When you reach your maximum amount of points, you will face having your license suspended.

The length of the suspension will depend on your state’s car insurance laws and the type of offenses that caused the suspension. For example, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a criminal offense and carries a heavier penalty than causing a car accident does. Keep in mind, not all states maintain a points-based system. Take a look at this table to see if your state has a DMV point system.

States that Maintain Points-Based Traffic Violation Tracking Systems
Traffic Violation Tracking
District of ColumbiaYes
New HampshireYes
New JerseyYes
New MexicoYes
New YorkYes
North CarolinaYes
North DakotaYes
Rhode IslandNo
South CarolinaYes
South DakotaYes
West VirginiaYes
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As you can see, eight of the states across the country don’t maintain points-based systems, while the remaining 42 and the District of Columbia do.

So how bad are two points on your license? What is the maximum number of points you can accrue before your license is suspended? Keep reading to find out.

How can I find out what the maximum points are in my state?

Finding the maximum points for your state is easy. All you need to do is visit your state’s Department of Insurance website (which you can find by searching the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ website). You can also find this information on your state’s DMV website, shared by the state of Nevada.

In addition to finding out the maximum points you are allowed to accrue, you will also learn how long your license will be suspended and the various suspensions for the different offenses.

For example, in Alabama there are four levels of suspension:

  • With 12-14 points on your license in a two-year period: 60-day suspension
  • With 24 or more points in a two-year period: one-year suspension

Other states, such as Arizona, have a list of ways you can lose your license permanently. For example, if you commit a felony act while driving a vehicle, you will lose your license for good.

Simply put, some states have more stringent rules than others do when it comes to how many points it takes to suspend a license.

How do I remove points from my driving license?

The easiest way to reduce your points is by not accruing any more points. Your points will cycle off of your license after a certain period of time (usually between one and three years). For example,

Another way to reduce points is to take a driving class. Most states offer classes specific to various driving violations, which you can take to have points removed from your license.

For example, for a DUI you could take classes specific to driving under the influence. By contrast, if you like to speed, your class would be related to driving too fast.

However, there is usually a maximum number of classes (often between one and three) you can take each year, and each class only removes a certain number of points from your record.

In most cases, you can choose any accredited program, which can include a variety of types and perspectives. For example, in some states, there are comedic classes that keep you laughing all the way through or classes that allow you to create skits based on your situation. Regardless, you do have options and if you are looking at a suspension, you might want to consider one of these classes.

Does my insurance company get informed of the points on my driver’s license?

Your insurance company will receive notice that you have had points assigned to your driver’s license. In states with automated systems, this information is passed on to the insurance company within seven days; in states that still use a paper system it can take up to two months.

Once the insurance company gets this information, you will generally see an increase in your rates.

How much will three points on my license affect insurance rates? If you only have a few points the increase may be fairly minor, but if you accrue a lot of points you could see a major increase.

Why? Because the driving record is one of the primary factors insurance companies consider when adjusting rates. To understand why your driving record can affect your insurance rates, you have to understand the business of insurance. Insurers determine rates by assessing the risks in a particular category of coverage. Higher risks equate to larger claims and then higher costs for the insurance company.

By tracking drivers’ points over the course of your driving history, insurers can determine what the general risks are to providing a particular driver with insurance.

To get an idea of how different points-accruing violations can affect your rates, take a look at this table, which compares average rates for drivers with different violations on their records.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates Based on Driving Record and Company
CompaniesRates With a Clean Driving RecordRates with One AccidentRates with One DUIRates with One Speeding Ticket
American Family$2,693.61$3,722.75$4,330.24$3,025.74
State Farm$2,821.18$3,396.01$3,636.80$3,186.01
Liberty Mutual$4,774.30$6,204.78$7,613.48$5,701.26
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As you can see, companies will adjust rates differently, but all increase rates based on various traffic violations. If you need to control some of your insurance costs, you may want to look at getting quotes to see if you can get a better rate.

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Bottom Line for the Maximum Points on a Driver’s License

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to points-based systems and your driver’s license:

  • Points are placed on drivers licenses after traffic violations like speeding or DUIs are committed
  • Each state with a points-based system sets specific points values for various traffic offenses
  • Reducing the points on your license can be done by taking state-accredited classes

Finally, points on your driver’s license can increase your insurance rates. The best way to avoid this is to drive safely and follow all traffic laws.

Frequently Asked Questions: Maximum Points on a Driver’s License

Still have questions?  Read through these frequently asked questions to learn more.

How many points can a CDL driver have?

Like with personal driver’s licenses, the number of points that can be accrued on a commercial driver’s license (CDL) before you face suspension varies by state. How many points can you have on a CDL license? Check your state’s department of motor vehicle website to find out more information.

How do I check points on my license in New York?

Conducting a driver’s license points check will enable you to find out how many points are on your driver’s license. All you need to do is log into your MyDMV account through the New York DMV website and you’ll find your points information.

How many points can you have on your UK license?

The UK also has a point-based violation system. Penalties may vary based on the number of points you have and the time period in which they were received.

To make sure you’re getting the best rates based on your driving record, points on your license, etc., use your ZIP code to get a free quote on car insurance today.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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