How many points can you get on your license?

The question is more common than you might think. How many points can you get on your license? You need to check by state. Each state has its own laws regarding keeping track of driver incidents – some states don’t use a point system at all. While insurance companies don’t look specifically at points, your rates are defined by the same traffic violations. If you want to learn how to get points off your license, you can check with your local DMV site.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jan 5, 2022

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Things to Remember

  • Most states have a point system to keep track of traffic violations and driving infractions
  • Each state has its own rules regarding how many points you earn per infraction, how long points stay on your license, and how you can remove them
  • While insurance companies don’t use your point total, they use your MVD driving history to form your rates

Mistakes happen – it’s a universal fact of life, and it’s especially true on the road. From spacing out and missing a stop sign to driving a little too fast because you’re in a hurry, most drivers make a mistake at some point.

However innocent a mistake is, it can have serious consequences. For example, most traffic violations will put one or more points on your license. If you get too many points, you can lose your license.

There are many other reasons you want to avoid points on your license, too. Chief amongst them is that even a single point can skyrocket the price of your auto insurance quotes.

So, how many points can you get on your license before you find yourself in serious trouble? While you should aim for zero, there are companies that will work with you if you have too many points. Enter your ZIP code into our free tool to explore what car insurance rates might look like for you.

What is the driver’s license point system?

Most states have a system in place to keep track of your traffic violations. Each incident you’re involved in will add a certain amount of points to your license. Minor incidents might be worth one point, while severe infractions can be more than ten.

Each state has a limit to how many points you can accumulate within a specific period, as well as how long it takes for points to fall off your license. Most states only assign points for driving incidents, so you won’t get a point for a parking ticket.

How many points do you start with on your license? Zero – but new drivers need to be careful about getting points. Most states limit how many points you can get as a new driver.

However, you can get points for not wearing your seatbelt in New York. Some states will give you points for using your cell phone.

Accumulating too many points can result in the following:

  • Suspension or revocation of your license
  • Less leniency in future traffic court appointments
  • A high-risk designation with insurance companies

While most states use a point system, nine don’t. Those states give out suspensions by counting the number and severity of driver violations.

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How many points can you get on your license?

Each state considers points differently. For example, asking how many points can you get on your license in South Carolina will get you a different answer than if you ask about Vermont.

For more information about your state, check the graph below.

StateMinor violationsMajor violationsPoints for suspension
Alabama2612-14 points in 24 months
Alaska21012 points in 12 months or 18 points in 24 months
Arizona288 points in 12 months
Arkansas2814 points
California124 points in 12 months, 6 points in 24 months, 8 points in 36 months
Colorado41212 points in 12 months or 18 points in 24 months
Connecticut1510 points in 24 months
Delaware2614 points in 24 months
D.C.2810 points in 24 months
Florida3612 points in 12 months, 18 points in 18 months, or 24 points in 36 months
Georgia1615 points in 24 months
Idaho1412-17 points in 12 months, 18-23 points in 24 months, or 24+ in 36 months
Illinois5553 violations in 12 months
Indiana282 violations in 12 months
Iowa263 violations in 12 months
Kentucky3612 points in 24 months
Maine2812 points in 12 months
Maryland1128 points in 24 months
Massachusetts253 speeding tickets in 12 months, 3 major violations or 12 major and/or minor violations in 5 years
Michigan2612 points in 24 months
Missouri31212 points in 12 months, 18 points in 24 months, or 24 points in 36 months
Montana21530 points in 36 months
Nebraska11212 points in 24 months
Nevada1812 points in 12 months
New Hampshire2612 points in 12 months, 18 points in 24 months, or 24 points in 36 months
New Jersey2812 points
New Mexico287 points in 12 months
New York21111 points in 18 months
North Carolina1512 points in 36 months
North Dakota12412 points
Ohio2612 points in 24 months
Oklahoma1410 points every 60 months
Pennsylvania256 points after a hearing
Rhode IslandN/AN/AN/A
South Carolina2612 points in 12 months
South Dakota21015 points in 12 months or 22 points in 24 months
Tennessee1812 points in 12 months
Texas236 points in 36 months
Utah3580200 points in 36 months
Vermont2810 points in 24 months
Virginia3618 points in 12 months or 24 points in 24 months
West Virginia2812 points in 24 months
Wisconsin2612 points in 12 months
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While getting points on your license should be avoided, they don’t stay on your license forever. Each state has its own policy about how long points remain on your license.

StateHow long does it take for points to expire?
Alabama2 years
Alaska2 points after 12 months
Arizona12 months
Arkansas36 months
California36 months for minor violations, 10 years for major
ColoradoPoints do not expire
Connecticut24 months
DelawarePoints lose half their value after 12 months
D.C.2 years
Florida5 years
Georgia2 years
Idaho3 years
Illinois4-5 years for minor violations, at least 7 for major
Indiana2 years
Iowa5 years, 12 years for DUIs
Kentucky2 years
Maine1 year
Maryland2 years
Massachusetts6 years
Michigan2 years
Missouri3 years
Montana3 years
Nebraska5 years
Nevada12 months
New Hampshire3 years
New Jersey3 points per year without violations
New Mexico1 year
New York18 months
North Carolina3 years
North Dakota1 point will be reduced every 3 months after a suspension. 3 points can be removed with a defensive driving course
Ohio2 years
Oklahoma2 points per 12 months
Pennsylvania3 points per 12 months
Rhode IslandN/A
South CarolinaPoints reduce by half after 1 year, fully by 2 years
South DakotaDepends on the violation
Tennessee2 years
Texas3 years
Utah3 years
Vermont2 years
Virginia2 years
West Virginia2 years
WisconsinPoints remain for as long as you have a ticked on your record (about 5 years)
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One thing to note is that the time points and infractions stay on your license are different. For example, points expire after five years in Florida, but a DUI remains on your record for 75 years.

Can you remove points from your license?

Once again, the answer depends on the state you live in. Some states have point-reduction programs, while others make you wait it out.

If your state has a point-reduction program, you’ll probably need to take a state-approved defensive driving course. You’ll have to pay for the cost of your class out-of-pocket, and there are limits to how often you can take a class to remove points.

You can find information about how many points you have on your license and how to remove them by visiting your state’s DMV page.

How do points affect your insurance rates?

Most insurance companies don’t use the number of points on your license to calculate your insurance rates. However, they might as well. Speeding tickets, accidents, and DUIs put points on your license and cause your rates to go up.

Insurance companies treat incidents on your driving record differently, but you can get an idea of how much your rates will go up by looking at national averages.

ViolationAverage monthly cost
Clean record$144
Speeding ticket$182
At-fault accident$220
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It’s imperative that you avoid negative driving incidents if you want affordable insurance. However, you can find high-risk auto insurance companies that will work with you no matter how bad your history is.

Find the Best Car Insurance for You

While you should always avoid adding points to your record, mistakes happen. No matter how many points you have on your license, you can get the insurance you need so you can drive legally.

So, how many points can you get on your license before your insurance rates go up? Enter your ZIP code into our free tool to see what quotes might look like for you, regardless of how many points you have.

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