The Driver's License Point System in Tennessee

How Many Points Before Your License is Suspended?

Tennessee uses a point system (the Driver Improvement Section) to monitor the driving records of Tennessee drivers. Under the system each point serves as a demerit, and the more you get, the more likely it is that you will have your license suspended or even revoked for good. Although these infractions are reported to your insurer, the accrued points may not have much significance because, when deciding on rate increases, most insurers apply their own point system.

Suspensions

Tennessee drivers who accumulate 12 or more points on their driving record within any 12-month period are sent a notice of proposed suspension and given an opportunity to attend an administrative hearing. If they fail to request a hearing, their driving privileges are suspended for a period of six to 12 months. In most cases, when a driver requests a hearing, they are given the opportunity to attend a defensive driving class in lieu of suspension or a reduction of suspension time. The suspension rules are different for those with juvenile driver’s licenses.

How Many Points for Each Infraction?

Tickets and Court Abstractions where speed not indicated on source documents

3

Speeding 1 through 5 mph in excess of speed zone

1

Speeding 6 through 15 mph in excess of speed zone

3

Speeding 16 through 25 mph in excess of speed zone

4

Speeding 26 through 35 mph in excess of speed zone

5

Speeding 36 through 45 mph in excess of speed zone

6

Speeding 46 mph and above in excess of speed zone

8

Speed is less than posted minimum

3

Driving too fast for conditions, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident

3

Operating at erratic or sudden changing speed

3

Reckless Driving

6

Careless or negligent driving

4

Failing to obey traffic instructions

4

Improper passing

4

Wrong way, side or direction

4

Following improperly

3

Following emergency vehicle unlawfully

3

Failing to yield the right-of-way

4

Making improper turn

3

Failure to signal direction or to reduce speed suddenly

3

Stopping, standing, obstructing, or blocking traffic

3

Coasting; operating gears disengaged

3

Improper backing

3

Improper starting, burning rubber, spinning tires, peeling out

3

Driver view or mechanism obstructed

3

Driving mountain highway-controlled/audible warning

3

Inability to maintain control

3

Improper operation of or riding on a motorcycle

3

Improper lane or location, driving on roadways for traffic

3

Use of controlled access roadway

4

Inattentive driving, due care, failure to drive in careful manner, unsafe lookout, improper driving

3

Cross private property to avoid stop sign or signal

4

Operating a vehicle while using cell phone (under 18)

6

Passing a stopped school bus, church or youth bus taking on or discharging passengers

8

Violation of driver license or certificate restrictions

6

Reckless endangerment by vehicle (misdemeanor)

8

Miscellaneous traffic violations; any offense involving the unsafe operation of a non- commercial motor vehicle not herein specified

3

Leaving the scene of a crash (no revocation action only)

5

Failure to report a crash

4

Failure to yield to emergency vehicles; Failure to change lanes/slow down for authorized vehicles on roadside

6

Failure to stop at railroad crossing

8

 Getting Rid of Points

After 12 months, a point violation no longer counts towards a driver’s total assessment.

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