Idaho’s Traffic Violation Point System

How Idaho’s demerit point system works and the consequences of building up too many points.

Most Idaho traffic tickets include the assessment of fines and fees. However, the Idaho Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) also assesses points to a driver’s record based on the severity of the moving violation. These points are used to identify problematic and dangerous drivers. Too many points will result in license suspension.

Points Values for Traffic Violations

Below are the point values for some of the more common moving violations. Points may be assessed for both in-state and out-of-state violations.

Violation

Points Assessed

Driving on sidewalk

3

Prohibited coasting

2

Obstruction of driver’s view

3

Obstructing traffic

1

Failure to exercise due care

3

Driving through prohibited safety zone

2

Failure to give right-of-way to emergency vehicles

3

Crossing fire hose

1

Driving in wrong lane

3

Improper passing

3

Tailgating

3

On-ramp violation

3

Improper left turn

3

Railroad crossing violation

4

Speeding 1 to 15 miles per hour over limit

3

Speeding 16 or more miles per hour over limit

4

Speeding in work zone

4

Failure to give right-of-way to pedestrian

3

Traffic signal violation

3

Failure to yield

3

Failure to stop after accident

4

Inattentive driving

3

Improper passing of school bus

4

Racing

4

Texting-while-driving and seat belt violations do not result in a point assessment.

Consequences of Accumulating Points

Warning letter. While not required, the DMV will usually send out a warning letter when a driver is close to a point-related suspension. Drivers will usually receive a warning after accumulating:

  • eight points in 12 months
  • 14 points in 24 months, and
  • 20 points in 36 months.

Suspension. The DMV is authorized to suspend the license of any driver who accumulates at least 12 points. The length of the suspension depends on the number of points accumulated.

  • 12 to 17 points in 12 months. The driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days.
  • 18 to 23 points in 24 months. The driver’s license will be suspended for 90 days.
  • At least 24 points in 36 months. The driver’s license will be suspended for six months.

Point Removal

Expiration. All license points are removed after three years.

Defensive driving class. Voluntary completion of a certified defensive driving class will remove three points from the driver’s record. However, these points cannot be credited for future use.

Traffic safety education program. A driver can also avoid the point assessment for a single violation by completing a traffic safety education program within 45 days of the conviction. This option is not available for all violations or in all jurisdictions.

Points can be reduced via a defensive driving class or traffic safety education program only once every three years.

Suspended drivers might be eligible for a restricted license to drive to work and school. The DMV will decide issuance based on the need of the driver, safety of the public, and possible rehabilitation for the driver’s habits.

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