Michigan’s Traffic Violation Point System

How traffic tickets can lead to license suspension under Michigan’s license demerit point system.

In Michigan, traffic offense convictions normally result in fines and fees. Many traffic violations also lead to the Michigan Secretary of State assessing demerit points to the driver’s record. Drivers who accumulate too many points face certain consequences, which can include license suspension.

Point Values for Traffic Tickets

The Secretary of State receives notice of and records all traffic violation convictions. The points from a conviction remain on the driver’s record for two years before expiring. Here are the numbers of points for various violations.

Violation

Points Assessed

Vehicular manslaughter

6

Violation resulting in injury or death

6

Operating under the influence

6

Leaving scene of accident

6

Reckless driving

6

Fleeing or eluding officer

6

Speeding more than 15 miles per hour over limit

4 (5 points if in work zone)

Operating while visibly impaired

4

Drag racing

4

Speeding 10 to 15 miles per hour over limit

3 (4 points if in work zone)

Violation resulting in collision

4

Careless driving

3

Improper passing of stationary emergency vehicle

2

Speeding 5 to 10 miles per hour over limit

2 (3 points if in work zone)

Speeding 1 to 5 miles per hour over limit

1 (3 points if in work zone)

Disobeying traffic signal or stop sign

3

Improper passing

3

Open container violation

2

Learner’s permit violation

2

Underage preliminary breath test refusal

2

Some violations, such as texting and driving, don’t result in points.

Consequences of Getting Too Many Points

A driver with at least four points will often receive a warning letter from the Secretary of state, informing the driver of the possible penalties of future violations. A driver with nine points will likely receive a letter requesting the driver appear for an "interview." The interview will not result in license penalties, but failure to appear for the interview can result in three added points.

A driver with at least 12 points (or six speeding tickets in two years) will ordinarily receive an order to appear for "examination." The examiner will review the driver’s history and may require the driver to retake the licensing test or complete a driver improvement course. The examiner can also suspend the driver’s license for up to one year. Failure to attend the examination will result in indefinite license suspension.

Probationary License

New drivers holding a learner’s permit or probationary license can be suspended for acquiring six points or for committing a single violation that’s worth at least four points.

Reduced Points

Certain minor traffic violations are eligible for point forgiveness. A driver who commits one of these violations will generally receive a notice from the Secretary of State indicating the option for point forgiveness. A driver who completes a basic driver improvement course within 60 days of notification will not have any points assessed to his or her license.

Appeal

Drivers can appeal the examiner’s decision to the local court for review within 63 days. The local court has the authority to overturn, affirm, or modify the suspension. The court is also permitted to issue a restricted license, which can authorize limited travel during the suspension period.

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