Ohio’s Traffic Violation Point System

How driving-related violations can lead to license suspension under Ohio’s demerit point system.

Most Ohio traffic violations (assuming the driver is convicted) will result in the driver having to pay a fine and court costs. Some tickets will also result in the assessment of license demerit points. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) keeps track of these points and will suspend the license of any driver who accumulates too many points.

Point Values for Traffic Tickets

The following is a list of some common traffic violations and the associated points.

Violation

Points Assessed

Vehicular homicide, assault, or manslaughter

6

Fleeing or eluding an officer

6

Failure to stop at accident

6

Driving while commercial license suspended

6

Street racing

6

Driving under the influence

6

Joyriding

6

Any felony traffic violation

6

Wanton disregard operation (reckless driving)

4

Speeding 30 or more miles per hour over limit

4

Speeding 10 or more miles per hour in 55 miles per hour or more zone

2

Speeding 5 or more miles per hour in under 55 miles per hour or more zone

2

Defective equipment

2

Failure to signal

2

Child restraint violation

2

Seatbelt violation

2

Overloaded

2

Certain violations, such as speeding less than five miles per hour over the limit, do not result in a point assessment. Also, only one offense arising out of a single incident will result in a point assessment. In other words, if you get pulled over and are cited for violating two traffic laws, you’ll get the points for one of the violations rather than both.

Consequences of Getting Too Many Points

A driver who accumulates more than five points will generally receive a notice from the BMV informing the driver of possible penalties of future violations.

Once a driver receives 12 or more points within a two-year period, the BMV will issue a notice of suspension. The notice will indicate the effective date of the suspension (usually 20 days from the date of the notice) and appeal rights. The suspension is generally for six months.

A driver can petition to the local court to review the propriety of the suspension. If the driver’s record is accurate, the court must affirm the suspension.

License Reinstatement

Prior to license reinstatement, the driver must complete a remedial driving course, pay a reinstatement fee, provide proof of insurance, and possibly take a written driving exam.

Suspended drivers are allowed to petition the local court for a limited driver’s license. If granted, the court will specify the hours and locations the driver will be allowed to drive.

Reducing points

All points expire after two years. Drivers can also voluntarily take the remedial driving course to remove two points from their record. However, a driver can take the course to reduce points only once every three years and only five times in a lifetime.

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