Pennsylvania’s Traffic Violation Point System

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

In Pennsylvania, a traffic ticket will normally result in fines. But the state also imposes license-related penalties on repeat offenders. Like many states, Pennsylvania keeps track of traffic violations with a driver’s license point system. A traffic violation results in a number of demerit points being assessed against the driver’s record. Accumulation of too many points will result in license suspension and other penalties.

Points Values for Traffic Violations

Pennsylvania assigns the following point values for each traffic violation listed below.

Violation

Points assessed

License restriction violation

2

Disobeying officer

2

Failure to stop at red light

3

Failure to yield to oncoming traffic

3

Improper passing

3

Following too closely

3

Failure to yield to driver at right at intersection

3

Failure to yield to oncoming driver when making left turn

3

Failure to stop at a stop sign

3

Failure to yield at yield sign

3

Failure to yield when crossing roadway

3

Failure to obey railroad signal

2

Failure to comply with crossing gate or barrier

4 points and a 30-day suspension

Failure to stop for school bus

5 points and a 60-day suspension

Driving too fast for conditions

2

Speeding 6 to 10 miles per hour over the limit

2

Speeding 11 to 15 miles per hour over the limit

3

Speeding 16 to 25 miles per hour over the limit

4

Speeding 26 or more miles per hour over the limit

5

Speeding in a school zone

3

Failure to yield to pedestrian on crosswalk

2

Failure to yield to pedestrian on sidewalk

3

Failure to yield to blind pedestrian

3

Careless driving

3

Leaving scene of an accident involving property damage

4

Consequences of Accumulating Too Many Points

All traffic convictions are reported to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT). Drivers who receive points on their record will receive a notice from the DOT. But the consequences of the point accumulation depend on the number of points and how many prior license suspensions the driver has had within his or her lifetime.

All point assessments. Every time points are added to a driver’s record, the DOT is supposed to send out a notice informing the driver of the point system and the penalties of future violations.

Six points. A driver with six demerit points must complete a driver improvement course or a special examination.

For drivers who have previously acquired six points, got their points reduced below six points, and then again acquired six points, the DOT can order a maximum 15-day license suspension, an examination, or driver’s improvement course. A driver with two or more prior suspensions can be suspended for up to 30 days.

Successful completion of the driver’s course, examination, or suspension will result in two points being erased from the driver’s record. Failure to complete any of the requirements or pass an examination can result in a 60-day suspension or license cancellation.

11 or more points. The DOT will suspend the license of any driver who reaches 11 or more points. The suspension period depends on the number of points accumulated and the number of prior suspensions.

  • No prior suspensions. The driver faces five days of suspension for each demerit point.
  • One prior suspension. The driver faces ten days of suspension for each demerit point.
  • Two prior suspensions. The driver faces 15 days of suspension for each demerit point.
  • Three or more prior suspensions. The driver faces a one-year suspension.

After serving the suspension and being reinstated, the driver’s point total will be reduced to five points.

Occupational Licenses

A suspended driver can petition the DOT for an occupational license. This license allows operation to and from work or school but only during authorized times. All required driving courses and examinations must be completed prior to application.

Point Removal

In addition to the conditions leading to point reduction discussed above, three points are generally removed from a driver’s record for each consecutive 12 months without a violation.

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