How Getting a Speeding Ticket Affects Your DMV Driving Record

Speeding violations and traffic violation demerit point systems.

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in most states keeps track of moving violations using a demerit point system. Speed violations are considered moving violations and will normally result in the DMV assessing a certain number of points to the driver’s record.

How Point Systems Work

When a driver is convicted of a moving violation by admitting fault (paying the fine) or being found guilty after a trial, the DMV receives notice of the conviction. The DMV then adds a certain number of points to the driver’s record. Generally, even out-of-state traffic convictions will result in points being assessed in your driving record.

The number of points differs depending on the particular violation—the more serious the violation, the more points the DMV assesses. Basically, each state that has a point system (a handful of states don’t have point systems) has a list of the point values that correspond to different traffic violations.

Number of Points for Speeding Tickets

The number of points you’ll receive for a speeding ticket depends on what state you live in and how fast you were going. Generally, the number of points increases with the amount by which you exceeded the speed limit. Here are some state-specific examples:

  • Arkansas. Under Arkansas’s point system, exceeding the speed limit by ten miles per hour or less will result in three points, 11 to 20 miles per hour will result in four points, 21 to 30 miles per hour will result in five points, and 31 miles per hour or more will result in eight points.
  • Illinois. Under Illinois’s point system, exceeding the speed limit by one to ten miles per hour will result in five points, 11 to 14 miles per hour will result in 15 points, 15 to 15 miles per hour will result in 20 points, and more than 25 miles per hour will result in 50 points.
  • South Carolina. Under South Carolina’s point system, exceeding the speed limit by one to ten miles per hour will result in two points, 11 to 24 miles per hour will result in four points, and 25 miles per hour or more will result in six points.
  • Utah. Under Utah’s point system, exceeding the speed limit by ten miles per hour or less will result in 35 points, 11 to 20 miles per hour will result in 55 points, and over 20 per hour will result in 75 points.

As you can see, every state scales their point systems differently. But, for the most part, the points increase with the driver’s speed in relation to the speed limit.

The Consequences of Demerit Points

Acquiring too many points can lead to license suspension and other consequences such as having to complete a driver’s education course. However, most states will send a warning letter before the driver reaches a point total that will result in these types of consequences.

The accumulation of points can also affect a driver’s insurance rates. Insurance companies view drivers with lots of points to be a higher risk than drivers with clean records and will set rates accordingly.

Getting Points Off Your Record

In most states, demerit points expire after a certain period of time. For example, in Nevada, points expire one year after the date of conviction. And, in Florida, points for a traffic violation stay on your record for a three-year period.

Some states also allow drivers to avoid points for a violation or receive point credits for completing traffic school. But traffic school is normally an option only every so often. For instance, California allows drivers to participate in traffic school once every 18 months. Also, traffic school typically isn’t available for commercial drivers who receive a speeding ticket.

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