Utah’s Traffic Violation Point System

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

A Utah traffic ticket will normally result in fines and possibly an insurance rate hike. However, the Utah Department of Public Safety also records most traffic violations to identify habitual violators. Each traffic violation results in a certain 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

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

Violation

Points assessed

Reckless driving

80

Failure to yield right-of-way

60

Tailgating

60

Driving on wrong side of road

60

Driving wrong way on one-way street

60

Traffic light violation

50

Stop sign violation

50

Improper passing

50

Negligent collision

50

Speeding up to 10 miles per hour over limit

35

Speeding 11 to 20 miles per hour over limit

55

Speeding over 20 miles per hour over limit

75

Other traffic violations

40

For many violations, the judge will note whether the violation was “minimized,” “intermediate,” or “maximized,” depending on the circumstances of the event. A minimized violation will reduce the point total by 10%, a maximized violation will increase the point total by 10%, and an intermediate classification will have no impact.

Consequences of Accumulating Too Many Points

Drivers who are at least 21. A driver who accumulates 150 points will be sent a warning letter by the DPS outlining the penalties of the demerit point system. Drivers who accumulate 200 points will be sent a notice ordering the driver to appear for a hearing. At the hearing, the DPS will review the driver’s record and issue a penalty depending on the number of points:

  • 200 to 299 points. Driver will be suspended or placed on driving probation for three months. Traffic violations during this time will result in suspension.
  • 300 to 399 points. Driver will be suspended for three months.
  • 400 to 599 points. Driver will be suspended for six months.
  • 600 or more points. Driver will be suspended for one year.

The suspension period will be doubled if the driver has a prior point-related suspension within the last three years.

Provisional license drivers. Drivers with provisional licenses (those who are under 21 years old) are subject to lower point thresholds but similar penalties. At 35 points, DPS will issue a warning letter. Underage drivers who accumulate 70 points must appear for a hearing. At the hearing, the administrative officer will review the driver’s record and issue one of the following consequences.

  • 70 to 139 points. Driver is placed on probation or will lose his or her license for 30 days.
  • 140 to 199 points. Driver can lose his or her license for up to 30 days.
  • 200 to 249 points. Driver will be suspended for 60 days.
  • 250 to 349 points. Driver will be suspended for 90 days.
  • 350 to 449 points. Driver will be suspended for six months.
  • 450 or more points. Driver will be suspended for one year.

A third suspension (if suspended for having under 200 points) in three years will result in a doubled suspension period. A second suspension (if suspended for having 200 or more points) in three years will also result in a doubled suspension period.

Occupational Licenses

The DPS is authorized to issue a limited license based on driver hardship. The license will permit operation to and from work or school during limited hours.

Point Removal

Expiration. All license points expire after three years from the date of the violation. The point total will also be reduced by 50% after a full year without any traffic violations and reduced 100% after two years without any violations.

After serving a license sanction, the driver’s point total will be reduced to 125 points. For drivers under 21 years old, the point total will be reduced to 35 points.

Defensive driving course. Drivers can also—once every three years—elect to complete a defensive driving course to subtract 50 points from their record. This option is available even after receiving the notice of hearing for accumulating too many points.

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