Q: How does the Virginia DMV's point system work?

A: Along with fines, jail time and license suspension, points are a way that the Virginia DMV will punish you when you're convicted of reckless driving or another serious traffic offense. Demerit points stay on your record for two years, but the actual conviction may stay on your record longer than that. If you accumulate too many points, you can lose your license and possibly see your car insurance increase as well. 12 demerit points within 12 months, or 18 demerit points within 24 months, will result in you being required to complete a driver improvement clinic. If you don't complete this course within 90 days, your license will be suspended. If you accumulate 18 points within 12 months or 24 points within 24 months, you won't have the option to take the driver improvement course - your license will be automatically suspended.

Certain common traffic violations in Virginia are punishable by demerit points. These include:

  • Speeding 1-9 MPH over the speed limit: 3 points

  • Following too closely: 4 points

  • Driving more than 20 MPH over the speed limit: 6 points

The Virginia DMV also offers safe driving points. For every full calendar year that you hold a Virginia license and have no violations or suspensions, you earn one safe driving point. You can earn up to five and use them to offset your demerit points.

If you were ticketed for reckless driving, contact Virginia attorneys Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC at 888-783-9701 for a free consultation. You can also order a free copy of Joseph Hicks' book, It's Not Just a Ticket: A Law-Abiding Citizen's Guide to DUI and Serious Traffic Offenses in Virginia.