If you get a traffic ticket, then you will likely have to pay the price—both literally and figuratively. You’ll probably have to pay a financial fine to settle the ticket in court. But the ticket is also akin to a legal conviction. Therefore, you’ll likely face additional sanctions — namely the addition of points to your driving record. Points are nothing to toy with. The more you get, the riskier you are to a car insurer. But, points are also fluid, and they might disappear off your record with time. Here’s a bit more information on how points work.
A Basic Overview Of The Point System
Driving license points don’t have a single definition. They exist in various forms in various places, since each state structures its driving laws differently. States that use the points system often follow a basic system similar to the following example.
If you commit a driving offense — such as accruing a speeding ticket — then a certain number of points will be added to your driving license. A point is a marker that shows a driving offense has taken place.
Different offenses will come with different points attached. For example, a DUI charge will likely come with a higher number of points than a speeding ticket. Furthermore, repetitive offenses might lead to more points for the same offense. So, your first speeding ticket might lead to one point on your license, while a second speeding ticket might lead to five points. The infractions would add up to a total of six points.
State laws on points vary considerably. In some states, once you accrue a certain number of points, you might face a license suspension. In other cases, severe offenses bypass the point system and result directly in license suspensions or heavy fines. (This is the case here in North Carolina.) And some states don’t use point systems at all.
Points usually remain on your license for a certain number of years. For minor offenses, the points might disappear after two to three years. More serious offenses might cause points to remain for a longer period of years. Some might remain on your license for more than ten years.
Points And Your Insurance
Once you receive a point on your license, it is a clear marker to your insurer that you are a higher-risk driver. Therefore, the insurer is more likely to raise your insurance premiums to cover new cost risks that you present to them.
Therefore, you should try to avoid getting points added to your license. The easiest way to do this is to practice safe driving habits consistently. It’s a simple task, but it can save you a lot of hassle.