Anyone who has a driver's license should be aware of the driver's license points system for his state. Points, sometimes known as demerits, can be placed on a license for driving offenses for anything from getting stopped for moving traffic violations to hazardous driving to littering. Points can also be given after a car accident (to the party at fault, of course). And because an accumulation of points can result in increased insurance rates or even the suspension of the driver's license, it's important to keep the points balance low. Here are some tips on how to reduce the record of points on a driver's license:
- Go to court to fight a traffic violation accusation. If you have been ticketed for a minor traffic offense that you believe you did not commit, don't just concede and pay the fine. Go to court to defend yourself. Many times the ticketing police officer is counting on you not showing up. By going to court it shows that you mean business and you may be able to have the offense, the fine and the resulting points erased from your record.
- Take a traffic safety course. Many states offer traffic safety or defensive driving courses. Sometimes these courses are mandatory if a driver displays habitual careless driving habits. In addition, some states offer online defensive driving courses, which make it very easy to complete the course requirements. A successful completion of an approved Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) driving safety course may result in a reduction of some of your points. Once you complete and pass an approved traffic safety course, the DMV should be notified--and you can request a copy of your driving record to check the status of your points. Keep in mind that many states will only allow you to take a driver's safety course for points reduction once every 18 months.
- Over time, points will disappear from your record. If you are diligent about driving safely and don't allow any more points to be placed on your record, the old points will eventually be removed from your record. In some states, this can happen in as little as one year. Remember that safe driving is the only way to ensure that your record will stay clean.
- Finally, the rules and regulations regarding driver's license points vary greatly from state to state. Check with the Department of Motor Vehicles for your state for a complete listing of offenses and points that could affect your driving record and lead to increased insurance premiums and a suspended license.