Per the rules of the driver point system in Washington DC, motorists accrue demerit points on their driving records when they are convicted of a traffic violation or they admit their guilt by paying the fine. Drivers who accumulate a certain amount of penalty points within a specific time period will be penalized by the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) with a license suspension or revocation.

Note that the type and severity of the DC traffic ticket penalty and the number of infraction points you accumulate will vary based on the seriousness of the committed violation. Review the rules of the Washington DC point system and the ways to get points off your license by reading the following sections:

  • Moving violations and points in Washington DC
  • Penalties in Washington DC
  • How to fix a driving record in Washington DC
  • Disputing a moving violation charge in Washington DC

Moving Violations and Points in Washington DC

When assigning moving violation points in Washington DC, the DMV follows the rules of its official demerit point schedule. While minor offenses generally result in a small amount of penalty points, major moving violations may even result in an immediate driving license revocation. For example, since the DMV assigns 12 DUI points in DC to drivers who operate their vehicles while intoxicated, it will immediately revoke their driving credentials as well.

Review several types of offenses and their corresponding infraction point penalties within Washington DC in the following list:

  • Following another motor vehicle too closely: 2 points.
  • Failure to comply with the seatbelt law: 3 points.
  • Speeding 16 to 20 mph over the posted limit: 4 speeding ticket points.
  • Failure to yield right-of-way to a pedestrian: 5 points.
  • Operating a motor vehicle in a reckless manner: 6 reckless driving points.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident that did not result in any personal injuries: 8 car accident points.

Note: The number of demerit points for speeding-related offenses that can be accumulated varies based on how many miles per hour over the posted limit the driver was travelling when he or she violated the Washington DC speeding laws.

If you accrue 10 to 11 drivers license points in Washington DC within a 24-month period, your license will be suspended for 90 consecutive days. However, if you accumulate 12 or more traffic violation points within the same time period, your driving privileges will be revoked. In such cases, you will be able to undergo the license reinstatement procedure only after completing a revocation period of at least six months.

Penalties in Washington DC

Convictions of traffic violations may result in traffic ticket penalties in Washington DC issued by both the Department of Motor Vehicles and the presiding courts. While drivers generally accumulate DC demerit points and incur a traffic ticket fine for both minor and major violations, only motorists who commit a severe offense will be subject to court-imposed sanctions.

For example, in addition to the DMV traffic ticket penalty in the form of a license revocation, drivers who commit an alcohol- or drug-related offense are also subject to certain court-set DUI or DWI penalties.

The severity of the DC impaired driving penalties generally varies based on the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level, his or her age and the number of similar offenses already recorded on his or her driving record. The following list outlines several types of criminal drunk driving penalties that are typically administered in DUI or DWI cases:

  • Administrative license revocations of varying length.
  • Steep traffic ticket fines.
  • Jail sentences of specific length.
  • Mandatory imprisonment of several days that cannot be deferred.

Note: Drivers are also subject to the penalties detailed above if they were convicted of refusing to undergo an alcohol chemical test.

How to Fix a Driving Record in Washington DC

If you are seeking for ways to get points off your license in Washington DC, you can complete the task by enrolling in a DMV-accepted defensive driving course after receiving a traffic citation. The option to reduce license points by completing a DC online driving school course is generally granted to drivers who start the process to contest a ticket within the state in person or by mail.

The hearing examiner will render a decision regarding your eligibility to clean your driving record with a certificate of completion of a driving safety course once he or she receives your hearing request. Note that you will be able to take the DC point reduction course only after paying the traffic fine associated with your ticket. The demerit points will be masked from your driver’s record after successful completion of the course.

Disputing a Moving Violation Charge in Washington DC

Contesting a speeding ticket in Washington DC or another type of citation is a process that can be initiated by submitting a plea of “not guilty” to the DMV Adjudication Services Office in person, by mail, by phone or via the internet. If you do not inform the DMV of your decision to fight a traffic ticket within 30 days of receiving it, you will be required to pay a double fine.

You can start preparing for the procedure of appealing a traffic ticket in DC once the DMV Adjudication Services Office schedules your hearing date. When presenting a traffic ticket defense in front of the DMV examiner, drivers will be granted an opportunity to testify and submit any evidence that supports their case. Motorists who fail to successfully dispute a speeding ticket or another type of citation will be required to pay the traffic ticket penalty fine and the conviction will be entered on their driving transcripts.

You may be able to complete the process of disputing a traffic ticket in DC by mail as well. If eligible to contest traffic tickets via this method, fill out the citation and mail it to the DMV Adjudication Services Office along with a written statement and any relevant evidence. Within several months of receiving your mail-in package, the department will inform you of its decision.

Note: The details of the procedure to fight a traffic ticket in DC outlined above relate to minor moving violations. Drivers who would like to contest a ticket issued as a result of a major moving violation will be required to contact the DC Superior Court.

Last updated on Friday, March 15 2019.

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