Virginia DMV Point System
The state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has set the Virginia point system to rate motorists and penalize drivers with unsafe driving habits. Licensees will receive a specific number of demerit points on their driving record upon conviction of different offenses. The traffic violations resulting in infraction points in VA are grouped, depending on the amount of points assessed for each misdemeanor. Note that driver violation points will be placed against the offender’s report for out-of-state convictions as well. In addition to VA points on license history, more serious infractions may also lead to other penalties, including paying large fines. For detailed information about the DMV point system in Virginia and the ways to get points off your license, read the applicable sections below:
- Moving violations and points in Virginia
- Penalties in Virginia
- How to fix a Virginia driving record
- Disputing a Virginia moving violation charge
Moving Violations and Points in Virginia
Traffic misdemeanors and their corresponding moving violation points in Virginia are arranged in groups of three, four and six points. More severe misdemeanors, such as reckless driving or operating under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs generally include a larger number of negative points. Six Virginia reckless driving points will be assigned against your driving report if you are convicted of driving recklessly, which may include operating too fast for conditions, racing, driving on parking lots and more. You will receive the same number of DUI points provided you have been found guilty of a DUI-related offense. Other infractions and the VA penalty points attached to each are included in the following list:
- Speeding up to 9 mph above the set limit – 3 speeding ticket points.
- Speeding in excess of 20 mph or more over the posted limit – 6 points for speeding.
- Vehicular manslaughter – 6 points.
- Failure to yield right-of-way – 4 points.
- Following too closely – 4 points.
VA moving violation points will show on your report for a period of two years beginning the date of your violation. Note that convictions may remain on a driving transcript for a longer period of time, depending on their severity. For instance, if you have been caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, your conviction will stay on your driving history for 11 years.
Penalties in Virginia
Motorists in violation of road rules and regulations are generally subject to harsh Virginia traffic violation penalties, and may be required to meet specific DMV- or court-imposed criteria to avoid being further penalized. Their traffic ticket penalty in VA may not only include demerit points on their report, but also possible suspension of their driving privileges (if applicable) and mandatory completion of driver improvement clinic (if required). DUI penalties issued to drivers convicted of operating while under the influence usually result in court-imposed punishments, in addition to administrative charges. For instance, VA drunk driving penalties for motorists younger than 21 years of age convicted of operating after illegally consuming alcohol will include the following:
- A one-year license suspension
- A minimum fine in the amount of $500
- At least 50 hours of community service
DUI penalties for adult drivers and habitual offenders may be even harsher.
Note: The traffic ticket penalty in Virginia for accumulation of 18 negative points in 12 months or 24 points within 24 months is a 90-day license suspension and mandatory completion of a driver improvement clinic.
How to Fix a Virginia Driving Record
In order to clear your driving record in Virginia, thus avoiding harsh penalties due to unsafe driving habits, you will need to show good driving behavior. In general, safe driving points will be assigned for each conviction-free calendar year, which you may then utilize to offset the accrued infraction points on your report. Note that the total amount of VA safe driving points you can amass is five.
By enrolling into a state-approved driver improvement course, you may not only become eligible to earn safe points, but also to qualify for dismissal of your charges. Since the option to dismiss your citation by completing such a course usually depends on the court handling your case, contact its offices for detailed information.
Note: The completion of a Virginia driving safety course may be imposed as a mandatory DMV or court requirement following certain infractions.
Disputing a Virginia Moving Violation Charge
If you choose to fight a traffic ticket in Virginia instead of paying the set fines and surcharges, consult your summons for the exact steps. The process of contesting a speeding ticket or other citation generally requires you to enter a plea of “not guilty” to the court that is processing your summons, thus requesting a trial before a judge or jury. Since disputing a traffic ticket in VA is a rather complex procedure, consider hiring a lawyer to represent you in court and be prepared to face the penalties stemming from your violation if found guilty.