What is California DMV Point System

The California DMV uses the point system to calculate and keep track of a driver's risky behavior.

Points used against drivers based on the level of irresponsibility or recklessness that a driver has shown.

You will receive one or two points against your DMV records each time you have a traffic violation or conviction. Whether you receive one or two points is based on the seriousness of your traffic violation or conviction.

The following exceptions to the rule may apply if:

  • You believe that you have received the ticket in error. In that case, you still need to appear in court and defend against the ticket.  If the judge decides that the ticket was issued in error, your ticket might be dismissed, which would negate the consequences of fines and the points against your driving record.
  • You have not gone to a traffic violator school within the last 18 months due to a traffic violation and your traffic violation is not due to a serious offense.  You are more likely eligible to take an online course (or classroom course) in order to avoid having the points count against your driving record.

Below are some examples of points based on different types of violation:

One-point traffic violations:

  • Speeding over the speed limit (over 100 mph will count two points against the driving record)
  • Running a red light.
  • Not fully stopping at a stop sign
  • Getting into an accident in which you are at fault

Two-point traffic violations:

  • Driving over 100 mph
  • Reckless driving
  • DUI
  • Hit and run
  • Driving with suspended or revoked license

How long do points stay on my DMV record?
The points stay on your records for different time periods depending on the seriousness of your violation.

Here are some examples of the length of time that points stay on your record:

  • Most one-point traffic violation such as speeding, running a red light, or not fully stopping at a stop sign will remain of record for 3 years.
  • If you are involved at an accident and it is determined that you were at fault, the negative points remain of record for 3 years.
  • Most serious convictions such as DUI conviction or hit and run will remain of record for 10 years.

How will the DMV points affect me?
If you reach the number of points shown below, you are presumed to be a "prima facie" negligent operator. Under this circumstance, your driver's license will be suspended for six months, and you will have a one-year probation period:

  • Four points within 12 months
  • Six points within 24 months
  • Eight points within 36 months

If you are a teen under the provisional driver's license, there are additional consequences for traffic violation convictions or at-fault accidents.