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State-by-state Guide to Removing Points From Your Driver’s License


So you’ve gotten a traffic ticket or two, and now the points against your driver’s license are following you around and causing minor inconvenience or even major problems in your life. Having points against your license can lead to insurance rate increases, or even loss of your driver’s license. In some cases, you may even be denied employment as a result of your bad driving record.

But for many drivers, there are things you can do to help. Not every state allows for reduction or removal of points from your driving record, but some do. If you’re fortunate enough to live in a state that has a point reduction program, you would be wise to invest the time doing what it takes to restore your clean driving record, and avoid the pitfalls of living with points on your license.

Each state has different laws and regulations regarding the assessment of points against a driver’s license. Select your state to find out if you are eligible for a point reduction program, and to learn what steps you can take to get your driving record back in shape.

Alabama



The state of Alabama does not currently have a point reduction program. Two years after a traffic conviction, the point count for that conviction will no longer count towards suspension purposes, but the points will still remain on your record.



Alaska



If you hold an Alaska driver’s license, you may be eligible for the Alaska Point Reduction program. The program allows you to have 2 negative points removed from your license by attending and completing an approved defensive driving course. Any Alaska driver can take a defensive driving course for point reduction once every 12 months. When you successfully complete the course, the course provider will notify the DMV of your completion, and the DMV will then deduct 2 points from your accumulated driver’s license points.



Arizona



The state of Arizona does not currently have a point reduction program. If you are convicted of a moving traffic violation, or forfeit bail, points will be assessed against your permanent driving record. If you have received a traffic ticket, but have not yet been convicted, you may be eligible to take a defensive driving course and avoid having the points assessed against your license altogether.



Arkansas



The state of Arkansas does not currently have a point reduction program. Points assessed against your driver’s license remain accessible by insurance companies for 3 years. Employers will be able to view points on your driving record for an even longer period of time, which varies depending on the severity of the violation(s).



California



The state of California does not currently have a point reduction program. Points will remain on your driving record for 36 months or longer, depending on the type of violation. California license holders who have received a violation but have not yet been convicted may opt to attend traffic school in order to have the points “masked” from insurance companies, assuming they have not already done so within the previous 18 months.



Colorado



The state of Colorado does not currently have a point reduction program. If your license is suspended due to excessive points on your driving record, the length of the suspension may be reduced if the Hearing Officer is able to see evidence of a change in prior bad driving habits.



Connecticut



The state of Connecticut does not currently have a point reduction program. Points will remain on your driving record for 24 months from the date that they were assessed.



Delaware



Delaware driver’s license holders have the option to take a defensive driving course in order to receive a 3-point credit to their driving record. This credit is applied to a driver's point total after the satisfactory completion of an approved defensive driving course, and it remains valid for three years. After three years, Delaware drivers may take an additional "refresher" course in order to maintain the 3-point credit to their driving record.



District of Columbia



If you hold a Washington, DC driver’s license and have received a moving violation, you may be eligible to attend a DMV approved online defensive driving course in order to remove the points from your record. Before taking the course, you must have prior approval from a DC DMV Hearing Examiner.



Florida



The state of Florida does not currently have a point reduction program. Florida drivers who have received a violation but have not yet been convicted may elect to attend a driver improvement school in order to avoid having points assessed to their driving record for that particular violation.



Georgia



Georgia driver’s license holders may request that the Department of Driver Services reduce the number of points assessed against their driving record, up to 7 points once every 5 years. In order to receive a point reduction, you must successfully complete an approved driver improvement course and present your certificate of completion to the Georgia DDS.



Hawaii



The cumulative point system for tracking traffic violations has been removed by the Hawaii state legislature. Although Hawaii drivers are no longer assessed points for traffic violations, convictions are still recorded to the driver’s traffic abstract, and can still result in both fines and/or suspension of driving privileges.



Idaho



Once every 3 years, Idaho drivers may reduce their point total by three points if they complete an approved defensive driving course. In order to avoid an impending driver’s license suspension for point accumulation, the course must be taken and completed prior to when the suspension takes place.



Illinois



The state of Illinois does not currently have a point reduction program. Points from traffic violations will generally remain on your driving record for 4 - 5 years.



Indiana



Indiana driver’s license holders may elect to take a Driver Safety Program course in order to receive a 4-point credit to their driving record. This credit may be applied once every three years. If you take an additional DSP course within the three year timeframe, the time period for the credit will be extended to three years from the date you completed the additional course.



Iowa



The state of Iowa does not currently have a point reduction program. Points from traffic violations will remain on your driving record for 12 months.



Kansas



The Kansas DMV does not use a point system to track traffic violations, but they do maintain a record of past convictions on your driving history. Serious and/or repeated violations can lead to license revocation or suspension. If your driving record is the cause of insurance rate increases, you may want to take a traffic school course in order to be eligible for an insurance discount.



Kentucky



The state of Kentucky does not currently have a point reduction program. Points will remain on your driving record for 2 years from the date of the conviction, but the conviction entry will remain on your record for 5 years. Kentucky license holders who have received a violation but have not yet been convicted may opt to attend traffic school in order to avoid having points assessed to their record, assuming they have received a referral from the district court where the violation occurred, and that they have not already taken traffic school within the previous 12 months.



Louisiana



The Louisiana OMV does not use a point system to track traffic violations, but they do maintain a record of past convictions on your driving history. Serious and/or repeated violations can lead to license revocation or suspension. If your driving record is the cause of insurance rate increases, you may want to take a driver improvement course in order to be eligible for an insurance discount.



Maine



Maine driver’s license holders who complete a Driving Dynamics course will get a 3-point credit applied to their driving record. The course may be taken only once every 365 days.



Maryland



The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration will automatically expunge your driving record (meaning they will remove points and violations) 3 years after your conviction, if you meet the following criteria:

  • You haven’t been convicted of another moving violation or criminal offense involving a vehicle within the previous 3 years
  • Your driver’s license has not ever been revoked or suspended
  • You have never been convicted of:
    • Failing to remain at the scene of a fatal or injury accident
    • DUI
    • A violation identical or substantially similar to the above

If you do not meet the above criteria, you may still request that the MVA manually expunge your record, depending on the type of violation you committed.



Massachusetts



The state of Massachusetts does not currently have a point reduction program. Points from traffic violations will be a factor in determining your auto insurance rates for 6 years from the time they were assessed.



Michigan



The state of Michigan does not currently have a point reduction program. Points from traffic violations will remain on your driving record for 2 years from the date of the conviction. Michigan license holders who have received a violation but have not yet been convicted may be eligible to attend a basic driver improvement course in order to have the points hidden from insurance companies. If you are eligible to attend basic driver improvement, you will be notified by the MI Secretary of State.



Minnesota



The Minnesota DVS does not use a point system to track traffic violations, but they do maintain a record of past convictions on your driving history. Serious and/or repeated violations can lead to license revocation or suspension. If you are 55 years or older, and your driving record is the cause of insurance rate increases, you may want to take a driver improvement course in order to be eligible for an insurance discount.



Mississippi



The Mississippi DPS does not use a point system to track traffic violations, but they do maintain a record of past convictions on your driving history. Serious and/or repeated violations can lead to license revocation or suspension.



Missouri



The state of Missouri does not currently have a point reduction program, but the Missouri DPS will automatically reduce the amount of points on your driving record for every year that you drive without getting new points on your record. The first year they will reduce your accumulated points by one-third, the second year they will reduce the remaining points by half, and the third year they will reduce your points to zero.



Montana



The state of Montana does not currently have a point reduction program. Points from traffic violation convictions will remain on your driving record for 3 years from the date of the conviction. After 3 years, although the points will be removed, the conviction will remain on your permanent driving record. While convictions older than 3 years may not affect insurance rates, convictions for second or subsequent DUI will affect your record for five years between the date of the prior offense and the most recent offense.



Nebraska



The state of Nebraska does not currently have a point reduction program. Points from traffic violations will remain on your driving record for 5 years.



Nevada



Nevada driver’s license holders who have 3 or more points but less than 12 points on their driving record may attend Traffic School to receive a 3 point credit on their driving record. Drivers may not take the 3-point credit Traffic School course at the same time that they have traffic violations pending.



New Hampshire



New Hampshire drivers who have accumulated 3 or more points on their driving record may attend a Driver Improvement course in order to have 3 points removed from their record. The course must be taken in-person (online courses are not allowed) in the State of New Hampshire. If you do not elect to attend a Driver Improvement course, points from traffic violations will remain on your driving record for 3 years.



New Jersey



Once every 5 years, New Jersey driver’s license holders may reduce their point total by 2 points if they complete an approved Defensive Driving course.



New Mexico



The state of New Mexico does not currently have a point reduction program. If your driver’s license is suspended due to excessive point accumulation, you may be required to take a Driver Improvement course in order to reinstate your license.



New York



New York driver’s license holders may reduce their point total by 4 points once every 18 months, by completing an approved Defensive Driving course. There are a few restrictions to the point reduction program, including:

  • The point reduction will only apply to points assessed for violations that occurred within the last 18 months (prior to the course completion date). Points for earlier violations will not be removed.
  • Point reduction cannot be used as “credit” toward future violation points.
  • Your total point count will not be reduced below zero.
  • If your license has already been revoked or suspended, point reduction will not affect that action.
  • Point reduction will not cancel or prevent a mandatory suspension or revocation for violations such as DWI, DWAI, or 3 speeding violations within 18 months.


North Carolina



North Carolina drivers who accumulate 7 points against their driver’s license may be assigned to a Driver Improvement Clinic by a judge or driver license hearing officer. After successfully completing the clinic, 3 points will be deducted from the driving record. In order to receive the point credit, you must qualify and have a conference with a driver license hearing officer.



North Dakota



Once every 12 months, North Dakota license holders may have 3 points removed from their driving record by completing an approved Traffic School course. Completion of this course only reduces points already on the driving record - "credit" will not be applied to future violations.



Ohio



If you have between 2 - 12 points on your Ohio driver’s license, you may be eligible to complete a Remedial Driving Course in order to receive a 2-point credit. Completing the course does not remove points from your driving record, but can be used as a cushion against future traffic convictions.



Oklahoma



Oklahoma drivers may receive a 2-point credit to their driving record after completing an approved Defensive Driving course. The course may be taken once every 24 months. The points will automatically be reduced by 2 if a driver goes 12 consecutive months without any traffic convictions that carry points. If a driver goes 3 consecutive years without being convicted of any pointable violation, the points on the driving record will be reduced to zero.



Oregon



The Oregon DMV does not use a point system to track traffic violations, but they do maintain a record of past convictions on your driving history. Serious and/or repeated violations can lead to license revocation or suspension.



Pennsylvania



The state of Pennsylvania does not currently allow point removal for completion of a Driver Improvement course. 3 points will be removed from a driving record for each 12 consecutive months in which a person’s license is not suspended or revoked and they have not committed any violation which results in points, suspension, or revocation. Once a driving record is reduced to zero points and remains at zero points for 12 consecutive months, any further accumulation of points will be regarded as the first accumulation of points.



Rhode Island



The Rhode Island DMV does not use a point system to track traffic violations, but they do maintain a record of past convictions on your driving history. Serious and/or repeated violations can lead to license revocation or suspension. If your driving record is the cause of insurance rate increases, you may want to take a Defensive Driving course in order to be eligible for an insurance discount.



South Carolina



Any South Carolina driver who has had points assessed against their license may take a Driver Training course in order to have their total point count reduced by 4 points. The course is 8 hours long and must be taken in person, in the state of South Carolina. Drivers are eligible for the 4-point reduction course once every 3 years.



South Dakota



The South Dakota DPS does not currently have a point reduction program.



Tennessee



The state of Tennessee does not currently have a point reduction program. If you accumulate 12 or more points within a 12-month period, you will be sent a notice of proposed suspension and given an opportunity to attend an administrative hearing. In most cases, when a driver requests a hearing, they are given the opportunity to attend a Defensive Driving class in lieu of suspension, or for a reduction in the length of the suspension.



Texas



The state of Texas does not currently have a point reduction program. If your driving record is the cause of insurance rate increases, you may want to take a Defensive Driving course in order to be eligible for an insurance discount.



Utah



Utah drivers may have 50 points deleted from their driving record by completing an approved Driver Improvement course. The course may be taken for a point reduction once every three years. You can also improve your driving record over time by driving safely. After one full year without any traffic violation convictions, the number of points on your record will be reduced by half, and after two years without a conviction the points will be deleted entirely.



Vermont



The Vermont DMV does not currently have a point reduction program. If you accumulate 10 points or more within 2 years, you license will be suspended.



Virginia



Once every 24 months, Virginia license holders may voluntarily attend a DMV approved Driver Improvement Clinic in order to receive 5 safe driving points added to their driving record.



Washington



The Washington DOL does not use a point system to track traffic violations, but they do maintain a record of past convictions on your driving record. Serious and/or repeated violations can lead to license revocation or suspension.



West Virginia



Once every 12 months, West Virginia drivers may voluntarily attend a DMV approved Defensive Driving course in order to remove 3 points from their driving record. The course must be taken in person; online courses are not permitted. The point reduction only applies to points already on the driving record, and cannot be applied as a “credit” toward future traffic convictions.



Wisconsin



Wisconsin driver’s license holders may reduce their point total by 3 points by completing an approved Traffic Safety course. The course may be taken for point reduction only once every 3 years.



Wyoming



The Wyoming DOT does not use a point system to track traffic violations, but they do maintain a record of past convictions on your driving record. Serious and/or repeated violations can lead to license revocation or suspension.



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