The California DMV Point System
In this section, you will gain insight about the following.
- The way the California DMV point system works.
- Methods for getting points removed from your driver’s license.
- How to prevent your license from being suspended.
- The length of time that points remain on your license.
- Why fighting a traffic ticket is so important.
- Solutions that we provide for a restricted license when getting four points or more in one year.
Your License – Violations and Points
Point Count for California Vehicle Code (VC) Violations
|Section||Violation||Points on your license|
|VC 14601,14601a,14601b,14601.1- 14601.4||Driving while suspended/revoked||Two points|
|VC 14601.5||Driving, suspended/revoked for refusing test||One point|
|VC 14603||Violation of license restrictions||One point|
The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Point System
The DMV has a point system specific to driver’s licenses. If you receive any of the following, the California DMV will begin the process of suspending your license for six months as a negligent operator (driver with too many points):
- Getting four points in a single year
- Getting six points within a two-year period
- Getting eight points in three years
How Are Points Added?
If a police officer issues you a traffic ticket for a moving violation, one point is automatically added to your record.
According to the DMV, a moving violation consists of any violation of the law that is committed by a driver of a vehicle that is in motion. Regardless of the type of moving violation, one point is added to your license.
With non-moving violations, no points are added to your license record. Any of the following are considered “non-moving” violations:
- Parking ticket
- Fix-it-tickets regarding car equipment, such as no front plate, broken lights, and tinted windows
- Paperwork violations relating to registration or insurance
Cellphone Violation and Points
California has cracked down on laws pertaining to cellphone usage while driving. However, if you talk on a cellphone (VC 23123), no points will be added to your license nor will your insurance coverage or rates be affected. However, the California Legislature is now considering a new law whereby a second cellphone violation could count as one point.
Examples of One-Point Violations
- Running a red light
- Being an at-fault driver in an accident
- Unsafe lane change
In addition, if the California DMV discovers that you have an unresolved ticket from another state, one point will be added to your driver’s license.
Examples of Two-Point Violations
- Reckless driving
- Driving while suspended or revoked
- Driving more than 100 miles per hour
- …and more
You can see the full list of California Vehicle Code (VC) violations and the associated number of points here.
Will points show up on my record if I paid the fine?
If you are cited for a moving violation and decide to simply pay the fine, the DMV will add one point to your record. This puts you at risk for paying a higher insurance rate, and it could possibly be damaging when applying for a new job that involves driving.
If you acquire four points on your license within a 12-month period, the DMV will send you a letter of notification that your license is being suspended for six months. The reason: You acquired too many points.