Understand how long points stay on your license in California.
Sometimes, drivers take chances without knowing the consequences of their actions. While traveling on the roadways, violations can occur without notice. Even one simple mistake can impact your driving record for many years to come. Our driving history controls our ability to obtain the lowest insurance rates possible. California currently uses a point system to monitor and control the behavior of licensed motorists. California drivers should know and understand the point system and for how long it can impact their record.
How You Get Points
You get one to two points for tickets, violations, and accidents where you are to blame, according to the California DMV. For example, you get one point for violating a traffic signal, disobeying a traffic officer, passing illegally, or tailgating. You can receive two points for reckless driving, driving over 100 miles per hour, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For commercial drivers, they receive one and one-half times the points for the same violation as other drivers.
What Happens When You Get Points
The severity of the offense will often dictate how long a violation stays on your record. One-point violations stay on your driving record for three years. Two-point violations stay on your record for 10 years. What’s more, if you fail to appear in court, the notation will stay on your record for five years for an ordination traffic violation or for 10 years for a DUI.
When you get points on your license, the DMV will send you a letter each time. You can lose your license if you receive too many points in a certain period of time, such as four points in one year or six points in two years. You will receive warning letters when your points put you at risk of suspension.
Even if you don’t come close to losing your license, points on your record can increase your car insurance rates or cause an employer to decide against hiring you.
Drivers should practice good driving habits to avoid violations or accidents being recorded on their permanent record. One way to do this is by obeying all traffic laws, driving defensively, and following all provisional driving rules. Remember that driving distracted is dangerous and one of the most common ways to cause a violation or an accident.