Virginia Driving School

Points and the Virginia DMV

Virginia uses a point system to rate drivers and track their driving record. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) maintains a database of drivers and their point balances.

Earning Safe Driver Points

Motorists earn safe driving points for good driving. Every day, people come to court in Virginia, without a Virginia lawyer, plead guilty to an offense and then ask the judge not to assess points for the offense. They are then disappointed to learn that the Virginia courts are not involved in the assessment of points. In Virginia, it is an administrative consequence which happens at the DMV and flows from the fact of the conviction.

Earning Demerit Points

The DMV adds demerit points to your record if you are convicted of a moving violation. The number of points depends on the severity of the violation. In Virginia, moving violations are classified as either three point violations, four point violations or six point violations.

Virginia Point System

How It Works

A motorist starts with a clean slate: 0 points. A safe driving point is added for every calendar year that a motorist holds a valid Virginia license and does not incur any moving violations or suspensions. The point balance is +1 after the first year. It goes to +2 the second year when a motorist continues driving without incident. A maximum of five safe driver points can be earned. A +5 point balance is as good as you can have in Virginia.

For example, assume a motorist received a Virginia license and drove for three calendar years without any violations or suspensions. The motorist's point balance would be +3 on the Virginia driving record. However, assume the motorist was then convicted of a Speeding offense which carries four demerit points in Virginia. The motorist's point balance would then fall to -1 on the Virginia driving record. If the motorist were then convicted of a Reckless Driving offense which carries six demerit points in Virginia, the point balance reflected on the Virginia driving record would fall to -7.

points process

How Long Do Points Stay On My Record?

Demerit points remain on your record for two years from the date the offense was committed.

People often confuse the date on which demerit points are removed from a Virginia DMV record with the date on which the convictions are removed from a Virginia DMV record. Demerit points will be removed from the Virginia DMV record 2 years from the date of the offense, but the length of time the conviction will remain on the Virginia driving record depends on the specific offense, and could be as short as three years or as long as permanently.

points timeline

How Many Points are Too Many?

In short, twelve demerit points in twelve months is too many for drivers eighteen years old and older. Another threshold is eighteen demerit points in twenty-four months. Either one of these events will cause the DMV to take notice. The thresholds are even tighter for drivers less than eighteen years old. In this case, nine points in twelve months is too many as well as twelve points in two years.

What Happens if I Get Too Many Points?

The DMV will send you a letter that directs you to attend a driver improvement clinic. You can choose any clinic that is approved by the DMV. In extreme cases the DMV may suspend your license as well.

How Do I Get Rid of Points?

It is simple. Drive safely. You earn a safe driver point for every year you drive without a traffic violation. You can attend a driver improvement class to earn a maximum of 5 safe driver points. Sign up for our driver improvement course by clicking Register below!