How Points Affect Your Maryland Driver’s License
Everyone knows that traffic citations carry a fine, and most people also know that if you get enough of them, you could lose your license. But how does it work? How many points does it take to lose a license? Are there any options for getting points removed? If you’re concerned about keeping your driver’s license, here’s what you should know.
What is a Point?
The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration maintains a database that records the driving records for all who are licensed by the state. For each offense you commit, a set number of points will be assessed. If you accrue enough points, you can eventually lose your license.
What Violations Will Result in Points?
The vast majority of moving violations result in points. As you might imagine, the less serious the offense, the less points generally attached. In many cases, you will receive more points if you also cause an accident while committing the offense. Here are some examples of more common violations and the points they can carry:
- Disregarding school crossing guard
- Disregarding traffic control devices (signs, lights, etc.)
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Tailgating or following too closely
- Driving below the minimum speed limit
- Speeding between 1 and 9 MPH over the limit
- Multiple citations for running red lights or stop signs
- Passing or failing to yield to emergency vehicles
- Speeding between 10 and 19 MPH over the limit
Usually a 1-point infraction becomes a 3-point infraction if it causes an accident. But there are plenty of other ways to receive 3 points.
- Failing to report a crash
- Driving without a license
- Driving without insurance or letting someone else do so
- Excessive speeding (30 MPH above the limit)
Reckless driving of any kind will get you 6 points. This is a broad standard and is often accompanied by numerous other offenses that carry concurrent points. For instance, a DUI may also be reckless driving.
- DWI (impaired by drugs or alcohol)
- Failure to stop following an accident with damage to vehicle or property
12 Points Traffic Violations
- Using a car without permission or stealing a car
- License or registration fraud
- DUI – Drunk driving (Maryland law distinguishes DWI from DUI)
Are There Violations That Don’t Result in Points?
Yes. There are actually quite a lot of infractions that do not affect your license. Here are just a few:
- Driving with a handheld device
- Illegal stopping with inadequate visibility (near curves, hills, etc.)
- Obstructing a traffic control device (stop signs, lights, etc.)
- Leaving a pet in your car
- Not having your license on you while driving
- Giving a fake name to the police
- Driving on a suspended or revoked vehicle registration
What Happens When You Get Too Many Points?
You will get a warning letter from the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) when you accrue 3 or 4 points.
When you get to about 5 to 7 points, you’ll have to begin a driver improvement program (DIP).
8 Points will result in suspension. Hence, a DWI offense by itself is enough to trigger suspension.
If you reach 12 or more points, your license will be revoked.
Fighting Traffic Infractions and Getting Your License Back After Suspension or Revocation
It’s not easy to get your license back once it’s gone, so it’s best to fight traffic citations if you can. There are a lot of myths about how if you plead to a non-moving violation, there will be no points. Or, some people believe that your points automatically are removed once you take a driver education program. While there are programs that can help you get better insurance rates, a license is too important to trust to urban legend.
If you are facing a suspension or revocation, or you need to get your license back, contact the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A.in Maryland to schedule a consultation to review your license issues today.