What Points on Your Driver’s License Actually Mean

January 04, 2015

By Keffer Hirschauer LLP

Most people are aware that traffic violations often result in points being placed on their driver record. But, what do these points actually mean? And how many points are issued per traffic violation by the Indiana BMV?

When a driver is found to have committed a traffic violation (or pays a traffic ticket, which is the same as admitting to the violation), the BMV will automatically place points on the motorist’s driver record according to a standard administrative chart. These points will remain active on the motorist’s driver record for 24 months and will then become inactive. If a certain number of active points are accumulated by a driver in a certain period of time, the driver can be placed on BMV probation (however, there has been talk by the BMV of eliminating this), result in administrative license suspension, or require that the driver complete a BMV sanctioned defensive driving course. For example, if a motorist accumulates 18 active points within 24 months, the motorist will be required to complete a defense driver course. It is important to note that points will never be permanently removed from a motorist’s driver record, only designated as “inactive.”

Some of the most common pointable violations include:

Disregarding traffic control signal – 6 points

Child restraint violation – 8 points

Failure to Yield or Obey Stop Signs – 6 points

Failure to Yield to Emergency Vehicle – 8 points

Speeding (1-15 MPH over) – 2 points

Speeding (16-25 MPH over) – 4 points

Speeding (Over 25 MPH over) – 6 points

Wrong Way on a One-Way Road – 4 points

Following Too Closely – 6 points

Failure to Signal Turn – 2 points

Improper Passing of School Bus – 8 points

Open Container Violation – 6 points

If you have points on your license, remember that you can complete the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ driver safety program (commonly known as the Defensive Driving Course) to remove four (4) points from your license. This program is now available online. However, the program can be completed no more than once every three (3) years.

Because it is often easier to prevent points from being placed on your license than it is to undo the penalties after they have already been assigned, contact an experienced traffic law attorney before paying any traffic citation. Remember, aside from the issuance of points, certain traffic offenses have their own unique penalties.

If you have been stopped by the police for a traffic violation or have a question about your driver record, contact the attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP today. We stand ready to provide our clients with trusted representation and accurate information regarding the law and its application to them. Act now and contact us today at (317) 857-0160.