Understanding the Points on your License in Indiana
Have you ever been pulled over for a traffic or boating violation? The likely answer is, yes. Almost everyone has at least gotten one or two traffic tickets over the course of their driving career. Whenever this happens and you’re convicted of the violation, you accumulate points on your license in Indiana. The Indiana Driver’s License Point System is maintained by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles to track your moving violations. This system provides both the Bureau and Indiana law enforcement with a simple way to understand your driving record and provide uniform penalties based on past violations.
If you’d like to better understand the points on your license in Indiana, the following sections will address everything you need to know; from violation point values to penalty levels, and how often your points “reset.” However, if you find yourself facing a suspension or already have been suspended, it’s critical that you speak with an Indiana Driver’s License Suspension and Reinstatement attorney as soon as possible. At Keffer Hirschauer LLP, our Indiana lawyers have a thorough understanding of how the BMV system works, and the steps you need to take to protect your driving privileges. Contact us today at (317) 751-7186 or schedule a free consultation so that our team can review the circumstances of your suspension, and help you get you back behind the wheel.
* The information in this post is not intended as a substitute for professional legal advice or to solicit representation; nor does it form an attorney-client relationship. If you are facing a driver’s license suspension in Indiana, want to learn more about the Indiana driver’s license point system, or seek representation, please contact Keffer Hirschauer LLP for a free and confidential consultation at (317) 751-7186.
What is the Indiana Driver’s License Point System?
The Indiana driver’s license points system is a record of moving violations that one has accumulated within a ten-year period. Each violation is assigned a point value and the accumulation of points on your license in Indiana determines how the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles shall penalize an offender based on their driving history. The complete list of Indiana Traffic Violations that lead to points on your license contains over 120 offenses, but several examples and their point values include:
- Speeding in a boat: 2 points
- Failure to signal when required, improper signal: 2 points
- Traveling 16-25 MPH over the speed limit: 4 points
- Failure to yield to a moving emergency vehicle: 4 points
- Improper U-Turn: 4 points
- Traveling more than 25 MPH over the speed limit: 6 points
- Reckless Driving: 6 points
- Traveling more than 25 MPH over the speed limit in a school zone: 8 points
- Driving while license or driving privileges are suspended or revoked: 8 points
- Reckless driving with bodily injury: 10 points
- Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter with a vehicle: 10 Points
How Many Points Can You Have Before Getting a Penalty?
As outlined in Indiana Administrative Code 1-4.5-4-(b), the BMV limits Indiana drivers to 20 points, after applying any credits awarded from the completion of a driver’s safety program, within a twenty-four-month period. Once a driver reaches that 20-point limit, an administrative hearing is set and an automatic suspension is placed upon the driver, based on their total accumulation of Indiana driver’s license points. In addition to the limit of 20 points within 24 months, the BMV may also set an administrative hearing for drivers who have three moving violations within a 12-month period.
Indiana Driver’s License Points and Suspension Times:
- 14-18 points: Warning notice from the bureau to the driver
- 20 points: One-month suspension
- 22 points: Two-month suspension
- 24 points: Three-month suspension
- 26 points: Four-month suspension
- 28 points: Five-month suspension
- 30 points: Six-month suspension
- 32 points: Seven-month suspension
- 34 points: Eight-month suspension
- 36 points: Nine-month suspension
- 38 points: Ten-month suspension
- 40 points: Eleven-month suspension
- 42+ points: Twelve-month suspension
Even if you have accumulated 20+ points on your license, you don’t have to resign yourself to having your license suspended. If an administrative hearing has been set, you can use this as an opportunity to have an experienced Indiana driver’s license attorney from Keffer Hirschauer LLP argue down your violations or petition for specialized driving privileges.
How Long Do Points Stay on Your License?
Points on your license in Indiana are only active for two years; however, the conviction remains on the license for ten years. While this doesn’t affect your status within the Indiana Driver’s license point system, it can have an impact on your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) or lead to higher insurance rates. To avoid accumulating enough points to warrant a penalty from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, or to dampen the negative impact of your past moving violations, you can pursue a deferral program.
Deferral programs allow individuals to have a violation and the accompanying points removed from their driving records. The specific requirements for these programs are determined by each individual county, but generally, they all require you to apply for the deferral program within a certain number of days following the infraction, pay a fine, and abstain from future moving violations and/or criminal involvement for a certain period of time. Upon completion of the deferral program and its requirements, those points on your license in Indiana will no longer count against your limit of 20 points within a period of 24 months.
It’s important to note that deferral programs are often only available for certain infractions (such as lesser speeding citations, or simple equipment, parking, or vehicular light violations) and that eligibility differs county-to-county. In certain counties, like Marion County, you’ll have to call the prosecutor’s office directly to figure out if you’re eligible. Other counties in Indiana, however, provide information about deferral program eligibility online, such as these below:
- Fishers Deferral Program
- Hamilton County Traffic Infraction Deferral Program
- Hendricks County Traffic Infraction Deferral Program
- Johnson County Infraction Deferral Program
- Noblesville Deferral Program
- Tippecanoe County Traffic Infraction Deferral Program
How Do I Check My Points?
The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles provides Hoosiers with the ability to check their viewable driver’s record, free of charge, on the BMV website.
However, if you’d like to obtain your official driver’s record, you will need to purchase it directly from the BMV website for $4. Your official driver’s record is a certified copy of your record, accompanied by a BMV letter of certification, which may be required by employers or school admissions offices.
When viewing your driver’s record, you’ll notice general information about yourself, including your name, address, birth date, and gender. You’ll also see your driver’s license number, license type, expiration date, and the current number of points on your license in Indiana. Most of your driver’s record will be straightforward; however, some people can be confused by their “Driver’s License Status.” See the list below for each status’ definition.
Indiana Driver’s License Statuses
- Canceled: Driver’s license has been canceled by the BMV
- Conditional: Driver has restricted driving privileges
- Fraudulent: Driving privileges are invalid; the license was obtained fraudulently
- Habitual Traffic Violator: Driving privileges suspended as a habitual traffic violator
- Habitual Traffic Violator – Life: Driving privileges forfeited for life as a habitual traffic violator
- Invalid – Revoked: Driver has no driving privileges (ex: a minor who has had an individual sign the minor’s license or permit application and then later requests to be relieved from liability)
- Suspended – Infraction: Driving privileges suspended
- Suspended – Misdemeanor: Driving privileges suspended
- Suspended – Prior: Driving privileges suspended, and the driver has been convicted of Driving While Suspended within the previous ten years
- Unlicensed: Driver has a record with the BMV, but has not been licensed in Indiana
- Valid: Driver has, or is eligible to apply for, full driving privileges
- BMV Probation: This can appear alone or in combination with any other DL status; the driver has been placed on administrative probation by the BMV
Indiana CDL Driver’s License (CDL) Statuses
- Disqualified: Commercial driving privileges are disqualified
- None: Driver has no privileges to operate a commercial motor vehicle
- Pending Transfer: Driver has commercial driving privileges, which are being transferred to a new state of record
- Retest: Commercial driving privileges are eligible pending a required retest
- Transferred: Commercial driving privileges, which are being transferred to a new state of record
- Valid: Driver has, or is eligible to apply for, privileges to operate a commercial motor vehicle within a specified class
- Voluntary Surrender: Driver has no privileges to operate a commercial motor vehicle because driver has voluntarily surrendered commercial driving privileges
Facing an Indiana Driver’s License Suspension?
If you’re facing a possible Indiana driver’s license suspension or you need help getting your license reinstated after a suspension, you should not hesitate to consult with a competent attorney. The Indianapolis lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP are fully knowledgeable of how the BMV system works, the Indiana driver’s license point system, and what steps need to be taken to help you protect your driving privileges. We are prepared to stand by you during these hearings, speak emphatically on your behalf, and ensure that every avenue toward retaining your ability to drive is explored. Need an advocate? Call Keffer Hirschauer LLP today at (317) 751-7186 or schedule a free consultation online.