June 3, 2022

The Points System in Virginia

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles utilizes a point system to rate drivers.

A driver will receive demerit points for unsafe driving and safe driving points for good driving. Demerit points stay on the driver’s record for two years from the date the driver commits the offense. The length of time that a conviction stays on the driver’s record depends on the severity of the violation.

One safe driving point is added each full calendar year that a driver holds a valid Virginia driver’s license and drives without any violations or suspensions. A driver can accumulate up to five safe driving points. Safe driving points are awarded in early April of each year.

Demerit points are assigned when a driver is convicted of a traffic violation. Demerit points range from three to six points. The following list groups traffic violations that warrant demerit points. The years in the parentheses indicate the number of years the conviction stays on the driver’s DMV record.



Three Point Violations:

Speeding:

  • Speeding 1-9 mph above the posted speed limit (5 years)
  • Impeding traffic, slow speed (5 years)

Passing/Driving:

  • Improper passing (3 years)
  • Improper passing on the right (3 years)
  • Improper driving (3 years)
  • Improper stopping on highway (3 years)
  • Changing course after signaling (3 years)
  • Coasting with gears in neutral (3 years)
  • Failure to give way in favor of overtaking vehicle (3 years)
  • Failure to give way when abreast of another car (3 years)
  • Driving through safety zone (3 years)
  • Driving over fire hose (3 years)
  • Unauthorized use of crossover on controlled highway (3 years)
  • Driving/riding on sidewalk (3 years)

Turning/Backing:

  • Improper turn (3 years)
  • Improper U-turn (3 years)
  • Violation of right turn on red (3 years)
  • Violation of left turn on red (3 years)

Signs/Signals:

  • Failure to obey highway sign (3 years)
  • Evading traffic control device (3 years)

Lights:

  • Driving without lights/excessive lights (3 years)
  • Failure to dim headlights (3 years)
  • Parking without proper lights displayed (3 years)
  • Inadequate hazard lights (3 years)

Licenses/Permits:

  • No Virginia driver’s license (3 years)
  • No Virginia license plate (3 years)
  • Failure to obtain a driver’s license (3 years)
  • No driver’s license – vehicle/motorcycle (3 years)
  • Failure to have license revalidated (3 years)
  • Learner’s permit violation (3 years)
  • Permitting unlicensed person to drive (3 years)
  • Driving in violation of restricted license (restrictions related to physical limitation, such as mechanical control device) (3 years)

Commercial Motor Vehicles:

  • Driving commercial motor vehicle with alcohol in blood (*)
  • Driving commercial motor vehicle without license (3 years)
  • Driving commercial motor vehicle with more than 1 driver’s license (3 years)
  • Driving commercial motor vehicle without endorsement(s) (3 years)
  • Driving commercial motor vehicle without license in possession (3 years)
  • Commercial driver’s license/commercial learner’s permit violation (3 years)
  • Driving commercial motor vehicle in left lane of interstate (3 years)
  • Driving in excess of 13 hours in a 24-hour period (3 years)
  • Driving public passenger-carrying vehicle under age (3 years)
  • Driving bus transporting school children without a safety belt (3 years)
  • Driving school bus without license (3 years)
  • Driving school bus under age (3 years)
  • Vehicle height exceeds limit for tunnels (3 years)
  • Texting while driving in a commercial motor vehicle (5 years)

Other Violations:

  • Failure to stop at the scene of a crash, unattended property (3 years)
  • Failure to leave the scene of a crash at the direction of officer (3 years)
  • Failure to report a crash, unattended property, less than $250 damage (3 years)
  • Following/parking within 500 feet of fire apparatus (3 years)
  • Emergency vehicle violation (3 years)
  • Drinking while driving (3 years)
  • Improper driving/riding motorcycle (3 years)
  • Driving with TV screen visible to driver (3 years)
  • Driving while using earphones (3 years)
  • Passenger restriction violation (3 years)
  • Curfew violation (3 years)
  • HOV violation, second or subsequent offense – Northern Virginia planning district 8 (5 years)
  • Use of Handheld Communications Device (3 years)

Four Point Violations:

Reckless Driving/Speeding:

  • Reckless driving – failure to stop before entering a highway (11 years)
  • Speeding (5 years)
  • Speeding 10-14 mph above the posted speed limit (5 years)
  • Speeding 15-19 mph above the posted speed limit (5 years)
  • Speeding 10-19 mph above the posted speed limit (5 years)

Passing:

  • Passing when unsafe (3 years)
  • Passing to the left of approaching vehicle (3 years)

Stopping/Yielding:

  • Failure to drive to the right and stop for police/fire/emergency vehicle (3 years)
  • Failure to stop for pedestrian (3 years)
  • Failure to stop and yield right-of-way (3 years)
  • Failure to yield right-of-way (3 years)
  • Failure to yield when turning left (3 years)
  • Failure to yield to funeral procession (3 years)

Keeping to the Right:

  • Failure to drive on right half of highway or street (3 years)
  • Failure to keep to the right when crossing an intersection (3 years)
  • Driving to the left of rotary traffic island (3 years)

Following/Signaling:

  • Following too closely (3 years)
  • Failure to signal before moving from curb (3 years)
  • Improper signal (3 years)

Railroad Crossings:

  • Failure to obey railroad crossing signal (3 years)
  • Failure to stop at railroad grade crossing (3 years)
  • Failure to keep to the right at a railroad crossing (3 years)
  • Failure to stop passenger-carrying vehicle at railroad grade crossing (3 years)
  • Railroad crossing/stopping (3 years)
  • Improper operation of crawler-type tractor over railroad crossing (3 years)

Railroad Crossings (Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers):

  • Failure to slow down/stop at a railroad crossing (*)
  • Failure to have sufficient space to drive through a railroad crossing (*)
  • Failure to obey traffic control device or enforcement official at a railroad crossing (*)
  • Failure to have sufficient undercarriage clearance at a railroad crossing (*)

Other Violations:

  • Operating a motor vehicle while suspended/revoked/restricted with a blood alcohol content of .02% or more (11 years)
  • Failure to stop at the scene of a crash, unattended property, damage in excess of $500 (11 years)
  • Passing stopped school bus (non-reckless) (3 years)
  • Failure to stop at the scene of a crash, property damage (3 years)
  • Emergency vehicle violation – property damage (5 years)
  • Emergency vehicle violation – injury (5 years)
  • Aggressive driving (5 years)
  • Failure to obey traffic signal (3 years)
  • Failure to obey lane directional signal (3 years)
  • Failure to obey highway lane markings (3 years)
  • Improper backing, stopping or turning (3 years)
  • Driving the wrong way on one-way highway or street (3 years)
  • Impeding/disrupting funeral procession (3 years)
  • Disregarding police officer’s signal to stop (3 years)
  • Disregarding crossing guard/officer’s signal (3 years)
  • Vulnerable Road User (5 years)

Six Point Violations:

Reckless Driving (Felony or Misdemeanor):

  • Reckless driving – speeding in excess of 85 mph (11 years)
  • Reckless driving – speeding 20 mph or more above the posted speed limit (11 years)
  • Reckless driving – racing (11 years)
  • Reckless driving – passing or overtaking an emergency vehicle (11 years)
  • Reckless driving – passing a school bus (11 years)
  • Reckless driving – passing on the crest of a hill (11 years)
  • Reckless driving – passing at a railroad crossing (11 years)
  • Reckless driving – passing two vehicles abreast (11 years)
  • Reckless driving – driving two vehicles abreast (11 years)
  • Reckless driving – driving too fast for conditions (11 years)
  • Reckless driving – failing to give a proper signal (11 years)
  • Reckless driving – faulty brakes/improper control (11 years)
  • Reckless driving – on parking lots, etc. (11 years)
  • Reckless driving – with an obstructed view (11 years)
  • Reckless driving – generally (11 years)
  • Speeding 20 mph or more above the posted speed limit (5 years)

Driving Under the Influence:

  • Driving while intoxicated (11 years)
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (11 years)
  • Driving under the influence of drugs (11 years)
  • Driving after illegally consuming alcohol (persons under age 21) (3 years)
  • Driving while intoxicated – maiming (11 years)
  • Involuntary manslaughter/alcohol (11 years)
  • Refusing blood/breath test (11 years)
  • Driving while your license is suspended or revoked for driving while intoxicated (11 years)
  • Driving while your license is revoked for driving while intoxicated – maiming (11 years)
  • Driving while your license is revoked for driving while intoxicated – involuntary manslaughter (11 years)

Manslaughter:

  • Manslaughter (11 years)
  • Involuntary manslaughter (11 years)
  • Involuntary manslaughter/aggravated (11 years)

Habitual Offenders:

  • Driving after being declared a habitual offender (11 years)
  • Authorizing person suspended for habitual offender and/or driving while intoxicated to drive (3 years)

Licenses/Permits:

  • Driving on suspended license (11 years)
  • Driving while your license is suspended or revoked (11 years)
  • Driving under suspension or revocation before giving proof of financial responsibility (11 years)

Commercial Motor Vehicles:

  • Driving commercial motor vehicle while disqualified (*)
  • Driving commercial motor vehicle with blood alcohol .04 or more (*)
  • Driving commercial motor vehicle with blood alcohol .08 or more (*)
  • Driving commercial motor vehicle under influence of drugs (*)
  • Driving commercial motor vehicle under influence of drugs/alcohol (*)
  • Refusing blood/breath test while operating commercial motor vehicle (*)
  • Violating out of service order (11 years)

Other Violations:

  • Speeding 20 mph or more above the posted speed limit (5 years)
  • Injuring person while racing – felony (11 years)
  • Failure to stop at the scene of a crash – injury (11 years)
  • Failure to stop at the scene of a crash – death (11 years)
  • Failure to stop at the scene of a crash – property damage of $1000 or more (11 years)
  • Emergency vehicle violation – death (11 years)
  • Vehicular assault or willful stopping, impeding or damaging vehicle (11 years)
  • Blocking access to service facility (11 years)
  • Attempting to elude police
    • felony offense (11 years)
    • misdemeanor offense (3 years)
  • Operating unsafe vehicle (3 years)
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