Traffic violations can result in serious penalties, like fines and jail time. Additional consequences could include points on your driver’s license.
If you’ve been accused of a traffic violation, an experienced attorney can provide personalized information and help you with your case. But what are driver’s license points, and how long do they stay on your license?
The point system in Wisconsin aims to penalize drivers for risky or unsafe driving behaviors.
When a driver receives a ticket for a moving violation, that violation may result in penalties, including a certain number of points on their driver’s license. Violations range in severity from minor violations, like failure to signal, to more serious violations, like an OWI or failure to stop after an accident.
Every type of violation has a set number of points, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. While some violations result in no points, others can result in two to six points. Six points are the maximum number of points to receive for one violation.
Once you understand what driver’s license points are, it’s helpful to know how they can affect you.
First, a driver without points is considered to have a clean driving record. Once you accumulate points, your driving record is no longer considered clean or clear.
Accumulating points on a license can be risky, as it can eventually lead to license suspension. If you accumulate 12 points in two years, your license can be suspended, and you’re considered a high-risk driver.
While driver’s license points don’t usually affect car insurance rates, the violations that get you these points can. Certain incidents reflected in your driving record, including tickets and accidents, can increase your insurance premium.
Additionally, high-risk drivers need SR-22 insurance, as required by the Wisconsin DMV. When SR-22 is required, this could result in additional costs to the insured.
Points stay on a driver’s license for two years. You can earn additional points after the two years have expired for new violations. However, older violations do come off your license.
While the points are no longer on your license, your record may still reflect certain violations for longer than two years. Depending on the violation, it may stay on your record for several years or sometimes forever.
You may have the opportunity to reduce some of the points on your driver’s license.
In Wisconsin, you must complete an approved traffic safety course. Once you’ve done so, you can request a point reduction.
The DMV will only remove three points at a time. And although courses can be taken as many times as a driver wishes, you can only ask for a point reduction once every three years.
If you’re facing a traffic violation that may result in driver’s license points, consult with a qualified defense lawyer. An attorney can provide guidance and work to achieve the best outcome for your case, which could include reducing your points or avoiding them altogether.