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What is a Point?

Drivers License Points vs. Insurance Points

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Are traffic violation points and at-fault accident points confusing you? A point system is used by most states and all insurance companies to track your driving indiscretions. Traffic violations and at-fault accidents both create points on your driving record. Drivers license points and insurance points can be handled differently.

Driver License Points

  • Police add points to your record after a violation.
  • As points add up on your drivers license, you will be charged fines by the state.
  • Once so many points are accumulated, the final penalty is license suspension.
  • Some states offer traffic school classes to remove points from your driving record.
  • Get a certified copy of your driving record from your Secretary of State office to verify your record.

The number of points added to your drivers license depends on the traffic violation and which state you reside. Regardless of which state you received the violation, it will go on your driver license with the coordinating points.

Insurance Policy Points

  • Insurance companies track points by driving record and claims filed.
  • As points add up on your insurance policy, your insurance rates go up.
  • Once so many points are accumulated, your insurance policy could be non-renewed.
  • Some states offer traffic school classes so your insurance carrier is not notified of a violation.
  • Ask your insurance agent for information on points on your insurance policy.

The main difference between drivers license points and insurance policy points is it is at police officer's discretion whether or not you get a ticket and points of your drivers license after an accident. It is not uncommon for a police officer to let a driver go without a ticket if bad weather is the reason for an accident. And occasionally, situations arise when the police are not notified of an accident, for instance if the accident occurs on private property. If a claim is filed with the insurance company, fault will be determined regardless if a ticket was issued. According to insurance companies, single car accidents are always considered at-fault accidents and points will be applied to your insurance driving record.

You are not trying to score points when it comes to your driver’s license or insurance policy. The fewer points you have, the better driver you are considered to be by both the state and your insurance company. Everyone starts with a clean slate and it is up to you how many you collect over a lifetime. A good resource for getting state specific information on driver license points is dmv.org.

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