When it comes to your driving record point system, it's best to think about it like golf: the lower your score, the better. Points are essentially demerits that one earns from violating the law in some fashion. Depending on the severity of your infraction, you can earn a range of points on your permanent driving record.
Minor offenses, like speeding tickets or disobeying traffic officers, rack you up a single point where as more serious offenses, such as a DUI or reckless driving, get you two. However, if you are operating a commercial vehicle, the number of points you receive will be multiplied one and a half times the normal rate, as you are under greater responsibility and liability when you commit that violation.
So, with all this talk about points, you're probably wondering "Okay, but what's the point?" Reasonable. The DMV's demerit point system exists as a way to score driver's on a scale that holds them accountable and tracks their behavior over time. The accumulation of multiple points over a certain period of time could lead to additional consequences on top of those related to each individual citation.
Driver's who accumulate four points in one year, six points over the course of two years, or eight points over the course of three years will have their licenses suspended. If that's a little confusing think about it this way: 4, 6, 8 points in 1, 2, 3 years.
Having your license suspended is no joke and something you want to avoid at all costs. However, some violations may lead to an automatic suspension such operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
What's perhaps more likely for the average driver is the accumulation of points through more minor offenses. That's why it's important to keep your driver's record in the back of your mind when you hit the road, especially if you already have a few points to your name.
How To Check Your Score
Checking your score is quick and easy. You can simply visit the DMV website and hover over online services. A drop down menu will appear with the category "Tickets and Penalties" where you should be able to check your score. You can opt to have your score emailed to you in less than 24 hours, get it over the phone, have it mailed, or visit your nearest DMV office and receive your score in person.
It's best to obtain your driving record directly from the California Department of Motor Vehicles as this will ensure it is a complete and accurate record. Getting it directly from the source will also give you an overview of any accidents on your record, when your license was issued, and other important factors that may contribute to your score.
If your score is getting dangerously high, you can remove points by way of California Traffic School. This is an option that needs to be taken advantage of right after the citation is received. If you are eligible, the court will notify you of the option and after taking an online or in person course, the point will be removed and the citation dismissed.
Aceable offers a traffic course for just $19. It's quick and easy, you move at your own pace, and learn the laws of the land to receive an immediate certificate. Traffic school will brush up you up on traffic laws, teach you how to drive defensively, and give you tips on how to avoid future citations.