If you are convicted of speeding or some other driving-related offense, the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) will add points to your driving record. Since 15 or more points within a 24-month period will result in a license suspension, many drivers wonder how long they’ll have to wait before these points come off their record.
How Long Do Points Stay on Your Georgia Driving Record?
If you live in Georgia, points will remain on your driving record for two years. After points have been on your record for two years, they drop off. However, the drop off happens at the two-year mark from the exact date each point was added. That means if you receive more than one ticket at different times, some points may come off sooner than others.
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How Can I Get Points Removed from My Record?
If you want points to come off your Georgia driving record before the two-year period is up, you can legally request a points reduction (of up to seven points) once every five years. However, you must meet certain criteria before making this request.
To request a points off your driving record, you must:
- Take and complete a certified Driver Improvement course
- Obtain a certificate of completion from the course
- Present your certificate of completion to the DDS by mail or in-person
If this is successful, you may be able to get some points taken off earlier than two years, depending on when you accrued them.
There are also ways you may be able to avoid points on your driving record altogether. If you commit a moving violation, some judges will give you the option of finishing a six-hour defensive driving program. If you can show proof of finishing this program, your ticket may get dismissed or never processed. It will be as if it never happened.
It’s very important to know, however, that even though points can come off or be removed from your record, a violation on your record does not get removed.
What are the Consequences of Having Points on Your Driving Record?
The purpose of driving record points is to punish moving violations, such as speeding, running a stop sign, or reckless driving. Any of these can result in an Atlanta car accident and injuries to yourself or other drivers.
Traffic violations come with a certain number of points, ranging from one to six, depending on the severity of the violation. If you accrue at least 15 points within 24 months, you will face a driver’s license suspension.
A suspension means your driving privileges will be temporarily revoked for a certain period of time. You will have to wait until the suspension is completed before applying for the reinstatement of your driver’s license. Reinstatement will include a fee along with other requirements.
As mentioned above, the violation that led to points on your record does not get removed, even when the points come off. Some auto insurance companies will look at your driving record when you apply for a policy or renewal is coming up. Insurers don’t always look at points, but they will still see the record of one or more violations. If an insurance company sees points or violations on your account, they may view you as a potential liability and greatly increase your premium.
What if I Don’t Know How Many Points Are on My Record?
If you aren’t sure about the timeline for any number of points or how many are currently on your record, you can request a Driving History Report. There are three main ways to do this:
- Through the DDS’s Online Services
- In-person at any DDS Customer Service Center
- Or by mailing by a Form DDS-18 to the Georgia DDS
Either way, you’ll need to pay a $3.00 fee to a three-year history or $8.00 for a seven-year history. This report will show the number of points on your driving record and when they were added.
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What About Out of State Drivers Who Receive a Ticket in Georgia?
If you don’t live in Georgia, but receive a ticket in the state, you might wonder how the violation will affect your out-of-state driving record. You will still receive the same amount of points, based on the violation, as an in-state driver. However, the amount of time the points remain on your record depends on your home state:
- The points stay on your record one year if you live in Maine, Nevada, or New Mexico and 18 months if you live in Missouri or New York.
- Like Georgia, the points stay on your record for two years if you live in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, Tennessee, Utah (as long as your record stays clean), Vermont, Virginia, Washington, D.C., or West Virginia.
- They stay on your record for three years if you live in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Idaho, Maryland, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota (one point is deducted per three-month period of no violations), or Ohio.
- The points will stay on your record for five years if you live in Wisconsin and six years if you live in Massachusetts.
States with no points system include Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wyoming.
Alaska, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota take points off after a certain period of violation-free driving. You can contact your local DMV to learn more.
Moving violations of any kind that lead to a car accident can result in painful injuries and expensive vehicle damage. If you were hurt in a car accident because of someone else’s driving mistakes, our Atlanta car accident lawyers can help.
John Foy & Associates has been representing car accident victims in Georgia for more than 20 years, and we believe you deserve full compensation for your damages. To learn more and schedule a FREE consultation, call 404-400-4000, or visit our contact page today.