In the state of Virginia, a point system is used to keep track of how well a licensed driver maintains his or her driving record. When points are added to a person’s driving record, this means a positive incident has occurred, such as keeping a clean driving record for a period of 12 months. The lower the number of points a driver has, the closer he is to losing his driving privileges. The lower the number of points the driver has can also lead to higher insurance rates. This is why it is so important to have points added when possible. One of the best ways to keep points from being deducted is to take a VA driver improvement course online.

How the point system works in Virginia

Before we dive deep into understanding how to get points added to a driving record, you first need to understand how the point system works in Virginia. When a person first earns his driver’s license, a clean slate of 0 points is given to him as well. For every year that he drives with no moving violations or suspensions, a point is added to his license.

The more points, the better, with a total of five points being the most he can earn. If, however, he obtains a moving violation or suspension, not only will he forfeit the ability to add a point to his license, but he will also incur a loss in points. The type of violation will determine how many points he loses.

Example of losing points on your driving record

Let’s say you have been driving in the state of Virginia with a valid Virginia driver’s license for four years and you have had no violations or suspensions; this means you will have a point balance of +4. During your 5th year of driving, however, you get a speeding ticket for driving 7 mph over the speed limit; this has a point deduction rate of 3, so your new point balance will be +1. During your 6th year of driving, you get a ticket for tailgating, which has a point deduction rate of 4, so your new point balance is -1.

How long does it take for demerit points to be removed?

When you obtain a traffic violation or suspension, the demerit points will remain on your driving record for two years; this two-year mark is from the date the offense was committed.

It is important to note that there is a difference between the date a person commits the offense and the date in which he or she was convicted.

Demerit points are removed two years from the date of the offense, whereas the conviction will remain on the person’s record for a period of years starting from the time he or she was actually convicted. The exact length of time that the conviction will remain on the person’s driving record depends on the specific offense. Some offenses stay on a person’s record for three years; however, some are permanent.

Getting points added to your license

Remember, it is a good thing to have points added to your license. You will receive a point each year that you drive safely and don’t receive any violations or suspensions. It is, however, not good to have demerit points added to your driving record. Demerit points actually reduce the total number of points you have and can make it difficult to get back into a positive number of points. In some instances, you may be able to take a VA driver improvement course online to keep from having demerit points added to your record:

Court Referred
Sometimes a Virginia court will dismiss the demerit points associated with a specific violation received to keep points off your driving record.

VA DMV Ordered
At times, the DMV will require Virginia drivers to take the Virginia Driver Improvement Course if:

  • You were convicted of a traffic violation or safety belt/child restraint violation when you were age 18 or 19
  • 12 demerit points have been accumulated within a 24-month period
  • To restore driving privilege after being suspended for excessive demerit points
  • Voluntary to receive 5 safe driving points
    You can take an approved Driver Improvement course once every 24 months to earn 5 safe driving points.