Are points on my driving record really that serious?

Nov 16, 2020 | traffic violations

In basketball, more points can help you win the game. Points on your credit card or rewards programs can help you earn prizes or other benefits. Points on your driving record are something most drivers want to avoid. However, those who are convicted of speeding, OVI or other violations may find that the courts will include points on their driving records as part of their penalties.

Points on your license may seem like a small issue, something that is not tangible, like a fine or performing community service. However, those few points can quickly add up, and the consequences can result in hardships for months at a time for you and those who depend on you.

How did I get these points?

Ohio, like most other states, has developed a points system for dealing with certain traffic violations. In addition to the fines and other penalties the court may impose following a conviction for certain moving and non-moving violations, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles will add two, four or six points on your driving record, depending on the severity of the infraction.

Typically, minor violations, such as running a stop light or making a prohibited U-turn, may result in two points. More serious convictions may lead to four points on your record. The most serious convictions, including driving after your license is suspended for too many points, may result in six points.

What if I get too many points?

With six points on your record within two years, you are halfway to a suspension. You will likely receive a notice from the BMV warning you of the violations that cost you points. If you accumulate 12 points within two years, the BMV will suspend your license for six months. Driving without a license during this time can mean additional penalties for you, including the potential for jail time, extended suspension and additional points on your record.

To get your suspended license reinstated, you may have to take a safe driving course, retake your driver exam and provide evidence of insurance. You can imagine that your insurance rates will probably be considerably higher following a license suspension for too many points. Ideally, you can keep those points off your record by practicing care while driving. However, things happen, and you may find yourself in a situation where you are looking for legal strategies to help you stay behind the wheel.