Florida Point System: Prevent Points on License
In the state of Florida, driving is a privilege, not a right. There are various ways that you can lose your driving privileges, some of which include: making a fraudulent driver’s license application, refusing to take an alcohol test, misusing a restricted license, failing to pay child support, committing retail theft, and education non-compliance. These non-driving infractions, while varied can result in the suspension of your driver’s license. However, drivers tend to be more likely to have their license suspended due to accumulating too many violation points on their license.
Overview: Point Penalties
Many of the most common traffic citations have a certain amount of violation points that are added to an individual’s license when they receive a ticket. It can be difficult to keep track of how many points your license has accumulated, but it is critical to do so since your license will be suspended if you accumulate:
- 12 points within 12 months (resulting in a suspension of 30 days)
- 18 points within 18 months (resulting in a suspension of 3 months)
- 24 points within 36 months (resulting in a suspension of 1 year)
It is important to note that points do NOT disappear after a suspension. They continue to accumulate towards the next maximum. For example, if you were to accumulate 12 points within 12 months (which resulted in a 30 day license suspension), and received an additional 6 points within the following 6 months, you could expect a 3 month suspension.
Point Values & Checking the Status of Your License
Obtaining too many points on your license is a serious matter. License suspensions can negatively impact your ability to travel to school or work, which will make you depend on others or public transit for your transportation needs. Some of the most common traffic infractions that occur and their corresponding point values are indicated below.
- Leaving the scene of an accident (where there was damage of at least $50): 6 points
- Speeding which resulted in an accident: 6 points
- Reckless driving: 4 points
- Moving violations that cause an accident: 4 points
- Attempting to pass a stopped school bus: 4 points
- Traveling 15 mph or more above the posted speed limit: 4 points
- Driving with an open container of alcohol in the vehicle: 3 points
- Violating child restraint regulations: 3 points
This list is only a sample, however it identifies how easily a driver could accumulate points within a short time. If you would like to determine the amount of points on your license, you can order a driving record report which will keep you aware of your current situation.
Traffic School Helps Prevent Points
If you have received a traffic violation which will assess points against your license, you have the option to take an approved driver improvement course. These courses can be taken online or in person and are also known as a Basic Driver Improvement (BDI) or defensive driving courses. Florida requires these courses to be 4 hours in length and cover topics such as crash prevention, dynamics of a crash, DUI prevention, general traffic laws and more. If you opt to complete traffic school, you will need to indicate that to the county that issued your citation. Drivers are only allowed to elect to attend a driver improvement course once within a 12 month time period, and may only use this option 5 times in their lifetime. Unfortunately, drivers that hold a CDL are not eligible to attend traffic school to prevent points from being added to their license.