Do you currently have points on your North Carolina driver’s license? Despite the positive connotation for the word “points," on driver’s licenses, points are a bad thing. The more points you have, the worse you’re doing as a driver, and the closer you are to having your driver’s license suspended or even revoked.
In this post, we’ll explain how driver’s license points work and show you how to get points off your North Carolina driver’s license.
How Do North Carolina Driver’s License Points Work?
Driver’s license points are basically demerits on your driving record. When you’re convicted of certain motor vehicle violations, points will be added to your driver’s license. The more serious the infraction, the more points are added.
The list of possible infractions is long but includes common motor vehicle violations like:
Failing to stop at stop signs
Driving without liability insurance
At-fault accidents with minor property damage
If you already have points on your license, don’t panic. There are ways to get points removed from your North Carolina driver’s license (more on that coming up).
By the way, you can see how many points are on your North Carolina driver’s license at any time. Simply log into your account on the MyDMV online portal.
The Downsides of Having Points on Your Driver’s License
Having points on your North Carolina driver’s license comes with a few major downsides. Here are the consequences of accumulating points:
Higher auto insurance premiums.
Suspension of your driver’s license if you accumulate 12 points during a three-year period or if you accumulate eight points within three years of having your license reinstated after a suspension. These suspensions can last between 60 days and a full year.
Your driver’s license could even be revoked.
So if you have points on your North Carolina driver’s license, you should seriously consider ways to have those points removed.
How to Get Points off Your North Carolina Driver’s License
Getting points off your North Carolina driver’s license may take a little time and effort, but the money saved in insurance premiums and the reduced risk of suspension or revocation are likely well worth it!
When you have seven points on your driver’s license (or four points if you’re on the eight-point scale because of a previous suspension), you may qualify to take a driver improvement clinic to have three points taken off your North Carolina driver’s license. Here’s what you need to do:
Step 1: Schedule an eligibility hearing. You will be notified of your hearing date within 30 business days.
Step 2: Attend your hearing. The North Carolina DMV must review your case to make sure you’re eligible to attend a driver improvement clinic. Just make sure to request an online traffic safety course as an alternative to the DMV-operated driver improvement clinics if time and cost are important to you. These online courses can cost less than the $65 DMV clinics and you can take them at your own pace. According to Kristin at the NCDMV, “You need to get approval at your administrative hearing to take your driver improvement clinic online. So if you’d rather take your course online instead of using our DMV-sponsored improvement clinic, that has to be approved.”
Step 3: Complete the traffic safety course or the DMV-sponsored driver improvement clinic as instructed during your hearing. If you’re approved to take the online traffic safety course, the exact course you’ll need depends on your county. Guilford and Wake Counties allow a four-hour traffic safety course, while the rest of North Carolina requires an eight-hour course.
Step 4: Submit your Certificate of Completion to the DMV. Don’t forget to check your driving record on MyDMV after a few days to make sure your points are removed.
Remember, you can only take a traffic safety course once every five years. And you have to pay a $40 hearing fee to be approved by the DMV to take the course. So this isn’t a free pass.
But when you need to get points removed from your North Carolina Driver’s License, this simple four-step process will do the trick.