Understanding the Florida DHSMV & DMV Point System
Typically, one of the penalties that comes with a traffic ticket is points on your driving record. But what exactly do these points mean? They serve as a way to keep track of how well you are driving—the more points you earn, the more you are viewed as a risk on the road (and therefore, the more your insurance company may want to raise your rate).
The number of points you receive depends on the traffic violation you were convicted of. In Florida, you can receive 3, 4, or 6 points for an offense.
Minor moving and speeding violations, such as driving 15 MPH or less over the posted speed limit, will add 3 points to your driving record. This is the lowest and least severe penalty, and can typically be taken care of with a 4 hour Basic Driver Improvement course, as long as you aren’t a habitual offender. More 3-point violations include:
- Running a stop sign
- Failure to yield
- Curfew violations
- Driving with an open container
- Child seatbelt violation
- Driving on the shoulder
The tickets that carry a higher point count are usually those that more immediately endanger the lives of other people (although ALL traffic violations threaten everyone’s safety). These 4-point violations include:
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Speeding in excess of 15 MPH over the posted limit
- Red light violations
- Driving recklessly
- Moving violation which results in an accident
Drivers who are extremely careless and negligent will see 6 points added to their driving record. This will cause a huge spike in insurance costs and carry hefty fines and fees. Some of these traffic violations are:
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Speeding resulting in an accident
- A moving violation resulting in bodily harm
Florida License Point System Overview
The table below shows examples of the Florida DMV points system:
|Minor moving violations||3 points|
|Speeding (less than 15 MPH over limit)||3 points|
|Seatbelt violations||3 points|
|Passing a school bus||4 points|
|Speeding (15 MPH or more over the limit)||4 points|
|Driving recklessly||4 points|
|Leaving the scene of an accident||6 points|
|Speeding resulting in an accident||6 points|
How Many Points Does It Take to Suspend a License in FL?
Because points indicate poor driving behavior, accumulating too many of them within a short period of time will lead to penalties. Your Florida license will be suspended for the following:
- 12 points within 12 months: 30-day suspension
- 18 points within 18 months: 3-month suspension
- 24 points within 36 months: 12-month suspension
How to Remove Points from Your License
If you’re carrying points on your driving record or just received a traffic ticket, there are ways to avoid higher insurance costs and a tarnished history.
The fastest and easiest way to reduce points is to take an online Basic Driver Improvement course. In Florida, you have the option to take this course once in a 12-month period, but no more than 5 times during your lifetime. All courses, whether in a classroom or online, take 4 hours. A legitimate course will be approved by the Florida DHSMV and meet all point reduction requirements.
To take a Florida 4-hour BDI course for point reduction and to clear your record, contact the court within 30 days of receiving your traffic ticket.
Once you complete the course, you’ll need to report that information to the Florida DHSMV to ensure you get credit for your hard work – and those points are removed from your record.
While tickets are not removed from your Florida driving record, you can reduce points and prevent a costly insurance increase – or a license suspension.