The Kessler Law Firm

Driver's License Points and Insurance Rates

There are two kinds of ‘points’ related to owning, driving, and insuring a car.


One kind of point is distributed and tracked by your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Car insurance companies track the other kind of point. 


The points given by a state’s DMV usually wont impact your auto insurance premiums – at least not directly. Points given by an insurance provider can affect rates or premiums. 

When you are pulled over and written a traffic ticket, DMV points can be associated with the ticket if you are found guilty. So, for example, if you’re found guilty of speeding – 55 mph in a designated 30 mph zone – 6 points will be added to your driver’s license by the DMV. 11 or more points within any 18-month period can lead to the DMV suspending your license. 


Insurance companies have their own point system associated with driving infractions. Furthermore, the point systems operated by insurers differ from company to company. However, they all generally have the same purpose. They track your driving performance and then use that information to raise your car insurance rates.


Insurance companies do not make their point systems available to the public, so it is hard to get very specific about how a particular violation may affect your premium. A good rule of thumb is the more serious the driving offense, the more points your insurance provider will add to your insurance record. If you do something that causes the DMV to add points to your driving record, it will often cause your car insurance provider to add points to your insurance record too. Thus, increasing your insurance premiums.


If you get a ticket for a minor moving violation, your insurance carrier may not notice it for some time. Therefore, it probably wont impact your car insurance premium right away. Many insurance companies are not interested in paying the fee that is required to access a person’s motor vehicle record (i.e., a driver’s abstract). The insurance carrier needs to access your motor vehicle record to find out about the potential infractions a motorist has. 


Most insurers will not check your record until your policy is up for renewal. Another situation where they may check is if you want to increase your coverage. If nothing like this happens, your insurance company may only review your motor vehicle record every 18 months to two years. 


For this reason, it is in your best interest to not notify your insurance carrier of a traffic infraction. By notifying the carrier, you may be the reason your premium goes up. 


One way to reduce points on your driver’s license or insurance record is to wait the required amount of time for the points to disappear. Beyond that, you can take a defensive driving course to help alleviate a traffic infraction’s impact. Lastly, you can potentially avoid any points to your driver’s license or insurance record by fighting the ticket in court. Always feel free to contact The Kessler Law Firm for a free consultation.