Virginia drivers can receive demerit points for certain types of traffic tickets. The Department of Motor vehicles records these points and may suspend your license if you accumulate too many in a certain time period.
Review the offenses that carry points in Virginia and the steps to take if you lose your driving privileges.
You can receive six points in Virginia for these driving violations:
- Misdemeanor reckless driving, whether due to an accident, grossly exceeding the speed limit, or racing
- Simple speeding ticket if going more than 20 miles per hour over the limit
- Driving under the influence
- Vehicular manslaughter or assault
- Driving on a suspended license
- Failing to stop at an accident scene (“Hit and Run”)
- Attempting to get away from police (“Eluding”)
Less-serious speeding offenses (going 10-19 mph over the limit) carry four demerit points. You can also get 4 points for non-criminal traffic infractions like unsafe passing, failure to stop, failure to yield, failure to keep right, improper signaling, actions at a railroad crossing, and following too closely (i.e., rear-end collision accident).
Some of the most common three-point violations include:
- Speeding 1-9 miles per hour over the limit
- Improper driving (a reduction from criminal reckless driving),
- Improper passing
- Improper turning
- Failure to obey a highway sign
- Driving without a license
- Violating learner’s permit restrictions
- Improper stopping on highway
- Driving on the sidewalk
- Having an open container of alcohol while driving (although not intoxicated)
- Driving while using earphones
- Violating the NEW state handheld device laws (i.e., cannot hold your phone while driving)
You will lose your driver’s license for if you receive 18 demerit points in 12 months or 24 points in 24 months. This is based on the date of the offense, not the conviction date.