How Many Points is a Speeding Ticket in Virginia

Getting pulled over for speeding is never a fun experience. And in Virginia, a speeding ticket comes with more than just a fine – it also means getting points added to your driving record with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). But just how many points can you expect for a speeding violation in VA?

The number of demerit points for speeding depends on how much over the posted speed limit you were driving. Going just a few mph over can be a minor infraction, while excessive speeding is considered much more serious in Virginia.

In this blog post, we’ll break down exactly how many points are assessed for speeding tickets in Virginia. We’ll also discuss what getting points on your license means, how long they stay on your record, and options for avoiding points to keep your driving privileges intact.

Overview of Virginia’s Point System

The Virginia DMV uses a point system to track driver records and issue penalties based on traffic violations and convictions. All licensed VA drivers start out with a clean slate of zero points.

Here’s a quick rundown of how it works:

  • You receive positive points each year for safe driving – up to +5 max.
  • Traffic convictions lead to negative demerit points on your license.
  • The more serious the offense, the more points are assessed.
  • Too many points can result in fines, probation, or suspension.
  • Completing driver improvement clinics adds points back to your record.

VA’s demerit point system is intended to identify potentially dangerous drivers through their driving history and issue appropriate punishments. However, even one or two speeding tickets could quickly add up to cause problems if you’re not careful!

Demerit Points for Speeding Violations

The number of demerit points you get for a speeding ticket in Virginia depends on how much over the speed limit you were traveling:

1-9 mph over speed limit – 3 demerit points

Going just a few mph over the posted speed limit is generally considered a minor traffic infraction in Virginia. For example, driving 34 mph in a 25 mph zone or 65 mph in a 55 mph zone would both earn you 3 demerit points on your VA driver’s license.

10-19 mph over speed limit – 4 demerit points

Driving between 10-19 mph over the speed limit in VA results in 4 demerit points on your record. Some examples would be going 45 mph in a 35 mph zone or 75 mph in a 60 mph zone.

20+ mph over speed limit – 6 demerit points

Excessive speeding at 20 mph or more over the posted speed limit is a serious offense in Virginia that comes with 6 demerit points. For instance, driving 50 mph in a 35 mph zone or 85 mph in a 65 mph zone leads to 6 points on your VA driving record.

Going over 80 mph total can also be charged as reckless driving in Virginia, which is a more serious misdemeanor criminal offense.

Additional Factors:

  • School and work zones: Fines and points for speeding increase in designated school or work zones.
  • Repeat offenses: Getting multiple speeding tickets within a short time period can quickly lead to license suspension due to excessive points.
  • Out-of-state drivers: Virginia’s demerit point system only applies to drivers licensed in VA. Other states may choose to assess points themselves for Virginia speeding tickets.
  • Insurance rates: Too many points for traffic convictions will likely mean increased auto insurance premiums.
  • License suspension: 12 points in 12 months or 18 points in 24 months results in a suspended Virginia driver’s license.
  • Probation periods: Going on DMV probation due to too many points leads to further penalties if additional tickets are received.

Consequences of Getting Points on Your License

Beyond fines, getting points on your license in Virginia for a speeding ticket can lead to other consequences:

  • Insurance rate increases – Most car insurance companies will raise your rates if you accumulate multiple points for traffic convictions. Too many points indicates you are a higher risk driver.
  • License suspension – Getting 12 points in 12 months or 18 points in 24 months will result in the VA DMV suspending your driving privileges for a period of time.
  • Probation periods – If you end up with a suspended license, completing a driver improvement course and getting reinstated will come with a 6 month probationary period where more tickets mean further suspensions.

The bottom line is that points can start to pile up quicker than you might think. A few tickets in a short span of time can trigger insurance hikes and the loss of driving privileges if you are not careful.

How Long Demerit Points Stay on Your Record

The length of time that speeding ticket points stay on your Virginia driving record depends on the specific offense:

  • Most 3 point speeding violations remain for 3-5 years.
  • Most 4 point violations stay on your record for 3 to 5 years.
  • Serious 6 point violations remain for 11 years.
  • Going over 80 mph or reckless driving stays for 11 years.

Even after the DMV points are removed, a record of the traffic conviction itself may remain on your DMV driving record permanently.

Older offenses will have less impact on your insurance or any future traffic stops. But it’s important to consult a traffic lawyer for the most accurate information on how long a specific speeding ticket conviction will affect your driving record.

Accumulating Safe Driving Points

While traffic convictions add negative demerit points in Virginia, you can also earn positive safe driving points to help offset those penalties:

  • Getting points each year – The VA DMV awards you 1 safe driving point per year for each year you go without any violations or suspensions. This continues up until you reach the +5 point maximum.
  • Taking driver improvement courses – Completing a VA DMV approved driver improvement clinic course adds 5 safe driving points to your license. This can be done once every 2 years.

Earning safe driving points should be a priority for all drivers in Virginia. Having those extra points can really help cushion the impact of getting an occasional traffic ticket for a minor speeding offense or other violation.

Why Points Matter

Beyond the specific penalties that too many demerit points can incur, there are a couple key reasons why drivers in VA need to be cautious about points:

  • Impact on future traffic stops – Law enforcement officers have access to your DMV driving history and will consider it when deciding whether to issue a ticket or warning. Too many existing points may make an officer less sympathetic.
  • Affect sentencing for violations – Judges will also have access to your driving record and previous violations when determining fines and punishments. Too many points may lead to harsher penalties in court.

For these reasons, it’s important not just to avoid immediate fines or suspensions, but also to keep your driving record clean for the long-term. Having fewer points can positively impact how you are treated by police and the courts in Virginia when it comes to future traffic violations.

Options to Avoid Getting Points

If you receive a speeding ticket in Virginia, there are options to help minimize or avoid getting points added to your driving record:

  • Taking defensive driving classes – Taking a state approved defensive driving or driver improvement course allows you to add safe driving points, potentially offsetting your ticket points.
  • Hiring a traffic lawyer – Consulting with an experienced traffic attorney may help get your speeding charge reduced to a non-moving violation or dismissed entirely in some cases.
  • Getting ticket reduced or dismissed – Appealing your speeding ticket by going to court gives you the chance to argue for a lesser charge or have the ticket thrown out, avoiding points altogether.

While there is no guarantee any strategy will work, talking to a traffic lawyer gives you the best chance to keep speeding tickets from hurting your driving privileges.

Special Cases: Commercial Drivers, Teen Drivers

For drivers of commercial vehicles and teenage drivers, the thresholds for losing your license due to excessive points are lower:

  • CDL holders – Getting convicted of a single serious traffic violation like reckless driving or DUI can be enough to lose your CDL temporarily or permanently in some cases.
  • Teen drivers – Those under age 18 face probation periods and license suspensions with fewer points than adult drivers before reaching the age of 18.

Younger drivers and truck drivers with a CDL need to be especially vigilant about points on their driving records, as just one or two serious tickets could have major consequences on their ability to legally drive.

Checking Your Virginia DMV Driving Record

To understand exactly where you stand in terms of driving points on your record, it is smart to periodically obtain a copy of your official DMV driver history transcript.

This will include a full list of any traffic convictions, the associated points, status of your license, and any suspensions or probations. Reviewing this information helps you make the best decisions related to appealing tickets, taking driving courses, and consulting traffic lawyers for assistance.

FAQs About Speeding Ticket Points

Can the court remove points after a speeding conviction?

No. Virginia traffic courts do not have discretion when it comes to demerit points – the DMV automatically assesses points based on the traffic conviction. Judges cannot waive or remove points as part of a speeding ticket sentencing. The only way to avoid getting points for a speeding ticket in Virginia is to have the charge reduced to a non-moving violation or dismissed completely.

How many points can a minor get before losing their license?

Teen drivers under 18 are held to stricter standards when it comes to points on their provisional driver’s license. Any single point-violation conviction will result in a requirement to complete a VA driver improvement course. A second conviction with points means an automatic 90-day suspension. Three point convictions before turning 18 leads to a suspension of at least one year or until age 18, whichever is longer.

What happens if I get points while on DMV probation?

Drivers who get convicted of a point violation while currently on a DMV probationary period face harsh penalties. In this case, you are looking at a mandatory 45-90 day driver’s license suspension depending on the number of points for the new conviction. Once the suspension is over, an additional 6 month probation and 18 month control period will follow.

How to Keep Your Driving Record Clean?

Here are some top tips to avoid getting excessive points that jeopardize your driving privileges in Virginia:

  • Always obey all posted speed limits and other traffic laws.
  • Take a defensive driving course pre-emptively to build up safe driving points.
  • Consult with a traffic lawyer immediately if you receive a ticket to explore your options.
  • Check your DMV driver history periodically to stay on top of your points balance.
  • Slow down, drive cautiously, and focus on safe driving habits. Patience and prudence on the road can help keep points off your record.

Key Takeaways on Virginia Speeding Ticket Points

Getting points for traffic violations like speeding is an unfortunate reality all Virginia drivers need to be aware of. But understanding how the VA DMV point system works can help you make smart choices to maintain your driving privileges.

Some key takeaways:

  • Speeding 1-9 mph over = 3 points
  • Speeding 10-19 mph over = 4 points
  • Speeding 20+ mph over = 6 points
  • Points can lead to fines, suspension, insurance hikes
  • Completing driving courses adds safe points
  • Hiring lawyers gives the best chance to avoid points
  • Checking your DMV record is crucial
  • Drive safely and obey traffic laws to minimize points

While a speeding ticket may be unavoidable, make sure you know the potential consequences in Virginia and take proactive steps to keep points off your driving record whenever possible. The points you save could help you maintain your driving freedom!

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