California: How Traffic Ticket Points Affect Your License And Insurance

Getting a driving ticket in California can be a devastating blow to your driving record and your wallet. Today I want to go over how the point system works in California and ways to avoid those points so you can feel confident when you drive.

How do traffic points affect your driving record?

Whenever you commit a traffic violation, points may be assessed to your driving record. In the short term, points added to your driving record will affect your insurance rates, causing them to go up. An accumulation of points on your record or a severe enough violation can cause your driver’s license to be suspended or revoked.

Your driver’s license can be suspended or revoked in California if you:

You receive 4 or more points in a 12 month period. [3 points if a teenager but can also see restricted use at 2 points]

You receive 6 points or more within a 24 month period.

You receive 8 or more points within a 36 month period.

What violations add points to your driving record?

There are a number of ways you could get points on your driving record from a traffic violation in California. It could be as simple as driving through a stop sign or a red light to not obeying a school crossing guard. Other basic one point violations include:

  • Crossing a divided highway
  • Following a driver too closely
  • Speeding
  • Failure to yield
  • Driving in a designated bicycle lane
  • Crossing a double yellow line
  • Failure to obey a stop sign or traffic light

Points will double if you are driving recklessly, speeding over 100 MPH, and driving while under the influence.

The most common 2 point traffic violations are

  • Driving without a license/suspended license
  • Driving without registration/expired registration
  • Illegal U turn
  • Leaving the scene of a hit and run accident
  • Mechanical violations
  • Reckless Driving
  • Running a red light/stop sign
  • Not wearing a seat belt/child restraint
  • Unlawful vehicle modifications

Unless the officer who pulls you over just gives you a warning, you will get a ticket for these offenses and points will be placed on your driving record. The more points you get the quicker you will lose your driving privileges.

Note: DUI/DWI will result in an automatic suspension of your license

How do I get points removed from my license? How Do I qualify for California Traffic School?

Traffic school is the only way to get points removed from your license without letting the years pass. You can go to a traffic school’s classroom course in your area or take a California Online Traffic School course all from the comfort of your own home.  You’ll be able to qualify for traffic school as long the offense was a moving violation [no parking tickets] and you have a standard driver’s license [no CDLs]. The offense also cannot be a misdemeanor.

With all this in mind, I recommend I Drive Safely’s Online California Traffic School to help you get out of that traffic ticket today:


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