Like many other states, Virginia’s traffic laws operate on a points system. What this means is that, if you engage in certain traffic violations, you’ll earn demerit points on your driving record. If you accrue enough demerit points, you could lose driving privileges. Here is the breakdown of how the state allocates points based on violations.
Violations and points
There are positive points (called safe points) and negative points (called demerit points) that you can receive on your driving record. For each year that you hold a valid Virginia drivers’ license without any traffic infractions, you receive a safe point.
You can have up to five safe points. If you have safe points, they act as a cushion, and the state takes them away instead of giving you demerit points for violations.
Committing traffic infractions will earn you demerit points. The number of demerit points you receive depend on the violation in question, as well as your age and if you have committed other infractions in the recent past.
For example, if a police officer pulls you over for speeding up to 9 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, then you will get three demerit points that will stay on your record for 5 years. If a police officer pulls you over for going above 85 miles per hour, you will receive six demerit points that will last eleven years on your record.
Will the points ever go away?
The demerit points you earn stay on your record for at least two years from the moment of the infraction, unless the law specifically states that the points will last longer than that. If you avoid repeating the infraction for at least two years, your demerit points will start to go down. Eventually, you can have a clean record again.
It’s important to note that these points are not just added to your record for infractions you commit in Virginia. If you commit them in another state, your Virginia driving record will gain points as well.
For Virginia drivers, it’s important to know how Virginia’s laws affect them. That way they can know exactly what the penalties are for failure to follow posted speed limits and other traffic laws.