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Florida’s Point System in 2020 – A Complete Guide

In the state of Florida, drivers are subject to a point system that keeps track of the traffic violations they commit over time. Points are added to drivers’ records with each traffic ticket they receive, and if too many points are accumulated over a period of time, the driver can receive severe consequences like suspension of their license. This point system serves to incentivize drivers to abide by the rules of the road and avoid even minor infractions that can cause points to accumulate quickly.

Are points added to my record when the ticket is written?

No. Points are not added onto a driver’s record until the ticket is paid, as this is considered an official admission of guilt.

If you choose to fight a traffic ticket and win the dispute, you will not receive any points, as the ticket will have been dismissed. However, if you do not win the dispute, points will be added once you complete any sanctions you received.

How are point values determined?

Not all traffic infractions carry the same weight when added to your driving record. Traffic tickets’ point values can range from three to six points depending on the severity of the infraction. Some lesser infractions will cost you only three points, while others that are more dangerous or could cause harm to others may result in six.

Here are some common traffic violations and the points drivers can receive for committing them:

Speeding under 15 mph above the speed limit / 3 points

Speeding over 15 mph above the speed limit / 4 points

Failure to yield to a pedestrian / 3 points

Littering / 3 points

Careless driving / 3 points

Improper use of child restraints / 3 points

Reckless driving / 4 points

Failure to yield to a school bus / 4 points

Leaving the scene of a crash resulting in over $50 of damage / 6 points

Speeding resulting in a collision / 6 points

What happens when I get too many points on my record?

Points are accumulated on your driving record for a period of three years. If you receive too many points in a short amount of time, you may be subject to a license suspension of up to one year.

Here are the penalties associated with accumulated points on a driver’s record:

12 points within 12 months / 30-day suspension

18 points within 18 months / Three-month suspension

24 points within 36 months / One-year suspension

To put the above thresholds into perspective, receiving just three or four minor speeding or careless driving tickets within twelve months can result in a temporary suspension of your license. Involvement in two car accidents in the same period of time can have the same result.

Additionally, even after a suspension period has been completed, drivers cannot take to the roads again until they apply for reinstatement by submitting proof that they have completed traffic school and paying a reinstatement fee.

Because of the negative effects of accumulating points on your record, fighting traffic tickets becomes essential. It is about more than avoiding a fine – it is about ensuring you retain the right to drive a vehicle.

How long do points stay on my record?

Florida’s point system states that points stay on your driving record for a period of 36 months, or three years. This three-year count begins on the day your ticket is paid or sanctions are completed.

What if I received a traffic ticket in a different state?

Contrary to popular belief, tickets (and subsequent points) received in one state do transfer to the driver’s state of residence. These points are added to the driver’s record and cannot be reversed by any appellate program or driving school.

The exception to this rule is if the ticket the driver received outside of Florida is not a ticketable or point-accessible violation in Florida. Each state assesses points based on their own laws, not the laws of the state in which the ticket was issued.

Similarly, if the driver moves from one state to another, their points transfer along with their driver’s license. However, the points may be increased or decreased as the state deems necessary according to their own traffic laws.

How do points apply to minors?

Points do apply to minors, and they come with more restrictions and harsher consequences.

Minors who receive six points within twelve months receive an automatic restriction of their license for one year or until they turn 18. While similar to a suspension, this restriction still permits driving for essential business only (like work or school). If a minor receives any additional points during this year, the restriction is extended 90 days for every point received.

How do I remove points from my record?

While tickets cannot be removed from a driver’s record, points can be removed – but with limitations.

Drivers can elect to take a four-hour BDI (Basic Driver Improvement) course to improve their driving record. If selecting this option, the driver must notify the courts within thirty days of receiving the ticket. However, drivers cannot take this course more than five times in total.

The most effective way to keep a ticket and subsequent points from being added to your driving record is to avoid getting these penalties in the first place. After receiving a ticket, the best course of action a driver can take is to hire an experienced traffic ticket attorney. These professionals can assist drivers through the entire process, from scheduling a court date to assembling a strategic defense to get the ticket dismissed.

If you have received a traffic ticket and wish to fight it, call The Ticket Clinic for a free consultation at 1-800-CITATION (1-800-248-2846) or hire us online. Our experienced traffic lawyers have resolved over 3,000,000 traffic offenses nationwide since 1987.

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