The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) will add points to your record if you plead guilty, or are found guilty, of moving traffic violations.
In the PennDOT point system, points are added to your driving record for traffic violations. The most common reason for adding points to your record is a speeding ticket.
Your driving record is the key information used by insurance companies to determine the amount of risk they take by insuring you. This means that your driving record directly impacts the amount you pay in insurance premiums. A point-free driving record can keep your insurance rates low and your driver’s license in good working order.
You may be wondering, “What is the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) point system?” The PennDOT points system was created to ensure drivers engage in safe-conduct on the roads. This is a carefully thought-out and well-structured way to manage traffic violation offenders. The point system serves two main objectives: enhancing driving behavior and promoting safe driving practices. Points are accrued on a driver’s record following convictions for specific driving infractions. PennDOT initiates corrective measures when a driver’s record accumulates six or more points.
With six or more points on your driving record, you may have to pay more for your car insurance. You may also risk having your license suspended. If you recently received several points on your record after a traffic ticket in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, or elsewhere in Pennsylvania, call Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC at (412) 281-2146 to discuss your case. We offer free consultations.
Jump to a Section
- Traffic Violations and Pennsylvania’s Point System
- Your First Six PennDOT Points on Your License
- Your Second Six Points on Your License
- Your Third (or More) Six Points
- How to Get Points Off of Your License in Pennsylvania
- Steps to Take if You Receive a Traffic Ticket in Pennsylvania
- Contact Us
Traffic Violations and Pennsylvania’s Point System
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) uses a point system to track your behavior on the road.
Most moving violations will put points on your driving record. You may be wondering, “What violations will add points to my PennDOT points score?” Some typical violations and points that can be added to your PennDOT points score are below:
- Failure to obey an authorized person directing traffic — 2 points
- Violation of a restriction on driver’s license (wearing glasses, etc.) — 2 points
- Exceeding the speed limit by six to 10 MPH — 2 points
- Failure to stop for a red light — 3 points
- Improper passing at a bridge or tunnel — 3 points
- Following too closely (tailgating) — 3 points
- Failure to stop for a stop sign — 3 points
- Illegal U-turns — 3 points
- Careless driving — 3 points
- Exceeding the speed limit by 11 to 15 MPH — 3 points and a 15-day suspension if it occurs in a work zone.
- Failure to stop at railroad crossings — 4 points
- Leaving the scene of an accident with property damage — 4 points
- Exceeding the speed limit by 16 to 25 MPH — 4 points and a 15-day license suspension if it occurs in a work zone.
- Exceeding the speed limit by 26 to 30 MPH — 5 points and a 15-day license suspension if it occurs in a work zone.
- Exceeding the speed limit by 31 MPH or more — 5 points and a 15-day license suspension if it occurs in a work zone. The hearing officer may also give you additional penalties.
Your First Six PennDOT Points on Your License
After you have the first six points on your record, you will have to take a written exam. If you pass the test, two points will be removed from your driving record. If you don’t pass the exam within 30 days, your license will be suspended until you are able to pass it. PennDOT will notify your insurance company. Those 18 or under may have their license suspended for 90 days.
Your Second Six Points on Your License
You will have to appear at a PennDOT hearing if you obtain a second six points.
At the hearing, the hearing officer will make one of these decisions:
- No penalties, but no points were taken off your record.
- A 15-day license suspension, with two points taken off your record.
- A requirement to take an on-road exam. Two points will be taken off your record if you pass. If you fail, your license will be suspended until you are able to pass.
- If you fail to appear for the hearing, your license will automatically be suspended for 60 days.
Your Third (or More) Six Points
You will have to appear at a PennDOT hearing if you accumulate six points three or more times. In most cases, the hearing officer will suspend your license for 30 days, with no points taken off your record. If you fail to appear, your license will automatically be suspended until you do.
How to Get Points Off of Your License in Pennsylvania
For every 12 consecutive months after the date of your last offense that you drive without a traffic conviction, you get three points taken off your record. This occurs automatically.
Steps to Take if You Receive a Traffic Ticket in Pennsylvania
When you receive the citation from the police officer who issues it, be sure to check it over for accuracy. Key items to note are your name, date of birth, address, driver’s license number, and other identifying information. If there are any issues with the citation, contact the court to get this fixed. If your name is misspelled or your driver’s license has two digits swapped, that doesn’t mean you can get out of the ticket. You have 10 days to respond to the citation. If you don’t, you could face additional fees and possibly even a driver’s license suspension.
When faced with a traffic ticket, it’s worth contacting an experienced Pittsburgh traffic lawyer to determine what your options are. If you pay the ticket, you’re agreeing to points on your license and that you effectively committed the offense with which you were charged. That also means a potential increase in your auto insurance once your insurance company sees that you have recently committed a traffic offense. This could have a lasting impact on your premiums and ability to obtain coverage. Call an experienced criminal defense lawyer at our firm today at (412) 281-2146 or contact us online.
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