Why You Don’t Want Points on Your Florida License
Gregg Hollander | March 24, 2022 | Florida Law
Florida uses a point system to ensure that licensed drivers have a record of safe driving. Each time you receive a traffic citation, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) will add points to your driving record. When you accumulate enough points, the FLHSMV can suspend your driver’s license.
Points on your driving record can also affect you in other ways. Your auto insurance carrier can take your driving record into account when quoting your policy premiums. Your driving record can even affect your ability to claim injury compensation after an accident.
Here is an overview of Florida’s point system and some reasons you want to avoid getting points on your Florida driver’s license.
How Points Are Added
The FLHSMV gets notified every time you receive a traffic citation in Florida. The department has a set schedule that correlates traffic violations to the number of points that get added to your driving record.
Examples from the schedule include:
- Leaving the scene of a car accident without exchanging information — 6 points
- Failing to stop for a school bus with its lights flashing — 4 points
- Running a red light — 4 points
- Running a stop sign — 3 points
- Tailgating — 3 points
- Speeding — 3 points
Bear in mind that these points are separate from the automatic suspensions that FLHSMV can issue for certain violations.
When you get convicted of DUI, hit-and-run, and a few other offenses, FLHSMV will automatically suspend or revoke your driver’s license without adding any points. The conviction alone will support the administrative suspension or revocation.
Also, Florida will add points for out-of-state tickets. Florida is a member of the Driver License Compact. Under this agreement, states share traffic violation information with the licensing state. When it receives the notification, FLHSMV adds points to your record based on its schedule.
Once points get added to your driving record, they remain there for five years. If you receive a citation, you can take a basic driving improvement (BDI) course to avoid having the points added to your record. The citation will remain on your record, but FLHSMV will withhold the points if you take the BDI course within 30 days after the ticket.
Point-Based Driver’s License Suspension
FLHSMV will take action against your driver’s license based on the accumulated points over a set period. The department uses a rolling accumulation. So even if some points come off your record, new violations will add to the total.
The penalty depends on the accumulated total points:
- 12 points within 12 months — 30-day suspension
- 18 points within 18 months — three-month suspension
- 24 points within 36 months — one-year suspension
A driver can regain the driver’s license by serving the suspension, paying a reinstatement fee, and completing a driver education course.
Other Consequences for Driving Record Points
Florida is not the only entity interested in your driving record. When you buy auto insurance, particularly in Florida, your driving record will be taken into account.
Florida uses a no-fault system of auto insurance. This means that your insurer will pay medical and disability benefits when you get into a car accident.
Insurers use your driving record to assess your risk of getting into an accident. With points on your record, insurers will likely assess you as a high-risk customer and charge you higher premiums.
And if you ever file a claim, your insurer will comb your file for any sign that you misled the insurance company when you bought your policy. Hiding moving violations or suspensions will give the insurer an excuse to deny your claim later on.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in South Florida
If you’ve been injured in an accident, please contact our experienced personal injury lawyers in Florida at Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today. We have three convenient locations in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.
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