YOU ASK:

How do points on driver's license affect car insurance rates?

WE ANSWER:

More points mean higher premiums.

If you are guilty of a traffic or driving violation or if you are involved in an accident (where you are at fault), these can result in points in your driver's license.

However, these points depend on the type of violation. And if you get enough points to warrant the insurance company's attention, you may face higher rates until these points are removed or "forgiven" from your record. These occur at least 3 years from the date the ticket is issued and you are convicted of the offense.

  • Parking tickets. These won't strike up points in your driver's license so these won't affect your insurance rates. You just need to pay for your parking tickets in order for you to renew the license plates of your car.
  • Minor tickets. These includes minor violations such as having defective brakes, failing to use seatbelts or signal lights, not sharing the road or yielding (especially to a pedestrian) and not being able to show proof of insurance when an officer asks. Other minor offenses include speeding, overloading, tailgating, passing or turning improperly or driving in a bus lane. Points from minor violated are rated exponentially, this means that for every one point increase, your premium will go higher by a greater percentage. For instance, one point may mean a 5% increase in premiums while 4 points may mean an increase in premiums of up to 50%.
  • Major tickets. These violations include driving without insurance, not reporting an accident or damage to a highway property, speeding in a construction zone or in a speed that is 60 miles per hour higher than the speed limit or failing to stop in a school bus. One major violation can mean as much as a 30% increase in your premiums.
  • Serious and Criminal Offenses. These tickets are issued for driving under the influence of alcohol (blood alcohol level exceeding 0.08, racing, motor manslaughter, reckless and dangerous driving and criminal negligence). This may cause your car insurance to be cancelled.
  • Suspension of license. If you earn too many points, the DMV may suspend your license.
    The suspension of your driver's license may be grounds for your car insurance company to cancel your policy.
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