Traffic Violations in Tennessee 101
Driving is a privilege. How you drive your vehicle and how you handle moving violations affect whether you keep your driving privileges. Depending on your behavior, these actions could get those privileges suspended or lead to even worse consequences.
The state of Tennessee uses a point system that penalizes you for accumulating points. These points do not cause you to lose your license in the state of Tennessee, but the moving violations themselves can. However, if you accumulate six or more points within a 12-month period, you’ll receive a warning. If you accumulate 12 or more points within a 12-month period, your driver’s license may be suspended.
Tennessee Points System
In Tennessee, each moving violation carries a specific number of points based upon its seriousness. For example, the number of points accessed for speeding increases depending upon how fast you are going. Speeding 1 to 5 mph over the posted speed limit gets you 1 point, and 6 to 15 mph over gets you 3 points. This continues all the way up to speeding 45 mph over the speed limit, which gets you 8 points. Failing to yield the right of way gets 4 points, and passing a stopped school bus gets you 8 points. Contributing to an accident causing property damage gets you 4 points; if someone is injured, you are given 6 points, and if someone dies, you are given 8 points.
How Long Do Points Stay On Your Record?
In Tennessee, points stay on your record for a period of two years.
License Suspension and Reinstatement in Tennessee
When an adult driver has accumulated six points within a 12-month period, they receive a warning that additional infractions could result in license suspension. When a driver receives 12 points within a 12-month period, they receive a notice of proposed suspension. They have an opportunity to schedule an administrative hearing. If they don’t do so, their license is suspended for 12 months. If they schedule a hearing, they may be allowed to attend a driver improvement class instead of suspension or receive a shorter suspension. Juveniles are required to attend a driver improvement clinic if they receive six points within a 12-month period.
If your license is suspended, you’ll have to pay a reinstatement fee and comply with any other reinstatement requirements to be able to drive again.
If you get a ticket, you can plead guilty and pay the fine, or you can request a hearing to challenge the ticket. If you choose to pay the fine, you do so at the clerk’s office in the county where you received the citation. You can do so by mail by sending a copy of the citation and a certified check or money order, by phone using a debit or credit card, or in person.
If you fail to pay the fine or fail to appear for a hearing on the violation, the state may suspend your driving privileges.
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