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Virginia Traffic Tickets

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Virginia has traffic laws that you must abide or face financial penalties, possible license suspension or revocation, or even imprisonment. Most motorists slip up sooner or later and get caught exceeding the speed limit or otherwise violating traffic laws. When that happens, a police officer will issue a traffic ticket for one or more moving violations.

Traffic Violations Overview

When ticketed and convicted of one or more traffic violations, the respective local court notifies the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV posts the conviction on your driving record, notifies your auto insurer and assigns demerit points where applicable. If you accrue enough points, the DMV will suspend your license and might order you to successfully complete a driver improvement clinic.

Virginia Points System

The Virginia DMV maintains a demerit points system for traffic violations. If you are convicted of a traffic violation that results in demerit points, the DMV assesses three levels of points violations. Those points violations are:

  • 6-point violations include reckless driving, driving under the influence, exceeding the speed limit by at least 20 mph and manslaughter.
  • 4-point violations include speeding, unsafe passing, failure to yield right-of-way or stop, and improper signaling.
  • 3-point violations include exceeding the speed limit by less than 10 mph, impeding traffic, improper passing and failure to abide traffic controls.

If you accrue 18 demerit points in 12 months or 24 points in 24 months, the DMV will suspend your driving privileges for 90 days and require you to successfully complete a driver improvement class before regaining your driving privileges.

How Long Points Last

Points last for between 5 years and 11 years on individual driving records. The severity of the driving conviction and frequency if declared a habitual offender determine how long the points for the respective violations last.

You can earn a safe point for every year that you do not get a conviction for a moving violation. A safe point removes a demerit point and helps to reduce accrued points totals faster.


License Suspension and Reinstatement

If you accrue to many points and trigger a license suspension, the Virginia DMV will notify you by mail. If a moving violation is severe enough to cause a license suspension, the court issuing the conviction can order the license suspension immediately. When you gain too many demerit points and trigger a license suspension, the suspension initially lasts 90 days for first-time offenders and others who generally are not scofflaws.

You also can lose your driving privileges if you operate a vehicle without insurance coverage, due to a court order upon a reckless driving conviction, or not successfully completing a driver

A license suspension can last longer than 90 days if a court or the Virginia DMV determines a longer suspension is necessary. That might occur due to extreme reckless driving, repeated convictions for driving under the influence or incidents that result in manslaughter or catastrophic injuries to others.

Last Verified:
Dec 28, 2022