Maryland Driver’s License Point System
Anyone who has a Maryland driver’s license has probably had an opportunity to worry about getting a traffic ticket. Everyone dreads the thought of being caught for a minor traffic violation. While many realize that Maryland operates on a driver’s license point system, few truly understand what that means. To help clear up some confusion, we have provided a list of common questions people have regarding the Maryland driver’s license point system. If you have further questions about traffic violations in Maryland, call us today or visit the linked page.
Consequences of Getting Points on Your License
The first thing most people are concerned about is what will happen to their driver’s license in the event that a traffic violation results in points to their record. In Maryland, the penalties are graduated and become increasingly severe as you accumulate more points.
At the first stage, between three and five points in two years, you will likely receive a warning letter from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) pointing out the number of points you currently have. This letter has no legal significance, so there is no need to be too concerned if you receive one. Instead, take the letter as a warning that if you continue to commit traffic offenses, you might lose your driving privileges altogether.
If a person accumulates between 5 and 7 points in two years, things become more serious. At this point the MVA often makes drivers sign up for a points system conference or participate in some other kind of driver improvement program. This is meant as a final warning to those with a history of traffic violations before the MVA takes more drastic measures.
Those drivers that amass between eight and 11 points in two years or less face risk immediate suspension of their driver’s license, which is a serious penalty for those who rely on their car to get to work or school. The MVA issues the harshest penalty for those who receive 12 or more points over the course of two years. These unlucky drivers face license revocation, which can last for years in some cases.
Examples of possible points for various traffic violations
Though every infraction is different, a good rule of thumb for Maryland’s point system is that the more serious the incident, the higher the point value assigned to it will be. This means that most minor infractions where no accident occurs are valued at only one point. Other examples of traffic violations and their respective point values include:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs – 12
- Clicking off your lights to evade identification – 8
- Reckless driving – 6
- Driving without proof of insurance – 5
- Driving without a license – 5
- Driving with a suspended license – 3
- Failure to stop at a red light – 2
- Failure to stop for a school bus – 2
- Improper turn – 1
- Failure to yield – 1
- Speeding (9 mph over the limit or less) – 1
- Speeding (10 mph and over) – 2
- Speeding (20 mph or greater over a 65 mph speed limit) – 5
- Speeding (30 mph and over) – 5
Out of State Driving Infractions
Though you may think that because you committed a traffic offense in another state, your actions will be left behind, the reality is that your driving behavior can follow you home under certain circumstances. This is because Maryland is a party to the Driver License Compact, an agreement between states that allows them to share information about crimes and other traffic violations that occur across the country.
Not every kind of out-of-state traffic violation will appear on your driving record. According to the Maryland MVA, the following are some examples of violations that will be assessed on your Maryland record:
- Alcohol or drug related offenses
- Leaving the scene of an injury causing accident
- Homicide or manslaughter involving a vehicle
- Use of a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony
If you are found guilty of an out-of-state violation, it’s important to understand that these violations will incur penalties on your driver’s license according to Maryland’s point system, and not according to the scale in the state where the violation took place.
If you have been ticketed for a traffic violation and are concerned about the amount of points you might incur on your Maryland driver’s license, experienced defense attorney Seth Okin can help explain your options. Having a skilled lawyer on your side with experience defending traffic-related charges gives you the best chance for success in your case. Call Seth Okin’s Maryland law office today at (410) 782-0742 for a free consultation.