How Long Do Points Stay on Your License in California?

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Points for most driving violations stay on your California driving record for three years, according to the "Young Drivers" website of the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Points for more serious violations remain for up to 10 years. Accumulating too many points is serious because it can result in the loss of your license. However, you can ask the DMV to correct your record if it contains an error.

How You Get Points

You get one to two points for tickets, violations and accidents where you're to blame, according to the California DMV. For example, you get one point for violating a traffic signal, disobeying a traffic officer, passing illegally or following too closely. You receive two points for reckless driving, driving over 100 miles per hour or driving under the influences of alcohol or drugs. Commercial drivers receive one and one-half times the points for the same violation as other drivers.

What Happens When You Get Points

One-point violations stay on your driving record for three years, according to the DMV.org website. Two-point violations, such as driving under the influence of alcohol, stay on your record for 10 years. In addition, if you fail to appear in court, the notation will stay on your record for five years for an ordinary traffic violation or for 10 years for a DUI.

The DMV sends you a letter each time it adds points to your record. You can lose your license if you get too many points in a certain period of time, such as four points in one year or six points in two years. You'll receive warning letters when your points put you at risk of suspension, and you'll get an Order of Suspension when your license is revoked.

Even if you never come close to losing your license, points on your record can increase your auto insurance costs or cause an employer to decide against hiring you.

Avoiding Points and Getting Rid of Them

Obeying the traffic laws and driving safely can help you avoid tickets, accidents and points on your record.

Traffic School

If you do get a ticket, you may be able to avoid points by going to traffic school. Not all tickets qualify. If yours does, you'll receive a letter from the court informing you that you can attend traffic school to have the infraction dismissed.

You're permitted to remove a ticket through traffic school only once every 18 months, and you must meet other criteria, such as having a valid driver's license, according to DMV.org.

Fixing Errors

If you want to check your driving record for errors, request a copy from the DMV. If you order the report online, you'll get an unofficial version, while you'll get an official one through mail order.

To request the correction of an error, you must fill out the Driver License Record Correction Request form. Fill in your information and mail the form to the DMV at the address provided. Include any documents that support your claim, such as an official letter from the court showing you weren't convicted.

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