If you have been issued a traffic ticket in Michigan, your first thought might be, “How long do points stay on your license in Michigan?”
Being able to drive yourself to work or wherever you want is a privilege. However, once you secure a driver’s license, be ready to prove that you’re worth one.
You must prove you have the skill, knowledge and discipline to drive safely. Otherwise, your license could be suspended, revoked or restricted.
Here, we discussed the Michigan point system and other related information you need to know. Keep reading to get more details.
How Long Do Points Stay On Your License In Michigan?
In Michigan, points for traffic violations will remain on your driver’s license for two years, starting from the day of the conviction.
The Michigan Secretary of State rolled out a program to help drivers that were issued points for violating traffic rules. The program is to help drivers get points off their licenses. But to qualify, you must attend the Basic Driver’s Improvement Course (BDIC).
With the BIDC, you can knock three points off your license. However, note that the BDIC isn’t for everyone. The gravity of your traffic violation will determine whether you qualify to retake the course.
Here are the conditions under which you may not qualify for the Basic Driver’s Improvement Course.
- The first is when you have a traffic violation for over three points.
- You don’t have a non-commercial driver’s license. On top of that, you have accumulated three or more points on your driving record.
- The third and final reason you may not qualify for BDIC is that you committed a traffic violation in a commercial vehicle.
The above conditions can jeopardize your chances of knocking points off your license. Thus, you have to wait for two years for the points to clear off and hope you don’t have a traffic violation before then.
Understanding The Michigan Point System
Understanding how the point system works in Michigan is crucial for every driver. Under the state’s laws, a traffic violation can be a felony, misdemeanor, or civil infraction.
Punishment for traffic violations in Michigan depends on two key factors. One is the gravity of the crime committed, while the other is how you resolved the issue. In most cases, you could pay a fine, have your license suspended or go to jail.
Traffic violations aren’t the worst of crimes. However, they are avoidable crimes and could cost you a few bucks. You may be asked to pay a court fee and cover other costs. On top of that, points may be placed on your driving record.
The Michigan Vehicle Code established the point system used to grade traffic violations in the state. And each traffic violation boasts a specific point value.
A Handy Tip: If you receive a ticket for a moving violation while your license is under suspension, you will only increase the length of the previous suspension.
In other words, the new suspension will be added to the previous one, and you must pay a reinstatement fee to get back your license.
Furthermore, note that the state may require you to take a driver assessment reexamination, depending on the points you have accumulated on your record.
If you have six or more one-point violations, the state may require you to take the driver assessment reexamination. Another is when you have accumulated up to 12 points or higher on your record within two years.
Under both conditions, the state may mandate you to retake the assessment reexamination to determine if you still qualify to own a license and drive.
Michigan Traffic Violations And Point Value
Each traffic violation in the state attracts a specific point value. The Michigan Vehicle Code has defined the various violations and points attached to them. Check them out below.
1: Traffic violation that attracts two (2) points:
Here are violations that attract two points.
- You get two points if you open an alcohol can in your vehicle.
- You get two points on your license if you drive 6-10 mph above the set speed limit.
- You get two points if you avoid a preliminary breath test and you’re under 21.
- You get two points for other moving violations of the state’s traffic laws.
2: Traffic violation that attracts three (3) points:
You’ll incur three points on your record for the following violations.
- You incur three points when you drive 11 – 15 mph above the state’s speed limit.
- You’ll get three points if you fail to stop at a railroad crossing.
- Improper passing or failure to obey a stop sign or traffic signal.
- Careless driving
- Disobeying a school crossing guard or failing to stop for a school bus.
3: Traffic violations that attract four (4) points:
The following violations attract up to four points.
- You get 4 points for 16 mph or more over the state’s legal limit.
- You get 4 points for impaired driving.
- Drag racing attracts 4 points.
- You get 4 points if you’re under 21 years old and have bodily alcohol content.
- Failure to show due caution or yield to emergency vehicles.
4: Traffic violations that attract six (6) points:
The following violations attract up to 6 points.
- You can get up to 6 points for reckless driving.
- Refusing to take a chemical alcohol test can earn you 6 points.
- A negligence homicide or manslaughter that involves the use of a vehicle.
- Eluding or fleeing from a police officer.
- Moving violation that caused death or injury.
- Operating while intoxicated or in the presence of cocaine or a Schedule 1 drug.
- Failure to stop your vehicle and give identification at the scene where a crash occurred.
- Your failure to yield leads to death or injury to individuals such as emergency responders, a person operating an implement used for animal husbandry or a construction worker.
A Handy Tip: Is it your first traffic violation? Here are things you need to know. You have 60 days to sort things out.
After the violation, the state will notify you if you qualify to retake the BDIC. If you are eligible, note that you have 60 days to take the course.
If you fail to take the BDIC to be eligible to take points off your record, the points will remain on your record for the next two years. The ugly side is that your insurance provider can access this record.
Furthermore, if you incur points for another violation (3 points or fewer) and get a notification to take BDIC, you can take the course for the second violation. However, the points accumulated from the first violation will remain intact.
In this case, you can only knock points off your record for the second violation because you received the BDIC for that.
Also, note that you can’t keep taking the BDIC every two years. As with other states, you can only take it once in a lifetime.
What Can Happen If You Have Too Many Points on Your License in Michigan
Here is what happens if you earn four (4) points on your license, which is possible with two minor traffic tickets or traffic violations. The Michigan Secretary of State will send you a letter notifying you of your points increase and the need to drive carefully.
The letter is a notification and should be treated with concern. The SOS has noted your point increase and deemed it fit to notify you before things get out of hand.
When you earn eight (8) points on your license, you’ll receive another warning from the SOS, drawing your attention to your points increase. The notification will also include a warning that you may have to take the driver reexamination if you accumulate any more points and could lose your driving privileges.
The real problem starts after accumulating up to twelve (12) points. You’ll receive a letter asking you to retake the driver assessment test. The reexamination will include testing your knowledge of driving safety, eyesight test, reviewing your driving records, and driving test.
If the reexamination is successful, you’ll be allowed to leave without any further consequences. However, this is less likely to happen. Once you accumulate up to twelve (12) points, the likely outcome is that your license will be suspended, restricted or revoked for years or a few months.
Your insurer is another issue you’ll face. No driver wants to have an unhappy insurer. But if you keep accumulating points, your insurer will be happy. The insurance company will see you as a high-risk client, especially when the violation includes a DUI. In this scenario, the insurer could increase your rate.
So, how long do points stay on your license in Michigan? Points stay on your license for two years. That’s the straightforward answer.
The Michigan Vehicle Code has assigned points to each traffic violation. So, depending on the violation, you can incur two, three, four or six points. Minor traffic tickets usually attract fewer points.
Violations such as reckless driving, homicide, or manslaughter resulting from using vehicles can incur six (6) points.