Indiana’s Points System for Driver’s Licenses

Apr 21

In order for someone to lawfully operate a motor vehicle in Indiana, they must have a valid driver’s license. Once you have a license, it creates a driving record, which can have an impact on job opportunities, insurance rates, and more. Violating the law can also lead to a car accident, and the violation can be proof of liability for the losses of victims. 

Every time a driver is convicted of a moving violation in Indiana, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) will add a specific number of “points” to your driving record. Unlike sports games, points in this situation are not positive. In fact, too many points can lead to the suspension of your license. 

Moving violations can also help accident victims prove liability for their injuries. If you need help following a crash, reach out to a car accident law firm as soon as possible. 

How it Works

The BMV pre-assigns a point level to each violation based on its relative severity. Generally, offenses that put people at greater risk of harm have higher point values. Some examples of different point values include:

  • Headlight or blinker violation = 2 points
  • Speeding up to 15 mph over = 2 points
  • Violating a traffic signal or stop sign = 4 points
  • Improper passing = 4 points
  • Speeding 16 to 25 mph over = 4 points
  • Texting while driving = 4 points
  • Not yielding to emergency vehicles = 6 points
  • Speeding more than 25 mph over = 6 points 
  • Reckless driving = 6 points
  • Aggressive driving = 6 points
  • Improper passing in a road work zone = 8 points
  • Drag racing = 8 points
  • Reckless driving causing property damage = 8 points
  • Driving while suspended = 8 points
  • Leaving the scene of an accident = 8 points
  • Reckless driving in work zone = 8 points
  • Operating under the influence (OUI) = 8 points
  • Reckless driving causing injury = 10 points
  • Leaving the scene of an accident involving injury or death = 10 points
  • OUI causing injury or death = 10 points

Points fall off your license after two years (though the conviction remains on your driving record). You can take a driver safety education course once every three years to remove four points from your license. 

Getting Too Many Points

When you accrue too many points, there are serious consequences from the BMV. If you accrue 20 points at once, you will have a one-month driver’s license suspension. This increases by one month for each additional two points, and 42 points is a one-year suspension. 

It might seem difficult to accrue that many points, but a driver who is drunk and leaves the scene of an accident causing injuries already has 20 points added at once. If that driver then drives with a suspended license, they will have an additional 8 points added. Many drivers are repeat offenders due to reckless or aggressive driving, and they can both lose their licenses and cause injuries to others. 

How Many Points Can You Have Before Getting a Penalty?

The number of points on a driver’s license depends on the severity of a traffic violation. If you accumulate enough points, the Indian Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) may suspend or indefinitely revoke your license.

Consequences of Accumulating Too Many Points

Usually, a driver accumulating 14 points receives a warning letter from the BMV, which indicates penalties for future traffic violations. A driver getting 20 or more points will receive a notice of suspension.

Here’s the possible duration of a license suspension, which depends on the number of points:

  • One month— 20 points
  • Two months—22 points
  • Three months— 24 points
  • Four months— 26 points
  • Five months— 28 points
  • Six months— 30 points
  • Seven months— 32 points
  • Eight months— 34 points
  • Nine months— 36 points
  • Ten months— 38 points
  • Eleven months— 40 points
  • Twelve months— 42 points

How Long Do Points Stay on Your License?

Points on your driver’s license are only active for two years from the conviction date. Even so, a conviction remains on a driver’s license for ten years. Points on your license can impact your Commercial Driver’s Licence or lead to higher insurance rates.

You can pursue a deferral program to avoid accumulating enough points that warrant a penalty from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

How Do I Check My Points?

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has a site that allows its residents to check their viewers’ driver’s records free of charge. A driver record contains your driving history, including current and unresolved suspensions, violations, citations, and other entries impacting your record.

However, if you need to check the official driver’s record, you may need to purchase it directly from the website for $4. The official driver’s record is a certified copy of the record with a BMV letter of certification, which is primarily applicable in school admission and vetting of employees.

A driver’s record provides additional information about yourself, including address, name, birthdate, and gender. You’ll also see additional information, including your driver’s license number, license type, expiration date, and current points on your Indiana License.

You may need to provide the license number to obtain a driver’s record; however, you can request a copy of your official driver’s record by mail if you are unsure about your driver’s license number.

Print the Request for Certified Records— State Form 53789 and mail it along with payment to:

Indiana Government Center North

Room 412

100 North Senate Avenue

Indianapolis, IN 46204

How Do I Remove Points from My Indiana Driver’s License?

There are two options to get points off Indiana driver’s license. First, wait it out. The points will stay active in your records for two years. If you accumulated points for a minor violation, you’ll be all good after two years.

Alternatively, you can complete the Indiana Driver Safety Program (DSP) program to get points off your license quickly. The program helps drivers operate vehicles more safely. However, you must complete the program with a BMV-approved provider to get points off your license.

After completing the program, the Indiana BMV will issue a four-point credit toward your license.

Speak with an Indiana Car Accident Lawyer

If you suffered injuries due to a dangerous driver, you should reach out to Blackburn Romey for legal help right away. Contact us for a free consultation. Our car accident lawyers serve Fort Wayne, South Bend, Indianapolis, Lafayette, Terre Haute.

Tom Blackburn

Blackburn Romey founding partner Tom Blackburn graduated with honors receiving a degree from Indiana University at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Initiating his legal career in 1977, he has been active in practicing law and currently serves as a member of the Indiana State Bar Association on the Ethics and Advertising Committees, the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, as a board member at the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, and as an appointed member of the Executive Committee for the State of Indiana for the National Trial Lawyers Association.

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