Michigan Driver’s License Point System
Disclaimer: Our law firm CANNOT tell you how many points you have on your Michigan driver’s license. You must check with the Secretary of State. Instructions on how to do so can be found HERE.
When you pay a traffic ticket or are found guilty of a traffic offense, you are typically penalized with fines and driver’s license points. Ignoring the driver’s license points is easy. They are not something you see or have to deal with immediately. However, ignoring them can come with consequences. Under the Michigan driver’s license point system, if you accumulate too many points, you could have to retake a driving exam and have a suspended license for a while.
If you’ve received a letter from the Michigan Secretary of State about losing your license, contact a Lansing traffic attorney at DeBruin Law PLLC. You may be able to fight a driver’s license suspension.
The better strategy is to avoid driver’s license points by fighting traffic tickets. If you have been ticketed or charged with a misdemeanor or felony traffic offense, contact our Lansing traffic lawyers right away. To schedule a free, confidential case evaluation, contact us at (517) 324-4303 today.
How Michigan’s Driver’s License Point System Works
Every time you are found guilty or plead guilty to traffic violations in Michigan, the state adds one or more points to your driving record. You may not realize this but paying a traffic ticket is the same as pleading guilty.
Each traffic violation or crime is worth a certain number of points, which is determined by the Michigan Vehicle Code. Minor offenses are often two points, while serious crimes are up to six points.
Every point placed on your driver record stays there for two years from the date of your conviction. Michigan law does not allow the SOS to take driver’s license points off your record early. Also, you cannot get a traffic offense set aside by the court. If you plead guilty to a traffic violation, or you are found guilty by a court, then you will have driver’s license points assigned, and they will stay there the entire two years.
Your only option to avoid driver’s license points and the consequences of accumulating too many is not to accumulate them at all. If you’re ticketed for a traffic offense, you should hire a Lansing traffic attorney and fight the ticket or misdemeanor or felony charge. If you can have your traffic case dropped or dismissed, or if you can prove you are innocent in court, then you avoid a traffic offense conviction and license points.
Driver’s License Points
Here are some of the most common driver’s license points assigned in Michigan:
Two-Point Traffic Violations
- Driving 10 mph or less above the legal speed limit
- Having an open alcohol container in the vehicle
- Driving with a suspended license
- All other moving violations that are not specific to a greater number of points
- Refusing to take a preliminary breath test if you are under 21 years old
Three-Point Traffic Violations
- Careless driving
- Disobeying a traffic signal or stop sign
- Improper passing
- Driving 11 to 15 mph over the legal speed limit
- Failure to stop at a railroad crossing
- Failure to stop for a school bus or disobeying a school crossing guard
Four-Point Traffic Violations
- Operating a vehicle while visibly impaired
- Driving under the age of 21 years with any bodily alcohol content
- Driving 16 mph or more over the legal speed limit
- Failure to yield for emergency vehicles
- Drag racing
Six-Point Traffic Violations
- Refusing to take a chemical test
- Unlawful BAC of .08 or more
- Operating a vehicle while intoxicated
- Reckless driving
- Fleeing or eluding the police
- Failing to stop and give identification at the accident scene
- Moving violation causing severe injury or death
- Vehicular manslaughter, negligent homicide, or another felony involving the use of a car
What Happens If I Have Too Many Points?
If you accumulate four points within a two-year period, which can happen with one serious traffic violation or two minor traffic tickets, you will receive a letter from the SOS advising you of your points and the need to drive carefully. It is a warning against accumulating more points.
If you receive eight points, then you will receive another warning letter that if you obtain more, you will need to take another driver re-examination and your driving privileges could be suspended.
If you accumulate 12 points, you will receive a letter informing you to retake a driver examination. This re-examination will include a review of your driving record, a test of your knowledge regarding traffic safety, a driving test, and an eyesight test. Depending on the outcome of this re-examination, you may be able to correct the issues and move forward without additional consequences. However, this is difficult to achieve. The typical result of 12 driver’s license points is having your driver’s license restricted, suspended, or revoked for months or years.
Additionally, when you gain numerous driver’s license points in Michigan, your auto insurer will not be happy. It will see you as a higher risk, mainly if your driver’s license points involved a DUI, and the insurer will raise your insurance rates.
Appealing an SOS License Suspension
If you receive a letter from the SOS stating your license is being suspended or revoked for too many points, call a Lansing traffic lawyer right away. If you want to file an appeal, you need to file a request for a hearing with the SOS within 14 days of the date you received notice.
You must go before an administrative judge and show that your license should not be suspended or revoked. This can be very difficult, mainly when the reason is for excessive driver’s license points. However, you may be eligible to enroll in an educational program to keep your license or get it back earlier. To learn where there are ways to avoid a driver’s license suspension, call DeBruin Law PLLC immediately.
Reinstating Your Driver’s License
The steps you need to take to get your driver’s license back depends on whether it was suspended or revoked, and why you lost it. If you accumulated too many driver’s license points and your license was revoked for one to five years, then you may need to go through a revocation review before you can have your license reinstated. You must go through a driver assessment re-examination, during which you must prove that the reason you lost your license no longer exists. You may have to complete written, driving, and vision tests. If you are allowed to obtain a new driver’s license, you must pay a reinstatement fee.
If your license is suspended, then once your suspension period is over, you will receive instructions regarding how to restore your license. You are automatically eligible to obtain a new driver’s license. However, you must go through the proper steps, including paying the fees, to obtain a license.
Contact a Lansing Traffic Attorney for Help
If you are dealing with a traffic ticket, driver’s license points, or a license suspension or revocation, contact an experienced attorney at DeBruin Law PLLC. We will thoroughly review your situation, advise you of your options, and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.