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What Is the Ohio Point System for Traffic Violations?

Updated: November 20, 2023
Nicholas Gounaris
By Nicholas Gounaris
Lawyer

Nick Gounaris attended Miami University and received a Bachelor of Arts degree and then went on to attend
University of Dayton School of Law where he received his Juris Doctorate. In 2011, Mr. Gounaris was awarded a 10.0 “Superb” rating by Avvo, which is an attorney rating website recognized around the nation. He provides clients of the firm with competent legal representation and focuses his law practice in the areas of DUI DefenseCriminal Defense, Family Law Issues, Federal Criminal Law and Personal Injury cases.

What Is the Ohio Point System for Traffic Violations?

The state of Ohio assesses points against the driving record of drivers who commit certain traffic violations. Ohio’s point system is intended to take dangerous drivers off the roads. When you accumulate 12 or more points over a two-year period, the State of Ohio suspends your license.

Points and penalties for traffic violations in Ohio are serious charges that can carry steep consequences for drivers. A traffic attorney at Gounaris Abboud, LPA, can explain the process for getting points on your license in Ohio and the potential consequences if you accumulate too many.

Contact us online or call (937) 761-3929 today for a free consultation.

Understanding the BMV Point System in Ohio

Understanding the BMV Point System in Ohio

When you get convicted of traffic violations in Ohio, the court clerk sends a certified abstract to the BMV explaining which violation you committed. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) uses a predetermined table to add points to your driver’s license.

Points on your driving record stay on your license for two years. The two-year period begins on the date of your violation. So, if the police cited you for speeding on October 1, 2022, the points will fall off your record on October 1, 2024.

The BMV keeps a running total of your points. If your record contains 12 or more points over a two-year period, it will automatically suspend your license. In addition to a suspended license, you might face higher insurance premiums. And to remove your points, you may need to attend a remedial driving course.

Points for Various Violations in Ohio

According to the Ohio Code, violation points include the following:

Traffic Violation Points Assigned
Exceeding the limit by more than 10 mph (11–29 mph over the limit) 2
Exceeding the limit by more than 5 mph (6–29 mph over the limit, <55 mph limit) 2
Following Too Closely (Tailgating) 2
Texting While Driving 2
Failure to Yield 2
Driving with a Suspended License 2
Willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property (reckless driving) 4
Exceeding the speed limit by 30 mph 4
Operating a vehicle with unlawful alcohol concentration (<21 years old) 4
Aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular homicide, etc. (highway/street) 6
Willful fleeing or eluding of a law enforcement officer 6
Fleeing the scene of an accident 6
Drag racing 6
Operating a vehicle with 12-point suspension 6
Operating a vehicle with a suspended license (suspension due to OVI) 6
OVI conviction 6
Operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent 6
Using a motor vehicle to commit a felony 6

 

Ohio Considers Multiple Traffic Infractions as Minor Violations Resulting in Two Points

  • Texting while driving;
  • Running a stop sign;
  • Running a traffic light;
  • Driving below the speed limit;
  • Failure to yield;
  • Following too closely;
  • Improper turn;
  • Speeding less than 25mph over the speed limit.

Ohio assesses four points against a driver’s driving record for violations considered more serious or dangerous than those warranting two points.

Four-Point Violations

  • Willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property (reckless driving);
  • Exceeding the speed limit by 30 miles per hour;
  • Operating a motor vehicle with an unlawful concentration of alcohol while under the age of 21.

Six-Point Violations in Ohio

Six-Point Violations in Ohio
  • Street racing;
  • Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (OVI);
  • Leaving the scene of an accident;
  • Driving under a suspended license;
  • Aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter, aggravated vehicular assault, or vehicular assault when the offense involves the operation of a vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley on a highway or street;
  • Willful fleeing or eluding of a law enforcement officer;
  • OVI conviction;
  • Operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent; and
  • Using a motor vehicle to commit a felony.

6-Point Warning Letter

If a driver accumulates six points on his or her license within a two-year period, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is required to issue a warning letter to the driver, listing the violations and the corresponding number of points for each.

12-Point Suspension Letter

If you receive 12 or more points over two years, the BMV will suspend your license for six months. You will receive a letter listing your violations and the points assessed. The letter will also explain what you must do to reinstate your license.

Your requirements will include:

  • Passing a remedial driving course;
  • Filing an affidavit proving you have auto insurance;
  • Paying a fee;
  • Retaking the driver’s license exam.

You must wait until your suspension ends before taking these steps.

How Long Do Points Stay on Your License in Ohio?

Points stay on your driving record forever, but the Ohio BMV only counts them toward a license suspension for two years. You could be wondering, how long do points stay on your license in Ohio after you receive traffic violation convictions? In reality, points assessed to your driving record never go away.

However, for purposes of license suspension, points are considered for two years. The two-year period begins on the date of the first conviction.

In the event you receive 12 points against your license in a two-year period, your driver’s license is suspended for a period of six months. After the six-month suspension period, you must complete a remedial driving course and pass a driving test to have your license reinstated.

Can You Remove Penalty Points from Your Ohio Driving Record?

Can You Remove Penalty Points from Your Ohio Driving Record?

If you have between two and twelve points on your license, Ohio allows you to take a driving instruction course. If you pass, the Ohio BMV removes two points from your record.

You can only take the course once every three years and five times in your lifetime. Because of this time limit, the course can only remove two points in any two-year counting period. If you continue to accrue points after passing the course, you will have no options for preventing them from counting toward a suspension.

How to Reduce Points on Your License in Ohio

How to Reduce Points on Your License in Ohio

You have three options for preventing points from counting toward a suspension:

  • Avoid traffic violations for more than two years, allowing old points to age out of the suspension period;
  • Take the remedial driving instruction course, immediately removing two points;
  • Fight traffic violations so the BMV cannot add the points to your record.

The third point is worth some elaboration. When a police officer issues a citation, you are entitled to have your day in court. The state has to prove you violated the motor vehicle code.

Unless the officer captured video of your vehicle, you can:

  • Show that your actions did not violate traffic laws;
  • Challenge the officer’s interpretation of the situation;
  • Question the officer’s observations.

You may have additional defenses depending on the alleged violation.

How Can You Appeal a 12-Point License Suspension?

You have 20 days to file a petition after the mailing of the suspension letter. You file the petition with your local municipal or county court.

You will request either:

  • Limited driving privileges due to hardship;
  • An opportunity to oppose the suspension.

This petition initiates a lawsuit against the BMV.

What Is Required to Reinstate a Suspended Ohio Driver’s License?

What Is Required to Reinstate a Suspended Ohio Driver’s License?

To reinstate your license in Ohio, you must first wait out the suspension period. After six months, you can start working on meeting the requirements to get your license back.

To reinstate your license, you must:

  • Pay a fee and submit an application;
  • Pass an eight-hour adult remedial driving course;
  • Buy three years of auto insurance and obtain an SR-22 declaration;
  • Retake the written driver’s license examination.

If your license expires during the suspension, you might owe additional fees.

Get a Free Case Review from Qualified Ohio Traffic Lawyers!

An experienced traffic attorney with Gounaris Abboud, LPA, can help you understand your driving record and the Ohio points on license system. Depending on the circumstances of your case, a traffic lawyer can argue to have your driving charge reduced to a zero-point violation.

We pride ourselves on providing our clients with the one-on-one attention we believe is necessary to establish trust in an attorney-client relationship.

Time is of the essence in every legal claim, so contact our team of traffic attorneys at Gounaris Abboud, LPA, as soon as possible at (937) 761-3929 or fill out our online form. We offer free consultations.

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