Driving Instruction

How to Remove Demerit Points From Your License in One Easy Step

September 15, 2022

Are you looking to learn how to get points off your license in VA? You’ve come to the right place! In this blog post, you’ll learn:


  • How to get rid of driver’s license demerit points
  • How many points it takes to suspend a license in VA 
  • How long points stay on your license in VA if you don’t take driving classes to remove points from your record 


Additionally, we’ll share all the Virginia specific information you need to know about how to improve your safe driving points balance. So let’s get started!


The Safe Driving Points Balance

Most states have a point system for keeping track of drivers’ traffic records, and Virginia is no exception. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) keeps track of each driver’s point score. Insurance companies use this number to determine risk. After a certain number of demerit points in a given amount of time, the DMV will require drivers to attend traffic school or even suspend their license. But more about that later. 


Drivers in Virginia start with 0 points on their license. You gain one “safe driving point” every year that you keep a clean driving record. You can accrue up to +5 safe driving points. 


Having safe driving points on your license can translate into cash in the form of “good driver discounts” offered by insurance companies. Other benefits of a positive score are that it looks good to potential employers if you are seeking a job that involves driving. A positive points score may also incline a police officer to leniency if you are ever pulled over. 


So that is the positive side of the safe driving points balance. What about demerit points? 


Every time a driver is convicted of a moving violation in Virginia, they receive a number of negative demerit points. (Moving violations do not include parking tickets.) The amount of demerit points - 3 points, 4 points, or 6 points - depends on the severity of the traffic violation. 


Examples of 3-point violations:

  • Speeding 1-9 miles over the speed limit
  • Improper passing on the right
  • Failure to yield to overtaking vehicles
  • Improper turns at intersections


Examples of 4-point violations:

  • Speeding 10-19 miles over the speed limit
  • Failure to yield to a pedestrian
  • Tailgating / Aggressive driving
  • Failure to stop for stopped school bus


Examples of 6-point violations:

  • Reckless driving
  • Driving Under the Influence
  • Refusing a breath test
  • Driving while your license is suspended or revoked


Demerit points can build up fast, and there is no limit to how far down you can go. 

Why Are Demerit Points a Problem?

Some of the liabilities of being on the negative side of the safe driving points balance include:

  • Higher insurance rates
  • Reduced leniency in traffic court
  • Being designated a “high risk” to insurers
  • DMV sanctions

According to an insurance rep, “If you already have points on your record, an additional violation or claim could potentially raise your insurance rates by 50% or more.” 


In addition to affecting insurance rates, getting too many demerit points can lead to losing your license!

How many points does it take to suspend a license in VA?

If you accumulate 12 demerit points in 12 months (or 18 points in 24 months), you’ll be required by the DMV to complete an 8-hour Driver Improvement Clinic within 90 days. 


If you accumulate 18 demerit points in 12 months (or 24 points in 24 months), your driver’s license will be suspended for 90 days and you’ll be required to complete a Driver Improvement Clinic. If you’re under age 20, an online Driver Improvement Clinic won’t satisfy the requirement—you will have to attend in person. 


That might sound like a lot of points, but it would actually only take three or four tickets in a year to put you over the limit. 

How long do points stay on your license in VA?

If you do nothing to get rid of the demerit points, they will stay on your license for 2 years following your conviction. After that, they automatically disappear and no longer affect your safe driving points balance.


Other than waiting 2 years for the demerit points to automatically disappear from your license, there are driving classes you can take to remove points from your record in Virginia.


How to Get Demerit Points Off Your License in VA?

So now we come to the big question: how to get rid of demerit points? What are the driving classes to remove demerit points from your record in Virginia?


The answer to how to remove demerit points in Virginia is pretty simple. In addition to gaining one safe driving point each year, it is possible to gain +5 safe driving points all at once. The secret of how to get so many driving points back at the same time is to voluntarily attend a DMV approved Driver Improvement Clinic - either in person or online


Approved Driver Improvement Clinics are the official driving classes to remove points from your driving record in Virginia. These classes teach drivers things they may not know about traffic law, defensive driving techniques, car handling, and the true risks of various driving choices. Drivers may gain +5 points from this course once every two years. 


This means, if you have gotten a couple tickets this year, attending a Driver Improvement Clinic could bring you up from a dangerous -8 points, to a much more comfortable -3 points. Or, if you’ve gotten your first ticket in years, attending a Driver Improvement Clinic could clear your record entirely and bring you back into positive numbers.


Take Driving Classes to Remove Points From Your Record in Virginia at Colonial Driving School


If you’ve been wondering how to get demerit points off your license in VA, we are here to help. 


Colonial Driving School has an excellent, DMV approved Driver Improvement Clinic which you can attend in person or online. Our online course can be started at any time and completed in one or multiple sittings, as fits your schedule. Once you complete the course, you will receive your certificate by email. Regardless of whether you take the course online or in person, we will inform the DMV on your behalf to make sure you get your positive points!


Whether you have gotten one ticket or several, why leave those demerit points on your license? Now that you know how to get rid of demerit points, sign up for a Driver Improvement Clinic today!