You may have heard about the dangers of getting “points” on your driver’s license, but what exactly does that mean?
Points are essentially marks against drivers for breaking the rules of the road. There are many infractions that can result in points being added to your driver’s license; speeding, illegal passing, not stopping at stop signs, driving without insurance, and causing minor accidents are just a few. If you’re not careful, these points can add up and result in you getting your driver’s license suspended. If you get as many as 12 points within 3 years, you can even have your license revoked. Even if you haven’t reached a number of points that warrants your license being suspended or revoked, you can face other consequences. For example, drivers with more points on their license pay higher auto insurance premiums.
Fortunately, there is a way to try and remove points from your driver’s license. In North Carolina, your first step is to schedule an eligibility hearing. The North Carolina DMV will decide at this hearing if you are eligible to attend a driving clinic. If you have never had your license suspended, you should be eligible with seven points on your license. If you have had a previous suspension and are on the eight-point scale, you should be eligible when you have four points.
Assuming you are eligible for such a clinic, your next step is to actually attend your eligibility hearing. If you are worried about saving time and money while attending a clinic, you may request an online traffic safety course when you attend your hearing. Such a course will count as an alternative to a DMV-run clinic and may be more efficient than attending an in-person clinic if you are worried about traveling. Regardless of whether you attend an in-person DMV course or an online traffic safety course, you will need to pay a $40 hearing fee in order for the DMV to approve you for the course. You can only take a course once every five years.
After attending your eligibility hearing, you will need to complete the traffic safety course or DMV clinic (depending on which you chose). These courses and clinics will take up either four or eight hours, and their runtime will rely on which North Carolina county you live in. In Wake County and Guilford County, you will only need to take a four-hour course. In any other North Carolina county, you must set aside eight hours of your time to complete a course.
Finally, you will need to submit a Certificate of Completion to the DMV. This certificate will prove to the DMV that you actually completed a driving course or clinic. Your points should be removed within a few days of submitting the Certificate of Completion, but you may want to check just to make sure the points are successfully removed. You can check this by looking at your driving record on the MyDMV website.
Protecting the safety of yourself and others should be more than enough incentive to drive as safely as you can. But when mistakes happen – as they do – it is comforting to know that the points on your driver’s license may not have to be permanent.
At King Law, there are attorneys throughout North and South Carolina who handle these types of cases and can represent you in this unique situation. Call our toll-free number at 888-748-5465 (KING) to request a consultation with one of these experienced attorneys.