There are many different types of traffic violations: moving and non-moving. An example of a moving violation would be speeding which carries points towards your driver license depending on the speed. An example of a non-moving violation is no proof of insurance which does not carry any points. However, the penalty for no insurance is harsh and increased with each violation.
A points system is used to track traffic violations and is recorded on each driver’s driving history or motor vehicle report. Points are assessed against a person’s driver’s license for convictions for most moving traffic violations and some non-moving violations. Points are also assessed for traffic convictions that occurred in other states if the person holds a Georgia driver’s license. No points will be assessed for violating a provision of state law or municipal ordinance regulating standing, parking, equipment, size, and weight.
The points schedule for traffic violations is as follows:
- Speeding 14 mph or less = 0 points
- Speeding 15-18 mph = 2 points
- Speeding 19-23 mph = 3 points
- Speeding 24-33 mph = 4 points
- Speeding 34 mph or more = 6 points
- Aggressive Driving = 6 points
- Reckless Driving = 4 points
- Unlawful Passing School Bus = 6 points
- Improper Passing on Hill or Curve = 4 points
- Open Container = 2 points
- Failure to Secure a Load Resulting in Accident = 2 points
- Violation of Child Safety Restraint = 1 point
- Violation of Child Safety Restraint 2nd Offense = 2 points
- Violation of Wireless Device Usage Requirements = 1 point
- Operating a Vehicle While Text Messaging = 1 point
- Improper Use of Designated Travel Lane – 4th or Subsequent Offense = 1 point
- All Other Moving Violations = 3 points
If 15 or more points are accumulated in any 24 month period, your license will be suspended for one year. A second conviction within 5 years will lead to a three-year license suspension. A limited driving permit can be obtained for a first or second points suspension in five years. For a first or second points suspension within five years, you are eligible for immediate reinstatement of your driver’s license once you complete a defensive driving course and pay a reinstatement fee. A third points suspension within five years will lead to a two-year license suspension and you will not be eligible for a limited driving permit or immediate reinstatement, but you will still be required to submit a certificate of completion of a defensive driving course and pay a reinstatement fee at the end of the suspension period.
A plea of nolo contendere will prevent the assessment of any points for a moving traffic violation once every five years. Points will be assessed for any subsequent pleas of nolo contendere, even for a different offense. Pleas of nolo contendere by a person under 21 years of age will be considered a conviction and will not prevent the assessment of points.
Once every five years, Georgia residents can complete a driver improvement or defensive driving course and request that the Department of Driver Services reduce the number of points assessed against his or her license by up to seven points. A points reduction will not automatically reinstate a driver’s license that was suspended due to the accumulation of 15 or more points.
Points are assessed based on the traffic violation for which a conviction is entered, so if original moving violation is amended or reduced to an offense for which no points are generated, no points will be assessed against your license. It can be very advantageous to go to court for traffic violations that result in point assessments, no matter how minor the offense, in order to request that the charge be amended to a lesser offense. For example, if you are charged with speeding 15 mph over the speed limit, asking the court to reduce the speed by only 1 mph to 14 mph over the speed limit will prevent any points being assessed against your license.