Virginia Auto Driving Laws
Moving Violations and Point Assessments
When you are convicted of a Virginia driving law violation, the court
notifies the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). DMV does the following:
1. Posts the conviction to your driving record;
2. assigns you demerit points according to the severity of the Virginia
traffic laws offense;
3. issues an order of suspension, if applicable;
4. issues an order requiring the successful completion of a driver
improvement clinic, if applicable; and
5. notifies your insurance company upon request.
The following lists present Virginia driving law violations that have demerit
points. These violations are grouped according to the number of DMV demerit
points assigned to each violation.
The number of years that the conviction stays on your DMV record is in
parentheses beside each violation of Virginia traffic laws. An asterisk (*)
indicates that the conviction remains on your record permanently.
DMV also posts to your record Virginia driving law violations that do not
carry demerit points. These, however, are not listed here.
Demerit points will also be assigned to your record for traffic convictions
incurred in other states.
The length of time that a conviction for violation of a Virginia driving law
stays on your record depends on the severity of the Virginia traffic laws
If you receive an order or notice of revocation, suspension,
disqualification or cancellation, your convictions could remain on your record
for even longer than specified in one of these lists.
DMV demerit points remain on your record for two years from the date that you
commit the offense. The dates that demerit points are removed from your driving
record are not related to the dates that convictions are removed from your
Your insurance company may also assign points on your insurance record;
however, DMV demerit points are not related to insurance company points.
Insurance company points are developed by individual companies.
Driver Improvement Program
DMV uses a point system to rate drivers. You receive demerit points for
unsafe driving and safe driving points for good driving. Demerit Points are
assigned when you commit a Virginia driving law violation.
Different violations of Virginia driving law carry different point
assignments, depending on the seriousness of the offense. For example, you will
receive three demerit points if you make an improper U-turn.
However, you will receive six demerit points if you speed 20 miles per hour
or more above the posted speed limit. Demerit points remain valid two years from
the date you commit an offense.
Safe Driving Points are assigned for each full calendar year that you hold a
valid Virginia driver's license and drive without any violations or
In some cases, you may also earn safe driving points by completing a driver
improvement clinic. You can accumulate a total of five safe driving points and
you may use these safe driving points to offset demerit points.
Consider the following example:
For five years Molly followed all the safe driving rules and always obeyed
the speed limit. She accumulated a safe driving point each year, for a total of
five points. But, one day Molly ran a red light. DMV assigned four demerit
points to her driving record. However, since she had earned five safe driving
points, she ended up with one safe driving point left on her record.
Demerit Points Can Add Up
Each time you commit a Virginia driving law offense, DMV adds additional
demerit points to your record. This can add up to big trouble for some
For More Information
Virginia Department of Transportation