Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Dec 29, 2021

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The Lowdown

  • The number of points you can get on your license varies from one state to the next
  • Receiving points on your license can make your car insurance rates go up
  • If you have a lot of traffic tickets, you may need to purchase high-risk auto insurance in your state

Whether you’re a new driver or you’ve been driving for decades, getting pulled over can be extremely stressful. Depending on the infraction, you could face fines, points on your license, and even jail time.

You may be wondering, “how many points can you get on your license?” The answer to that question can vary depending on where you live. Keep reading to learn about traffic tickets, how to get points off your license, and more.

If you’re looking for auto insurance after receiving points on your license, it’s a good idea to shop around. Always compare car insurance quotes from multiple companies in your area to get the best rates.

Start today. Enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool above to find affordable car insurance companies near you.

How many points can I get on my license?

If you’re wondering how many points you can get on your license before your license is suspended, the answer varies depending on the state you live in.

The table below shows the different U.S. states and how the license points system works.

Points Allowed on a Drivers License by State

StatePoints for Speeding TicketPoints for Major OffenseNumber of Points for License Suspension
New Hampshire2612
New Jersey2812
New Mexico2812
New York21111
North Carolina1512
North Dakota12412
Rhode IslandN/AN/AN/A
South Carolina2612-15
South Dakota21015-22
West Virginia2812-13
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As you can see, the points allowed on your license vary wildly from one state to the next. So if your question is, “how many points can you get on your license in S.C.,” the answer will be different than if you’re wondering about Iowa.

While a state like California will suspend your driver’s license after four points, Utah will sometimes wait until you’ve accrued nearly 200 points before your license is suspended.

The reason you’ve received a traffic ticket in the first place determines how many points you receive on your license. While this number may not mean that your license is suspended, it could have a serious impact on your car insurance rates.

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How do points on my license affect my auto insurance?

You could be wondering, “how many points do you start with on your license?” The answer is zero.

When you have a driver’s license, you start with a clean slate. You do not accrue points on your license until you get in an accident, run a stop sign, or commit another infraction while behind the wheel.

When this happens, points are added to your driver’s license, and your car insurance company is notified.

If you receive a simple speeding ticket, your insurance rates could barely increase or potentially even stay the same. But if you receive a citation for a serious offense, you can expect your car insurance rates to greatly increase.

After you get points on your license, you will probably want to shop around for more affordable car insurance rates. You may even need to look for high-risk auto insurance coverage. Overall, this will depend on the number of points on your license and the reasons for those points.

Certain auto insurance companies offer high-risk coverage for people who have a poor driving history. This type of coverage could help ensure you can drive legally, but it will probably cost more than the average car insurance policy.

What happens if my license is suspended?

If you accrue enough points over time and your license is suspended, you must stop driving until your license is fully reinstated. If you drive on a suspended license, you can receive serious fines and months of jail time.

Once your suspension period is over, you will need to visit your state’s department of motor vehicles to have your license reinstated. This could simply mean paying a fine, or it could mean you will have to take a driver’s test.

Once your license is reinstated, you still cannot drive your vehicle until you have the proper insurance coverage.

If you have a suspended license, you’ll have to jump through hoops in order to ensure you can legally drive in your state after your suspension period is lifted.

Can I get points removed from my license?

It is possible to have points removed from your driver’s license in some states. For instance, in South Carolina, you can get up to four points removed from your license by taking a driver’s course.

Check with your department of motor vehicles to see what options you have to lower the points on your license and ensure you don’t have to face a license suspension. Be sure to shop around for car insurance coverage regardless of your driving history.

You can find great rates on car insurance by shopping online and comparing rates from multiple companies at once. In addition, you can use our free quote tool below to start your online research today and find cheap car insurance with the coverage you need.