Driver’s License and Insurance Points in North Carolina

You’ve probably heard of people getting “points” for moving violations, but if you’ve never been pulled over or given a speeding ticket, you may not be familiar with the driver’s license point system in North Carolina. By understanding the system better, you can learn how to avoid accumulating points on your license, and how to remain calm and handle the situation in the event that you are assessed points.

How the Point System in North Carolina Works

In North Carolina, drivers may accumulate points based on one of two systems. The North Carolina Department of Transportation is responsible for points associated with your driver’s license and the North Carolina Department of Insurance’s Safe Driver Incentive Plan is responsible for points associated with your car insurance.

The number of points you may get depends on the kind of violation you are accused of. All points will stay on your driving record for three years, and if you get any additional points during that time, they will be added to your overall points total. This accumulation system means that several violations can quickly cause you serious consequences, mainly the possible suspension of your license. That’s why it’s important to drive safely and have the traffic violation lawyers at Mulligan Attorneys on hand in the event you need help disputing points.

North Carolina Driver’s License Violations and Points

Below is a list of moving violations and other types of traffic violations that may result in the driver being assessed points, depending on whether they are convicted or not:

  • Littering from a motor vehicle – 1 point
  • Failure to properly restrain a child – 2 points
  • Running a stop light/stop sign – 3 points
  • Failure to yield right of way to other vehicles – 3 points
  • Speeding in excess of 55 mph – 3 points
  • Speeding in a “safety zone” – 3 points
  • Speeding in a school zone above the posted speed limit – 3 points
  • Driving without a license – 3 points
  • Driving without insurance – 3 points
  • Failure to stop for an emergency vehicle – 3 points
  • At-fault accidents – 3 points
  • Reckless driving – 4 points
  • Hit and run (with property damage) – 4 points
  • Illegal passing – 4 points
  • Following too closely (tailgating) – 4 points
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road – 4 points
  • Failure to yield right of way to pedestrians, cyclists, scooters, or motorcycles – 4 points
  • Passing a stopped school bus – 5 points
  • Aggressive driving with a Class C license – 5 points
  • Aggressive driving with a Commercial license – 6 points
  • All other moving violations – 2 points

Since the points system is frequently updated, it’s always best to check the North Carolina DMV Handbook for the most up-to-date information.

North Carolina Insurance Violations and Points

Insurance points in North Carolina are usually assessed to drivers who have been convicted of a traffic violation or are found at-fault in an accident. Not only do these points typically increase your current insurance rate, but they may also make it harder to switch to a new insurance company or open new policies. What follows are some examples of insurance points drivers can get in North Carolina:

  • Speeding 10 mph or less when the posted speed limit is 54 mph or less- 1 point
  • Speeding 10 mph or less when the posted speed limit is 55 mph or more – 2 points
  • Speeding 11 mph or more when the posted speed limit is 56-75 mph – 2 points
  • Following too closely (tailgating) – 2 points
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road – 2 points
  • Illegal passing – 2 points
  • Driving over 75 mph when the posted speed limit is less than 70 mph – 4 points
  • Driving over 80 mph when the posted speed limit is less than 70 mph or more – 4 points
  • Passing a stopped school bus – 4 points
  • Reckless driving – 4 points
  • Speeding to avoid arrest – 10 points
  • Prearranged highway racing – 12 points
  • Driving while impaired (DWI) – 12 points

Driver's license points for speeding

Drivers License Point Suspensions

Very serious traffic violations or a points accumulation of 12 or more points will typically result in the state suspending your driver’s license. What follows are a list of some (not all) of the infractions/convictions that can result in license suspension in North Carolina:

  • Speeding 15 mph or more over a posted speed limit of 56 mph or more
  • Driving over 75 mph in an area with a posted speed limit of 70 mph or less
  • Driving over 80 mph in an area with a posted speed limit of 70 mph or less
  • Being convicted of two or more speeding charges between 55 and 80 mph OR being convicted of reckless driving and a speeding charge between 55 and 80 mph within a 12 month period
  • Prearranged highway racing
  • Driving while impaired (DWI)
  • Hit and runs resulting in injury or death
  • At-fault accidents result in injury or death and/or property damage
  • Underage (21) DWI
  • Vehicular manslaughter/negligent homicide
  • Transporting liquor for illegal sale
  • Speeding to avoid arrest
  • Driving on a suspended or revoked license
  • Accumulating 8+ driver’s license points within three years following a previous license suspension/revocation

For any of the above circumstances, suspension lengths are typically based on the number of previous suspensions. A first-time license suspension usually lasts 60 days. Second-time offenders typically lose their licenses for six months and people who have had their license suspended three or more times will be given a year-long suspension.

How a Traffic Violation Attorney Can Help

While a lawyer may not always be able to help you “get out of” a traffic ticket, they may be able to help you reduce the effects that a traffic violation conviction can have on your record. In some cases, we may be able to help you avoid being assessed drivers license or insurance points by:

  • Petitioning to reduce the ticket to a non-moving violation
  • Arguing that “improper equipment” resulted in the violation
  • Determining your eligibility for a Prayer of Judgment Continued (PJC)
  • Helping you navigate a traffic violation trial (if applicable)

Not only might the lawyers at Mulligan Attorneys be able to help you reduce the impact of a traffic violation but, by reducing or avoiding points, we can help you avoid a major increase to your car insurance bill. If you’ve been charged with a traffic violation and are worried about being awarded insurance points or driver’s license points, get in touch with our North Carolina traffic violation attorneys today by calling 910-763-1100 or clicking here to schedule a free consultation.