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Ohio’s Point System For Traffic Violations

(Rev. 10/05)

The results of driving irresponsibly include accidents and fines, and could affect your auto insurance premium. In fact, one at-fault accident can result in up to three years of surcharges. More than one could place you in a higher risk category or even cause nonrenewal.

Points charged for traffic violations

In July 1996, Ohio’s speed limits were raised to 65 mph on designated urban interstates and rural highways for passenger vehicles and commercial buses. As a result, the point system for moving violations was updated by the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

Any Ohio driver convicted of a traffic violation is assessed a specific number of penalty points according to the type of violation. If convicted of a second or subsequent offense within two years after the first violation, the point assessment for the new violation is added to the driver’s previous total. For example, if you are cited for speeding in excess of the speed limit and were given two points for the violation, and within two years are cited for racing, your total point accumulation would be eight.

The points for specific moving violations follow.

Six-point violations

  • Vehicular homicide
  • Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol (OVI) and/or any drug of abuse
  • Failure to stop and disclose identity at the scene of a crash (Hit-Skip/Leaving scene)
  • Willingly fleeing or eluding a law enforcement officer
  • Racing
  • Operating a motor vehicle without the consent of the owner
  • Operating a motor vehicle while your drivers license is under suspension or revocation
  • Using a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony, or committing any crime punishable as a felony under Ohio Motor Vehicle Laws

Four-point violations

  • Willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property

Two-point violations

  • All moving violations except those pertaining to size limits and some speed offenses
  • Operating a motor vehicle in violation of a restriction imposed by the Registrar of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles

Speeding violations

Ohio’s point system for speed limit violations was revamped under SB 123. The new point system for speeding became effective January 1, 2004.

The new system replaces the sliding scale system that previously took a driver’s prior record and speed over the posted limits into consideration.

Under SB 123 a speeding violation may result in four points, two points or no points depending on the posted speed limit and the number of mph by which the speed limit was exceeded.

  • Exceeding a speed limit by 30 mph or more results in four points.
  • If the speed limit is 55 mph or more, exceeding the limit by more than 10 mph (11–29 mph over the limit) results in two points.
  • If the speed limit is less than 55 mph, exceeding the limit by more than 5 mph (6–29 mph over the limit) results in two points.
  • Exceeding any speed limit in an amount less than what is stated above results in no points.

See the table below for further explanation.

Penalties

A driver accumulating six points will receive a letter from the Registrar of Motor Vehicles indicating the following penalties should 12 or more points be accumulated within a two-year period:

  • Suspension of driving privileges for six months
  • Proof of financial responsibility must be filed with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and maintained for three years. Your insurance company will notify the BMV if, within the three-year monitoring period, your policy lapses, is nonrenewed or is terminated.
  • Upon completion of suspension, a remedial driving course approved by the Director of Public Safety must be taken. The course must include a minimum of 25% of its classroom hours devoted to instruction on driver attitude.
  • A new driving test must be taken

Driving under suspension

Operating a motor vehicle while a license is under suspension is a first-degree misdemeanor. If convicted, the driver is subject to a fine of up to $1,000 or six months in jail, or both. The violator may also be sentenced to an additional one-year drivers license suspension.

Two-point “credit”

A driver who accumulates more than five but no more than 11 points for traffic violations is eligible for a one-time, two-point credit by completing an approved remedial driving course.

The two-point “credit” offered through this program doesn’t erase any convictions from a person’s official driving record and doesn’t eliminate any prior convictions that an insurance company may take into consideration in premium assessments. All convictions remain on the driver’s record, but the points needed for the 12-point suspension are extended by two.


Source: Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Digest of Motor Vehicle Laws, 11/03

FR Law violations and monitoring requirements

Vehicle owners and operators in Ohio are required to carry a minimum amount of liability coverage in order to legally operate or permit the operation of a motor vehicle.

The BMV requires that proof of financial responsibility (FR) be monitored for either a three or five-year period for failure to provide proof of financial responsibility if required. A five-year monitoring period applies to those if found in violation prior to January 1, 2004. A three-year monitoring period became effective for violations occurring on or after January 1, 2004. Click here for the scenarios that require owners and operators of vehicles to provide FR proof.

If convicted of any of the following charges, FR proof is required to be filed for three years. Failure to comply will result in drivers license suspension for three years.

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, except the first offense
  • Failing to stop after a crash
  • Felony involving a motor vehicle
  • Racing
  • Willfully eluding or fleeing law enforcement
  • Perjury in obtaining a license or registration

Suspension of probationary license

For those under age 18, two moving violations will result in a 90-day suspension of your drivers license. The driver will also be required to complete a juvenile driver improvement program. A driver under age 18 will be subject to a one-year license suspension if convicted of three moving violations.

Source: Excerpts from Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Digest of Motor Vehicle Laws, 1/05


Source: Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles

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