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Points are additional penalty for traffic law violations

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Under North Dakota Law certain driving offenses are assigned not only a statutory fee but also a point value. The points provide an additional penalty for a driver who repeatedly violates traffic laws. The point value is based on the seriousness of the offense.

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A driver with no violations has zero points assigned to their driver's license record. If the driver pleads or is found guilty of a driving offense a specific point total will be added to their driving record. When the North Dakota Department of Transportation receives notice of the final court action they record the offense to the driver's record. The points are affixed to the driving record along with the date and jurisdiction where the offense occurred.

For an example, I will use the offense of overtaking a school bus when the red lights are flashing. The offense is six points. The six points do not remain indefinitely on the driver's record but are removed at a rate of one point after every 90 days has passed. Doing the math you can see the last point will be removed from the driver's license 540 days after the offense was recorded. Additional violations will continue to add points to the driver's record.

But why is it important to maintain zero points on your driving record? The North Dakota Department of Transportation will take action to suspend an adult driver's driving privileges when they have accumulated twelve or more points on their driver's record. For a driver under the age of eighteen the threshold is only six points before action is taken.

The action begins with a notice of intent to suspend your driving privileges being sent to the last address of record on file with the Department of Transportation. The notice will explain the reason for the suspension and offer a hearing relating to the action. Failure to request a hearing in the specified time will result in the suspension taking place on the date stated in the notice. As a note, you are considered to have been served with the notice whether you actually receive it or not. All the Department of Transportation needs to do is show they had sent it to the address they have. You are not allowed the excuse that you moved as you are required by law to file a change of address within 30 days of moving.

The period of suspension for a driver's driving privileges is determined by statute or by the number of points accumulated. Under the points system for an adult driver the period of suspension is one week for every point over the number of eleven. As an example, if the driver has collected fifteen points the period of suspension would be for four weeks. For a youth driver, the suspension period would be nine weeks. In addition the youth driver's license could be cancelled and the driver would need to retest.

Once the suspension period has expired the driver is responsible to request reinstatement of their driving privileges, pay a reinstatement fee and may be required to file proof of insurance with the State. The remaining points revert back to being removed at a rate of one point every 90 days.

Repeated violation can be expensive. Your insurance company will periodically request an abstract of your driving record upon which to base their premiums. Points and records of suspension on your driver's license record tend to drive your insurance rates higher.

Please drive safe and be aware driving is a privilege which can be lost.

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