Colorado’s Point System for Traffic Tickets

Every state has a different a different system for the licensing of drivers who use the public roadways in that state. While the federal government has a significant amount of influence and control of the individual states’ rules for driver’s licensing and traffic laws (for example, there is a nationally acceptable code for roadway markings and traffic laws) as a requirement for the states to obtain federal highway funding dollars, much discretion remains regarding how each state will handle its respective assignment of driving privileges and how traffic violations will affect a residents’ privilege to drive.

Colorado DMV’s Point System

For each conviction or default judgment of a traffic violation, a certain amount of points is assessed by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to the driver’s record. It does not matter whether the person actually holds a valid Colorado driver’s license since the assessment points are recorded on the person’s driving history using his or her name and date of birth, which is originally recorded on the ticket by the police officer at the scene of the traffic stop. The DMV has a large computer data base which stores the information regarding the points assessed and ticket convictions of drivers who have incurred tickets in that state throughout the years.

You may read more about the driver’s license point system at: DMV Point System.

Once there is a conviction in criminal cases or a default for civil traffic infractions, in accordance with the assessment schedule of the Driver’s License Point System, the traffic court notifies the DMV of the conviction or default. Subsequently, a the certain amount of points is assessed. A conviction occurs when the driver pleads guilty or no contest to criminal traffic charge (such as excessive speeding or careless driving), is found guilty at a court or jury trial, mails in a civil penalty assessment fine amount, or gets a default judgment (only applicable in civil cases). If the driver fails to appear on a criminal charge, no default is legally allowed but the person’s driving privileges are suspended in Colorado and notice of the suspension is transferred to the person’s home state.

What Happens if Too Many Points Are Incurred?

If a driver gets too many points within a certain period of time, the person’s driving privileges will be suspended, and this is called a “Point Suspension.”

In cases where too many points are incurred, a Point Suspension is mandatory, and the DMV will set a hearing to review the driver’s history and case facts. The driver’s privileges will then be suspended from one day to one year, with the amount of the suspension determined by the DMV hearing officer. As mentioned above, it does not matter whether the person actually has a Colorado license. All point suspensions are recorded for the person under his or name and date of birth, and then the suspension period is entered into a national database called the National Driver’s Register (NDR). When the driver goes to obtain or renew his license in his home-state, the home-state DMV must check the NDR in accordance with federal requirements and enforce the suspension just as if it happened within the home-state.

How Many Point Are Drivers Allowed?

The amount of points a driver is allowed depends upon the driver’s age and whether he or she was driving as a chauffeur. Following are the amounts of points that will cause a driver’s license to be suspended:

Adult Drivers (21 Years or Older)
12 points in any 12 consecutive months
18 points in any 24 consecutive months
Minor Drivers (18 to 21 Years Old)
9 points in any 12 consecutive months
12 points in any 24 consecutive months
14 points during the lifetime of the license (age 18 to 21)
Minor Drivers (Under 18 Years Old)
6 points in any 12 consecutive months
7 points prior to the age of 18 years old
Chauffeur Drivers (Violations Must be During the Course of Employment)
(additional restrictions apply)
16 points in 1 year
24 points in 2 years
24 points in 2 years

Source: These point amounts come from Colorado DMV. Be sure to check with them in case there are any future changes.

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