Demerit point system for traffic offenses

When you accumulate 12 or more demerit points within a 12-month period, your driving privilege will be suspended. The type of driver license you have determines the requirements and timeframe of a suspension:

If you have a probationary driver license, instruction permit or have never been issued a license: 

12-30 points assessed – 6 month suspension

More than 30 points assessed – 1 year suspension

If you have a regular driver license including a commercial driver license (CDL):

12-16 points assessed – 2 month suspension

17-22 points assessed – 4 month suspension

23-30 points assessed – 6 month suspension

More than 30 points assessed – 1 year suspension




Failure to yield

Any person who is convicted of a Failure to Yield violation or certain other Right-of-Way violations is required to successfully complete a Right-of-Way course.

For convictions resulting from violations on or after Dec. 2, 2017:

  • When the violation results in no harm or bodily harm, Right-of-Way course must be
  • Completed within 6 months or your operating privilege will be suspended up to 5 years.
  • When the violation results in great bodily harm, suspension will be for 3 months.
  • When the violation results in death to another person, suspension will be for 9 months.

CDL Holders

If you hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you are held to a higher standard when driving a regular vehicle. Many CDL holders are not aware that their CDL is at risk when they get a speeding ticket with their regular license.

CDL Holders Continued

If you get two violations (of the offenses below) within three years, it will disqualify your CDL for 60 days; three violations within three years will disqualify your CDL for 120 days.

  • Deviation from Lane of Traffic
  • Following too closely
  • Reckless Driving
  • Speeding Excess of 20 MPH or more of the speeding limit.
  • Speeding Intermediate 15-19 MPH over the speeding limit.
  • Passing Illegally Driving a CMV Without a CDL in Possession
  • Driving a CMV without Obtaining a CDL/Driving a CMV without proper class/endorsement.

For non-CMV convictions: CDL disqualified if the conviction results in rev/sus or cancel of CDL holder’s license or non-CMV driving privileges.  Speeding in excess of 25 MPH in a 55, 60, 65,70 MPH will result in a 15-day suspension. 

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JOHN T. BAYER

John Bayer grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin. After graduating with his B.A in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2006, John earned his law degree from Marquette University Law School in 2009. He continued to go on and passed the California State Bar Exam.

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