The MVD Points System in Arizona

MVD Points

We are frequently asked about the MVD points system because we handle a lot of traffic cases, and a primary concern when someone has been charged with a traffic violation is to keep their driving privileges from being suspended.

Accumulation of MVD Points

There are two important time frames in the MVD points system. The first is the most recent 12 months. Accumulate between 8 and 12 points in a twelve month period, the MVD will take corrective action, which means either an order to attend Traffic Survival School (TSS), or, in rare cases, the MVD may simply suspend the driving license. If eligible for Traffic Survival School (typically that means, not having attended TSS in the last 24 months) and the MVD orders Traffic Survival School, that can avoid a license suspension. If ineligible for Traffic Survival School, that typically results in driving privileges being suspended for 3 months. Accumulate between 13 and 17 points in a 12 month period, Traffic Survival School is not an option, and driving privileges will be suspended for 3 months. Accumulate between 18 and 23 points in a 12 month period, typically driving privileges will be suspended for 6 months.

The next important time frame is the most recent 36 months. Accumulate 24 points or more in a 36 month period, driving privileges will be suspended for a year.

For purposes of calculating points over a particular time period, the MVD uses the date of the violation, not the date the court entered a judgment of responsible or guilty. Because of this, it is possible that a violation that was not resolved for a significant period of time could result in a corrective action because, once resolved, there is a 12-month period (or 36-month period) that contains too many points, even if that is not the most recent relevant time period.

We are often asked when MVD points expire. The points don’t really expire, but they age and matter less as more time passes, as described above.

Drivers Under 18 Years of Age

The MVD points system is not the same for drivers net yet 18. If a driver under 18 is found responsible or guilty of a traffic violation, it will automatically result in an order to attend Traffic Survival School, even if that is the only violation on the driver’s record. A second traffic violation for an under-18 driver will result in a 3 month suspension, and a third violation for an under-18 driver will result in a 6 month suspension.

There are a number of other crimes that are not related to driving but that when committed by someone under 18 years of age result in a license suspension, such as certain drug and alcohol related crimes and certain crimes involving graffiti.

As with any legal matter with potentially serious consequences, such as those possibly impacting driving privileges, it is always a good idea to seek competent legal advice before making any decisions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.