We handle hundreds of traffic cases each year, so it’s probably no surprise that we are frequently asked, “when do those points expire?” This question is often asked when defendants are considering their options, whether to take defensive driving or just pay the fine, or to take a plea offer, or to hire an attorney to challenge an alleged traffic violation. To understand the answer to this question, it is first necessary to learn about the MVD points system in Arizona, and how information is reflected on a driver’s Motor Vehicle Record (MVR).
The image above shows the format of a 39-month Arizona MVR. When a driver is found guilty or responsible for a traffic violation, the court reports the judgment to the MVD, which is then reflected on that driver’s MVR, where it stays, indefinitely. The points assessed for the violation are not reflected on the MVR, but the points assessed for particular violations are listed here. In summary, speeding and gore point violations are 3 points, most other moving violations are 2 points,while reckless driving, aggressive driving, or DUI are 8 points, and stop-sign, stop-light, or yield violations are 6 points if there is a death, or 4 points if there is a serious injury, and even leaving the scene of an accident is 6 points.
As to the original question, about when these points expire — they don’t. The points ‘age’. As seen on our post on the MVD points system, there are two time periods that matter: 12 months, and 36 months. Accumulate too many points within any 12 month or 36 month period, and the MVD will issue a corrective action notice. Once a violation is older than 12 months, the associated points matter much less, and once the violation is older than 36 months, the associated points hardly matter at all, even though the violation will still be reflected on the MVR.
If you are concerned about the number of points on your record, you may request a 39-month MVR online here. A 5-year or 10-year MVR is available, if you want to make a trip to the MVD in person, but the 39-month MVR should cover everything that could likely impact your license status.