The Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), in conjunction with the police department, enforces a point system for drivers who violate traffic laws. If you are pulled over and ticketed for an infraction, such as failure to make a complete stop at a stoplight or driving over the speed limit, the police officer documents your citation in a system available to law enforcement and the DMV. Along with the citation, points associated with the infraction are assigned to your driving record.
The point system penalizes individuals for reckless or careless driving behavior that could eventually lead to license suspension. Theoretically, removing dangerous drivers from the roads creates a safer environment for all motorists. Learn about point values that correlate with various traffic violations, how to check your driving record, and why you may need a lawyer.
What Is A “Point” in the Colorado Point System?
If you get a speeding ticket or are in violation of another law, such as failure to show proof of insurance, you are subject to receiving points on your license or having your driving privileges suspended by the Colorado department of motor vehicles. The point system accrues points based on the severity of your infraction. In short, certain traffic offenses, such as speeding and DUIs, have point values associated with them. If you break the law, the offense for which you’re charged will determine the number of points you get on your license.
What Happens if You Accumulate Too Many Points?
Under the DMV point system in the state of Colorado, you could wind up with a suspended license if you collect too many points within a specified timeframe. What does that mean? If you get too many points as a result of driving violations or have multiple traffic infractions and the points accumulated within a certain period of time, you could face suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.
Every traffic infraction is assigned a point value in Colorado. For example, failure to properly use your turn signal is deemed 2 points on your license. Although this particular violation may rarely be enforced, below is a list of some commonly inquired-about violations and their point value.
Colorado License Points for Traffic Violations
|Speeding: 5 -9 MPH over||1|
|Speeding: 10 – 19 MPH over||4|
|Speeding: 20 – 39 MPH over||6|
|Speeding: 40+ MPH over||12|
|Not wearing a seat belt||2|
|Failure to yield right of way||3|
|Running a stoplight or sign||4|
|Failure to show proof of insurance||4|
|DUI (Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol)||12|
|Evading an officer||12|
|Leaving the scene of an accident||12|
It’s important to educate yourself and your fellow drivers, especially teenagers. Although fines are associated with driving citations, accumulating points for traffic violations can also cost you or your loved one a license. Your teen may need a vehicle to drive to school, practice, or a job. You may need legal assistance for yourself or an underage driver to navigate the consequences of having demerit points on your license.
Colorado DMV Point Classifications
The consequences for points assigned to drivers under the age of 21 are more strict than “adult drivers” or individuals over 21 years of age. In addition, professional drivers have their own point system assigned to them as their increased amount of driving could potentially lead to more opportunities to accrue demerits. The following are license point accumulations that result in the suspension of your Colorado driver’s license:
Colorado License Suspension Point Accumulations by Age
Adult Driver (21 and older)
- 12 points in any 12 consecutive months
- 18 points in any 24 consecutive months
Minor Driver (18 thru 20 years of age)
- 9 points in any 12 consecutive months
- 12 points in any 24 consecutive months
- 14 or more points between the ages of 18-21
Under the Age of 18
- 6 points in 12 consecutive months
- 7 points before turning 18
Whether you are a teen driver, a professional driver, or anyone in between, if you have had a ticket or citation you may need to check the status of your driver’s license.
How to Check Your CO Driver’s License and Points
As a driver on the road, if you have ever been cited for a traffic violation, you may want to know:
- How many points do I have on my license?
- How do I check my driving record?
- Is my license suspended?
You can check the status of your driver’s license online. A motorist can research how many points they have on their driver’s license and their comprehensive driving history of any tickets, accidents, or violations that have been cited and reported. To order or review your driving record, you need to be prepared to provide the following:
- Driver’s name as it appears on the driver’s license
- Driver’s date of birth
- Driver’s address as it appears on the driver’s license
- Issue date of driver’s license
- The expiration date of the driver’s license
- Driver’s license number
- Last 4 digits of your social security number
- Reason for requesting your record
An official or unofficial copy of your driving record online can be requested online, in person at the DMV, or via mail. If you are requesting your driving history online with the DMV, you will need a debit or credit card to complete your order. DMV offices accept cash, check, money order, credit cards, and debit cards as forms of payment. Mail orders of driving records must send a check or money order.
An individual can request their own motor vehicle report (MRV) for their personal files. Insurance companies can also review your driving history to determine your insurance rates. Attorneys and other authorities can request a copy of your record for investigation and legal reasons.
In the state of Colorado, the DMV shows an individual’s driving history for the last 7 years, with the exception of a DUI. If you are charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, this citation will remain on your driving record for 10 years. Your DMV records will also show if your license has been suspended for any reason.
What is a Colorado Red License?
Colorado law classifies a revoked or suspended license as a “red license.” A red license is a result of accumulating too many points from traffic infractions. Multiple speeding tickets or other driving violations can add up. If you meet the set number of points for your age or driving status, you will have your license restricted, revoked, or suspended.
DMV Point Hearing
If your license is suspended due to accumulating too many points, you may have a hearing to determine the length in which your license is revoked. Individuals who may have been cited for speeding, careless driving, or failure to use a turn signal may have their license suspended for a shorter period of time than an individual whose driving record points reflect a DUI or reckless driving, or evading an officer.
The driver’s age, driving status, driving record, and type of violations may be considered at the hearing to determine the length of the suspension. A driver can be sentenced to a maximum of one year of lost driving privileges by a hearing officer for excess points on their driver’s license. If you have a DMV hearing, a defense lawyer can provide helpful legal advice in presenting your best case.
How to Reinstate a Suspended or Revoked License
After your license is suspended or revoked and you have fulfilled all requirements, such as the period of suspension, fees, driving courses, community service, paid child support, or jail time if needed, you must then apply to reinstate or renew your license. The process of reinstating your license through the DMV can be completed in person, by mail, or online.
The requirements for reinstatement of your license vary depending on what the point suspension or revocation was for. In most cases, Colorado driver’s license reinstatement includes:
- Application for Reinstatement ( DR2870) form
- $95.00 reinstatement fee (check/money order payable to the Department of Revenue).
- Evidence of Insurance showing that you are insured.
After your driver’s license is reinstated, no testing will be required to get a duplicate license if your license is still valid. When you renew your license, you will need to take the written test. Visit the DMV website for more information.
Contact Our Law Firm
Navigating any DMV-related process can be frustrating, especially if your license has been suspended. Hiring a defense lawyer can ease some of your frustrations and help get you back on the road. Whether you’re fighting a traffic ticket or DWAI, contact M. Colin Bresee for a free consultation.