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 hazardous 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 Considered A “Point” in the “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. The point system accrues points based on the severity of your infraction. If you have multiple traffic infractions and the points accumulate within a certain period of time, you could be required to take a driving course or your license may be temporarily suspended.
In the state of Colorado, every traffic infraction is assigned a point value. 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|
Educating yourself or a fellow driver (especially if you have a teenager) is important to know the cost of points on your license. Although fines are associated with driving citations, accumulating points for traffic violations can also cost you your license. Your teen may need a vehicle to drive to school, practice, or a job. Legal assistance for yourself or an underage driver may be needed 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 chart below recognizes the age or professional status of a driver and the number of points that determine license suspension.
Colorado License Suspension Point Accumulations by Age
|Age/Profession||Points (12-Month Period)||Other|
|Under 18||6 points within 12 mo||7 points total|
|18-21||9 points within 12 mo||14 points total|
|Over 21||12 points within 12 mo||18 points within 24 mo|
|16 points within 12 mo||24 points within 24 mo|
28 points within 48 mo
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 a 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
- Drivers 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 point hearing, a defense lawyer can be extremely helpful in presenting your best case.
How to Reinstate a Suspended License
After your license is suspended 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.
Individuals seeking to regain their driving privilege must have proof of current liability insurance and pay a processing fee of $95. Visit the DMV website for more information about the driver’s license reinstatement process in Colorado.
Contact a Lawyer
Navigating any DMV related process can be frustrating, let alone if your license has been suspended. Hiring a defense lawyer can ease some of your frustrations and help get you back on the road. Contact M. Colin Bresee for a free consultation.