How The Points System Works In Every State: Part Four

How The Points System Works In Every State: Part Four

Every state has a system in place which accumulates points on an individual’s driving record, based on their not so great driving habits. The number of points determines whether a person gets to keep their driver’s license or get it suspended due to poor habits, and while the system is certainly not the same from state to state, the central goal is the same: To keep the drivers on the road from breaking the law, and to punish those who make the road a more dangerous place for the rest of us. In the first three installments of this post, we went over the points systems of Alabama all the way through Georgia. In part four, we’ll be starting with Hawaii.


Remember how I said that each state has a points system? Until recently, Hawaii was no different, but they have actually gotten rid of that system in lieu of one which may be better suited for their courts. Now, rather than a driver accumulating points on their license for each traffic violation, the courts actually decriminalized most traffic violations, making them civil offenses, rather than criminal offenses. This means that if you are caught violating one of the used of the road in Hawaii, you’ll be hit with a monetary fine without having to take a trip to court. It’s important to note, however, that more serious offenses, such as DUI will usually still require you to go to court. Here’s an overview:

Even though there is no longer a points system in Hawaii, your driving record can still be damaged if you have too many civil traffic violations. All traffic tickets issued still show up on your driving history, and some still result in immediate suspension, revocation, or cancellation of your HI driver’s license.


Going back to the normal functions of things, Idaho has a points system for moving violations, and each violation has a set number of points which will be added to your driving record. For instance:

  • Unsafe starting, stopping, or standing with a vehicle: 2 points
  • Unsafe backing: 1 point
  • Careless driving: 3 points
  • Driving through a prohibited safety zone: 2 points
  • Failure to yield to authorized emergency vehicles: 3 points
  • Failure to drive on the right side of the road (exceptions): 3 points
  • Passing vehicles proceeding in opposite directions: 2 points
  • Following too closely/Tailgating: 3 points
  • Speeding 1-15 mph over the limit: 3 points
  • Speeding 16+ mph over the limit: 4 points

There are many more to consider, but there are some of the main violations for which you will accumulate points on your driving record. In Idaho, accumulation of 12 to 17 points within a year will result in suspension of your license for 30 days, and accumulation of 18 to 23 points in 2 years will suspend your license for 90 days. If you get 24 or more within 3 years, your license will be suspended for a total of 6 months, and along with these infractions, you must also pay the fines for these violations.


The number of points for each moving violation in Illinois depends on the seriousness of the infraction itself, and if you accumulate too many points for traffic violations, your license will be suspended for a certain amount of time. This time is based on how many points you’ve accumulated. The points you accumulate typically stay on your IL license for 4 to 5 years, and if your license gets suspended, the suspension stays on your record for a total of 7 years, from the date of reinstatement. If you are convicted of a DUI or other drug or alcohol related offense, this infraction remains on your record permanently. Infractions include:

  • Texting while driving;
  • Running a red light;
  • Reckless or dangerous driving;
  • Speeding;
  • Driving too close to another vehicle, pedestrian, or cyclist.


In the state of Indiana, there are several different consequences for accumulating too many points on your driving record, including:

  • Suspension, revocation, or cancellation of your IN driver’s license;
  • Fines and fees owed to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles or traffic court;
  • Community service;
  • Driver improvement or defensive driver course completion requirements;
  • Higher insurance rates.

There are a few different violations in Indiana that will get you points on your license, and the number of points, of course, depends on how serious the infraction is. For instance, you can gain points on your driving record for the following:

  • Speeding;
  • Failure to use lights when required;
  • Non-working brake or signal lights;
  • Making an illegal U-turn or unsafe lane movement;
  • Failure to stop or yield;
  • Following too closely/Tailgating;
  • Driving with a suspended driver’s license;
  • Failure to yield to an emergency vehicle;
  • Racing/Speed contest.

If you’ve been convicted of any of these, or any other traffic violation, you can either request a copy of your IN driving record, or contact the Indiana BMV for questions or point totals.


In Iowa, the points you accumulate inside the state aren’t the only ones that matter; they also count violations outside of the state against you as well, if you’re a resident of IA. This system is put into place to penalize drivers who’ve committed serious offenses, and to remove dangerous drivers from the road to make it a safer place for the law abiding citizens to travel. 3 violations in 6 years gets you a Habitual Offender status, as will 6 moving violations in 2 years. The points are accumulated in the following way:

  • Providing a false statement to the Department of Public Safety: 2 points;
  • Driving with a suspended, revoked, or cancelled license: 2 points;
  • Driving after your license has been revoked for a drug or alcohol related offense: 3 points;
  • DUI: 4 points;
  • Leaving the scene of an accident: 5 points;
  • Vehicular manslaughter: 6 points.

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