When you get a ticket in Maryland, most people fear the points on their license more than the fine that comes with the ticket. The MVA points system can be confusing.
How does the points system work? Maryland traffic violation are tracked with points. You are assessed points for some traffic violations if you are convicted or do not contest the charges by paying just paying the fine.
Insurance companies only look back so many years in assessing points. But moving violation points remain on you permanent driving record.
- How do points work for traffic accidents?
Why Points Matter So Much
Points matter for two reasons. First, your insurance rates rise with the number of points that you have. The more serious the violation, the more points you can expect. But do not assume the insurance companies are counting points in the same way that Maryland does. Our state puts on point values based on our desire to discourage certain behaviors. Insurance companies are focused only on those offenses that most increase the risk of loss from an actuarial perspective.
Second, high point totals in a two year period have consequences. If you get over 5 points but less than 8, you will be required to take traffic school educational courses that will pretty much consist of a series of lectures explaining — correctly, by the way — that unsafe driving can get you and everyone else killed.
If you get over 8 points, your Maryland license will be suspended. If you get to 12 points, you get the Maryland driver’s license version of the death penalty. Your license will be taken away completely. You can reapply at some point. But you have to apply for a new license.
Below are a list of violations and the number of points that can be assessed for that violation. You can always go to court and contest these charges. Often, it makes sense in these cases to hire a Maryland criminal defense lawyer. Should you call us? NO! No offense! Our law firm handles exclusively personal injury cases, primarily involving motor vehicle crashes. We bring claims against people who break traffic laws and cause accidents. We do not defend them.
- Where the red light and speed camera are and what you can do if you get out of a ticket (without going to court)
Violations That Involve No Points on Your Maryland License
Before we start looking at the violations that lead to points, let’s begin with those that do not. We have put the fine that you can get, assuming you have not caused an accident, in parenthesis for each of these.
- TR 21-1112(d)(2): The cell phone law. Driving with a handheld cell phone might get people killed, but it will not lead to you getting points on our license. A driver using hands to use a handheld telephone while a motor vehicle is in motion. (1st offense: $83.00; 2nd offense: $140.00; 3rd offense: $160.00)
- TR 21-1004.1 (a): Endangering health, safety, welfare of a cat or dog by leaving the animal unattended in a vehicle ($70.00). Most animal lovers in our office would argue this should be a felony. So while you might face a resentment from people (including us), you will not get points for this offense.
- TR 21-1001 (c): Stopping vehicle on the highway, with less than 200 feet visibility ($70.00).
- TR 21-1003 (i): Stopping, standing, or parking vehicle in highway tunnel ($70.00).
- TR 21-205 (c): Obstruction of highway control (device, sign, or signal) ($140.00).
- TR 16-105 (b2): Holder of learner’s permit driving with an unauthorized person occupying front seat. ($140.00). These new laws we have been passing to keep kids from partying together have, like this one, relatively large fines. But they often lack the teeth of accessing points.
- TR 16-112 (b): Failure of individual driving on highway to have license with him.($50.00). This may go by the wayside soon when we have digital driver’s licenses.
- TR 16-112 (e): Vehicle driver giving a false and fictitious name to uniformed police ($290.00). Big fine but, surprisingly, no points.
- TR 14-108 (a): Fraudulent possession of vehicle (ownership reg plate, card, title certificate, ID plates) ($290.00). Maybe a big crime. But no points. Why? The focus is on moving violations, not severity of the crime itself.
- TR 13-401 (h): Driving vehicle on highway with suspended registration ($150.00).
- TR 13-401 (j): Driving vehicle on highway with revoked registration ($290.00).
One Point Offenses
The offenses listed below are 1 point. For many of these violations, however, the points can be higher if there is a finding that the violation directly resulted in an accident.
|Willfully disobeying order/direction/summons of a police officer.
|Ignoring direction of school crossing guard. The crossing guard has more power out there than you think as many disrespectful Marylanders have found out.
|Failure to obey instructions of properly placed traffic control device.
|Failure to yield right-of-way to favored vehicle
|Failure to obey a flashing traffic signal
|Failure to permit vehicle to pass by speeding up or some other action or improper passing
|Passing on the right when not permitted or going off the roadway to pass. The classic “accident ahead” traffic offense.
|Driving to the left of center of road where prohibited
|Driving to the left in a no-passing zone or taking an unsafe left turn in that zone
|Failure to drive in a designated direction on posted roadway
|Unauthorized entering or exiting highway
|Failure to yield right-of-way at intersection
|Failure to yield right-of-way when making a left-hand turn or U-turn
|Failure to do what is necessary to make way or make safe passage for an emergency vehicle
|TR 21-502 to 504
|Failure to defer to a pedestrian in crosswalk, walking across an adjacent roadway, etc. Some of these are also zero point violations.
|Text messaging while driving. A new law that is pretty hard to prove. But you do get a point now if they catch you. Texting is the kind of offense where you are most likely to get caught while killing someone because that is when get a comprehensive investigation.
|The catch-all. Driving at a speed not reasonable or prudent. You can be driving the speed limit and still get ticketed for this. Why? Fog, snow and other conditions necessitate a different speed.
|Driving between 1-9 miles over the posted speed.
|Driving below minimum posted speed limit
|Driving limited speed vehicle on prohibited highway
|Driving a motor vehicle on the highway while consuming an alcoholic beverage in passenger area of car. Comes with heft
y $530 fine.
|Failure to back up safely
2 Point Traffic Violations
|Series of failure to stop at red traffic signal offenses, most notable turning or proceeding without stopping. A few one and zero point violations are also included under this umbrella. But most are two points.
|Tailgating law: driving too closely
|Related failure to stop for red light
|Passing an emergency vehicle with its lights on
|Exceeding the posted speed limit between 10-19 miles per hour (801.1 is the most common for speeding tickets)
Point Traffic Violations
Most three point violations in Maryland are for offenses that would have been one point violations, but the infraction led to a motor vehicle crash. Here are a few more:
|Failing to stop for a school vehicle with activated alternately flashing red lights. A violation also comes with a $570 fine that should probably be higher since you could get a child killed by doing this.
|TR 16-303 (h-i)
|Driving on a suspended license or failure to appear at trial or pay the penalty.
5 Point Traffic Violations
|Failure to report a motor vehicle accident that the law requires to be reported
|Diving a motor vehicle (or moped or motor scooter) on highway without a license
|Knowingly allowing an unlicensed driver to drive your vehicle
|Driving an uninsured vehicle or letting someone drive your vehicle that you know to be uninsured
|Going more than 30 miles over the speed limit
|Going 85 mph-104 mph in 65 mph zone
6 Point Traffic Violations
|Reckless driving vehicle in wanton and willful disregard for safety of personal and property
8 Point Traffic Violations
|TR 21-902(b) & (c)
|Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs
|Driving within 12 hours after a drunk driving arrest. This one surprises some people but apparently this law is made pretty clear to you when you are arrested
|Failing to stop after accident resulting in damage to attended vehicle or property
12 Point Traffic Violations
|Driver’s license fraud
|Driving on suspended or revoked license
|Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI)
Again, this is a partial list of the most common offenses. You can get the full list of violations and points here.
How Many Points Is a Speeding Ticket in Maryland?
Points vary based on how fast you went over the speed limit and whether there was an accident.
- 1 to 9 mph over the speed limit: 1 point
- If there is an accident: 3 points
- 10 to 19 mph over the speed limit: 2 points
- If there is an accident: 3 points
- 20 to 29 mph over the speed limit: 2 points
- If there is an accident: 3 points
- 10 to 19 mph over a speed limit of 70 mph: 2 points
- If there is an accident: 3 points
- 20 to 29 mph over a speed limit of 70 mph: 5 points (Whether or not there was an accident.)
- 30 to 39 mph over the speed limit: 5 points (Whether or not there was an accident.)
- 40 mph and up over the speed limit: 5 points (Whether or not there was an accident.)
Do You Get Points on Your License for Speeding in Maryland?
Yes, you do get points on your license for speeding in Maryland. The points incurred may vary based on how much you exceeded the speed limit and whether or not there was an accident.
How Long Do Points Stay on Your License in Maryland?
Points stay on your record in Maryland for two years, dating back to the date of violation. Each individual infraction has its own two-year period.
Do Points Transfer from Pennsylvania to Maryland?
Maryland drivers who commit minor traffic violations in Pennsylvania will not have their points transferred. However, Maryland law enforcement can still access these records. You will receive points if you commit severe traffic violations in Pennsylvania including vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence, or motor vehicle-related felonies.
What to Do If Someone Sues You for a Car Accident in Maryland?
Call your insurance company immediately if you have been sued in a car accident. If you do not have car insurance, you need a lawyer.
How Long Does a Car Accident Stay on Your Insurance Record in Maryland?
Three years. Points are two years but accident and other infractions stay on your insurance review for three years.
How Many Points on Your Maryland License Is Too Many Points?
How many points it too many depends on your perspective, right? The big fear people have is having their license suspended or taken away. The MVA imposes the following sanctions in Maryland or accumulation of designated point totals:
|3 to 4 points
|The MVA will send you a warning letter.
|5 to 7 points
|The MVA may require you to enroll in a Driver Improvement Program (DIP).
|8 to 11 points
|The MVA will send you a notice of suspension.
|12 or more points
|The MVA will send you a notice of revocation.
Our Law Firm Handles Only Personal Injury Cases
Our law firm seeks to be the premier educator in Maryland on issues related to motor vehicle law and safety. But we provide this for information purposes. The law can change or this information could just be wrong. The take home message? Do not rely on it without looking at the original sources cited.
Keep in mind we handle only serious injury negligence claims. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured by someone else’s mistake, call 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.
What Lawyers Handle Traffic Violations in Maryland?
Here are some lawyers to consider if you need a lawyer to handle your traffic violation claim:
Rand Lucey, Supervising PartnerJezic & Moyse2730 University Blvd. #604Wheaton, MD 20902240-292-7200We asked Rand what kind of tickets in Maryland might require hiring a lawyer. Here is what he said:
“The consequences of a payable traffic citation in Maryland can go well beyond a simple fine, including increased insurance premiums and, depending on the driver’s history, even potential license suspension or revocation.
When a driver is issued a traffic citation for a moving offense, simply paying the citation means maximum points for that offense are automatically assessed on his or her driving record. Requesting a trial, and bringing a lawyer to court, can give you the best chance to eliminate or reduce the often-unforeseen impact on your license and your pocketbook.
This is especially true for drivers cited for speeding 10 mph or more over the speed limit, Reckless Driving, Aggressive Driving, Driving on a Learner’s Permit without Supervision, or any citation you receive related to a traffic accident.
Drivers with a Learner’s Permit, Provisional Driver’s License or Commercial Driver’s License, should consult and attorney for ANY citation.”
Farace & Scherr, P.A.600 Washington Avenue, Suite 201Towson, MD 21204410-821-2910We asked Scott Scherr for his thoughts on when you need a lawyer for a traffic citation:
“If someone receives a moving violation, then points will be assessed if he or she pays the citation or is convicted. Points result in the increase in insurance premiums in most cases. There can be additional consequences to those who have a provisional license (new drivers) or those with a commercial driver’s license.
In Maryland, a person charged with a traffic citation has 30 days to request a trial or waiver hearing. In almost every case, it is better to request a trial and not a waiver hearing. A trial requires the presence of the police officer and if the officer fails to appear, the result will be an acquittal. A waiver hearing admits guilt and excuses the officer from appearing. Anyone who receives a moving violation should speak with a lawyer to determine the best course of action and whether representation is needed.”Yehoshua Bier, EsqPlatinum Law Group, LLC410-702-91111517 Reisterstown RdBaltimore, MD 21208Michelle O. Campbell, Esquire443-413-5738
Scott Athen443-379-4250Logan HaarzThe Law Office of Christopher Markham703-855-1033
BSS Law, LLCwww.bsslawllc.com443-274-1003Law Office of Dimitri Donnik2201 St. Paul StreetBaltimore, Maryland 21218(410) 662-7881Ray Atkins (Towson)410-321-7117Tito V A Castro202-330-6712Lauren April Deutch3545 Ellicott Mills DriveEllicott City, MD 21212410-259-9997Yoseph Orshan410-205-5571Brian Bishop410-390-3101Katie ChangLandsman & Ronald, LLC6 E. Mulberry StreetBaltimore, MD 21202410-752-4220