Indianapolis Traffic Attorney Blog: A Look at Indiana's BMV Point System

Understanding the BMV’s Point System

Nearly everyone who has driven an automobile has been pulled over by a police officer at some point for one reason or another and many know that if that officer gives them a ticket then their license is exposed to a certain number of points.  Most also know that having points on your license isn’t good.  However, what many don’t know is what those points actually mean and what may happen if they begin to add up.  These points are part of a system created by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).
This system was developed as a way to monitor and identify a person in need of improving their driving habits and to provide requirements for suspending driving privileges.  A points study committee is designated by the commissioner of the BMV to assign point values to certain traffic violations.  This committee evaluates each violation and assigns a point value based on that violation’s severity and likelihood of causing or contributing to the severity of an accident.  The point values range from 2 to 10.
Once somebody is convicted of a violation which carries a point value, those points stay active for 24 months.  Once somebody reaches 14-18 points, they will receive a warning notice from the BMV that they’re getting close to being penalized for their excessive points.  Penalties for excessive points begin at 20 points, at which time, their driving privileges will be suspended for 1 month.  Every 2 additional points translate into an additional month of suspension.  For example, 22 points equals a 2-month suspension, 24 a 3-month suspension, 4 months for 26 points, all the way up to 42 points or more which then translates into a 12-month suspension.  If a judgement is later vacated, dismissed, or amended in some way, the BMV must, within a reasonable time amend the pending or current excessive points suspension accordingly.
The point value table which establishes the value system can be found here *Click here to see the point value table*
But what happens if the violation happened in another state?  Even if a person receives a violation in another state, the points will be assessed as if the violation occurred in Indiana as long as Indiana has a corresponding violation.  If Indiana does not have a violation that corresponds to that which was received in another state, then the BMV shall not assess any points.
It is possible for the point total to be reduced before waiting 2 years for violation’s points to become inactive.  A person who successfully completes a driver safety program that is approved by the BMV shall receive a 4-point credit towards their point record.  This 4-point credit remains in effect for 3 years and, therefore, this credit may only be used to reduce points once every 3 years.  After 24 months, even though the points become inactive, the conviction remains visible on the individual’s permanent driving record.
Additionally, if somebody is convicted of at least 3 moving violations within 1 year, the BMV may require them to submit to an administrative hearing.  At this hearing the administrative law judge may do the following:
(1) Consider all violations listed on the party’s motor vehicle record that led to the points accumulation;
(2) Consider the number of miles the party drove during the period in which the excessive points were accumulated;
(3) Consider any other factors that:
(A) might have affected the party’s points accumulation; or
(B) might affect the party’s future driving habits.
(4) Recommend one (1) or more of the following:
(A) Suspend a party’s driving privileges for up to one (1) year;
(B) Require a party to submit to an examination, in accordance with IC 9-24-10;  (C) Require a party to attend and satisfactorily complete a driver improvement course.
If you or anyone you know has an Indiana license and has received a traffic ticket, whether in Indiana or another state, then there is a good chance it is for a violation that would cause points to be assessed to your driving record.  Obviously, as you can see from what’s mentioned above, it is important to minimize the point on one’s record.  Call the experienced traffic law attorneys at Banks and Brower, LLC.  We will be able to assess the traffic citation and determine the best course of action.  We are available 24/7 at info@banksbrower.com or 317.870.0019.