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The Difference Between License Points (DMV) and Insurance Points (SDIP)

Many of the calls I receive from people every day revolve around the concern that there may be “license points” assessed from any given traffic ticket. Most people are unaware that there are two separate point systems in North Carolina: 1) License Points (DMV) and 2) Insurance Points (SDIP).

License points, for the vast majority of drivers simply do not affect you in anyway shape or form. License points are assessed by DMV upon conviction of any motor vehicle moving violation; this includes any speeding ticket, stop sign/light ticket, or a host of others. License points are accrued so DMV will know when to suspend a driver. Upon the accrual of 12 license points during a 3-year period DMV has the authority to suspend a driver. It is unusual for most drivers to worry about this instance. Simply put, a person would need to be convicted of 54 mph in a 45 mph zone six separate times to accrue 12 license points and face a suspension. One oddball scenario where license points are very important is if you drive on a Commercial Driver’s License for a trucking company that has group insurance on its fleet; in this case your employer’s insurance is probably directly effected by how many license points a driver has. But typically, license points do not matter all that much.

Insurance points on the other hand will directly cost you money. Insurance points can also be assessed upon conviction of a moving violation. Each insurance point assessed is between a 20% and 30% increase in your insurance premium over the next three years.

It is very easy for a person going to traffic court without the assistance of an attorney to fall into a very nasty insurance trap by simply taking what the District Attorney offers. It is important to discuss your case with an experienced traffic attorney before simply paying off a traffic ticket and potentially increasing your insurance or, worse yet, revoking your driver’s license. Give me a call anytime to discuss the possibilities of your case; I would be happy to discuss with you free of charge.

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