Criminal DefenseTraffic LawWhat Is The Difference Between License Points and Insurance Points?

January 16, 2012by rjshooklaw0

Traffic Points vs Insurance Points

In North Carolina, a traffic ticket may cause you to accumulate two different types of points on your record. The first point type will be applied to your driver’s license, and the second point type will be applied to your insurance. Usually, when you accumulate points on your license, you will also accumulate points on your insurance.

Driver’s License Points

The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles maintains a record of traffic violation convictions and automobile accidents for each person licensed to drive or who is required to be licensed to drive in the state.

The Driver’s License Point Schedule

  • 5 Points 
    Passing a stopped school bus.
  • 4 Points 
    Reckless driving (Misdemeanor)
    Hit and run, property damage only (Misdemeanor) (If personal injury = Felony)
    Following too closely
    Driving on wrong side of road
    Illegal passing
  • 3 Points 
    Running through a stop sign
    Speeding in excess of 55 miles per hour
    Failing to yield right-of-way
    Running through red light
    No driver’s license or license expired more than one year
    Failure to stop for siren
    Driving through safety zone
    No liability insurance
    Failure to report accident where such report is required
    Speeding in a school zone in excess of the posted school zone speed limit
  • 2 Points 
    All other moving violations
    ” Failure to properly restrain a child in a restraint or seat belt
  • 1 Point 
    Littering (G.S. ¤14-399) involving use of motor vehicle
  • 0 Points 
    Seat Beat Violation
    Improper Equipment/plates/registration/muffler/inspection sticker display

The NC DMV assigns points for convictions of North Carolina Motor Vehicle Laws in accordance with the schedule above. If a driver accumulates twelve or more points within a period of three years, the NC DMV may suspend your license. A first time suspension will last no more than sixty days. The second suspension will last no more than six months, and any subsequent suspension will last no longer than one year. If driver’s license points are threatening your license, the NC DMV may allow you to attend a driver improvement course and have three points removed from your driving record. This course will not remove points from your insurance, and you may only take this course once every five years.

Once your license has been suspended, you may face a second suspension if you accumulate eight or more points within the three years immediately following the reinstatement of your license. If you are convicted of multiple traffic offenses which arose from the same incident, you will only be given driver’s license points for the offense which has the greatest point value.

If you have an out of state license and commit an offense which calls for suspension or revocation in North Carolina, the NC DMV cannot suspend you driver’s license but can suspend or revoke your privilege to drive in North Carolina.

Insurance Points

Your North Carolina automobile liability insurance rates are determined by five factors:

  1. Insurance points which they have accumulated during the past three years for moving violations and accidents.
  2. Whether their insurance company has transferred their coverage to the reinsurance facility.
  3. What region of North Carolina they live in.
  4. Whether that have three years or less driving experience.


North Carolina drivers are given insurance points if they are convicted of a moving violation (i.e. speeding) or if they have an accident in which they are at fault within a three year period. This three year period is the three years immediately preceding the date of application or preparation of renewal of your insurance policy. Convictions include pleas of guilty, no contest, suspended sentences, and the payment of a court cost and fine.


Insurance Points Are Assessed As Follows:

  • 12 Points 
    Manslaughter (or negligent homicide) resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle. (Felony)
    Prearranged highway racing or knowingly lending a motor vehicle to be used in a prearranged race. (Felony)
    Failure to stop and render aid when involved in an accident resulting in bodily injury or death (hit-and-run driving) (Felony)
    Impaired driving, including driving a vehicle while under the influence of an impairing substance; driving a vehicle with an alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more; and driving a commercial vehicle with an alcohol concentration of 0.04% or more (a revocation pursuant to G.S. ¤20-16.5 is not a conviction). (Misdemeanor)
    Transportation of intoxicating liquors for the purpose of sale. (Misdemeanor)
  • 10 Points 
    Highway racing (not prearranged) or knowingly lending a motor vehicle to be used in the race.
    Speeding to Elude
  • 8 Points 
    Operating a motor vehicle during a period of revocation or suspension of either the driver’s license or vehicle registration. (Misdemeanor)
  • 4 Points 
    Failure to stop and report when involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in property damage only (hit-and-run). (Misdemeanor)
    Reckless driving. (Misdemeanor)
    Passing a stopped school bus.
    Speeding in excess of 75 miles per hour (mph) when posted limit is less that 70 mph. (Misdemeanor)
    Speeding in excess of 80 mph when limit is 70 mph or greater
    Driving by a person under 21 after consuming alcohol or drugs
  • 3 Points 3-4-2005
    Each at-fault accident that results in bodily injury (in excess of $ 1800.00) or death or total property damage (including the insured’s property) of $ 3000.00 or more
  • 2 Points 
    Illegal passing
    Speeding more than 10 mph over the limit, if total speed was in excess of 55 mph but less than 76 mph.
    Speeding 10 miles or less in excess of limit in speed zone of 55 or greater*
    Following too closely.
    Driving on the wrong side of the road.
    Each at-fault accident that results in total damage to all property which is in excess of $1 ,800.00 but less than $ 3000.00 3-4-2005
  • 1 Point 
    Speeding 10 mph or less in excess of a speed limit of less than 55 mph*
    Any other moving violation.
    Each at-fault accident that results in total damage of $ 1,800.00 or less * 3-4-2005
  • *Points are not assigned for these violations unless the same driver has been convicted of at least one other moving violation during the experience period (the last three years).

The number of insurance points a driver receives will determine the surcharge which will be added to their insurance costs. See the surcharge table below:

Insurance Surcharge Table

One 25%
Two 45%
Three 65%
Four 90%
Five 120%
Six 150%
Seven 180%
Eight 220%
Nine 260%
Ten 300%
Eleven 350%
Twelve 400%


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