The Official 12-Point Suspension Guide in Ohio 

Many Ohio drivers will eventually face tickets for infractions like speeding or making illegal turns. However, the consequences of accumulating points on their licenses are often misunderstood. Too many points can lead to higher insurance rates and potential license suspension.

Understanding Ohio’s driver license point system is crucial for avoiding penalties and maintaining a clean driving record. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) uses this point system to monitor and enhance road safety by penalizing drivers for traffic violations. The system’s primary objectives are to identify repeat offenders, reduce accidents, and encourage responsible driving habits.

Checking Your Driving Record

The Ohio BMV makes it simple for drivers to check their point status. To do this, navigate to the BMV’s Online Services portal and select the More Services link. Scroll to the Driver License & ID Card section and click on the BMV Driving Record link. This allows you to view an unofficial copy of your driving record or request an official copy for a $5 fee. Logging into the portal lets you review your traffic convictions from the past two years and the points assigned to each offense.

Common Traffic Violations and Points

Points vary based on the severity of the offense. Minor infractions, like failing to signal when changing lanes, result in a two-point penalty, while more serious violations, such as drag racing, carry a six-point penalty. When a traffic violation happens, the court clerk forwards an official summary of the conviction to the BMV. Subsequently, the BMV updates the driver’s record with the relevant points. The BMV monitors these points and administers warnings or suspensions as required.

Here are some of the most common violations and their point penalties:

  • Running a stop sign or disobeying traffic laws: 2 points
  • Failing to use a child restraint: 2 points
  • Failing to maintain control: 2 points
  • Improper passing or backing: 2 points
  • Driving left of center: 2 points
  • Following too closely: 2 points
  • Speeding (depending on how much over the limit): 0-2 points

For example, if you’re caught speeding less than 10 mph over the limit, you might receive a ticket but no points. However, speeding 20 mph over the limit results in a two-point penalty.

Consequences of Accumulating 12 Points

Accumulating 12 points within two years triggers a six-month suspension of your driving privileges. This system, established by the Ohio BMV in 1982, aims to remove high-risk drivers from the road to enhance public safety. Points remain on your record for two years from the date of your first conviction. After two years, these points no longer count toward the 12-point suspension threshold. For instance, points from a July 1, 2022, conviction will no longer be counted toward the 12-point limit starting July 1, 2024.

Insurance companies and employers can access this information during the two-year period. Fortunately, Ohio drivers can receive a two-point credit by completing an ImprovedDriving remedial driving course.

Reinstating Your License After Suspension

Points on your driving record don’t disappear automatically. However; as a driver in Ohio who has at least two points but less than 12 on your record, completing an ImprovedDriving remedial driving course gives you a 2-point credit on your license.

Following a suspension period, you must fulfill some requirements to be reinstated:

  • Serve the full period of suspension
  • Submit or show proof of financial responsibility (SR-22 insurance)
  • Pay the reinstatement fee
  • Undertake an approved remedial driving course.

If your license is suspended due to accumulating 12 points or a conviction like DUI, reinstating it involves fulfilling specific requirements. These usually include paying fines, court costs, and completing a remedial driving course. If you believe your driving privileges shouldn’t be suspended, you can file an appeal in the county or municipal court of your residence before the suspension begins. Juveniles must appeal in juvenile court. An attorney can assist in appealing your suspension or meeting the reinstatement requirements.

If you can show cause why your privileges as a driver should not be suspended by the DMV, you are free to file an appeal in the municipal or county court under which in the jurisdiction you reside in falls. You however, have to agree to pay the cost of the court proceedings. It’s essential to file the appeal before the date when the suspension comes into effect. Juveniles facing driving suspension should file their appeal in the juvenile court where they reside.  It might also be a wise move to seek the guidance of an attorney to help you file the appeal and ensure all requirements are met and valid.

Impact on Car Insurance Rates

Accumulating points typically leads to higher auto insurance rates. Insurance companies assess risk based on your driving record, and points indicate you’re a higher-risk driver. Even a few points can cause significant premium increases. Multiple points may result in difficulty finding insurers willing to cover you, forcing you to seek high-risk insurance providers who charge higher rates. High-risk insurers might also hesitate to offer coverage until your license is reinstated.

Male instructor showing traffic signs to a young female student standing on the training ground at the driver’s school

Managing Points with Defensive Driving Courses

Points don’t disappear on their own. However, Ohio drivers with at least two but fewer than 12 points can complete an approved remedial driving course to earn a two-point credit.

After serving the suspension period, drivers must:

  • Serve the full suspension period
  • Provide proof of financial responsibility (typically SR-22 insurance)
  • Pay a reinstatement fee
  • Complete a remedial driving course

Recently, the Ohio BMV approved an online version of the course, offering greater convenience. ImprovedDriving is one of the few approved providers, allowing you to complete the course at your own pace and schedule. You can take this course up to five times in your lifetime but only once every three years.


ImprovedDriving is among the few online remedial driving courses approved by the DMV in the state of Ohio. Understanding and managing Ohio’s point system is vital for maintaining a clean driving record and avoiding the severe consequences of accumulating points. By staying informed and proactive, drivers can navigate Ohio’s roads responsibly and minimize the impact of traffic violations.

Taking the online ImprovedDriving driving course not only gives you flexibility about when and how to finish the classes but, most importantly, the to take it up to 5 times in your lifetime, However, you can only take the course once in a 3-year period.

Too Many Points on Your License? Have to take a Remedial Course? Want to keep your License?

Enroll in our Online Remedial Driving Course Now!