The Georgia Department of Driver Services suspends driver’s licenses when motorists accumulate 15 or more penalty points during a 24-month period. Points usually remain on Georgia driver’s licenses for two years, but there are steps motorists can take to remove points from their licenses and regain their driving privileges. However, points reductions are only granted once every five years, so motorists may be wise to wait until their licenses are in jeopardy before seeking a reduction.
Driver’s license points in Georgia
Not all motor vehicle violations in Georgia will result in penalty points. Offenses that do not carry points include exceeding the posted speed limit by less than 15 mph and driving too fast for prevailing weather conditions. For other offenses, the number of points assessed is based on the amount of danger other road users were placed in. Aggressive driving, passing a school bus illegally and driving at 34 mph or more over the posted speed limit are considered the most serious offenses and carry six points. At the other end of the scale, tickets for using a mobile phone while behind the wheel or failing to properly restrain children carry only one point.
Removing points from a Georgia driver’s license
Georgia law allows Peach State residents to remove up to seven points from their driver’s licenses. In order to qualify for a points reduction, motorists must complete a defensive driving course at a Certified Driver Improvement School. These courses last for about six hours and are conducted in a classroom setting. Motorists are issued certificates of completion at the end of the course, which they can mail to the DDS or bring to a DDS Customer Service Center.
The consequences of a driver’s license suspension can be severe for individuals who live in areas with limited public transportation options. In these situations, attorneys with traffic violations experience may petition the court to issue a hardship license. This is a restricted driver’s license that allows individuals to drive to and from their school or place of employment and attend medical appointments.