The short answer is that it depends. In general, points for a traffic violation are added to your record for a set period of time. This period varies by state but is usually in the range of 18 to 24 months. Exceeding a point limit within the active period will result in license suspension.
Similarly, how many points can be acquired before a license is suspended will also vary. For example, in New York drivers cannot receive more than 10 points in an 18-month period. By contrast, acquiring 20 points in Indiana will result in a one-month suspension of the defendant’s license.
There are a number of ways to check the status of your driver’s license. Some state departments of motor vehicles may offer free status checks. Alternatively, you may be able to purchase a complete driving record from the state, the court clerk’s office, or a private vendor. These services will show what violations are on your record and how many points you have active on your license.
There are multiple ways to get a license suspended. The most common reason for license suspension is the cumulative acquisition of violation points. However, in some cases, there are infractions that immediately suspend the license. Examples of this can include refusing to submit to a blood alcohol test or being convicted of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
A suspended license is different from a revoked license in that the suspension is usually temporary. The suspension may be time-locked, such as a month-long suspension, or if may hinge on the driver completing a form or course. Even in cases where a license has been submitted as the result of some misconduct, there will usually be a pathway to reinstating the license.
Having a suspended license does not automatically restrict you from acquiring insurance. However, having a suspended license can make acquiring insurance difficult. While there is no law outlawing insuring a person with a suspended license, insurance companies may be wary of a person with a suspended license.
Oftentimes insurance companies will investigate the driving record of a potential client. If the insurance company discovers that your license was suspended due to a pattern of reckless or illegal driving, they may charge significantly higher rates or refuse to insure you outright. If you already have insurance and your license gets suspended, you will not automatically lose coverage.