What Goes On My Driving Record?
In Pennsylvania, like every other state, there are driving records kept on every person that holds a state-issued driver’s license. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, known as PennDOT, adds points to these records for particular moving violations, the number of which will vary depending on the severity of the offense. If a Pennsylvania motorist accrues more than 5 points, PennDOT will take action against him or her. These actions include:
- Sending a written letter asking the driver to take a special written test
- Asking the motorist to attend a requisite departmental hearing
- Suspending the driver’s license for 15 to 30 days
- Re-taking the on-road driving test
If a Pennsylvania driving record reaches more than 10 points, the motorist’s driver’s license will be automatically suspended. The automatic suspension also comes into effect if a motorist drives under the influence, or has been clocked driving at a rate of 31 mph or more over the posted speed limit. The former offense requires a suspension of one year, while the latter only requires 15 days.
Luckily, PennDOT will remove certain points from your Pennsylvania driver’s license if you drive for a period of 12 consecutive months without a suspension or moving violation. Also, after having a clean, pointless record for one full year, your record will be treated as new as far as point accumulation going forward.
It is critically important to keep track of your driving record. It can affect you in many more ways than you would think. First of all, your insurance premium is determined by your driving record. Even one speeding ticket can affect insurance premium rates for up to 5 years.
Your driving record, of course, can affect your legal ability to drive. For example, DUIs or reckless driving charges can result in you getting your license suspended. But, you certainly need to keep track of your routine points. Points for minor offenses add up to suspensions, too, as was explained above.
Can you get your Pennsylvania driving record expunged?
Believe it or not, PennDOT does not allow driving records in Pennsylvania to be expunged. As a matter of fact, in accordance with expungement laws, only the governor of the state has the authority to have any criminal conviction expunged from your record, but that does not include driving histories, which, in accordance with further statutes, cannot be cleared. This includes violations of all scopes. So, while your points will disappear with time and better driving habits, the offenses that led to them will remain on file with the state of Pennsylvania.
In conclusion, it always pays to keep your nose clean when driving. If you know you have had too much to drink, there is no shame in that. Ask a friend to drive you home, call a cab or contact a rideshare company. You won’t need to speed if you leave plenty of time to get ready for work or other obligations. You don’t want your permanent driving record to be soiled.
However, if you have made a driving mistake and need help navigating the legal system, give us a call at Philadelphia Criminal Law, your local Philadelphia DUI attorney. Our attorneys will represent your interests and give you the advice you need.