Each state has its own penalty point system, and most states suspend a license after a driver has accumulated a certain amount of points in a specific amount of time. Drivers accrue points due to speeding tickets, some nonmoving violations and even motor vehicle accidents.
While each state implements its own regulations as to how long points stay on a driver's record, violations themselves can stay on a record much longer. For example, in Arizona points stay on a driver's record for two years, but violations stay on a record for five years. In Wisconsin a DUI stays on a driver's record for 55 years. Some states, such as Washington, Rhode Island and Oregon, do not have penalty point systems, as of 2015.
Drivers who feel they are in danger of losing their licenses should consider ways of reducing their point total. Many states offer a driver opportunities to reduce his points, such as by completing a state-approved safety course. Drivers can turn to their local Department of Motor Vehicles for more information about point-reducing programs and how to enroll. Some states do not allow drivers to take a point-reduction course within a certain amount of time from any previous courses.