A stop by law enforcement for a traffic violation will generally result in a ticket for a 'moving' violation. Common moving violations include speeding, careless or reckless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI), running a stop sign or stop light, making an improper turn, etc. The state of Missouri uses a points system to identify and suspend or revoke drivers who accumulate too many traffic tickets over a certain period of time. The state of Kansas does not use a points-based system, but counts traffic infractions as 'moving' or 'non-moving' violations. This post will look at the Missouri system.
If you are convicted of or plead guilty to a traffic violation in Missouri you are then assessed the corresponding points against your Missouri Driver Record. For example, a speeding ticket will usually result in two points being added to your driver record if it is issued by a municipal police officer. However the same speeding ticket is worth three points against your record if it is issued by a state agency such as a County Sheriff or the Highway Patrol. A ticket for 'Failure to Produce Insurance' can be worth four points. A first-time DUI or Excessive Blood Alcohol Content conviction is generally worth eight points, a second or subsequent alcohol-related driving offense is worth twelve points. For more specific point values for different traffic violations look at Form 899 (/forms/899.pdf) published by the Missouri Department of Revenue.
So how does Missouri's traffic point system work? If you rack up a total of at least four points in a twelve-month period you will receive a point accumulation notice or 'warning letter' from the Department of Revenue; a few speeding tickets would do it. No action is taken at this point by the DOR. If you accumulate a total of eight or more points the DOR will suspend you for 30 days on a first suspension, 60 days for a second, and 90 days on a third or subsequent suspension. The Department of Revenue will revoke your Missouri Driver License for one year if 12 points are totalled in 12 months, 18 points are accumulated in 24 months, or if you rack up 24 points in a 36 month period. When your driving privileges are reinstated after a Point Suspension or Revocation, the Department reduces your point total to 4 points, which is something like being on 'Traffic Probation'. For a year of violation-free driving your points will be reduced by one-third; after two years of 'safe driving' that total is reduced again by one-half. After three years of no violations your point total will be reduced to zero.
After your period of suspension or revocation is up it may be necessary to pay reinstatement fees to the state and have your insurance company file an SR-22 form (Proof of Insurance) with the the DOR. The SR-22 is filed by your insurance company, so if they didn't know about your driver history they soon find out.
You can get a handle on your point total by requesting a copy of your Missouri Driver Record , also you can now contact the Missouri Department of Revenue via their automated system 24 hours a day at 573.526.2407 or email the DOR at email@example.com.
You have the right to legal representation in all traffic matters, whether speeding tickets or a DUI charge. We can often negotiate with the Prosecutor's Office to reduce your charges to non-moving, no-points infractions that will not count against your Driver Record and allow you to keep your license. Already pled guilty and paid a speeding ticket? In some cases we can file a Petition with the Court, asking the Judge to consider setting that plea aside and to remove that ticket and the points from your record, cancelling the suspension.