One of the most common questions drivers in Maryland have when they receive a traffic citation is “how will this affect my driving status in Maryland?”
In Maryland, traffic laws are handled two ways: One is via the court system (judicial branch), which adjudicates the “criminal” side of vehicle laws. For example, the court can assess penalties, fines, and even impose jail time if you are found guilty of certain traffic offenses.
The MVA (which is part of the administrative branch) regulates who may drive in the state and your driver’s license. The MVA works closely with the Courts to ensure proper administration of your driving privileges.
For certain offenses (like driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs), the MVA will hold its own hearing to determine your driving eligibility. The MVA will also consider cases where individuals have assessed too many Points. While these hearings cannot result in jail time, they are very important because they affect your driving privileges.
When you are found guilty of any driving infraction (you are also found “guilty” if you mail in the fine amount and do not go to court), the Court transmits the guilty verdict to the MVA who assigns points to your driving record. The MVA may suspend, revoke, or restrict your driving privilege if you commit certain offenses or show a pattern of continued disregard for vehicle laws (which they quantify with the point system).
The points are counted during a 2 year period. If you receive 8 to 12 points, your license will be suspended unless you show good cause why it should not be. If you receive 12 or more points in a 2 year period, your license will be revoked unless you show good cause why it should not be. A license suspension means that you may automatically get your license back after the suspension period (either 30 or 90 days) while a revocation means that you must re-apply for your license after the revocation period.
Being found guilty of certain offenses will automatically result in either 8 or 12 points, the threshold for either having your license suspended or revoked. It is important to realize the collateral consequences of “pleading guilty” and paying the fine for certain offenses because it could mean that you will lose your license!
Below is a chart of some common infractions and the point value that will be assessed on your driving record if you are found guilty of the offense. Some offenses are similar, but have varying degrees of the same offense.
|Violation common name||Code|
|General moving infraction non-listed||1|
|Following too closely||2|
|Speeding in excess of 10 mph above limit||2|
|Driving with improper class of license||2|
|Failing to stop for schoolbus||3|
|Placing dangerous object (glass) in road||2||TA 21-1111|
|Littering on road, bridge or water||2||TA 21-1111|
|Passing an emergency vehicle||2||TA 21-405|
|Failure to yield right of way to pedestrian||2||TA 21-511|
|Failure to stop at red light||2||TA 21-202|
|Failure to treat non-working light as 4-way||2||TA 21-209|
|Operating a limousine without license||2||TA 21-1127|
|Any violation contributing to an accident||3|
|Driving without a license-subchater (h) or (i)||3||TA 16-303|
|improperly Transporting hazardous materials||3||TA 21-1411|
|Speeding in excess of 30 mph above limit||5|
|Driving while not licensed||5|
|Failure to report an accident||5|
|driving on a learner’s permit unaccompanied||5|
|Failing to maintain required security||5||TA 17-107|
|Participating in a race or speed contest||5|
|Causing or Permitting Minor to drive||5||TA 16-304|
|Permitting unathorized person to drive||5||TA 16-305|
|Using prohibited “Power booster system”||5||TA 22-404.5|
|Speeding in excess of 20 m.p.h. in 65 zone||5|
|Aggressive Driving||5||TA 21-901.2|
|Driving While Impaired by Alcohol or Drug||8||TA 21-902.1|
|Turning off lights to avoid identification||8|
|Failing to stop after accident||8|
|Driving with improper class (commercial)||8||TA 16-815|
|Driving a School Vehicle without authorization||8||TA 16-816|
|Failing to stop after accident resulting in injury||12|
|Driving on a suspended license||12||TA 16-303|
|Unlawful application for license or permit||12||TA 16-301|
|Duplication or Reproduction of license||12||TA 16-302|
|Having more than one license||12||TA 16-804|
|Driving Commercial Vehicle when Unauthorized||12||TA 16-808|
|Vehicular Homicide or attempted homicide||12||Crim 3-211|
|Driving Under Influence of Alcohol per se||12|
|Felony involving use of vehicle||12|
|fleeing or attempting to elude police officer||12|
|making false affidavit to MVA||12|
|Theft of Vehicle / Grand Theft Auto||12||TA 14-102|