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In California, is a point always issued for an at fault accident?

Los Alamitos, CA |

I am hearing conflicting information, because according to the DMV, a point is always issued, but I hear from other sources that a ticket has to be issued for a point to show up. I was involved in an at fault accident, and the accident shows on MVR, but no point issued. What's the deal?

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Attorney answers 3


First, let me state that I am a Traffic Ticket Attorney in Texas and make no claims to know the laws in your state. I will answer your question, as if your case arose in Texas, but I strongly encourage you to ask an attorney in the jurisdiction were the case is pending.

In Texas, fault is irrelevant. If you have an accident and the police make a police report, that accidnet appears on your driving record. It does not matter if you were at fault or the victim. When you have accumulated incidents on your driving record (accidents, tickets, etc), the Texas DPS will move to suspend your DL.

You will then have the opportunity to contest the suspension and at the DL Suspension hearing you will have the opportunity to bring up a relevant fact, you were not at fault. The court will way all of the evidnce and make a determination.

As always, I strongly encourage you to make a point of contacting an attorney that has experience representing people with cases like yurs in the jurisdiction where the case will be heard.

If you have found my answer helpful, please give me a thumbs up.


Mr. Kaman's response is accurate in all aspects! An at fault accident typically shows up as a point on your DMV record. Be thankful that it doesn't!


Mr. Kaman is correct; an at-fault accident should show up as one point on your driving record. Even if no citation is issued, you are required to report all accidents involving injury or death, or property damage in excess of $750, to DMV. DMV then makes it own determination whether you are at fault.

The points really don't come into play unless DMV initiates a negligent operator suspension proceeding against you. Your license can be suspended if you accumulate 4 points in a year, 6 points in two years, or 8 points in three years. (The system is a little different if you have a commercial license.)

Since the accident is on your public driving record, it may still affect your insurance rates. I suppose you could contact DMV and ask them to correct their records... but that isn't really in your best interests, is it?

If DMV does start a suspension action, you should contact an attorney experienced in DMV administrative hearings. There are ways to save your license, even if you exceed the point levels noted above.

I agree that Mr. Byno's answer is worthless. Laws vary broadly between states, and his answer might as well be based on traffic laws in Afghanistan. Asking for a "thumbs-up" just makes it look even more idiotic.