You can check how many points are on your license in California by going to the Department of Motor Vehicles website. Checking your license points in California will cost you $2 plus a 2.1% fee for credit and debit cards, since you will need to pay for a copy of your driving record.
California uses driver’s license points to track violations. Accumulating 4 points in 12 months, 6 points in 24 months, or 8 points in 36 months will result in a suspended license. Insurance companies also check customers’ driving records for points, since having a poor driving record is associated with an increased risk of filing a claim. Consequently, license points will result in higher premiums. For instance, one DUI conviction will raise your premium by an average of 144% in California.
In California, drivers need $15,000 of bodily injury liability insurance per person, up to $30,000 per accident, and $5,000 of property damage liability insurance. California does not require uninsured motorist protection, which replaces the liability coverage an at-fault driver should’ve had and pays for your costs up to your policy limits. Coverage like MedPay or personal injury protection pays for medical expenses for you and your passengers, and MedPay is optional in California. PIP is not available.… read full answer
Here’s How Much Car Insurance Drivers Need in California:
If you lease or finance your car, you may be required to carry coverage types that are not mandatory under California law. Lenders usually require comprehensive and collision insurance. Collision insurance covers repairs to your car when you hit another car or object. If the damage to your vehicle was caused by something other than a collision—like a natural disaster, vandalism, falling objects, or animals—it is most likely covered by comprehensive insurance. You might also have to get gap insurance, which covers the difference between what you owe on your loan and what the vehicle is worth at the time of a total loss.
Even if you’re not required to carry these optional coverage types, you may still need them. You can learn more about when to drop optional coverage and the penalties for driving without insurance in California to make sure you’re paying for the coverage you need.
Two points will increase a driver’s insurance costs by roughly 20% to 100%, depending on the state, insurance company and type of violation. Two points are assigned for relatively minor traffic violations, like driving at night with no headlights or making an illegal U-turn. Two points might even be the minimum number of points you can get, depending on where you live. Some states assign points by a factor of two, skipping odd numbers in their points system. The specific cost increase will vary depending on the driver’s insurance company and home state – insurance companies don’t count license points specifically, so a driver can’t be sure how much their insurance company will charge them for the violation.… read full answer
Instead, license points are tracked by your state’s department of motor vehicles in 41 of the 50 states. You get points for different traffic violations, such as speeding and driving under the influence. The other nine states (Hawaii, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wyoming) keep track of the number of traffic violations you have and suspend your license if you have too many.
The long-term effects of 2 points on your license
Your insurance company doesn’t track your state license points, but they definitely care about the traffic violations that earn you those points. So your license points and your insurance costs are related. In fact, insurance companies have their own points systems for policy pricing, which take into account serious traffic violations, claims history, and more. Any additional violation or claim can further raise your insurance rates by up to 50% or more, on top of your already increased rate.
However, your state’s tracking system has far greater consequences than your insurance company’s. If your company penalizes you for a violation, the worst thing that will happen is you pay a lot of money for car insurance. If you earn too many license points, you can expect to lose your license completely.
Additional points on your record increase the odds that your next violation will result in license suspension, by bringing you closer to exceeding your state’s point limit. Two points will stay on your license anywhere from one to six years, depending on state laws – three to five years is typical.
If you have two points on your license, be extra careful in the future to avoid another violation. In some states, a defensive driving course can get two points (or more) wiped off your record, but not all states have a point reduction program. And you’re limited in how often you can use the driving course to remove points – it’s normal to have to wait at least one year before you can get more points removed. That means it’s still important to pay your ticket(s) on time and do your best to abide by all traffic laws. Doing so will increase your chance of avoiding more state or insurance penalties.
Car insurance in California costs $70 per month, on average, or $844 per year. The average cost of car insurance in California is 17% higher than the national average auto insurance premium, and California ranks 38 out of 50 for the most affordable car insurance rates in the U.S.
There are several factors that affect how much you’ll pay for car insurance in California, including your driving record, age, location, the amount of coverage that you purchase, and the insurance company you buy it from. On average, the cheapest insurance companies in California are Geico, AAA, and Grange Insurance. But every insurer has their own way of calculating premiums, so it’s a good idea to get quotes from at least three different companies to make sure you find the best deal.
Finally, it’s worth noting that car insurance premiums in California are high, compared to the cost of coverage in neighboring states like Oregon and Texas. You can find more details in the table below.
Cost of Car Insurance in California vs. Neighboring States
WalletHub Answers is a free service that helps consumers access financial information. Information on WalletHub Answers is provided “as is” and should not be considered financial, legal or investment advice. WalletHub is not a financial advisor, law firm, “lawyer referral service,” or a substitute for a financial advisor, attorney, or law firm. You may want to hire a professional before making any decision. WalletHub does not endorse any particular contributors and cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of any information posted. The helpfulness of a financial advisor's answer is not indicative of future advisor performance.
WalletHub members have a wealth of knowledge to share, and we encourage everyone to do so while respecting our content guidelines. This question was posted by WalletHub.
Please keep in mind that editorial and user-generated content on this page is not reviewed or otherwise endorsed by any financial institution. In addition, it is not a financial institution’s responsibility to ensure all posts and questions are answered.
Ad Disclosure: Certain offers that appear on this site originate from paying advertisers, and this will be noted on an offer’s details page using the designation "Sponsored", where applicable. Advertising may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). At WalletHub we try to present a wide array of offers, but our offers do not represent all financial services companies or products.