How Long Traffic Tickets Stay On Your Record?

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Lauren Lewthwaite 18-01-2022

How Long Do Traffic Tickets Stay On Your Record?

How Long Do Traffic Tickets Stay On Your Record

Seeing flashing police lights in your rearview mirror is never fun, but it’s even less enjoyable when you realize your insurance premiums are about to get hiked. “How long do traffic tickets stay on your record?” is an incredibly common question, and for good reason: knowing when your record will be clear and your rates will go down again is important. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about traffic violations and your insurance record.

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Does a Traffic Ticket Stay On Your Record?

There are two types of tickets you can get:

  1. A moving violation, such as speeding, careless driving, etc.
  2. A non-moving violation, such as a parking ticket

Non-moving violations don’t stay on your record at all, but moving violations do. Your state applies points to various moving violations; the more serious the violation, the higher number of points and the longer it stays on your record. 

But your driving record isn’t the same as your insurance record, and insurance providers have their own point systems to determine insurance rates. To make it even more confusing, insurance providers all handle violations/insurance hikes in their own way, so it can be tricky to know exactly how long traffic tickets stay on record.

When Do Traffic Violations Come Off Record?

If you’ve had a traffic violation, you can typically expect your insurance rates to be raised since you’re now considered a riskier driver to insurance companies. It’s understandable that you’d want to know when that violation will come off your record so that you can see your rates lowered again. 

How long traffic tickets stay on the record really depends on three factors:

  1. Your insurance provider: Each carrier has its own method for reviewing traffic violations. Some providers go back three years for minor violations, while others only two years from the violation. 
  2. Your state: Each state has its own point system for a traffic violation and how long the violation stays on your record varies by state. 
  3. The seriousness of the violation: This is the biggest indicator of how long a violation will stay on your insurance record. A serious offense like driving under the influence or reckless driving can last as long as 10 years (or even lead to your license being taken away completely). Less serious offenses like speeding or running a red light might last 2-3 years. 

For serious traffic violations, your insurance provider can’t take away your license like the state can, but it can refuse to renew your policy if you’ve proven to be too risky to insure. This can also make it harder to get insurance elsewhere. 

It’s worthwhile to note that good driving pays: many insurance providers offer discounts for those with clean driving records for a certain number of years. Some insurance providers also offer accident forgiveness if you’re overall a safe driver. 

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The Cost of Traffic Violations

It’s no secret that your insurance will go up with traffic violations. The more serious the violation, the higher the rise in insurance. This is on top of the fine you’ll have to pay to the state and the points you’ll incur against your driving record. The increase to your insurance fees depends on the insurance provider and the seriousness of the violation, but can increase as much as several hundreds of dollars a year. 

Final Thoughts On Traffic Violations and Your Insurance Record

Good driving pays, careless driving doesn’t. How long traffic tickets stay on record depends on a number of factors, but you can safely assume the next few years you’ll be paying extra on your insurance rates. Traffic violations do eventually come off your record and your insurance rates will settle again, but until then make sure you avoid any further violations. 

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Lauren LewthwaiteLauren Lewthwaite has been freelance writing for almost five years writing content that ranges from health to insurance and everything in between. Lauren is also a trained translator in French and English and is a dog-mom to an adorable Australian Shepherd.