How Long Does a Traffic Violation Stay on Your Insurance Record?

Do You Know the Maximum Amount of Time a Ticket Can Stay on Your Record?

Moving Violation
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If you’ve been the cause of an auto accident or have racked up a few speeding tickets, you may be wondering if and how these mistakes will affect your driving record. Most states have clear and open rules regarding how such infractions will affect your driver’s license status, and racking up too many may cause your driver’s license to be suspended or revoked. However, your driver's license record is not the same as your car insurance record.

The state can view your driver's license points differently than your car insurance carrier. Most people know a traffic ticket means higher car insurance rates, but do you know how long the unpleasant rate increase will last?

What Affects The Length Of Time A Traffic Violation Stays On Your Record?

The Insurance Carrier: Violations are not handled the same way between each insurance carrier. Some insurance carriers may only go back two years for minor violations, while others might go back three years from the incident. Most insurance carriers offer the good driver discount after no accidents or violations for five years, and some even offer accident forgiveness if you’re generally a safe driver.

The Type of Traffic Violation: The type of traffic violation you received can affect the amount of time your insurance carrier surcharges your policy. Careless driving and driving under the influence are a couple of the worst offenses.

A lot of the time it can take up to five years for those to clear your record for preferred insurance carriers. Most insurance carriers can see your entire driving history, but insurance carriers typically only surcharge for points occurring in the last five years.

Don't feel like calling and asking your car insurance agent?

Try checking your declaration page for detailed information about traffic violations and their resulting penalties. Or, you could always call your insurance carrier's customer service number. It might feel a little more discrete when talking to someone at a call center versus your agent with whom you might have a closer relationship.

Consider Violation Forgiveness

More and more insurance carriers are offering violation and accident forgiveness. You often pay extra for the coverage, however, it protects you against a rate increase in case of a minor traffic violation. Once your record is clear, look into getting violation forgiveness. It often runs only a couple of dollars a month depending on your record.

It is important to remember the violation will surely fall off eventually. If you’ve recently racked up an infraction, it is more important than ever to maintain an active policy. Many drivers fall into the trap of thinking going without car insurance is the cheapest route. However, being caught driving without car insurance, especially in an accident, can be financially ruinous for most drivers -- not to mention illegal in most states. Many who make this unfortunate choice do not realize the extremely expensive high-risk rates drivers with no prior car insurance policy pay once they do try to buy insurance.

If you keep your car insurance policy active and drive safely, rest assured that your traffic violations will eventually come off of your record.