How Long Will a Ticket Stay on My Driving Record?

From speeding tickets to car accidents, driving comes with its fair share of risks.

Even when you’ve paid the fines and the dust has settled, you might find that your insurance company has hit you with a price increase (also known as a surcharge) as a result of your violation. Talk about adding insult to injury.

Though driving violations don’t always cause rate increases—perhaps it’s your first accident or your provider offers accident forgiveness—chances are you will pay more for car insurance after a moving violation. As a general rule of thumb, a violation will affect your premium for a chargeable period of three years. However, this is not a hard and fast rule. The chargeable period depends on the insurance company, state, and severity of the violation.

If you have recently received a ticket or been convicted of a moving violation, it could be worth it to compare quotes from other insurance providers—you might be able to secure a cheaper premium that way. Though your current provider might care a lot about your recent violation, another provider might not. If you care to research other insurance options, Insurify is a free and easy way to compare car insurance quotes from top providers in three minutes or less.

Your Driving Record

For better or worse, the Department of Motor Vehicles maintains a permanent record of your driving history. However, insurance companies don’t use these violations against you after their chargeable period. The chargeable period is the length of time an insurance company will increase your price because of a violation, such as a speeding ticket.

The Point System

If you drive, you’ve probably heard about a “license point system.” Though both the DMV and insurance companies use point systems, they are different and separate from each other. Insurance companies use their own proprietary methods for assigning points while the DMV uses a clearly defined system. To make things even more confusing, DMV point systems vary from state to state.

For example, the number of points needed for license suspension varies widely across the country. In California, a speeding ticket usually leads to one point against your license, while in New York, it can lead to anywhere from three to 11 points, depending on how fast over the speed limit you were driving. The number of points warranting suspension also varies appropriately, though, so three points on your license in California is not the same as three points on your license in New York.

StateLicense Points Warranting SuspensionTime Frame
Alabama122 years
Alaska121 year
Arizona81 year
Arkansas14At any given time
California41 year
Colorado121 year
Connecticut102 years
Delaware122 years
Florida12 1 year
Georgia152 years
HawaiiNo point system
Idaho21 year
Illinois3 moving violations1 year
Indiana3 major offenses10 years
Iowa62 years
KansasNo point system
Kentucky122 years
LouisianaNo point system
Maine121 year
Maryland82 years
Massachusetts12At any given time
Michigan122 years
MinnesotaNo point system
MississippiNo point system
Missouri81.5 years
Montana153 years
Nebraska122 years
Nevada12 1 year
New Hampshire121 year
New Jersey12At any given time
New Mexico71 year
New York111.5 years
North Carolina123 years
North Dakota11 At any given time
Ohio122 years
Oklahoma105 years
OregonNo point system
Pennsylvania6At any given time
Rhode IslandNo point system
South Carolina12At any given time
South Dakota151 year
Tennessee121 year
Texas81 year
Utah2003 years
Vermont102 years
Virginia18 1 year
Washington61 year
West Virginia12 At any given time
Wisconsin121 year
WyomingNo point system
Washington, D.C.10At any given time

How Your Driving Record Affects Your Insurance Premiums

For most of the big insurance companies, chargeable violations that occurred within the past three years can lead to increased prices by way of surcharges. Though each company has their own way of assigning points, they all take into account the severity of each driving violation and how long ago it happened. Many companies will decrease the surcharge for every year you maintain a clean driving record after a violation. After three years, you shouldn’t see any surcharge at all.

However, if you are applying for insurance at a new company, the carrier might look at violations older than three years when determining whether to accept your application. If you were convicted for reckless driving ten years ago, your current insurer won’t be able to apply a surcharge because of that conviction—but a new company could use that as a reason to deny your application.

Shopping for Car Insurance With a Ticket on Your Record

So, you were caught doing 80 in a 65 and got dinged with a speeding ticket…now what? Well, the premium on your current policy will probably increase. But, by shopping around, you might be able to minimize the financial damage and find a cheaper rate. After all, not all car insurance companies treat violations the same way.

Using Insurify is a quick and easy way to get quotes from top providers in three minutes or less. Though Insurify can’t promise a discount, you can be sure that by comparing quotes between top carriers, you will gain peace of mind knowing you have the best rate possible.

Keep in mind that if you do switch, your new company will still apply a surcharge until the chargeable period ends. It should just be a smaller surcharge. It is also important to know that, depending on the severity of your driving infraction, you might struggle with finding new car insurance to begin with. Some companies could outright deny your application, while others might be more expensive than your existing policy since you will no longer qualify for a “good driver discount.”

If you recently got a ticket, your insurance will likely be more expensive for the next three years. Given that this is not a strict rule, though, if you want to know the exact length of time your rates will be affected, contact your insurance provider directly. But, if you are eager and optimistic about finding a better rate and comparing car insurance quotes today, you can easily get started with Insurify.

Let the countdown begin!

Sabrina Perry is a writer with experience in data journalism and a passion for translating complex topics into insightful and engaging stories. She has a degree in neuroscience from University of California, Santa Barbara and can often be found reading books about behavioral economics, decision-making, and personal finance.