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Edited by Jackie Cohen
Last Updated June 15, 2022
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When shopping for car insurance, you might wonder, how long does a DUI stay on my record? While the question is straightforward, the answer isn’t so simple. It can vary depending on where you live and which insurance company you choose.
The good news is you may be able to keep your driving privileges despite the blemish on your record. Whether you can keep the same insurance depends on your insurance provider. Insurify's quote-comparison tool shows you prices from dozens of insurers, so you can find cheap car insurance quotes, even with a DUI on your record.
- After a DUI, your car insurance rates can increase by as much as 371 percent.
- In many states, a DUI will affect your driving record for less than 10 years. However, in select states, a DUI will stay on your record forever.
- The best way to find cheaper insurance rates after a DUI is to compare quotes from multiple insurance providers. Using a quote-comparison platform, like Insurify, makes the process quick and easy.
What is a DUI?
How long does a DUI stay on your record?
A DUI will usually stay on your driving record for at least three years, although most states keep your DUI history for closer to 10 years. Two states have stricter laws regarding DUIs; in Arizona and Alaska, a DUI will stay on your record permanently.
A DUI is a criminal offense for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (including prescription drugs). Drunk driving and other DUI offenses are serious and can end in accidents with other vehicles, pedestrians, or objects like signs, trees, or buildings. State laws don’t take DUIs lightly—drivers can face severe legal and financial consequences.
Not all states use the letters “DUI” to refer to operating a motor vehicle under the influence. It’s also referred to using other acronyms, such as DWI (driving while intoxicated), OUI (operating under the influence), and OVI (operating a vehicle under the influence). And some states treat a DUI vs. DWI conviction differently.
Many drivers with a DUI case were driving personal vehicles on roads and highways. However, law enforcement may issue DUIs for operating an airplane, boat, bicycle, skateboard, or horse under the influence in some places.
It’s worth noting that DUIs are not exclusively “moving vehicle” offenses. In some states, it’s illegal to be "in control" of a vehicle, such as having the keys and sitting in the front seat, while under the influence.
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Cost of Car Insurance with a DUI
The cost of insurance can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the driver’s age, marital status, location, and car model. In addition to these factors, a person's driving record and prior convictions can also impact the cost of their car insurance. A prior DUI conviction will typically result in a higher premium for car insurance.
Bad driving records don’t always mean unaffordable car insurance, though. How much you pay can also vary according to the insurer you choose.
|Insurance Company||Average Monthly Quote|
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How long does a DUI stay on your driving record?
If you have a DUI on your record, you might think there’s nothing you can do. But in most cases, you won’t be saddled with DUI penalties forever. It could stick around for 10 years or more, depending on where you live. But a DUI typically stays with you for about five years. After that, it stops showing up on background checks and car insurance ratings.
However, a handful of states, such as Arizona and Alaska, never erase your DUIs. As a result, residents in Alaska and Arizona must live with their DUIs permanently appearing on their driving records.
Most states allow drivers to remove a DUI from their record, especially if it was the first (and only) conviction. It’s called expungement, and the process has many steps, a lot of paperwork, court fees, and legal filings. Contact a criminal defense attorney for legal advice to find out if you’re eligible—many DUI lawyers offer free consultations.
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Legal Problems for Drivers after a DUI
Because DUI charges are often tied to severe or fatal incidents, states take it very seriously. A DUI arrest can come with hefty legal and financial consequences. Drivers with DUIs will find that the infraction stays on their record for years after the incident. It can affect car insurance costs, employment opportunities, and other circumstances where a clean criminal record is imperative.
DUIs and Driving Records
When a person gets a DUI, it not only will affect their drinking habits going forward, but it will also go on their driving records. The DUI typically stays on your driving record for 10 years. In most states, the penalty for DUI is a mandatory minimum three-month driver’s license revocation. But you could face a license suspension for 12 months or more.
Even if you keep your driving privileges, the DUI will still show on your department of motor vehicles (DMV) record. It will also cost you a lot of money when it comes to insurance premiums.
|State||Length of Time on Driving Record||Expugnable from criminal record?|
|Alabama||5 years||Yes, for juvenile offenses only|
|Alaska||Forever||No, but convictions can be “set aside”|
|Arkansas||5 years||Yes, for first-time DUI offenders who completed probation|
|California||10 years||Yes, at the end of probation period|
|Colorado||10 years||Yes, for juvenile offenses only|
|Connecticut||10 years||Yes, an expungement pardon is available 3 years after conviction|
|Idaho||Forever||No, but you can ask for a “withheld judgment” for your first offense|
|Indiana||Forever||Yes, 5 years after a misdemeanor conviction or 8 years after a felony conviction|
|Iowa||12 years||Yes, in some circumstances|
|Kansas||Forever||Yes, 5 years after completing probation for your first offense or 10 years after your second|
|Kentucky||5 years||Yes, 5 years after conviction for misdemeanors|
|Maine||Forever||No, only pardons available|
|Maryland||5 years||Not for convictions, but you can get probation before judgment|
|Massachusetts||10 years||No expungement, but you can seal your record 5 years after a misdemeanor or 10 years after a felony|
|Minnesota||10 years||Yes, available 2 years after completing sentence|
|Missouri||10 years||Yes, available 10 years after conviction|
|Montana||5 years||Yes, available 5 years after completing sentence|
|Nevada||7 years||No, but you can have your record sealed 7 years after your first or second misdemeanor DUI|
|New Hampshire||10 years||Yes, eligible for annulment 10 years after conviction|
|New Jersey||10 years||No, DUIs are traffic violations in NJ|
|New Mexico||55 years||No|
|New York||15 years||No|
|North Dakota||7 years||No|
|Oklahoma||10 Years||Yes, available 1 year after dismissal or 10 years after conviction|
|Pennsylvania||10 years||Yes, after successful completion of the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program|
|Rhode Island||5 years||Yes, available 5 years after misdemeanor conviction|
|South Carolina||10 years||No|
|South Dakota||10 years||Yes, available 10 years after misdemeanor conviction|
|Utah||10 years||Yes, available 10 years after conviction or 10 years after probation ends|
|Washington, D.C.||10 years||No|
|West Virginia||10 years||No|
|Wyoming||10 years||Yes, available 5 years after conviction|
DUIs and Criminal Records
DUI laws vary by state. How it impacts your criminal record will be different if you live in North Carolina vs. Texas. Typically, the first offense is treated as a misdemeanor—a less serious criminal charge than a felony. A DUI can be charged as a felony, depending on the severity of the situation and if you have previous criminal convictions.
A DUI can create additional obstacles in your life. It can disrupt your rights, such as the ability to own a firearm, get custody of your child, and travel. Immigrants with DUIs may lose their candidacy to become U.S. citizens. Finally, you may lose out on jobs from potential employers that require a clean driving history or criminal history.
High-Risk Classification on Car Insurance after DUI
A high-risk classification on auto insurance after a DUI can result in increased costs for motorists. Here’s why: high-risk drivers cost insurance companies more money, so the insurer increases the premium to compensate. Many companies offer car insurance with DUI. But as a high-risk driver, you should expect your monthly rates to be significantly higher for many years.
Cheap Car Insurance after a DUI Is Possible
Finding cheap car insurance after a DUI is possible. With Insurify’s auto insurance comparison tool, you can enjoy the lowest car insurance costs without the headache. Drivers with a DUI can compare car insurance policies for free and get quotes from up to 20 of the nation’s best insurers.
First, answer a few questions about where you live, your driving history, and your vehicle. Next, review a list of multiple insurers and prices to compare them in real-time. It is a fast and simple way to potentially save hundreds or thousands of dollars on car insurance premiums.
Frequently Asked Questions
A DUI can stay on your record for at least three years, depending on where you live. For instance, most states keep DUIs on driving records for 5 to 10 years, but a few states leave the conviction on your record forever. But all is not lost—making an effort to become an attentive and defensive driver can eventually make your insurance rates go down.
Yes, you should expect your car insurance to be more expensive after a DUI. Because DUIs are tied to dangerous driving situations, insurance providers are likely to label you as “high-risk.” Your car insurance rates can increase by 28 to 371 percent, depending on the provider and level of coverage you had before the DUI.
The best and easiest way to find cheap car insurance after a DUI is to compare quotes from multiple insurers. Insurify knows that it can be a time-consuming process. That’s why we make comparing car insurance simple and straightforward. Insurify lets you compare dozens of quotes in one place.
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The car insurance quotes displayed are based on an analysis of Insurify’s database of over 40 million quotes from 500 ZIP codes nationwide. To obtain representative rates, Insurify’s data science team performs frequent comprehensive analyses of the factors car insurance providers weigh to calculate rates including driver demographics, driving record, credit score, desired coverage level, and more.
Insurify’s analysis also incorporates the Insurify Composite Score (ICS) assigned to each insurance provider. The ICS is a proprietary rating that weighs multiple factors reflecting the quality, reliability, and health of an insurance company. Ratings used to calculate the ICS include Financial Strength Ratings from A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch; J.D. Power ratings; Consumer Reports customer satisfaction surveys and customer complaints; mobile app reviews; and user-generated company reviews.
With the above insights and ranking methods, Insurify is able to offer car insurance shoppers insight into how various insurance providers compare to one another in terms of both cost and quality. Note, actual quotes will vary based on unique attributes including the policyholder’s driver history and their garaging address.