Your driving record is forever, and there are ways that it can seep into your personal life. Traffic violations, accidents, DUI convictions, and license suspensions are all kept track of. A driver with a record that is littered with these will definitely see higher car insurance rates. Having a spotty driver’s record can also cause higher premiums for life insurance. The good news is that there are some ways that you can resolve blemishes, like a suspended license from your driving record. This post serves as your tell-all guide.
What Exactly is a Driving Record?
Your driving record is kept on file by your state’s DMV. It has no expiration date and continues until the day you stop driving. The records include personal information, details about your driver’s license, previous accidents, traffic citations, fines or fees, license suspensions, graduated driving courses, and points on license. License suspensions typically happen after a major traffic offense like a DUI or when too many points have been accumulated on your driver’s license. Too many points can result in a suspended license. Violations and points can stay on your record or license for anywhere from three to ten years. In some states, some markups are permanent. You can resolve a suspended license by taking steps to have it reinstated, but there may still be a mark of the suspension itself.
Why is a Driving Record Important?
Because some markups on your driving history can be long-lasting, there is a chance it can affect your life in more ways beyond driving. The following subsections talk about where your driving record can catch up with you.
Your Car Insurance Rates
How much you pay for your car insurance will be the first to take a blow when your traffic violation goes on record. Your auto insurance provider has access to your driving record and handles your claims, so it’s impossible for them not to notice.
Your Credit Score
Falling behind on ticket fines or just ignoring them can negatively affect your credit score. When a collection agency is involved, your credit will only suffer more. What’s more, your insurer looks at your credit score, so your premiums can also take a hit. A good credit score is important for such things as buying a car or renting an apartment. If a ticket is ignored for too long, it can even turn into an arrest warrant.
Your Right to Vote
This is the case with serious traffic violations like a DUI, which is a felony charge. As a convicted felon, you can lose several rights, including to right to vote, serve on a jury, hold a public office position, receive federal aid, be a firefighter or police officer, and may be subject to limited travel.
Your Life Insurance
A driving record with a DUI charge on it can result in a revision of your life insurance tier. Rates can go up a couple of hundred dollars in this case.
Serious charges or a certain number of points on your license can cause your license to be suspended. Even letting a ticket go unpaid can result in a suspension.
One serious driving infraction and several smaller ones can result in you losing your job. This is especially the case if your job involves driving. The insurance company may charge too much for you to use the company car, and your employer may choose just not to employ you. It may also be hard for you to find a new job due to something like a DUI conviction. If you work in public transportation, you may be terminated after a single DUI.
Your Future Criminal Charges
A prior traffic conviction or DUI can set a standard for your criminal record. You can expect the penalties for your next offense to be much harsher.
How Can You Remove Marks From Your Driving Record?
There are a couple of ways that you can take matters into your own hands to improve your driving record. While markups can last anywhere from three to five years (ten years for major violations), you can do the following to remedy some:
- Enroll in a driving course - Not only can you learn something new about driving, but you can also get points removed from your license and even lower your insurance rates.
- Request expungement - While you may only be able to use this option once, you can request a driving infraction to be expunged from your record.
- Contest the traffic violation - You can hire legal help to fight the original ticket you were issued if you feel it was unjust.
- Be a safer driver - Obviously, the road most traveled by is practicing safe driving daily. Traffic violations are avoidable.
Even if you have a less than favorable driving record, Insurance Navy can help you find affordable auto insurance. Get a free SR-22 insurance quote online or call us at 888-949-6289.