Did you know that your driving record can affect not only your insurance premiums but also your ability to gain work as a driver? If you rely on your driving license, you need to make sure you are driving per the laws and regulations to avoid anything that puts your clear driving record at risk.
Your driving record can hold much information on you, including;
- Your name and address
- Driver’s license number
- License status (i.e., valid, expired, suspended, etc.)
- Convictions related to motor vehicle violations
- Accident information
- Driver control actions, including failure to yield or failure to come to a complete stop
Depending on where you reside, you can have different driving records. This includes; standard, limited, commercial, and others. You can check your driving record with your local state to see the information held. It is also worth knowing that you can have a driving record even if you do not own a driving license. If you have convictions or tickets such as suspensions, this can be recorded on a record despite you not having passed your driving test.
How To View Your Driving Record
Again this can vary from state to state. Still, usually, you will need to determine the type of driving record you want to access, complete the application, provide proof of identification and pay any fees.
Fees and the actual process can be different. But you can expect to have to pay to view your five or ten-year driving record via your local department of motor vehicles.
Do all Tickets and Violations Affect Your Driving Record?
Parking tickets do not affect your driving record in a way that would influence an auto insurer. Especially if you pay on time. Usually, many will also forgive the first offense, but this will vary from provider to provider. For some, it won’t matter. However, others could see an increase of up to 30% for speeding tickets.
How Long Do Violations Stay on Your Record
Depending on what the actual violation was, it can be anywhere from one to three years right the way through to a lifetime – DUI in Florida stays on your record for 75 years.
It really does depend on your insurer and your state. Insurers typically look back around three to five years, although they can check further back. So it pays to shop around if you notice your insurance quotes have increased.
Employers can also view your driving record, so it is better to be upfront with both potential employers and insurers as they will always find out, even minor speeding tickets.
How to Clear Your Driving Record
Contest Questionable Tickets
According to the National Motorists Association, one out of every twenty drivers contests a ticket. On the other hand, fighting tickets can be worthwhile, especially if you have a poor driving record. Many would say this is when you should be fighting driving tickets, even if you are actually guilty.
Do you know if there may be mitigating circumstances? These can often result in mercy from a judge. Perhaps you were in a hurry to get to the hospital. Or maybe your speedometer was not correctly calibrated. Contesting your ticket is the only way to get any penalties reduced or dismissed. Hire an expert traffic lawyer who can help you argue your case and improve your chances of having your record cleared legally.
Address Your Tickets
If you obtain a ticket for something minor, such as a broken taillight, misplaced driver’s license, or other easily rectifiable error, take care of it immediately. Get the repair taken care of quickly, or make sure your driving license is where it needs to be. Whatever it takes, make it a priority. Why? This could keep the ticket off your record and even stop it from appearing on the radar of your insurance company.
Take A Driver Safety Course
If you have made a minor mistake and received a traffic violation, it may be possible for you to keep this off your record by taking a driver safety course. This option is only available for things such as mild to moderate speeding tickets or failure to yield. For more considerable violations such as DUIs, you may not be able to use this option to remove the penalty from your driving record.
Rather than waiting for the penalty points to expire, you can request that the infraction be removed from your record in some states. In Maryland, for example, you can have some offenses deleted after three years. Provided you haven’t committed any moving violations or had your license suspended subsequently. This may be especially useful when obtaining auto insurance rates from firms that go back four or five years (or more) into your driving history.
It’s not always the violations that can affect your driving record. It is the ones that stick. So being proactive to clear the ones that can be removed is imperative. Especially if these have added up over the years. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is it now once you have received the violation. Instead, look at how you can rectify your mistake and have it removed.
Request A Deferment
If you have recently gotten a ticket, you may be able to request a postponement by going to court or calling the clerk of courts or the magistrate. If granted a deferment, you must pay a fee (usually $100 to $150) and remain ticket-free for the duration of the postponement. Which is typically one year. Should you be successful, your ticket will not appear on your driving record.
Remember, this isn’t a get out of jail free card. Not everything can or should be removed, and you should use this as motivation to keep a clean record for the future. This is especially important if you rely on driving for work or a family matter. The inconvenience of having your license revoked or selling your car because your premium is too high will affect all areas of your life.
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