Insurance companies may check your driving record every 6 to 12 months when you apply for a new policy or renew an existing one. Car insurance companies might also check your driving record when you add a new driver, add a new vehicle, or change your coverage details.
By checking your driving record, insurance companies can determine how safe of a driver you are, which helps them estimate how risky you will be to insure. However, checking someone’s driving record costs money, so insurance companies are less likely to check your record if you are an experienced driver who has been with the company for years.
If your insurance company doesn’t check your record at every renewal, your rate might not change after a recent violation. But insurers do not disclose how often they skip record checks, and you can count on them finding out about violations eventually.
A clean driving record is a driving record with no moving violations, accidents, driving-related convictions, or points from the past 3-7 years. The length of time that drivers need to stay clear of such issues in order to have a clean driving record depends on the state and the purpose of the record check.… read full answer
Many insurance companies only look back three years, whereas certain employers may disqualify candidates with a DUI from seven years ago.
What Having a Clean Driving Record Looks Like
No moving violations
No at-fault accidents
No driving-related criminal convictions
No points from the past 3-7 years
Insurance companies and employers are more forgiving of smaller violations like speeding tickets. As a result, one speeding ticket over a three-year period will have a smaller impact on your insurance premium than multiple infractions or a serious conviction like a DUI.
What a Clean Driving Record Means
Having a clean driving record will help you pay lower rates for car insurance since your driving history is one of the main things insurers take into account when calculating your premium. Your insurance rate is based on how likely insurance companies think you are to file a claim and cost them money, so a clean driving record suggests that you are a safe driver and therefore less likely to get into an accident.
In addition, a clean driving record keeps you on good terms with your state’s DMV, since states suspend or revoke the licenses of drivers with severe or repeated offenses. For instance, states like Rhode Island and Washington automatically suspend the licenses of those convicted of a DUI.
Finally, a clean driving record is also useful if you are applying for a job that requires driving in a professional capacity.
How to Get a Clean Driving Record
1. Practice good habits behind the wheel
Avoiding accidents and moving violations by being a safe driver is the best way to get a clean driving record and prevent your premiums from rising.
2. Attend traffic school
In certain states, you can remove tickets or points from your record by attending traffic school for an eligible offense. Depending on the offense, you might even prevent insurance companies from ever seeing a ticket or violation.
With certain insurers and states, points or tickets can also disqualify you from a good driver discount. So, attending traffic school to erase points might allow you to keep or get this discount, too.
3. Keep track of your points
If you don’t have a clean driving record, keeping track of when offenses fall off your record and getting new quotes for insurance after your record improves can help you save on auto insurance coverage. You can usually check your driving record on your state DMV’s website, or you can request an official copy in the mail.
How to See If You Have a Clean Driving Record
Driving records are available via state DMVs in the form of a Motor Vehicle Record (MVR), which insurance companies access when you get a quote or renew your policy. If you’ve recently gotten a ticket, been in an accident, or had your insurance rates increase, it might be worth checking your own MVR for errors and to see how long your offenses will continue to affect you. Most state DMVs allow you to request your own MVR on their website for a small fee.
Progressive looks back at three years of your driving record while calculating premiums. So if you are getting a quote from Progressive and have a moving violation from four years ago, it will not affect your base rate. However, even after three years, an accident or DUI could disqualify you from certain savings, like a good driver discount.… read full answer
In California, for example, a DUI will remain on-record for 10 years, while in Florida it stays for 75 years. Similarly, an accident will stay on your Progressive record for five years, although it will only affect discounts, not your base premium, after three years.
Like with any insurance company, drivers with more violations on their record will be considered higher risk by Progressive and will pay a higher premium as a result. Similarly, Progressive will also take other factors into account when deciding on your rate, such as your location, your age, and your vehicle’s value.
Yes, insurers check for driving-related convictions. Non-driving related convictions, on the other hand, will only affect premium rates indirectly. Companies view your driving record to determine how risky you will be to insure, so they will see convictions like DUI or reckless driving. If you’ve been convicted of a serious driving offense, expect to pay more for insurance and have a harder time finding coverage. … read full answerDUI or similar charges will stay on your record for three to 10 years in most states, and even longer in some.
A non-driving conviction can affect your car insurance premium indirectly if it impacts your driver’s license status or a leads to a lapse in your insurance coverage. If your license was suspended as a result of your crime or your insurance coverage has not been continuous, insurance companies will consider you more of a high-risk driver.
The best approach if you’re worried about your previous convictions is to compare quotes. If you’re having trouble finding an insurer willing to take you, you can look in your area for high-risk insurers, also called nonstandard insurance companies. Or, if you have been turned down multiple times, look into your state’s assigned risk program, which is designed to provide high-risk drivers with the mandatory minimum insurance. In any case, if an insurance application asks about your criminal background or driving record, be honest. Any omission or false information on an application qualifies as insurance fraud, which can lead to retroactively higher premiums, denied claims, fines, or even jail time.
Finally, it’s a good idea to check your state’s laws to see when your convictions will no longer be considered. This will enable you to ask for a new quote when you reach this date.
WalletHub Answers is a free service that helps consumers access financial information. Information on WalletHub Answers is provided “as is” and should not be considered financial, legal or investment advice. WalletHub is not a financial advisor, law firm, “lawyer referral service,” or a substitute for a financial advisor, attorney, or law firm. You may want to hire a professional before making any decision. WalletHub does not endorse any particular contributors and cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of any information posted. The helpfulness of a financial advisor's answer is not indicative of future advisor performance.
WalletHub members have a wealth of knowledge to share, and we encourage everyone to do so while respecting our content guidelines. This question was posted by WalletHub.
Please keep in mind that editorial and user-generated content on this page is not reviewed or otherwise endorsed by any financial institution. In addition, it is not a financial institution’s responsibility to ensure all posts and questions are answered.
Ad Disclosure: Certain offers that appear on this site originate from paying advertisers, and this will be noted on an offer’s details page using the designation "Sponsored", where applicable. Advertising may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). At WalletHub we try to present a wide array of offers, but our offers do not represent all financial services companies or products.