How Long Does a Speeding Ticket Stay on Your Record
A speeding ticket doesn’t seem like a big deal initially. You can often take care of these citations without going to court, so it’s easy enough to pay your fine and consider it handled.
That is, it seems simple enough until you renew your insurance policy and find out your rates have increased because of a pesky ticket. This is just one of the negative results that often occur after the fact.
You also have to watch out for the points assessed against your driving record. These points can eventually lead to a suspended license if you accumulate enough.
Luckily, most states allow speeding tickets to drop off of your record after a certain period of time. There are other things you can do that allow your tickets to be expunged quicker.
Each state is different in regards to its driving laws and conviction visibility. Let’s examine how long a speeding ticket stays on your record in each state.
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How Long Does a Speeding Ticket Stay on Your Record in Each State?
States vary in regards to how long a speeding ticket stays on your record. The average length of time is between one and five years, with a couple exceptions not allowing removal at all.
During the length of time the ticket is on your record, you are at risk for receiving second and third offenses, which will bring stiffer penalties. After a certain number of infractions or points on your record your license can be suspended.
If you don’t want to wait the typical length of time, you have the option to contact the court clerk to discuss options for expungement. These are decided on a case-by-case basis.
|State||Time Ticket Stays on Your Record|
|Alabama||2 years for points to be removed, but incident is permanent on your record|
|California||3 years and 3 months|
|Colorado||You can reduce your points, but incident is permanent|
|Illinois||Up to 5 years|
|Kentucky||5 years, but points are removed after 2 years|
|Montana||Points are removed are 5 years, but incident is permanent|
|Nevada||Points are removed after 1 year, but incident is permanent|
|New Hampshire||3 years|
|New Jersey||5 years|
|New Mexico||1 year|
|New York||1.5 years|
|North Carolina||3 years|
|North Dakota||3 years|
|Ohio||2 years count toward your suspension, but the incident is permanent|
|Oklahoma||Up to 3 years|
|Rhode Island||3 years|
|South Carolina||2 years|
|West Virginia||5 years, but points are removed after 2 years|
|Washington D.C.||2 years|
Each of the times listed above assumes you don’t receive the option of a deferred conviction or a driver improvement course. Other situations can lead to these times being lowered substantially.
How Does a Speeding Ticket Affect Your Driving Record?
Most states use some type of point system to keep track of your driving habits and as a way to determine punishable actions. The state’s motor vehicle system assigns points based on the frequency and severity of the violations.
After accumulating a certain number of points, you could be forced to enroll in a driver improvement course. If the points continue to rack up, the state could suspend your license.
A speeding ticket is assigned a certain number of points against your driving record depending on where you live. Your state’s motor vehicle commission will send you a letter each time points are assessed against your record. Normally, you will also receive warnings when you are approaching a license suspension.
How Do You Improve Your Driving Record After a Speeding Ticket?
There are several options for improving your driving record after being convicted of a speeding violation. Depending on the state you live in, these are potential options.
- Take a defensive driving or driver improvement course. These programs will remove points from your record upon completion. However, you are limited to how many times you can enroll in a driver improvement course within a certain period.
- Get a deferred conviction. Normally you can only do this once in each state per charge. A deferred conviction is when you are found guilty, but a lesser charge appears on your record. Sometimes nothing will appear on your record, but you’ll still be responsible for all fines and penalties.
- Contact the court clerk and ask what your options are. In certain situations the clerk can offer you different options for conviction removal.
- Contest the ticket or appeal the decision. This could involve a lengthy process, and the likelihood that the judge will rule in your favor is unlikely – but it’s worth a try. Normally it helps to have an attorney if you contest a ticket or make an appeal. It’s very rare a ticket is thrown out or overturned without legal assistance.
- Ask for a dismissal. Some lawyers will delay court dates for months on end. When you receive a ticket, your court date is usually already scheduled two or three months out. If you choose to get a continuance, this could add another three months. After a couple of continuances, you could be looking at close to a year of a case being dragged out. During this time, an officer can quit, be transferred, or fired. If any of these situations arise you may ask for a dismissal.
- You may ask the judge for mitigation. Mitigation is when you plead guilty but get a chance to explain your actions to the judge. You won’t always get the charge dropped, but it’s possible you’ll be convicted of a lesser charge or be afforded an opportunity to take a driver improvement course. Fines may be lowered as well.
How Does a Speeding Ticket Affect Your Car Insurance Rates?
Speeding tickets have a negative impact on your driving record and insurance rates. Regardless of whether you inform your insurance company of the ticket or not, they will find out eventually.
Normally, carriers find out about tickets when it’s time to renew your policy. Your agent will run your name through the system again to determine your new rate, and your premiums will likely increase.
If your rates increase because of a speeding ticket, you should ask your insurance company what your options are to bring your rates back down. You might be able to secure lower rates after completing a driver improvement course or participating in one of the many discount programs offered by insurance companies.
If you don’t take action or attempt to receive a discount, a ticket can negatively impact your insurance rates for three years.
But just because your rates went up, it doesn’t mean you can’t still find ways to save. Get free quotes and see how much you can save by entering your ZIP code below.
How Do You Get a Speeding Ticket Off Your Record?
The only way to get a speeding ticket off of your record without using one of the options mentioned above is waiting for them to automatically drop from your record.
You also have the option of pursuing record sealing. Record sealing does not officially remove a conviction from your record, but it does hide it from view in future court and public records. This could lower the chances you receive higher insurance rates and points.
The only catch is you have to wait one year to request your records be sealed. Additionally, you have to remain ticket-free the following year for the changes to remain permanent.
How Do You Save on Car Insurance After a Speeding Ticket?
Several options exist to keep your rates low after receiving a speeding ticket. Consider the following tips to lower your insurance premiums after a conviction:
- Enroll in a Driver Improvement Course. Ask your insurance company if they grant discounts for passing driver improvement courses. Many carriers will lower your premium if you show proof of enrollment and completion of these classes.
- Secure a Discount. Insurance companies often offer a slew of discount programs to help you save on your premium. Take advantage of as many as you can to bring your insurance rate down.
- Monitor Your Driving Habits. One of the best and quickest ways to save money on your auto insurance is by having a device installed in your car or on your phone that monitors your driving habits. These devices provide immediate discounts as you exhibit safe driving practices. It monitors things like your speed, braking habits, sudden turns or U-turns, and how closely you follow other vehicles.
It’s important to recognize the potential impact receiving a speeding ticket can have on your insurance rates and your driving record, which both impact how much you pay out of pocket.
Let’s say a speeding ticket costs you $200 in fines. It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time. However, your insurance rates will increase for three years if you don’t have the ticket removed. An increase of $20 per month results in paying an additional $730 for auto insurance over this three year period.
Your $200 fine just cost you almost $1,000 when everything is all said and done. That’s why it’s important to stay mindful of the posted speed limits in your area.
Want to see how much you might be able to save? Just enter your ZIP code below.
FAQs About How Long a Speeding Ticket Stays on Your Record
Can you have a ticket removed from your record?
Yes, a ticket can be removed from your record depending on the circumstances. The judge may allow you to take a driver improvement course, and the ticket will be removed upon completion. You can also contest the ticket, which can sometimes be a long shot. Alternatively, you can wait until the ticket automatically disappears from your record which can take up to 10 years depending on where you live. .
Is it bad to have a speeding ticket on your record?
Yes. A speeding ticket can lead to more points on your record which might increase your insurance premiums and possibly lead to having your license suspended if you accumulate too many.
How long do speeding tickets stay on your record for insurance?
Typically, a speeding ticket will remain visible to insurance companies for about three years. However, the increased rates can be counteracted by enrolling in a driver improvement course or taking advantage of discount programs by your insurance company. This is assuming you don’t receive any additional tickets during this period. Habitual convictions can lead to incredibly high rates and possibly being dropped by your carrier.
Does a speeding ticket affect your insurance?
Your premiums are increased when you attempt to renew your policy. The more tickets you have, the higher your insurance premium will be. Certain companies can choose to drop you if regularly receive tickets.