When Does a Citation Appear on Your Driving Record?

April 14, 2022

You got a ticket and now want to know how long it will remain a black mark on your driving record. Unfortunately, there’s no blanket answer. Each state has different laws regarding this circumstance. In general, you can expect a major moving violation to stay on your record between 3 and 10 years. However, minor offenses may not remain on your record for nearly as long.

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However, you should know that a ticket never truly comes off your record. It may not affect your insurance rates after a specific period. However, if someone wanted to look at your record from the day you started driving, they can and will see any violations you received.

What are Moving Violations?

There are two types of violations you can receive – moving and non-moving. A moving violation means your car was in use at the time of the incident. The violation is a result of disobeying a law, such as blowing a red light, speeding beyond the speed limit, or driving under the influence.

What are Non-Moving Violations?

Non-moving violations still disobey the law, but without the car in motion. Excessively tinted windows or parking illegally are two examples of violations you can receive while the car is not in motion. While you do receive a ticket, the impact on your driving record is much less with this type of violation.

What if a Lawyer Fights Your Ticket?

Now, what if you received a ticket, but you hired a lawyer to fight it for you? If you are one of the lucky ones and the lawyer wins, the violation never goes on your record. Yes, you received a violation, but it never officially gets recorded because the court throws it out. While it costs money to a hire a lawyer, it could be beneficial if the violation is very serious and you do not think you are guilty or guilty enough to deal with such an impact on your record.

The General Timeline for Insurance Companies

As you probably guessed, your car insurance can increase with every violation you receive. A violation means you are a ‘risky’ driver. Let’s say you have a record of speeding often. This puts you at higher risk for a collision. The insurance company looks at this as risky and raises your premiums as a result.

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Luckily, insurance companies usually don’t look back more than 5 years, but that can be a long time to pay inflated premiums. A serious violation, such as a DUI or reckless driving, however, can stay on your record for insurance purposes for at least 10 years.

The type of violation and how recent it was determines the effect on your insurance premiums. Not every single ticket will negatively affect your score. It depends on the reason for the violation and how many others you had prior to the incident.

Determine Your Options

Once you receive a ticket, you have options. We already discussed hiring a lawyer. If you don’t want to take it that far, you may be able to:

  • Take a safe driving course – Some states will dismiss your ticket, keeping it off your record in exchange for your attendance at a driving course.
  • Fix the issue – If you received a violation for something that was broken or wrong on your car, fix it and prove it in the timeline allowed. This could keep the ticket off your record for good.
  • Explore expunging options – Some states allow you to remove violations from your record after a specific period.

Don’t assume the worst when you get a ticket. You have options to keep it off your record or remove it after some time. The best way to prevent a violation is obviously to drive safe. Of course, accidents and mistakes happen, though. How you handle it determines the outcome.

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