Maintaining a good driving record is a must if you want to keep your car insurance rates low. The more blemishes you have on your record, such as tickets and auto accidents, the riskier of a driver you are. High-risk drivers pay more for car insurance to offset the risk that insurers must take on.
The good news is that your driving record can be cleared, and doing so will keep your rates down. Now you’ll be wondering, how can I get my driving record expunged and how easy is it to clear your driving record?
Here are some of the most effective ways of clearing your driving record to save money on car insurance rates.
How to Clear Your Driving Record
There’s nothing worse than seeing flashing red and blue lights in your rearview. But keep in mind that a ticket isn’t necessarily set in stone. Getting a ticket doesn’t have to send your car insurance rates skyrocketing.
Here are four things you can do to clear your driving record.
1) Take a Driver Safety Course
Depending on the type of ticket you’ve received, you may be able to reduce or avoid points or even get the ticket dismissed by completing a defensive driving course that’s approved by your state.
These courses generally only remedy minor infractions, such as failure to yield or moderate speeding. A driver safety course is unlikely to erase criminal moving violations, such as a DUI.
2) Contest Questionable Tickets
It’s rare that people contest a ticket. In fact, according to the National Motorists Association, only 1 in 20 drivers do. But what many people don’t realize is that fighting a ticket can often work.
While it takes time and effort, contesting a ticket can keep your shaky driving record from getting even worse. Even if you’re found guilty, you may win leniency from the judge.
Maybe you got pulled over for speeding while racing to the hospital to see a loved one. Or maybe you can prove that your speedometer was poorly calibrated at the time you were charged with an infraction.
If you believe that you were wrongfully pulled over and ticketed, the best thing you can do is contest it. This is the only way to get driving infractions reduced or dismissed.
3) Take Care of Fix-It Tickets
Were you pulled over for a broken headlight? Were you unable to produce a driver’s license because you left it at home? If a driving infraction is fixable, address it immediately.
The faster you fix the problem, the greater chance you have of keeping the ticket off of your record.
4) Request an Expungement
Instead of waiting for points on your license to expire, in certain states, you can request an expungement. This removes violations from your driving record.
Depending on where you live, you may be able to expunge certain violations after a certain number of years, as long as you haven’t committed any other moving violations.
Expungement is especially valuable when getting car insurance quotes. Insurers look at your driving history dating back five years or more. So, having violations off your record means you’ll receive better car insurance rates.
How Long Do Violations Affect Your Car Insurance Rates?
If you’re unsuccessful in clearing traffic tickets from your record, you may just have to wait them out. How long an infraction stays on your record depends on the state as well as the insurer.
Insurers are mainly concerned with moving violations and accidents within the past 3-5 years. Serious offenses such as DUIs affect your insurance rates for much longer. For example, in California, a DUI can stay on your record for a decade. In Florida, alcohol-related violations stay on your record for 75 years.
Not All Violations Affect Insurance Rates
Not every ticket is worth stressing over, especially from an insurance standpoint. Generally, parking violations don’t affect car insurance premiums, assuming you make payments on time. There are even some insurers who forgive specific first-time citations.
Chances are, your insurance company won’t hike up your rate for a minor speeding ticket. But if you have a spotty driving record, your rates could increase by 30% or more. This is why it’s so important to shop around for car insurance so that you can get the best rate.
Be aware that serious violations, including reckless and dangerous driving, are extra hard on your record and your wallet. A DUI or reckless driving violation could increase your auto insurance by thousands of dollars for up to five years.
Take Control of Your Driving Record and Save
Remember, getting a traffic ticket doesn’t necessarily mean that your car insurance rates will increase. The ones that matter are the ones that stick. This is why it’s important to know how to clear your driving record of minor and equipment-related citations.
Not having marks on your record shows that you’re a responsible driver, which insurers care about most. After you clear your driving record, you can enjoy affordable rates now and in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Get My Driving Record Expunged?
Each state has a specific process for expunging convictions from your record. The best place to start is by asking the DMV in your state.
Some states will require you to take a defensive driving course, while others require you to have no new driving offenses within a certain amount of time.
If you meet the criteria, you’ll have to fill out a form and pay a fee. However, the fee is nominal compared to the auto insurance savings.
Does Having a CDL Lower Your Car Insurance?
Having a Commercial Driving License does not decrease your insurance rate, even though you have an advanced driving distinction. However, you may qualify for a defensive driving credit due to your professional status as a CDL driver.
What’s an Acceptable Driving Record for CDL?
In certain states, trucking companies typically pull a drive-a-check (DAC) report, which includes at least 10-years’ worth of driving history. There are certain non-negotiables that may keep you from getting hired, including:
- Reckless driving
- Excessive speeding
- Driving without insurance
You can remove marks from your record with an expungement. Knowing how to clean up a CDL driving record improves your chances of getting hired. As well, if you clear your driving record your insurance rates will likely go down.
Featured Image: Megapixl