How long does a DUI stay on your record?
How long does a DUI stay on your record? Insurance companies will typically look back three to five years when considering DUIs on your record. Some states allow drivers to remove DUIs from their driving records entirely if they meet certain requirements. A DUI on your driving record will cause your insurance rates to increase and will leave you with fewer options when comparing auto insurance companies.
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UPDATED: Jan 9, 2022
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- In most states, insurance companies will look at the past three to five years when looking for DUIs on your driving record
- Some states allow drivers to remove DUIs from their records if they meet certain criteria
- DUIs cause your auto insurance rates to increase and make coverage more difficult to find. Some employers may not hire you if a DUI appears on your background check
Whether your state refers to it as a DUI, DWI, or OWI, if your record shows that you’ve driven under the influence, auto insurance companies will likely charge you higher rates for several years.
Exactly how long a DUI stays on your record varies by state. Depending on the circumstances of your DUI, you may have the option of removing it from your driving record entirely.
With this guide, we’ll help you find out how long a DUI will affect your insurance by telling you how insurance companies consider DUIs when determining your rates.
Once we’ve answered your questions about DUIs, enter your ZIP code in our free online tool to compare auto insurance coverage options and find an affordable plan for you.
How long does a DUI stay on your driving record?
Most auto insurance companies will look at DUIs from the past three to five years when determining your rates. However, in some states a DUI can remain on your driving record for much longer. In California, for example, a DUI will remain visible to insurance companies for 10 years. Also, a DUI may still appear on your criminal record even if it’s removed from your driving record.
Depending on your state’s laws, your auto insurance company may have the final say when it comes to your rates after a DUI. If, for instance, a DUI from eight years ago remains on your driving record, one insurance company may consider you a risk (and increase your rates accordingly) while another may see an eight-year-old DUI as too far back to justify increasing your rates.
Regardless of how your state handles DUIs, you can expect to have fewer coverage options after a DUI. You will see a rate increase of at least 10% for at least the first few years after your infraction.
How long does a DWI stay on your record? A DUI and a DWI feature the same penalties, so they will stay on your record for the same amount of time.
Will a DUI stay on your record if you move to a new state?
Yes, DUIs generally transfer between states through the National Driver Register — monitored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Any auto insurance company that performs a background check will be able to see any DUIs on your record. Likewise, a DUI on your criminal record cannot be removed by relocating.
Five states — Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Tennessee — do not participate in the National Driver Register. That said, if you’re applying for a driver’s license or insurance in any state, you’ll need to be honest about any past DUIs.
How can you remove a DUI from your record?
Some states allow drivers to “expunge” DUIs from their records. If a DUI is removed from your record in this way, neither insurance companies nor employers will be able to see the DUI.
The table below goes over DUI removal options and requirements in each state.
|State||Is expungement available?||How does expungement work?|
|AL||Yes||If the DUI was a juvenile offense, you can petition to have the record destroyed|
|AZ||Yes||The court can discharge your conviction|
|AR||Yes||If probation is completed, records can be sealed|
|CA||Yes||Charges can be dismissed in certain circumstances|
|CO||Yes||Juvenile offenses can be expunged|
|CT||Yes||Only as an "expungement pardon"|
|ID||Yes||Completion of probation can lead to a "withheld judgement"|
|IN||Yes||Expungement is available after five years for misdemeanors and 10 years for felonies|
|IA||Yes||Expungement is possible if it's your first DUI|
|KS||Yes||First DUI can be expunged five years after your sentence or probation. Subsequent DUI can be expunged after 10 years|
|KY||Yes||Expungement is available five years after a misdemeanor|
|MN||Yes||Expungement is offered following a waiting period|
|MO||Yes||Expungement is available for misdemeanors|
|MT||Yes||Expungement is available if the case is dismissed after deferred entry of judgement|
|NV||Yes||Expungement is time restricted|
|NH||Yes||Expungement is available 10 years after conviction|
|NC||Yes||Expungement is available after a 15-year waiting period|
|OK||Yes||Expungement is offered in limited circumstances|
|PA||Yes||Expungement is offered through the state's Accelerative Rehabilitative Disposition (ADR) program|
|RI||Yes||Expungement is available after five years for misdemeanors and 10 years for felonies|
|SD||Yes||Expungement is available after 10 years for misdemeanors|
|UT||Yes||Expungement is available following a waiting period for misdemeanors|
|WI||Yes||Expungement may be available for some misdemeanors|
|WY||Yes||Expungement is available if the judge granted deferred entry of judgement|
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Will your auto insurance rates go up after a DUI?
Yes, a DUI on your driving record will result in both higher rates and fewer choices when it comes to picking an insurance company. Auto insurance companies treat DUIs differently when calculating rates, but expect a 10% increase at the very least. A 50% rate increase is not uncommon for a first DUI.
After a DUI, your state may require you to purchase high-risk auto insurance coverage before you can operate a vehicle. You may also be required to submit a form called an SR-22 (known as the FR-44 in Florida or Virginia but essentially the same thing).
The SR-22 proves to your state and insurance companies that you have the minimum coverage required. Many auto insurance companies can help you locate and submit this form when you contact an agent.
Who can see DUIs on your driving record?
Other than insurance companies, employers may ask for access to your driving records, especially if your job involves a lot of driving. Typically, a prospective employer will hire a company to perform a background check or ask an insurance agent about your driving record.
Although you may have the option to refuse to release your driving record to an employer, many employers asking for this information won’t hire you if they can’t first see your driving history.
How employers treat DUIs is mostly up to them, but you can expect that many employers won’t want to take on the risk and/or cost of hiring a person with a recent DUI for a job that requires a reliable driver.
However, some potential employers may provide a chance for you to discuss your DUI during the hiring process.
According to Shouse California Law Group, as many as 31 states have adopted some form of “ban the box” laws. These laws prevent employers from disqualifying candidates for DUIs before first providing them a chance to explain the circumstances surrounding their conviction in good faith.
How do you view your driving record?
To view your driving record, all you need in most states is your driver’s license information. Typically you can request your driving record from your state’s DMV or equivalent for around $10. This request can be made by mail, online, or in-person in most states.
Knowing what your official driving record shows can be helpful if you want to have an idea of what employers and insurance companies will see. Having access to your driver record can also help you come up with a plan for lowering your rates — usually done by improving your driving habits and/or signing up for optional driving courses.
What to Keep in Mind About DUIs
- A DUI will remain on your criminal and driving records for different amounts of time based on your state of residence
- Expect most auto insurance companies to look back three to five years at your driving record when considering how a DUI will affect your rates
- Your state may allow some drivers to have DUIs “expunged” from their records. Review your state’s requirements to see if your DUI qualifies for removal
Now that we’ve taken a look at how long DUIs stay on your record and affect insurance rates, try our free online quote tool to compare companies and find affordable auto insurance coverage in your area.