How long does a ticket stay on your record?

The answer to, "how long does a ticket stay on your record?" will vary by state and by the severity of the infraction. While some states keep tickets on your record for up to 10 years, the average amount of time is only three years. Your auto insurance rates will likely increase with a ticket, and multiple tickets can result in high-risk auto insurance. You can take a defensive driving class and use discounts to lower your rates.

UPDATED: Feb 7, 2022Fact Checked

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Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Written by Sara Routhier
Director of Outreach Sara Routhier

Cynthia Lanctot is an insurance professional with ten years of industry experience. Cynthia is licensed in several states, and holds an associate in claims law, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English. Cynthia’s experience includes the New England and Northeast states. She currently works as a liability claims professional and an occasional online contributor.

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Reviewed by Cynthia Lanctot
Licensed Agent Cynthia Lanctot

UPDATED: Feb 7, 2022

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A Concise Overview

  • How long a ticket remains on your record varies by state but is usually about three years
  • A ticket will increase your auto insurance rates
  • Save money on auto insurance after a ticket by enrolling in a defensive driving course and taking advantage of discounts

Almost every driver has received a ticket for either speeding or causing an accident. Not only do you have the inconvenience of getting the ticket, but you also have to pay a fine and endure an increase in your auto insurance rates.

Therefore, exactly how long does a ticket stay on your record? Unfortunately, there isn’t only one answer. Every state has the authority to decide how long infractions remain on your driving record.

For example, how long does a ticket stay on your record in Washington state? A ticket remains on your record for five years in the state of Washington, although the average amount of time in other states is merely three years.

A ticket can also cause your auto insurance rates to increase. In fact, if you receive too many tickets, you may be forced to purchase high-risk auto insurance.

If you’ve gotten a ticket, shop around to determine which insurance company will offer you the lowest rates. Enter your ZIP code now to compare free auto insurance rates — after a ticket — from companies in your area.

How long does a ticket stay on your record?

Every driver has a record that monitors their driving and records how long they’ve had a license, accidents, tickets, and DUI offenses.

Every time you acquire an infraction, you will receive points. However, those points on your license aren’t beneficial. Once you accumulate enough points, your driver’s license can be suspended or revoked. Every state determines that points limit.

Every state also determines how long points remain on your record. Although the average is three years, some states — like Hawaii — allow tickets to stay on your record for 10 years.

The type of ticket you receive also makes a difference. Tickets for minor speeding violations are treated differently than tickets for DUI infractions or major accidents.

For example, how long does a speeding ticket remain on your record in Georgia, New Mexico, Florida, and Tennessee? While New Mexico only maintains a ticket on your record for one year, Georgia and Tennessee tickets remain on your record for two years. Florida, on the other hand, displays tickets on your record for five years.

While the majority of states only keep tickets active on your record for three years or less, those three years can cost you a lot of money.

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How does a ticket affect your auto insurance rates?

There are many different factors that affect your auto insurance rates, and the most significant is your driving record.

Your driving record gives an auto insurance company an indication of how risky you are to insure. Are you a safe driver with a clean record? Or are you a driver who racks up speeding tickets and has had multiple accidents within the last few years?

The more likely you are to cost your auto insurance company money, the higher your rates. This table discloses average annual rates from top companies based on driving records.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Driving History
CompaniesAverage Annual Rates with a Clean RecordAverage Annual Rates with One AccidentAverage Annual Rates with One DUIAverage Annual Rates with One Speeding Violation
American Family$2,693.61$3,722.75$4,330.24$3,025.74
Liberty Mutual$4,774.30$6,204.78$7,613.48$5,701.26
State Farm$2,821.18$3,396.01$3,636.80$3,186.01
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Drivers with tickets, accidents, and DUI violations will pay much higher rates than drivers who maintain a clean record. The good news is that — in most states — points will drop off of your record over time which will lower your rates.

How long does a ticket remain on your insurance? Similar to your driving record, tickets can affect your insurance for three years on average but for longer in some states. Again, it will depend on your state and the severity of the infraction.

Remember that although the points from a ticket are removed after a certain amount of time, the offense stays on your record forever. However, insurance companies only consider recent tickets when determining rates.

It should be noted that some tickets, such as parking tickets, won’t cause your auto insurance rates to increase.

How can you save on auto insurance with a ticket?

If you’ve received a ticket and have seen your car insurance rates increase, there are still ways in which you can obtain lower rates. The best long-term option is to clean up your driving record. Obey traffic laws and drive carefully to avoid adding more violations to your record.

In the short term, there are also several ways that you can lower your rates.

First, take a defensive driving course. In some states, a driving course can remove points from your record. Also, many auto insurance companies will offer a discount for taking the course.

Next, take advantage of auto insurance discounts. Most insurance companies offer multiple types of discounts based on your driving history, your driving record, the type of policy you have, and the features of your vehicle.

This table displays common auto insurance discounts that you can find from top companies.

Auto Insurance Discounts Available by Company
Discounts21st CenturyAAAAllstateAmerican FamilyAmeripriseAmicaCountry FinancialEsuranceFarmersGEICOLiberty MutualMetLifeNationwideProgressiveSafe AutoSafecoState FarmThe GeneralThe HanoverThe HartfordTravelersUSAA
Adaptive Cruise ControlNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYesYesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Adaptive HeadlightsNoNoNoNoNoYesYesNoYesNoYesYesYesYesNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNo
Anti-lock BrakesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Daytime Running LightsYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoNoNoYesYesYesYes
Electronic Stability ControlNoNoYesYesNoYesYesNoYesNoYesYesYesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Utility VehicleNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoYesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNo
Vehicle RecoveryYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
VIN EtchingNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYesNoNoNoNoYesYes
Lane Departure WarningNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYesYesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Newer VehicleYesYesYesNoNoNoYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYesNoNoYesYesYes
Green VehicleYesNoYesNoNoNoNoYesYesNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYes
Forward Collision WarningNoNoNoNoNoYesYesNoNoNoYesYesYesYesNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNo
Claim FreeYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Continuous CoverageYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYesNoNoNoYesYesYesNoNoYesYesYesNo
Defensive DriverYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Distant StudentNoYesYesYesYesYesNoNoYesYesNoNoYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYes
Driver's EdYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Driving Device/AppNoYesYesYesNoNoNoYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYesNoNoYesYesYes
Early SigningYesNoYesYesNoNoYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYesNoYesNoNoNoYesYesYes
Emergency DeploymentNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Engaged CoupleNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Family LegacyNoNoNoYesNoYesNoNoNoYesNoYesNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYes
Family PlanNoNoNoYesNoNoYesNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNo
Farm VehicleNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoYesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNo
Fast 5NoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Federal EmployeeNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYesYesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Full PaymentNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNo
Further EducationNoNoNoNoYesNoYesYesNoYesYesNoYesNoNoYesNoNoYesNoYesNo
Good CreditNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYesYesYesNoNoNoNoNo
Good StudentYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Life InsuranceNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Low MileageNoYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Military GaragingNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYes
Multiple DriversNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNo
Multiple PoliciesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Multiple VehiclesYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
New AddressNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
New Customer/New PlanNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
New GraduateNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Newly LicensedNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Occasional OperatorNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYes
On Time PaymentsNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoYesYesNo
Online ShopperNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Paperless DocumentsNoNoYesYesNoYesNoNoYesNoNoYesYesYesNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNo
Paperless/Auto BillingNoNoYesYesNoYesNoYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Passive RestraintYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Recent RetireesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNo
Roadside AssistanceNoNoNoNoYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Safe DriverYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYes
Seat Belt UseNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Senior DriverYesNoYesNoNoNoNoYesYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoYesYesYesNoYes
Stable ResidenceNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYesYesNoNoNoYesNoNo
Students & AlumniNoNoNoYesNoNoNoYesNoYesYesYesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Switching ProviderYesNoNoYesNoYesNoYesYesYesYesNoYesYesNoNoYesYesNoNoNo
Young DriverYesNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNoYesNoYesNoNoNoNoNoYes
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Acquiring discounts can make a significant impact on your auto insurance rates. Be sure to bundle all of the discounts you are eligible for to receive the most savings.

You can also consider switching to usage-based auto insurance. In that case, your auto insurance company monitors your driving using telematics and offers you either a discount or lower rates based on how well you drive.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, telematics can also improve your driving skills. Drivers are much more likely to correct poor driving habits quickly due to the immediate feedback given by the telematics system. This can save you money and maintain your safety.

How Long Tickets Stay on Your Record: The Bottom Line

Every state decides how long tickets remain on your record, but the average is only three years. However, some states will keep tickets on your driving record for up to 10 years.

Your auto insurance rates will increase with every ticket you receive, and multiple tickets will cause your rates to skyrocket. However, you can take a defensive driving class and use discounts to lower your rates.

Finding affordable auto insurance after receiving a ticket is possible if you shop around. Not every company will view your driving record in the same manner, and each company will offer different rates.

Now that you know how long a ticket stays on your record, compare free quotes from auto insurance companies near you to find the lowest rates possible by entering your ZIP code now.

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