How long does a DUI stay on your record?

How long does a DUI affect insurance rates? A DUI conviction can stay on your record for at least five years, but you can lower your insurance rates by finding discounts and taking driving courses.

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UPDATED: Jun 23, 2022

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Written By: Chris TepedinoReviewed By: Laura WalkerUPDATED: Jun 23, 2022Fact Checked

The Rundown

  • A DUI conviction stays on your record for at least five years
  • Most states keep a DUI on your record for 10 years, but some leave it on permanently
  • You can expect approximately a 37% increase in your car insurance rates for a first-time DUI charge 

Getting charged with a DUI doesn’t just come with legal trouble. A DUI conviction stays on your driving record for a long time. For years, it can affect your driving privileges and how much you’ll pay for auto insurance. 

The severity of the consequences of a DUI will depend on the state. This guide will help you understand how long DUI convictions typically stay on your record, the usual penalties, and how much your insurance rates could increase. Then, it will show you how to get lower rates at the top car insurance companies in the U.S.

How long does a DUI stay on your record in each state?

So how long does a DUI stay on your insurance? DUIs remain on your record for a minimum of five years, but most states only remove DUI charges after 10 years. Certain states go even further. New Mexico, for example, keeps a DUI on your record for 55 years and Florida for 75.

Have you ever wondered what stays on your driving record for life? Depending on where you were charged, a DUI might. DUI charges are permanent in the following 11 states:

  • Alaska
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont

Unless you get a DUI charge expunged, your insurance rates will always be higher than the average in those states.

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How long does a DUI affect insurance rates?

So what about insurance- how long does a DUI stay on record for insurance? 

From speeding tickets to accidents, any stain on your record can increase the cost of insurance. Getting charged with a DUI can increase your auto insurance rates more than if you get a minor traffic violation or are in an at-fault accident.

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly RatesAverage Rates After a DUIPercent Increase
Liberty Mutual$398$63459%
State Farm$235$30329%

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DUIs can increase your car insurance rates by 37% on average. Some companies, such as Progressive and State Farm, have lower penalties for DUI charges. However, most companies take DUIs more seriously. GEICO could even increase your rates by 127%.

How long a DUI affects your insurance rates depends on the company that insures you and the state you were charged in. Some companies may stop charging you a DUI rate after three years, but for most companies, your rates will be higher for as long as you have a DUI on your record.

Insurance companies check how many points you have on your driver’s license to determine your rates. The more points you have, the higher your rates will be.

When do DUI points go away?

Over time, states may remove those points after a set period. Most states keep the points on your record between one and three years, but in California, you’ll have those points for 13 years. 

Fortunately, some states will remove points incrementally if you continue to maintain a clean record moving forward. In many states, you can even remove violations from your driving record by taking a defensive driving course. 

How can you save money on car insurance if you have a DUI?

Even though your base rate will increase, you can still find ways to save money.

Check if you can remove violations from your driving record. You may be able to contest tickets or take certified defensive driver courses to lower your insurance rates. If you need something expunged, you may be able to simply pay a fee and file a form if you meet your state’s requirements. Cleaning up your record could significantly reduce your rates.

Contact your local DMV for a copy of your driving record. You can also get a copy from:

  • The Bureau of Motor Vehicles
  • The Office of the Secretary of State
  • The State Department of Revenue
  • The Department of Public Safety
  • Your state’s Motor Vehicle Division

If you need more severe DUI charges expunged from your record, you’ll likely need the assistance of an attorney who’s familiar with your state’s DUI laws.

Luckily, having a DUI on your record doesn’t disqualify you from taking advantage of discounts. There are various types that may be useful to you, including those based on:

  • Biographical information- Age, gender, marital status, education level, profession, and credit score can all affect your rates.
  • Vehicle and vehicle equipment- Inexpensive cars with good safety ratings and anti-theft systems cost less to insure.
  • Payment type- Go paperless, set up autopay, or pay in full to save money.
  • Policies- Lump your various policies, such as life insurance or homeowners insurance, under one company to get a discount.
  • Driving history- Reducing the number of claims and violations over time will get you discounted rates.

Maintaining a clean driving record will have the most significant effect on your car insurance. Get familiar with your local traffic laws, avoid violations, and don’t be at fault for accidents, especially while under the influence.

What are the penalties for getting a DUI?

The law cracks down hard on DUIs because driving under the influence is incredibly dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, statistics show that 32 people per day die due to drunk driving, which accounts for 30% of all fatal auto accidents across the United States. These accidents are highly preventable, so the law imposes hefty fines and strict sentences to deter drivers from operating a vehicle while impaired.

Specific penalties for DUI convictions are different from state to state. The repercussions also depend on whether your DUI was charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. You could face felony charges if you’ve had prior DUI convictions or caused a fatal accident while under the influence.

A misdemeanor could result in a fine, license suspension, or even jail time. A felony, such as vehicular homicide, could result in a $50,000 fine and potentially a life-long prison term. Lesser felonies such as vehicular assault, where a third party sustains a substantial injury, could result in a $20,000 fine and a prison sentence of up to 10 years.

In most states, you may have driver’s license points added to your record. Points are added to your driving record for any traffic violation, and accumulating too many points can result in the suspension or revocation of your license. 

All states track and weigh points differently. Texas, for example, only adds two points after a DUI conviction, while Arkansas adds 14. Some states, such as Oregon and Rhode Island, don’t even have point systems.

In some states, you may be required to file an SR-22 after getting a DUI charge. This is a court- or state-ordered document that proves that you have the standard car insurance required by the state. In Florida and Virginia, you’ll need an FR-44 instead. The FR-44 document functions like an SR-22, but the minimum insurance requirements are doubled if you need an FR-44.

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DUIs and Their Lasting Effects on Your Record

Insurance companies favor customers who drive safely and lawfully, so having a clean driving record is one of the best ways to keep your auto insurance rates low. All it takes is one DUI to increase your car insurance rates for years to come. 

Hopefully, after reading this guide, you understand the long-lasting effects of having a DUI on your record and can confidently explore the different ways you can save money on car insurance.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by insurance experts.

Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about home, life, and car insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and C...

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Written by Chris Tepedino
Insurance Feature Writer Chris Tepedino

Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent Laura Walker

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