If you have any type of driving violation or conviction in California, it will negatively affect your driving record, and without a clear driving record, getting car insurance quotes can be difficult and more expensive.
Keep reading to learn what you can do to have a clear driving record, and to lessen the impact it may have on your auto insurance quotes.
First thing first, what is a Driving Record?
Your driving record is a record kept by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of any and all your noted traffic violations and convictions. In California, tickets and car accidents are given “points,” and these points make up your driving record. According to the California DMV, you can receive 1-2 points for a traffic ticket and 1 point for a car accident.
How long a point stays on your record depends on the type of traffic incident and violation received. Most points will stay on your record for 39 months, yet more serious driving offenses, such as driving under the influence, will remain on your record for 13 years, if not longer.
Your driving record is a public record, meaning it is available for anyone with a permissible purpose to view, including car insurance companies. This also means you can request to see your own driving record, so prior to receiving insurance quotes you may want to check it and do what you can to clear it.
How Does Your Driving Record Affect Your Quotes?
When you apply for auto insurance, the company runs a risk assessment on you, during which they take your driving record into consideration. With points on your record, you are considered a high-risk driver. Unfortunately, high-risk drivers receive more expensive insurance quotes.
So, while there are many benefits to having a clear driving record, less expensive car insurance is definitely one of the main ones.
How to Clear Your Driving Record in California
While some traffic convictions − such as a DUI or a hit-and-run − might never be removed from your driving record until they eventually expire − often in 10 years or more −, it is possible to have minor violations cleared. Depending on the type of ticket you received, here are some possible ways to clear your California driving record:
Fight the Ticket
If you receive a ticket for a traffic infraction you can plead not guilty and choose to “fight” the ticket in court. Though you still are likely to pay fines or take an online or in-person driver improvement course, this may be an option to keep a point off your driving record.
Fix a Correctable Violation
Some tickets are given for a “correctable violation,” such as a burnt-out brake light which can be fixed. Once you’ve fixed the issue, be sure to show the appropriate authority proof of correction before the deadline on your ticket. Your case will likely be dismissed and you will not receive a point on your driving record.
Dispute an Incorrect Driving Record
If you feel your driving record has incorrect traffic violations or convictions on it, you can submit a Driver License Record Correction Request form to the California DMV. Though this form is only for convictions that are not related to a car accident, you can fill it out to correct any incorrect information on your driving record, potentially clearing points that shouldn’t be there.
As was mentioned, most points will eventually expire from your driving record, though some take longer than others. If none of the options for clearing your record apply to you, your best option is to wait patiently until your record clears itself, and not get into any more driving-related trouble in the meantime.
Get Affordable Car Insurance with Humble Eagle
The best way to keep your driving record clean is by making smart and safe driving decisions every time you are on the road. While having points on your record isn’t great, it does not mean you can’t have reliable car insurance. Humble Eagle works with individuals who don’t have a clear driving record to ensure they get the best coverage for the best cost.