The exact length of time an at-fault accident remains on your record depends on the severity of the crash and the state you live in. For the most part, you can expect most accidents to stay on your record for at least 3 to 5 years.
Every driver has a motor vehicle record (MVR). It's maintained by the Department of Motor Vehicles in the state. It keeps track of everything; from traffic tickets to accidents you've been in.
These items not only affect your insurance premiums. If your record accumulates too many infractions, then the state can even suspend your license.
While the exact length of time varies by state, here's generally how long each infraction remains on your record.
While it differs slightly from one state to the next, here are the basic steps to take to check your driving record.
It's a good idea to check your record once a year or so. You may find something inaccurate. You should dispute it right away so that it doesn't further impact your premiums.
The way you drive greatly affects what you pay in insurance premiums. Causing an accident or receiving a ticket tells the insurance company you're more of a risk.
Conversely, having a clean record shows insurance companies you drive safely. You may even get a special discount for being a safe driver. Ultimately, it's the best metric insurance companies have to determine your liability.
Typically after an at-fault accident, you can expect an increase in your insurance premiums. However, some insurance agencies offer accident forgiveness, for both small and large accidents. This means your first accident doesn't cause your premiums to increase. And plenty of companies offer it. This can be in the form of perks or as an additional coverage you can add to your policy.
Drivers with poor driving records may need non-standard insurance. This policy is offered to drivers with bad records who are viewed as having greater risk than other drivers.
These drivers end up paying the highest premiums for insurance coverage. It may be a lot, but it's often necessary. Some companies may not insure you if you have a lot of marks on your record.
Non-standard insurance may not be the most ideal coverage option, but by being a better driver and letting those marks disappear from your record, you can save money in the future.
If you're not sure, consider comparing different insurance providers to your own to find out who's able to provide you with the level of protection you need. Don't get caught on unprepared in the life-altering car accident.