Getting a traffic ticket is bad enough when you think about having to pay a fine. However, there are also other significant consequences of having a traffic violation that can last longer than your initial payment to the municipality that issued the citation. In California, traffic violations accumulate points that can lead to losing your license if you get enough of them. Your insurance company also checks your driving record to assess your overall safety on the road before issuing your rates. Understanding how long a ticket stays on your driving record helps you make the best decisions on the road and for your budget. Here’s what you need to know, brought to you by the Altra Insurance Services, a trusted provider of car insurance San Diego.
Find Out the Type of Violation that Occurred
The length of time a ticket stays on your driving record depends on what type of violation occurred. For instance, minor speeding tickets or failing to make a complete stop at a four-way intersection will typically stay on your record for around three years. More serious violations, such as a DUI or hit and run, could stay on your record for as long as ten years. Keep in mind that each violation also accumulates points, which means having several citations issued in a short period could result in consequences such as a driver’s license suspension.
Consider Taking Drivers Education Classes
Three years is a long time to face penalties such as higher insurance costs and the threat of losing your license over another violation. Fortunately, you do have options if this isn’t a common problem for you to face. In many cases, a first-time violation comes with options that lessen the sting. One option you might have is to take an approved drivers education course. These courses are often offered on the weekends or in the evenings so you can make it to class. You may also find them online. Think of these courses as a refresher that helps you remember the safe driving practices you learned back when you first got your license.
Determine if the Ticket Is Valid
You may also have the option of fighting your ticket in court. However, you’ll likely need to prove the incident didn’t occur or that you had a valid excuse for why you were issued the ticket. Depending on the violation, this may require getting a lawyer to argue the case, which is more common with DUI cases or in instances where the driver believes a road sign wasn’t clearly visible. If the court finds you not guilty, the ticket will be expunged from your record.
Prevent Future Points Being Added to Your Record
The best way to avoid the consequences of having traffic violations on your record is to avoid the violations in the first place. Always follow the rules of the road for the areas in which you drive, and keep up with essential vehicle safety maintenance such as making sure the lights work properly. If necessary, you can also volunteer to take a drivers safety course to bring you back up to speed on the local driving laws.
Having one or more tickets or other violations can affect the cost of both auto and motorcycle insurance. If you’re looking for more affordable motorcycle insurance San Diego, reach out to Altra Insurance Services today. Call 619-474-6666 to speak with one of our friendly and knowledgable agents.