How Long Does a Speeding Ticket Stay on Your Record?

A speeding ticket can stay on your record for years, but the length of time depends on the state where you live.
Kayda NormanAug 3, 2021

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A speeding ticket will typically stay on your record for three to five years. The exact time frame varies depending on the state you live in and how fast you were going over the speed limit.

For instance, a ticket for driving 16 mph over the speed limit will remain on your driving record for five years in Virginia but only three years in California.

How does a speeding ticket affect your license points?

Many states have a points system to determine driving eligibility. These states assign demerit points for driving violations. The bigger the infraction, the more points you get.

Although auto insurers don’t set prices based solely on demerit points, having multiple tickets will increase your car insurance rates. Demerit points can also affect how long your ticket remains on your driving record and even result in your license being suspended if you accrue too many.

For example, in Pennsylvania, drivers caught driving 11-15 mph over the speed limit get three points, but drivers going 16-25 mph over the limit get four points. Pennsylvania removes three points after 12 months without any traffic violations. So, the more points you have, the longer it will take to earn a clean record.

Although your points will likely be removed eventually, the speeding ticket may remain on your permanent record in some states such as Nevada, even after points are removed.

Speeding tickets and car insurance rates

A speeding ticket will affect your auto insurance rates from one to three years on average. Time can vary based on your company and state, so ask your agent to clarify how long you should expect higher rates. Keep in mind that you’ll also lose any good driving discounts.

Nerdy tip: Car insurance rates increase 25% on average after a speeding ticket, according to NerdWallet’s 2020 rates analysis. Shop around to find cheaper rates.

Get details on the true cost of a speeding ticket in:

How to save on insurance after a speeding ticket

Your rates may increase after a speeding ticket, but you can still take steps to find a better price. Here are some tips to lower your car insurance bill:

Shop around. Compare car insurance rates if you’ve been caught speeding so that you’ll be prepared if your rates do go up. Auto insurers vary on how much they raise rates after a speeding ticket, so it’s crucial to shop around if you want a lower price.

Avoid more driving infractions. Along with additional speeding tickets, DUIs and accidents can increase your insurance bill significantly. Not all insurers will raise rates after a single speeding ticket. However, you’ll likely see an increase after two or more incidents, so make sure to drive carefully to avoid any future traffic violations.

Take a defensive driving course. Some insurers, like American Family, Geico and State Farm, will lower your insurance premium if you take a defensive driving class. In New York, drivers receive a 10% discount for up to three years for completing a course.

Reduce your coverage. If you're looking for the lowest rates possible, you could save by getting the minimum car insurance needed to legally drive. But think carefully before reducing coverage. If you have a car loan or lease, you won’t be able to drop down to minimum coverage, as your lender likely requires you to carry comprehensive and collision coverage. If you do have minimal insurance, your insurance will cost less, but you may need to pay for theft or damage to your car out of pocket.

Methodology

NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-old men and women with no incidents on record for all ZIP codes in each state and Washington, D.C., from the largest insurers, up to 15 in each state. Sample drivers had these coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person.

  • $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per crash.

  • $50,000 property damage liability coverage per crash.

  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person.

  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per crash.

  • Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible.

  • Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible.

In states where required, minimum additional coverages were added.

“Good drivers” had no moving violations on record and an insurance credit score considered “good” by each insurer; a “good driving” discount was included for this profile. For drivers with a ticket, we added a single speeding violation for driving 16 mph over the speed limit.

We used a 2016 Toyota Camry LE for all single drivers and assumed 12,000 annual miles driven.

These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.

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