How Long Does a Speeding Ticket Stay On Your Record?

Last modified: April 16, 2022

There are only a few things in life that are more frustrating than being pulled over by the police for speeding while driving. Unless the officer lets you off with a warning, you’re likely to get a speeding ticket. 

According to statistics, the US traffic police issue nearly 41 million speeding tickets annually with fines ranging from $20 to hundreds of dollars. However, the consequences can easily extend from a small fine to license suspension and even jail time, depending on the state and your driving record, which also affect your insurance rates

One of the most frequently asked questions by motorists in the US is, “How long does a speeding ticket stay on your record?” In this post, we’ll help readers understand the effects of speeding tickets on their driving records, status, and auto insurance. 

How Long Does a Speeding Ticket Stay On Your Record?

Once a traffic officer writes a ticket for your traffic violation, such as speeding, it will stay on the DMV record for at least one year, depending on the state where the violation occurred. 

For example, in California, speeding tickets are taken off your record after 39 months. But in Nebraska or Washington, they will stay on your record for five years. 

On the other hand, in Colorado and Alabama, more serious traffic violations, like speeding due to DUI or reckless driving, stay on the record forever. 

Speeding Tickets and Your Driver’s License

The US Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) uses a point-based system to monitor traffic violations. However, the system is also influenced by state laws and guidelines that determine the citation severity following the incidents. 

The math is simple, though — if you receive a speeding ticket, the DMV will add some demerit points to your driving record. 

The number of points added and the penalties and consequences of the traffic violation vary from state to state. Having too many demerit points can lead to temporary or permanent driver’s license suspension, depending on your speed, previous violations, or any injuries caused in case of an accident. 

Speeding Ticket and Your Auto Insurance

Your age and income affect your insurance premium. However, one of the most important things insurance companies consider when determining your rates is your driving record. If you have a clean record, you can potentially save thousands of dollars annually. However, if you have a speeding ticket on your record, you’ll likely pay more. 

In some cases, insurance providers might find you ineligible for their plans due to your high-risk status. To determine your risk level, these companies will assess your entire driving record, including accidents, tickets, DUIs, reckless driving, and other incidents.

The more severe your traffic violation, the higher your premiums will be. For example, if you face license suspension, many companies can decline to write your policy, and you’ll be stuck with limited options that specifically deal with high-risk drivers. 

Speeding Ticket Rules and Limits in the Different States

Speeding tickets are issued to drivers who violate speed restriction laws while driving. Generally, every state follows two-speed restriction law types:

  • Laws Specifying Maximum Speed Limits

Depending on the infrastructure and pedestrian traffic in a particular area, the state may declare maximum speed limits for highways (usually 65 mph) and school zones (usually 25–30 mph).

  • Laws Requiring Drivers to Operate Their Vehicles at a Speed That Is Reasonable Under the Circumstances

For example, even if the max speed limit on a rural highway is 65 mph, you should try keeping it way under this limit during rainstorms and high winds, which can disrupt vision, cause distractions, or lead to damage by debris. This can also potentially result in a speeding ticket since your actions can pose a threat to other drivers. 

Absolute Speed Limits

Absolute speed limits are the most important speed laws drivers have to follow. For example, if a traffic sign states 60 mph, exceeding this limit will result in a traffic violation

Presumed Speed Limits

Many states around the country, such as Texas, allow drivers to drive over the specified speed limit as long as they’re driving safely. However, this doesn’t mean drivers should drive 40 mph in a 35-mph zone. It might be legal, but that is for the officer to decide if they pull you over, as these violations are more nuanced. 

However, if it’s a clear, sunny day with little or no traffic on a highway, you can convince the judge that you were driving safely, given the conditions. 

The Basic Speed Law Theory

This theory states that an officer can issue you a ticket even if you were driving under the speed limit due to the driving conditions at that moment. For example, if you were doing 30 mph on icy roads, an officer could decide that you were going much faster than you should’ve been. 

Here’s a list showing how long a speeding ticket will stay on your record in different states, along with the action/penalties taken:

State Time Fines/Jail Time License Actions
Alabama Permanent Record of Incident (Points Removed After 2 years) First Offence – $100/10 Days

Second Offence – $200/30 Days

Third Offence – $300/3 Months

Suspension or Revocation
Alaska 1 Year Fine of $300 Suspension or Revocation
Arizona 1 Year Basis Speeding – $250 Max

Excessive Speeding – $500/30 Days

Suspension or Revocation
Arkansas 3 Years First Offence – $100/10 Days

Second Offence – $200/20 Days

Third Offence – $500/6 Months

Suspension By Court Order or Point System
California 3 Years & 3 Months First Offence – $100

Second Offence – $200

Third Offence – $250

Suspension
Colorado Permanent Record of Incident Fine of $15–$100  Suspension Through a Point System
Connecticut 3 Years Fine of $35–$90 Suspension or Revocation
Delaware 2 Years First Offence – $25–$75

Subsequent Offences – $57.50–$95

Suspension
Florida 5 Years Fine of $25–$250 Suspension or Revocation Through a Point System
Georgia 2 Years Fine up to $500 Suspension Through a Point System
Hawaii 10 Years First Offence – $200

Second Offence – $300

Third Offence – $500

Court-Ordered Suspension
Idaho 3 Years Fine up to $300 Suspension Through a Point System
Illinois 5 Years Fine up to $1,000 or $1,500/30 Days in Case of a Class C Misdemeanor Suspension or Revocation After Three Traffic Violations Within a Year
Indiana 2 Years Fine up to $1,000 Suspension
Iowa Up to 5 Years $65–$625/30 Days Suspension
Kansas 3 Years Up to $500 Revocation, Restriction, or Suspension
Kentucky 5 Years (Points Removed After 2 Years) $60–$100 (Doubling Fines in School Areas) Suspension or Revocation
Louisiana 3 Years First Offence – $175/30 Days

Subsequent Offences – $500/90 Days

Revocation, Cancellation, or Suspension
Maine 1 Year Fine of $25–$500 Suspension or Revocation
Maryland 3 Years Fine up to $500 Suspension
Massachusetts 6 Years Not less than $50 + $10 on Every Additional 10 Mph Above Limit Suspension or Revocation
Michigan 7 Years Depends on the Number of Mph Above Limit Suspension Through a Point System
Minnesota 5-10 Years $300 or $1,000/90 Days  Suspension or Revocation
Mississippi 1 Year First Offence – $100/10 Days

Second Offence – $200/20 Days

Third Offence – $500/6 Months

Suspension
Missouri 3 Years $400 (20 Mph Over the Speed Limit) or $1,000/6 Months Suspension or Revocation Through a Point System
Montana Permanent Record of Incident (Points Removed After 3 years) Up to 10 Mph Above – $40

11–20 Mph Above – $70

21–30 Mph Above – $120

31 Mph Above – $200

Suspension or Revocation Through a Point System
Nebraska 5 Years 1–5 Mph – $10

6–10 Mph – $25

11–15 Mph – $75

16–20 Mph – $125

21–35 Mph – $200

36 Mph or More – $300

Revocation Through a Point System
Nevada Permanent Record of Incident (Points Removed After 1 year) $1000/6 Months Suspension Through a Point System
New Hampshire 3 Years 1–10 Mph – $50

11–15 Mph – $75

16–20 Mph – $100

21–25 Mph – $200

26 Mph or More – $350

Suspension by Court Order or Revocation for Three Annual Offences
New Jersey 5 Years $50–$200/15 Days Suspension Through a Point System
New Mexico 1 Year $15–$200 Suspension Through a Point System
New York 1.5 Years 1–10 Mph  – $45–$150

10–30 Mph – $90–$300/15 Days

Over 30 Mph – $180–$600/30 Days

Suspension or Revocation
North Carolina 3 Years $100 Suspension
North Dakota 3 Years Depends Upon Exceeded Mph Suspension Through a Point System
Ohio Permanent Record of Incident (2 Years Towards Suspension) First and Second Offence – $150

Third Offence – $250/30 Days

Subsequent Offences – $500/60 Days

Suspension Through a Point System
Oklahoma 1-3 Years 1–10 Mph – $5

11–15 Mph – $20

16–20 Mph – $35

21–25 Mph – $75

26–30 Mph – $135

31–35 Mph – $155

36 Mph and More – $205

Suspension
Oregon 2 Years $250–$2,000 Suspension
Pennsylvania 1 Year $42.50 Upon Exceeding 65 Mph

$35 for Speeding Violations

Suspension Through a Point System
Rhode Island 3 Years 1-10 Mph – $95

>11 Mph – >$250

Suspension or Revocation
South Carolina 2 Years 1–10 mph – $15–$25

11–14 mph – $25–$50

15–24 mph – $50–$75

25 mph and over – $75–$200

Suspension Through a Point System
Tennessee 2 years $50/30 Days Suspension Through a Point System
Texas 3 years Up to $200 Suspension or Revocation Through a Licensing Agency
Utah 3 Years 1–10 Mph – $170

11–15 Mph – $220

16–20 Mph – $320

21–25 Mph – $470

26–30 Mph – $670

31 Mph and Over – $870

Suspension Through a Point System
Vermont 2 Years Up to $1,000 Suspension or Revocation Through a Point System
Virginia 5 Years $6 for Each Mile Over the Speed Limit  N/A for Speeding
Washington 5 Years Up to $250 Suspension Based on Violation Frequency
West Virginia 5 Years (Points Removed After 2 Years) First Offence – $100

Second Offence – $200

Third and Subsequent – $500

Suspension Based on Violation Frequency
Wisconsin 5 Years $30–$300 Suspension by Courts
Wyoming 1 Year Depends on Mph Above Limit Suspension
Washington, D.C 2 Years $75–$300 Suspension or Revocation Through a Point System

What Kind of Tickets Affect Your Insurance?

If you’ve been caught speeding or got any other traffic ticket, you can face steep penalties from your auto insurance company. How much you’ll have to pay depends on your state laws, the severity of the violation, and the damages.

The traffic violation that causes the biggest impact on insurance rates is a hit and run. Negligent drivers can pay up to 82% more for premiums following the incident. 

Here are other kinds of tickets that can affect your insurance:

  • Refusal of Breathalyzer
  • Speeding in a School Zone
  • Driving too Slowly
  • Distracted Driving/Cell Phone Violation
  • Driving with a Suspended License
  • At-Fault Accident
  • Driving with an Open Container
  • Driving Under the Influence
  • Racing
  • Reckless Driving
  • Operating a Vehicle Without Permission
  • Driving with Expired Registration
  • Failure to Show Documents
  • Failure to Use Child Safety Restraint
  • Driving Without Lights
  • Failure to Wear a Seat Belt
  • Passing a School Bus
  • Improper Passing
  • Following too Closely
  • Illegal Turn
  • Driving Wrong Way/Wrong Lane
  • Failure to Yield

What Doesn’t Impact Your Insurance?

Most insurers only assess your driving record for moving violations, such as infractions or accidents that occur due to speeding. For instance, a parking ticket won’t affect your premium.

However, not all speeding tickets have the same impact on your insurance premium. Some tickets can cause a significant increase in rates. For example, any overturned or expunged tickets from your driving record will influence your rates, no matter when the incident occurred. 

How to Save On Insurance After a Speeding Ticket

Insurance companies typically consider violations on your driving record for at least three years following the infraction. This is why you should compare car insurance companies in your city or state so you can find the best option. 

While your rates will undoubtedly increase after a speeding ticket, there are steps you can take to save on insurance:

  • Shop Around

Every insurer determines a different percentage increase in rates after a ticket. If your insurance company decides to increase your rates, this is an opportunity to look for another provider that can offer better premiums. 

  • Avoid More Moving Violations

The last thing you need is to add more traffic violations on top of your existing speeding tickets, especially more severe violations like DUIs or hit and runs. Not every insurance company will increase your premium after a single speeding ticket, but if it becomes a pattern, they might not let you off the hook in the future. 

  • Go for a Defensive Driving Course

Leading auto insurance companies like Geico and State Farm offer this great program for customers. By taking a defensive driving course, you can lower your insurance rates. Additionally, drivers in New York can avail of a 10% discount for three years after completing the course. 

  • Change Your Coverage Plan

If you can’t afford your plan any longer after the infraction, you can save money by switching to the minimum coverage plan, at least temporarily, until you become financially stable. This way, you can continue to drive legally as per your state laws. 

However, this might not be possible for drivers with car loans or leases since most lenders require them to carry collision and comprehensive coverage to minimize their liability. 

When should you drop collision coverage on your car? Once you’ve talked to your lender or paid off the loan or lease. 

  • Contest the Ticket

If you think you didn’t deserve a ticket or were speeding due to a legit emergency or situation, you can contest it in court. You might not win, but if you do, your insurer can’t legally hold that ticket against you while assessing your record. 

  • Simply Delay

When you receive a ticket, you’ll get a court date at least a few weeks or months away. You can ask for a continuance to extend the date for almost a year. At this time, the officer that issued the speeding ticket can resign, be fired, retire, or get transferred. When this happens, you can ask the court to dismiss your case. This is a rare occurrence. However, if you’re fighting a heavy fine, it’s an option you can consider to save on insurance. 

  • Consider Mitigation

If you have a good driving record and haven’t gotten a ticket in years, you can ask the court for mitigation. This might not clean your record. However, it could help lower the fine. All you have to do is plead guilty and explain your circumstances to the judge. For example, if you had a medical emergency and had no choice but to speed, the judge can dismiss or at least lower the fine. Or, if you run a red light by 2/10th of a second, the judge could excuse the fine. 

Conclusion

Your best bet to keep a ticket off your record is to fight and get the fine either reduced or dismissed. Unfortunately, 95% of drivers pay the fines thinking to get it over with and end up paying higher premiums in the long run. 

So, if you’re still wondering, “How long does a speeding ticket stay on your record?” don’t. Instead, use the time you have to either fight the ticket or improve your driving record, especially in states where the ticket stays on the record for over a year. And most importantly, avoid speeding at all costs to save yourself from financial and emotional stress in the future.

FAQs

How Can I Get a Speeding Ticket off Record?

There are several ways to get a speeding ticket off your record. The most straightforward one is to contest the ticket in court or contact the clerk of court. Other ways include taking a defensive driving course or opting for mitigation. 

What Is the Best Auto Insurance Company if I have a Speeding Ticket?

Almost every auto insurance company works with drivers who have speeding tickets on their driving records. However, insurers might not offer good premium rates for high-risk drivers. Hence, you should consider companies like USAA, State Farm, and American Family Insurance because they offer great premiums for drivers with different infractions on their driving records. 

How Can I Save On Auto Insurance With a Speeding Ticket?

The fastest way to save on auto insurance with a speeding ticket is to look for a cheaper insurance company. Or, if you have the time, you can take a defensive driving course, which will help dismiss your speeding ticket and keep your premium rates low.