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How long do car accidents stay on your driving record?

Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident means more than just coping with the repercussions but also understanding the implications in terms of your driving record. Car accidents, which mostly include faults, are usually put in the driving history. 

Apart from insurance premiums, this record impacts not only insurance premiums but also your career employability in driving-related professions. 

A points system is used by many states to keep track of driving infractions and accidents. Aggressive driving may result in the accumulation of points, which translates to higher insurance rates and, at worst, may result in suspension and cancellation of license. 

Now, how long do car accidents stay on your driving record? That depends on a number of factors. 

Driving Records

A driving record is a document containing a driver’s history. The best auto accident lawyer in Houston Tx says that the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or its equivalent agency is responsible for maintaining it.

Contents of Driving Records

  • Contents of the driving record include driver’s license number, name, and address.
  • Current driver’s license status (Valid, Suspended, Revoked).
  • Any ticketing details, traffic violations, convictions such as speeding, DUI, and other offenses.
  • If your records have any information on past accidents involving you and being culpable.
  • Number of points assigned to your license, if any.

The driving record may also be obtained by an individual from their state’s DMV to verify their driving record. This request may include an additional cost. 

Durations According to Different States

Factors Influencing the Duration

The time that a car incident remains on your record varies widely, depending upon several significant determinants. Drivers need to know these variables so that they can evaluate the effects of an accident in relation to the driving record.

State Regulations: Driving regulations are not the same across all states. However, the period for which an accident continues to appear on your record may differ greatly from one state to another.

Severity of the Incident: This is where the type and extent of the accident matter. On the other hand, typically, major accidents that include injuries, DUIs, or damages to the property require extended periods to be taken away from the records.

Insurance Claims: The accident could also be reflected on your record for some time when you file an insurance claim. Insurers keep records that may not be the same as the state driving records concerning how long an accident is deemed.

At-Fault or No-Fault Accident: On your side, accidents where you are deemed liable usually stay on your record for a longer duration as compared to events where you are not liable.

License Type: Another aspect that can have an impact on your ticket is the kind of license you carry. An example is when a violation may last for a long time on a commercial driver’s record, whereas it can be shortened when it comes to standard licenses.

Durations According to Different States

There are some very obvious differences that can be seen. Here they are.

Your record may have a car accident listed for as long as several years from one state or just a few days from another state. This occurs because each state in the US has distinct laws governing driving records. The following is a summary of how such duration may differ in accordance with local laws.

There are some very obvious differences that can be seen. Here they are.

Severity of the Accident: In addition, duration is also dependent on the magnitude of the accident. There may be instances where states will keep files regarding serious accident cases, which are often associated with DUIs or huge injuries, while other cases regarding minor accident fenders’ benders may not be kept in file for a long duration.

Range of Duration: Depending on severity, accidents may remain on your driving record for between three and ten years. This span, however, will be variable depending on the respective state laws. For instance:

  • Accidents would remain on a driving record for about three years in California
  • They may stay in Texas for no more than five years
  • In the case of Massachusetts, some accidents can be kept on record, particularly for the more serious ones, depending on the state

Points Systems: Point systems are also employed by some states to check on traffic behaviors, and the severity of different offenses is determined through points. In these states, the duration that your record will be hit by the accident is almost always associated with the duration that points stay in your record. For example:

In New York, one point stays on a driver’s record for a year and a half. However, in Colorado, these points can be there for up to seven years, depending on the violation.

Impact on Insurance: State DMVs keep official driving records. However, insurance companies look at the last three to five years’ records, and they make judgments depending on their own criteria. Nevertheless, this also depends on the insurer’s policies and where you are insured.

The length of time that a vehicle accident remains on the driver record differs from one state to another depending upon the severity of the incident, the state point system, and any expungement policies applicable. To be fully enlightened about how an accident affects one’s record, drivers need to be conversant with the regulations in their state.

Minimizing the Impact of Accidents on Your Driving Record

Minimizing the Impact of Accidents on Your Driving Record

You might face difficulties such as high premiums on your insurance if you have a car accident on your driving record. Nevertheless, you can adopt certain measures that could help you avoid the negative impact of the accident on your driving history. Mitigating this impact can be done as follows.

Attend a Defensive Driving Course: Several states allow you to complete a defensive driving class, which in some cases can lower the points on your license or even remove the accident from your record.

Drive Safely Post-Accident: They can also do this by having a clear driving record after the crash. Demonstrating responsible driving behavior involves avoiding additional traffic violations and accidents. 

Check for Expungement Options: Some states allow you to clean your driving record after a specific period of accident-free driving. Check the laws in your state to see if it is possible.

Contest the Accident Charges if Justified: You can also file a plea in court to challenge the citations if you are of the opinion that you did not cause the accident. You can win if you successfully do that and avoid getting the incident written on your logbook.

Communicate with Your Insurance Company: Let your insurance company know if the accident was not your fault. Giving them a police report or some other evidence will assist in preventing the accident from hurting the insurance premiums.

Understand the Point Systems: If your state runs on some specific point systems, then it is on you to have a better understanding of them to know where you stand on those points.    

Seek Legal Advice: If the challenges are substantial, for instance, high premium rates or driving license suspension, seeking advice from a lawyer could help determine what should be done at this point.

At Mokaram Law Firm the best lawyers make sure that you are provided with the best and the most skilled lawyers to handle your cases. This not only gets you the best compensation packages but also saves you time in resolving your cases. 

Mokaram Law Firm Is Here To Help!

Getting the answers to questions like how long an auto crash will remain on your driving record depends on the statutes in your state, the seriousness of the accident, and policy prescriptions by insurance firms. Usually, it is about three to ten years, although it may be shorter or longer. At Mokaram Law Firm, the most skilled lawyers can help you through these complexities in the most easy ways. Dial (281) 609-9224 now to book your consultations.


Past results do not guarantee future performance. The $1B amount reflects the NFL concussion MDL settlement not an individual claim.

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If There Was No Injury Then There Is No Claim to be Filed.

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