How Long Will a Ticket Stay on My Driving Record?
A traffic ticket can be the unwelcome gift that just keeps on giving. In addition to having to pay fines and an increased insurance premium, you may suffer the consequences of having the points from the infraction on your record for years. There are ways you can remove points from your record in both North Carolina and South Carolina in order to avoid further complications and costs.
Infractions As License Points
Generally speaking, a traffic violation will always be on your driving record. However, the license points for the infractions are what dictate your insurance rate as well as any possible license suspension. Accumulating a certain number of points in a given time period in either state can mean losing your license or having your license suspended. In North Carolina, those points can stay on your record for up to three years, and in South Carolina, they will remain on your record for two.
There are ways to remove points from your record. In South Carolina, one year after the infraction, the Division of Motor Vehicles will reduce the number of points assigned to the violation by half. In North Carolina, you can attend a driver improvement clinic to remove three points from your record.
Infractions As Insurance Points
Another way that traffic tickets can haunt you is through the insurance points system. According to the North Carolina Department of Insurance, points will affect your insurance premium for what is called the experience period, which is three years immediately following either the date you apply for coverage or following the renewal date.
Insurance points should not be taken lightly. As the N.C. Department of Insurance reports, just one point can increase your premium by 30 percent. Basic moving violations, speeding 10 miles per hour or less over the limit and lesser at-fault accidents all merit one point. From there, the points escalate based on the infraction. The highest number of points is 12, assigned to violations such as drunk driving, manslaughter and hit-and-run accidents that result in injury or death. A 12-point charge will increase an insurance premium by 300 percent.
Avoid the Problem
There is a good reason so many people choose to fight their speeding ticket or other traffic citation. License points and insurance points can both adversely affect your driving future and your wallet. At Nosal & Jeter, LLP we know how to navigate North Carolina and South Carolina traffic laws in order to get charges reduced or dismissed. We can help you understand the legal system and the implications of incurring a ticket or other violation.