Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Dec 19, 2021

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The Lowdown

  • How long a DUI stays on your record depends on your state. You can expect insurance companies to look at DUIs up to five years after the infraction
  • Depending on your state, you may be able to get a DUI removed from your driving record if you meet certain criteria
  • Having a DUI on your record will increase your insurance rates and make coverage more difficult to find. Likewise, a DUI may discourage some employers from hiring you

How long does a DUI stay on your record? Whether it’s called a DUI, DWI, or OWI, if auto insurance companies can see that you’ve driven under the influence in the last several years, you’ll likely have a harder time finding coverage and pay higher rates when you can.

Depending on your state, you may have options for removing a DUI from your driving record, and lowering your auto insurance rates accordingly.

With this guide, let’s take a look at how long a DUI stays on your record and how far back insurance companies look when determining your rates. We’ll also answer some common questions drivers have about DUIs on their record.

After you’ve seen how DUIs affect your insurance rates, enter your ZIP code in the free tool above to compare auto insurance coverage options and find a plan that’s right for you.

How long does a DUI stay on your record for insurance?

How long a DUI remains on your driving record varies based on your state. In many states, you can expect insurance companies to see a DUI for three to five years after the infraction.

In some states, including California and South Carolina, a DUI will remain on your driving record (and visible to auto insurance companies) for 10 years. It’s also worth keeping in mind that a DUI may be removed from your driving record but can remain on your criminal record.

During the time that insurance companies can see your DUI, you’ll likely have fewer options when comparing auto insurance coverage. Likewise, your rates will be increased (by at least 10% but often more).

How can you get a DUI off your record?

Depending on your state, you may be able to have a DUI “expunged” from your record, meaning neither insurance companies nor employers will be able to see the DUI on your record.

Take a look at the table below for an overview of what states allow you to remove a DUI from your driving and criminal records.

StateIs expungement available?How does expungement work?
ALYesIf the DUI was a juvenile offense, you can petition to have the record destroyed
AKNoN/A
AZYesThe court can discharge your conviction
ARYesIf probation is completed, records can be sealed
CAYesCharges can be dismissed in certain circumstances
COYesJuvenile offenses can be expunged
CTYesOnly as an "expungement pardon"
DENoN/A
FLNoN/A
GANoN/A
HINoN/A
IDYesCompletion of probation can lead to a "withheld judgement"
ILNoN/A
INYesExpungement is available after five years for misdemeanors and 10 years for felonies
IAYesExpungement is possible if it's your first DUI
KSYesFirst DUI can be expunged five years after your sentence or probation. Subsequent DUI can be expunged after 10 years
KYYesExpungement is available five years after a misdemeanor
LANoN/A
MENoN/A
MDNoN/A
MANoN/A
MINoN/A
MNYesExpungement is offered following a waiting period
MSNoN/A
MOYesExpungement is available for misdemeanors
MTYesExpungement is available if the case is dismissed after deferred entry of judgement
NENoN/A
NVYesExpungement is time restricted
NHYesExpungement is available 10 years after conviction
NJNoN/A
NMNoN/A
NYNoN/A
NCYesExpungement is available after a 15-year waiting period
NDNoN/A
OHNoN/A
OKYesExpungement is offered in limited circumstances
ORNoN/A
PAYesExpungement is offered through the state's Accelerative Rehabilitative Disposition (ADR) program
RIYesExpungement is available after five years for misdemeanors and 10 years for felonies
SCNoN/A
SDYesExpungement is available after 10 years for misdemeanors
TNNoN/A
TXNoN/A
UTYesExpungement is available following a waiting period for misdemeanors
VTNoN/A
VANoN/A
WANoN/A
WVNoN/A
WIYesExpungement may be available for some misdemeanors
WYYesExpungement is available if the judge granted deferred entry of judgement
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Does a DUI stay on your record if you move to a new state?

Yes, expect any insurance company you purchase a policy from to perform a background check and find out about your DUI. And if a DUI is on your criminal record, this information will be shared with the state you relocate to.

The only possible exception is if you get a DUI outside of your home state and are a resident of Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Tennessee, the five states that don’t participate in the national driver database.

That said, if you’re applying for a driver’s license in any of the states mentioned above, you will need to be honest about any past DUI convictions. Doing otherwise could result in severe penalties.

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How does a DUI affect insurance costs?

Having a DUI on your driving record will both increase your rates and limit your coverage options. Exactly how much your rates will go up depends on your insurance company, but expect to pay a minimum of 10% more after your first DUI.

Likewise, many insurance companies will view you as too high of a risk to cover and your current insurer may refuse to renew your policy.

Depending on your state and overall driving record, you may need to purchase what’s known as high-risk auto insurance coverage after a DUI. This coverage is intended for drivers who insurance companies view as high risks for reasons like multiple DUIs, traffic violations, or (in states where checking this is legal) bad credit.

Your state may also require you to submit a form called an SR-22 (or an FR-44 if you live in Florida or Virginia). This form serves as proof that you’ve received the minimum coverage required in your state. Be sure to compare the best auto insurance providers that accept SR-22 forms.

Can employers see DUIs on your record?

Employers can access the driving records of both current and prospective employees by hiring a company to perform a background check, going through an insurance agent, or even asking applicants to release this information themselves. These records generally include any DUIs.

While you can refuse to give a potential employer any information related to your driving history, some employers may be unwilling to take on the risk of hiring you without first seeing your driving record.

Since many employers can fire employees for any reason that’s not considered discrimination, an employer that requires you to drive as part of your job may choose to fire you if you have a DUI.

How can I see my driving record?

In most states, if you have your driver’s license information, you can access your drivers record through your states DMV or equivalent. Usually, requesting your official driving record costs about $10 and can be done by mail, in person, or online.

Seeing your official driver record can be helpful if you want to ensure that your driver record doesn’t have any points on it — or if you want to get a better idea of how much work you have to do to lower your auto insurance rates.

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What to Remember About DUIs

  • How long a DUI remains on your driving and criminal records depends on your state. Some states remove a DUI after a few years but others will record your DUI for life
  • Depending on your state’s laws, you may be able to have a DUI “expunged” from your record if you meet certain requirements. If you have a DUI, be sure to check your state’s expungement information
  • A DUI may be removed from your driving record but remain on your criminal record. Potential employers may only need to see one to decide your too much of a risk to hire

Now that we’ve taken a look at how DUIs affect insurance rates and options, try our free online quote tool to compare companies and find the most affordable auto insurance coverage in your area.