A fourth of U.S. drivers have received a ticket for a moving violation within the past five years -- and if you're one of them, this often comes with consequences for your driving record and your auto insurance rates. Unfortunately, if you're a young driver and you've received a ticket, it probably won't be long before it shows up on your driving record.
It May Never Show Up
According to a 2013 CNBC article, less than a third of drivers who get a traffic ticket have their insurance rates raised as a consequence. Typically, if you're over 25 and have a clean driving record, it's not cost effective for insurance companies to look up your motor vehicle record, even when you renew. However, if you're between 16 and 25 years old, your insurance company is likely checking your record every six months.
Insurance Company MVR Checks
Another circumstance that almost always prompts an insurance company to investigate further, and very probably raise your insurance rates, is if the ticket is associated with an accident. In this instance, you'll have very little time at all between the time of the ticket and the time your insurance company finds out, because you have to report the accident promptly to your insurance company.
No Fixed Length of Time
How long after you get a ticket before your insurance rates increase depends upon several things, but perhaps the most important factor is your age. If your insurance is up for renewal within a few weeks of the accident, that's probably how much time you have before they find out. Even if you've just renewed, when you're under 26 years old, you have six months at most before your insurance company's periodic checks of your record reveals the ticket. Age, it turns out, is also a reliable indicator of how often the ticket triggers a rate increase. Overall, drivers get hit with an increase less than a third of the time, but for drivers 25 younger it's about 41 percent.
Removing the Ticket
In many states, if you haven't had a ticket within the past 12 months, you have the option of successfully completing a driver education course that removes the ticket from your driving record. In most states there are two costs associated with this: a surcharge on your ticket payable to your state's motor vehicles department, and the cost of the traffic school itself. The surcharge ranges from about $100 to $300, depending on where you got your ticket. An online traffic school may cost as little as $20. In many states, the points against your driving record you received when you got the ticket are removed as well. So far as your insurance company knows, the ticket never happened.
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