How Your Driving Record Affects Your Future
Your driving record is an important part of life behind the wheel. Every traffic violation you commit—from recent minor tickets to major infractions—stays on your record and has a major influence on your life both on and off the road. Because of this, your driving record has a major impact on your life now and further down the road. Learn more about how your driving record affects your future with this overview.
What Makes Up Your Driving Record?
To understand how your driving record influences your life and future, it’s important to know how it all works. Each state handles driving records differently. Some use a point-based system, where violations are worth a certain number of points on your record. After a certain number of points, you start to face consequences such as losing your license or paying more for auto insurance. Infractions that might show up on your driving record include running a red light, causing an accident, driving under the influence, or any other type of moving violation. Some items stay on your record for a few years, but others might be there for much longer. For example, a red-light ticket might be on your record for three years, while a DUI might be there for life. The severity of the violation and the amount of time it stays on your record varies depending on your state.
How Your Driving Record Affects Your Future
Whether you commit a major violation, or you simply have one too many minor infractions, a poor driving record eventually catches up to you. You can probably predict the immediate effects of this. The actual traffic violation might result in fines, a revoked license, or even an arrest. Beyond this, however, the items on your driving record can cause some major complications for you down the road. From insurance rates to your career, your driving record influences many different aspects of your life.
Your driving record doesn’t just consist of traffic violations. Unpaid tickets also accumulate on your record, and they can have serious consequences if you leave them there for too long. Most states will place fines on unpaid tickets, which means you can end up paying much more for it over time. If left for too long, your unpaid ticket will seriously harm your credit score, which can then cause issues for you every time you seek a loan, credit card, or other financial help. In some states, an unpaid ticket is even cause for an arrest warrant.
Car insurance companies are more hesitant to insure riskier drivers. The items on your driving record play a major role in deciding your insurance premium. Someone with a poor record will end up paying much more every month than someone with a clean record. Depending on the type of violations you commit, you might even need to obtain SR22 insurance to reinstate your license and stay on the road. Because items stay on your driving record for a few years, you’ll have to deal with these increased rates for quite some time.
Just like auto insurance companies, life insurance providers are warier of high-risk drivers. As an unsafe driver, you are statistically more likely to experience a serious accident. Because of this, life insurance companies look at your driving record to help determine your premium. This can be extremely costly, especially if you have severe infractions—such as a DUI—on your record.
If you lose your license due to a poor driving record, you might also end up losing your job—especially if your career requires you to get behind the wheel. Even if you don’t drive regularly for your job, your status as a high-risk driver makes it harder to insure you when you use a company vehicle. Complications like this might lead your employers letting you go. This same logic applies to anyone trying to get a new job with a poor driving record. Many employers perform background checks before hiring new employees. When your traffic violations or unpaid tickets show up in a background screening, it might set you back from other candidates for the job. Some careers pay special attention to driving infractions. Public officers, law enforcement, educators, and pilots may all face severe professional consequences if they have a poor driving record.
Getting into College
There are some careers that are extremely strict when it comes to your driving record. These difficulties might start even before you try to get a job in that field. Many universities and academic programs take your driving record into consideration when accepting applications. For example, students applying for law school or medical school face strict acceptance policies. If they have a serious infraction on their driving record, programs are less likely to accept them.
The items on your driving record might also make it difficult to find your ideal apartment. It’s common practice for landlords to conduct background checks before renting to new tenants. Like employers, they want to ensure that they’re going to be working with safe and responsible individuals. For example, if you have multiple unpaid tickets, your potential landlord is probably wondering if you can keep up with rent payments. When looking over housing applications, landlords and leasing companies are less likely to accept a tenant with a poor driving record.
Adopting a Child
Adopting a child can be a rigorous process, and a poor driving record makes it even more difficult. While there is no law saying you can’t adopt after losing your license or committing a serious traffic violation, every adoption agency has its own policies. Many of them will look at your driving record when they review your application. This can sometimes result in a long, intensive interview about the infraction. It might also mean the agency automatically refuses your application.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to minimize the damage caused by a poor driving record. If you lose your license due to the items on your driving record, your first step is to reinstate your license and regain your freedom. If you need SR22 insurance in Denver, Las Vegas, or any other part of our service area, contact Serenity Group. We’ll help you find the best SR22 insurance policy so you can meet your requirements and start taking the steps to build a cleaner record.