How long is a DUI on my record?

How long is a DUI on my record? Did you know a DUI could stay on your record for as long as 12 years? Expect your car insurance rates to increase 28% to 371% after a DUI.

Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jan 24, 2021

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If you have received a DUI for drinking and driving you probably know that it can make your life difficult. A DUI affects you in many ways. One of the ways is it significantly increases your car insurance rates, or even prevents you from getting approved for car insurance at all.

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Many people think that a DUI does not remain on your record permanently. Although there are some states that require it to be on your record for a certain number of years before it is taken off, some states require it to be there indefinitely.

What types of things are affected by my DUI?

A DUI can affect a number of things, not just those that are related to driving. Yes, having a DUI will usually cause you to lose your license for a period of time, which can be a big pain. A DUI will also negatively impact your ability to get car insurance for years to come.

If you are looking for a job, certain employers check your driving and criminal records. Although some employers will only ask for your driving record for the last three years, others will ask for a longer period of time. A DUI can be a factor in whether you get that job or not.

Having a DUI on your record may also affect other insurance rates besides your car insurance.

If you are a professional and need insurance relating to your profession, the rates for this will more than likely be higher just because of your DUI.

Do the laws for a DUI vary from state to state?

Each state has its own rules and laws in regards to a DUI. The states decide on the penalties that refer to fines, jail time, license suspension, driving during suspension, and ignition interlock. The penalties can also vary depending on whether it is your first DUI or one of many, and whether it is a felony or misdemeanor DUI. More information can be found from the Insurance Information Institute.

Each state will also determine what to do about your vehicle in the case of a possible drunk driving charge. This may include impounding or confiscating your vehicle.

What does expunging your record mean?

One way to get your DUI off your record is to have it expunged. To expunge your record means to delete it off your permanent record. Again, each state varies in its laws about expunging a record so check with your specific state to see what requirements are needed.

The best way to get your DUI expunged from your record is to work with an attorney.

If you are short on funds, you can do it yourself by filing a Motion for Expungement. You will file this where you were originally convicted. You will then have a hearing in front of a judge where you can present your case.

If the judge grants your request, your DUI will no longer be on your record. This can help you tremendously when it comes to finding a job or getting inexpensive car insurance. If your request is denied, you will just have to wait until it is dropped from your record by the state, if it is allowed at all.

How do I know how long my state requires a DUI to remain on my record?

Whether or not you have tried to get your DUI expunged off of your record, you are probably wondering how long it will remain on your record. Since each state varies in its regulations, the best way to find out the answer is to check with your state’s department of motor vehicles.

To find your state’s web address for its department of motor vehicles, you can go to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s listing page. This link will lead you to the links for the departments of transportation of all 50 states.

Once you find your state’s department of transportation website, look for the website for your department of motor vehicles. Once you find that, call or email them and ask about the state’s law about DUIs and the amount of time they stay on your record.

What if I get another DUI?

Having more than one DUI on your record can be even more disastrous. The best advice is to do everything you can to not drink and drive again. Designate a sober driver, take a cab or public transportation, crash at a friend’s house, or call for a ride.

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