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Out-of-State Speeding Tickets: What They Do To Auto Insurance Rates

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Here's what you need to know...
  • Avoiding an out-of-state speeding ticket can increase your auto insurance rates
  • Insurance companies are notified about tickets no matter where they occurred
  • Getting a speeding ticket makes you a higher risk, therefore making your insurance rates rise
  • Most states maintain the Driver License Compact and Non-Resident Violator Compact with each other; either way, the consequences can vary depending on the state

Out-of-state speeding tickets do impact car insurance rates.

Before the creation of specialized databases shared by states, insurance companies worked harder to identify the traffic tickets of their policyholders across state lines. Interstate databases help insurance companies quickly and accurately assess the insured’s driving record.

In previous years, a driver avoiding payment of an out-of-state moving violation didn’t worry about serious consequences. Now, it’s important for every driver to acknowledge and pay moving violations. Insurance companies want to know they’re insuring safe, responsible drivers.

The cost of unpaid tickets can include higher car insurance premium rates!

Some states record moving violations differently than others. Your insurance company may not learn about an unpaid ticket right away or for years, depending upon the state in which the ticket was written. But it’s still good practice to pay or fight tickets in court as quickly as possible.

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How Car Insurance Companies Use Interstate Violator Databases

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Most states maintain reciprocal agreements with other states to share information about moving violation records and convictions. The Driver License Compact, known to many in the insurance trade as the DLC, includes about 45 states and the District of Columbia.

As of 2011, the following states are not DLC members:

Receiving a moving violation in a non-member state doesn’t mean that the violation will stay off of your driving record.

Non-member states’ Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and Motor Vehicle Agencies (MVA) report that most offenses are usually passed along to the driver’s home DMV in the interest of keeping the highways safe for all drivers.

States belonging to the DLC allow other members to report convictions to others. That’s why if you receive a driving under the influence (DUI) violation in Virginia, your home state is likely to learn about the DUI.

If Virginia moves to suspend your license, it will likely prompt a similar result at home.

When a ticketed driver avoids paying a ticket, the terms of the Non-Resident Violator Compact (NRVC) and the Driver License Agreement in all states prompt the automatic suspension of the driver license.

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How Out-of-State Speeding Tickets Affect Driving Records

Out-of-state speeding tickets and convictions damage your driver record. The points system helps DMVs and other regulators to assess driver risk.

The driver’s licensing state records auto-related convictions and citations in order to identify potentially negligent drivers. Too many negative items on the driving record may cause an insurance company to cancel the driver’s insurance or request higher rates to insure him.

Every state manages driver points a little differently. Your state may keep a record of driver points longer than another state. Some examples include:

  • The State of Maryland’s MVA states that driver points are cleared after a three-year period. The driver may notice an automatic clearing of points from his Maryland record or he may request clearing of points after a three-year period.
  • In South Carolina, the driver’s points decrease a year from the record date, although the record of the violation incurring points remains on the driver’s record for three years.
  • The State of Utah reduces recorded points by 50 percent if no additional moving violations are added to the driver’s record for at least a year. After two conviction-free years, the driver’s points are eliminated.
  • Some states, like Virginia, offer positive driver points. Drivers with a current license earn one plus point. For each year the driver maintains a good driving record with no convictions or violations, the driver earns a positive point.

Your insurance company may assign points to your driver’s record, although the points assigned by an insurance company aren’t included on a state driving record. Negative points assigned by your insurance company mean higher car insurance rates and premiums.

Ask your insurance agent about the company’s policy on out-of-state speeding tickets and violations.

An insurance company may evaluate your driving record over three, five, seven, or more years.

For all these reasons, reviewing your state driver record and comparing your car insurance rates on a regular basis can help save you money on car insurance.

The Difference between an Out-of-State and Home State Speeding Ticket to a Car Insurance Company

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It doesn’t matter what state you’re in when you receive a speeding ticket. Car insurance companies learn about traffic and speeding tickets wherever you receive them.

The car insurance company doesn’t distinguish between a speeding ticket received at home and one received in another state. Receiving a speeding ticket anywhere causes the insurance company to perceive you as a higher risk driver.

Depending on your state’s insurance laws, the insurer may not be allowed to increase your car insurance rates after a single offense. Although your car insurance rates may not increase, the insurance company can decide to rescind their “good driver discount” to your policy.

If you received a serious speeding ticket—driving at 30 miles or more above the speed limit—your car insurance company is likely to request higher car insurance rates.

Your car insurance rates are likely to change when the insurance company reviews your driver record.

If you’ve achieved a stable, long-term record as a safe driver, your insurance company may not review your DMV file for one to two years. If you’re considered a higher risk driver, the company may evaluate your file every six months.

When the car insurance company checks your record, the opportunity to increase or decrease your car insurance rates exists.

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