How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Driving Record?

Last Updated on October 21, 2020

It’s no secret that DUIs raise the cost of car insurance. But how long does a DUI stay on your driving record?

Depending on your state, a DUI can remain on your driving record for 3 years, 10 years, or the rest of your life. Some states have a relatively long lookback period for DUI convictions, allowing insurers to see DUIs that How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Driving Record?occurred over a decade ago. Other states have a relatively short period, which means DUIs that occurred more than 5 years ago will not impact insurance rates.

Driving under the influence is illegal in all states. The severity of your penalty can vary. So how long does a DUI stay on your driving record? We have a state-by-state breakdown below.

DUI Penalties and Lookback Periods Vary by State

Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) is illegal in all states. However, states treat DUI/DWI offenses in different ways.

Because DUI is a criminal offense, it will cause insurance rates to increase. In most states, you can expect to pay 30% to 100% higher insurance premiums after your first DUI. After two or more DUIs, you could pay even higher rates – or be unable to obtain car insurance altogether.

Most states use a points system to track driving offenses. You receive points against your driver’s license for various offenses. A DUI is considered a serious moving violation. Some states add a large number of points to your license for a DUI, while others suspend your license or charge other penalties.

Overall, penalties for DUI/DWI vary widely in different states. The lookback period – the length of time a DUI stays on your driving record – also varies between states.

DUI Lookback Periods by State

In most states, insurance companies can see your driving record across a 3 to 7 year period. An insurance company can check your driving record and see every speeding ticket and other offense over the last 3 to 7 years.

Most states, however, treat DUIs more seriously than ordinary driving offenses. Typically, DUIs have a longer lookback period. That means insurers can see a DUI on your driving record even when other offenses have disappeared from your record.

Most states have a DUI lookback period of 5 to 10 years, which means it will take 5 to 10 years for a DUI to disappear from your record. That could mean higher insurance premiums for 10 years – or even longer.

In some states, DUI convictions remain on your driving record for life.

Here’s how DUI lookback periods vary by state:

Alabama: DUIs remain on your driving record for 5 years in Alabama. Drivers receive 6 points, and these points remain on your license for 2 years.

Alaska: DUI convictions remain on your record for life in Alaska, although insurance companies only have a DUI lookback period of 10 years. Drivers also receive 10 points on their driving record. 2 points will disappear for every 2 years you go without new driving violations.

Arizona: DUIs stay on your record in Arizona for 5 years. Arizona adds 8 points to your driving record, and those points remain on your license for 3 years.

Arkansas: Drivers in Arkansas convicted of DUI will receive 14 points, and those points remain on your license for 3 years. Your DUI stays on your driving record for 5 years.

California: California has some of the strictest DUI lookback laws in the nation. DUIs remain on your driving record for 10 years. Drivers also receive 2 driver’s license points for a DUI, and those points remain on your license for 13 years.

Colorado: Colorado, like California, keeps a DUI on your driving record for 10 years. Drivers I Colorado also receive 8 points against their license, with points remaining for 2 years.

Connecticut: Drivers convicted of DUI in Connecticut will have that conviction stay on their record for 10 years. Drivers also receive 3 points, and those points remain on your record for 2 years.

Delaware: DUIs remain on your driving record in Delaware for 5 years. You must complete certain steps after being convicted of DUI in Delaware, like a driver training course or alcohol treatment course.

District of Columbia: Drivers in Washington, DC receive 12 points and extra penalties for DUI, with convictions remaining on your record for 10 years.

Florida: Florida has a 5 year lookback period for DUIs. DUI convictions remain on your driving record for 75 years, although they do not impact insurance or future criminal charges during this period.

Georgia: DUIs stay on your driving record in Georgia for 10 years. Drivers convicted of DUI will receive varying numbers of points, depending on the severity of the incident. Points remain on your record for 2 years.

Hawaii: Hawaii does not use points to track DUIs or other driver infractions, but all DUI offenses remain on your record for 5 years in Hawaii.

Idaho: DUI convictions in Idaho remain on your record for life, although insurance companies can only view DUIs over the past 10 years.

Illinois: Most insurance companies in Illinois use a lookback period of 5 to 10 years.  However, all drug and alcohol-related driving offenses in Illinois remain on your driver’s record for life, and Illinois has no official lookback period. If you are convicted of DUI in Illinois, then you may have your license suspended for one year after your first conviction, which means you cannot obtain insurance even if you want to.

Indiana: DUIs stay on your driver’s record for life in Indiana, although Indiana has an official lookback period of 5 to 10 years. Most insurance companies in Indiana use a lookback period of 5 years when calculating premiums.

Iowa: DUIs remain on your driving record for 12 years in Iowa. Iowa does not use points to track DUIs or other offenses.

Kansas: Kansas has one of the strictest lookback periods for drivers in the United States. Insurance companies in Kansas can view a driver’s entire record (lifetime lookback) to calculate rates. DUI convictions remain on your record for life.

Kentucky: For decades, DUIs remained on your record for 5 years in Kentucky. In 2017, Kentucky changed its laws to a 10 year lookback period.

Louisiana: DUI convictions remain on your record for 10 years in Louisiana.

Maine: Maine implemented a lifetime lookback law in 2014 for certain types of DUI convictions (also known as OUI convictions in Maine). That means convictions remain on your record for life. For most sentencing and insurance purposes, however, Maine has a 10-year lookback period.

Maryland: DUIs in Maryland remain on your driving record for 10 years. Drivers receive 12 points on their license.

Massachusetts: Massachusetts has a lifetime lookback period for insurance and conviction purposes. Although Massachusetts originally had a 10 year lookback period for DUIs, the state recently changed its laws to a lifetime lookback period.

Michigan: DUIs (also known as OWIs in Michigan) remain on your driving record in Michigan for 7 years.

Minnesota: DUI convictions remain on your driving record for 10 years in Minnesota.

Mississippi: Mississippi has a 5 year lookback period for DUIs.

Missouri: DUI convictions in Missouri remain on your driving record for 10 years, and drivers receive 8 points on their record. Drivers in Missouri also receive points for the DUI, depending on the severity, with points disappearing from your license for every year without new offenses.

Montana: Montana keeps DUI convictions on your record for 5 years, and drivers receive 5 license points for a DUI, with points remaining on your license for 3 years.

Nebraska: Nebraska keeps a DUI on your record for 12 years, and drivers receive 6 points on their driving record, with points remaining for 5 years.

Nevada: DUIs stay on your driving record in Nevada for 7 years. Nevada will add points to your license according to the severity of the offense and the number of previous offenses.

New Hampshire: New Hampshire DUI convictions remain on your record for 10 years. Drivers receive 6 license points, with points remaining for 3 years.

New Jersey: New Jersey tracks DUI convictions for 10 years.

New Mexico: New Mexico has no set lookback period for DUIs, which means DUIs remain on your record for life. Typically, insurance companies in New Mexico use a 5 to 10 year lookback period for DUIs, although courts may use a lifetime lookback period for sentencing.

New York: DUI convictions in New York remain on your record for 10 years (for your first and second offenses) or 15 years (for third and subsequent offenses).

North Carolina: North Carolina’s DMV will add a DUI conviction to your record for 7 years and suspend your license for 1 year after a conviction.

North Dakota: DUIs remain on your record n North Dakota for 7 years.

Ohio: DUI convictions remain on your record in Ohio for life, although for most criminal and insurance purposes, the lookback period is 6 to 10 years (it varies based on the number of offenses and severity of the offense). Drivers in Ohio will also be assessed 6 points after a DUI conviction, with points remaining on a driver’s record for 3 years.

Oklahoma: Oklahoma drivers have DUI convictions remain on their record for 10 years, with drivers receiving additional time-based point penalties based on the severity and number of offenses.

Oregon: Oregon has a lifetime lookback period for DUIs, which means DUI convictions never totally disappear from your record. However, for most criminal and insurance purposes, Oregon has a 10 year lookback period for DUIs.

Pennsylvania: DUI convictions remain on your record for 10 years in Pennsylvania. Drivers face extra point-based penalties depending on the severity and number of offenses.

Rhode Island: DUI convictions remain on your driving record in Rhode Island for 5 years.

South Carolina: DUIs stay on your record for 10 years in South Carolina, with drivers receiving additional penalties under the state’s points system.

South Dakota: South Dakota has a 10 year lookback period for DUIs, although lookback periods can increase for drivers with 3 or more DUI convictions.

Tennessee: DUI convictions remain on your driving record for life in Tennessee, although Tennessee has a 10-year lookback period for most criminal and insurance purposes. Drivers will also receive extra penalties and points based on the number and severity of offenses.

Texas: DUI convictions remain on your driving record for life in Texas, although the state uses a 5 to 10 year lookback period for most insurance and criminal purposes. Drivers may also have to pay a $1,000 DUI surcharge per year for 3 years after their conviction.

Utah: DUI convictions remain on your driving record for 10 years in Utah, with drivers receiving additional penalties under Utah’s points system.

Vermont: DUI convictions remain on your driving record for life in Vermont. Drivers receive extra penalties under Vermont’s points system.

Virginia: The Commonwealth of Virginia has a 10 year lookback period for DUIs. Drivers are assessed 6 points for their first DUI.

Washington: Washington has a 7 year lookback period from the date you were arrested for DUI.

West Virginia: DUI convictions remain on your record for 10 years in West Virginia, with drivers receiving additional penalties under West Virginia’s points system.

Wisconsin: Wisconsin tracks DUI convictions over a 10 year lookback period, with drivers receiving 6 points for driving under the influence. Those points remain on your license for 5 years after your DUI conviction.

Wyoming: DUI convictions remain on your record for 10 years in Wyoming.

Why Lookback Period Matters

Lookback period matters for two reasons:

Insurance Premiums: Insurance companies consider risk when calculating premiums. Drivers with a higher risk will pay higher insurance premiums. Insurance companies can only use your lookback period to calculate rates. Offenses outside of that lookback period will not impact rates. If you received a DUI eight years ago, for example, then this DUI will impact rates in some states but not others.

Subsequent Convictions: If you are convicted of 2 or more DUIs, then the lookback period becomes extremely important for sentencing. Depending on your state, your second DUI within a 10-year window could count as a second DUI (leading to more severe penalties). Or, it could count as your first DUI because of the lookback period. In states with long lookback periods, you could be charged with a second DUI even if there are 50 years between your offenses. In states with short lookback periods, you could collect 5 DUIs without a 25 year period and avoid subsequent DUI convictions.

Some states use different lookback periods for insurance and criminal purposes. In some states, you could be charged with your second DUI even if your convictions are 50 years apart. However, a DUI from 50 years ago is unlikely to impact insurance premiums today.

Final Word on DUI’s Staying on Your Record

How long does a DUI stay on your record? It depends on your state.

In most states, DUIs stay on your driving record for 5 to 10 years. This can impact future convictions (say, if you receive a second or third offense within that lookback period). It can also impact insurance premiums.

In some states, DUIs stay on your record for life, although most insurers still use a lookback period of around 10 years.

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