Do Parking Tickets Increase Your Insurance Rates?
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Nobody likes walking back to their vehicle and seeing a parking ticket sitting on their dashboard. Parking tickets are annoying and expensive, but can they actually increase your car insurance rates?
In the vast majority of situations, parking tickets will not cause any change in your insurance rates. Parking tickets are not treated the same as speeding tickets, reckless driving, DUI/DWI’s, and other moving violations. Whether you have one parking ticket or 100 parking tickets, you should not notice any difference in insurance premiums.
In certain situations, however, unpaid parking tickets can impact your insurance. Unpaid parking tickets can lower your credit score, for example, or force the DMV to cancel your vehicle registration.
Do parking tickets increase insurance? Below, we’re explaining everything you need to know about parking tickets and insurance rates.
What’s Included on your Driving Record?
When you buy car insurance, the insurance company will check your driving record to verify your information and calculate your premiums.
Your driving record is stored with the DMV. The DMV tracks any violations, speeding tickets, at-fault accidents, and other information going back at least three years. In most states, the DMV tracks all incidents within the last five to seven years. More serious violations – like DUI convictions – may stay on your driving record as long as ten years in some states.
The DMV also tracks your name, gender, address, license number, license classification, driver status, license expiration date, endorsements, penalties, points, fines, suspensions, and all other relevant information.
Most information on your driving record will impact your insurance premiums. If you are a risky driver with multiple at-fault collisions within the past five years, then you will pay higher rates for car insurance than someone with a clean driving record.
A parking ticket is a non-moving violation. In most cases, parking tickets will not impact insurance premiums. Parking tickets may appear on your driving record, and parking tickets may still be connected to your name. However, it’s rare for parking tickets to impact insurance rates in any way.
The DMV May Take Action If You Ignore Parking Tickets
Parking tickets are unlikely to impact insurance premiums. However, parking tickets can still impact your driving status.
If you receive too many parking tickets, for example, or refuse to pay a parking ticket, then the DMV may take further action. Your parking ticket could get sent to a collection agency. In extreme cases, the DMV may prevent you from renewing your license plate or driver’s license until you pay your parking tickets.
It’s rare for a license to be suspended because of unpaid parking tickets. However, we’ve heard of situations where drivers with an extreme number of unpaid parking tickets (say, 10+ unpaid parking tickets) face further penalties from the DMV.
Your vehicle registration needs to be active to file an insurance claim. If the DMV cancels your registration because of unpaid parking tickets, but you continue to drive, then you may be driving illegally. You cannot file an insurance claim if your vehicle registration is inactive, and any future insurance claims could be denied.
Moving Violations Versus Non-Moving Violations
Your insurance company uses dozens of factors to calculate insurance premiums. Your insurer looks at your age, driving record, gender, credit score, and ZIP code, for example, to assess your risk as a policyholder.
If you have been pulled over while driving, then you may have moving violations on your record. A driver with multiple moving violations may be considered a high-risk driver.
With some insurance companies, even a single moving violation – like one speeding ticket – may prevent you from having a clean driving record.
What about non-moving violations? Non-moving violations include violations where your car was not moving – like a parking ticket or an equipment violation. If you were parked in a handicapped zone without a handicap sticker, for example, or if you forgot to pay the parking meter, then you may receive a non-moving violation.
Insurance companies do not consider non-moving violations when calculating insurance premiums. Insurance companies may be able to see these violations on your record. However, no insurance company (to our knowledge) considers non-moving violations when calculating insurance premiums.
Unpaid Parking Tickets Can Impact your Credit Score
Failing to pay your parking tickets can lead to complications with the DMV – say, if you have multiple unpaid parking tickets on your record. The DMV might cancel your vehicle registration, which can indirectly impact your car insurance.
However, unpaid parking tickets can also impact insurance in another way: unpaid parking tickets lower your credit score. Local police departments report unpaid parking tickets to the three major credit bureaus, which can lower your credit score. Insurance companies use your credit score to calculate insurance premiums.
Unpaid Parking Tickets Can Lead to Towing and Impoundment
If you refuse to pay your parking tickets, then your local police department may tow and impound your vehicle.
Local police may put a locking car boot on your vehicle, for example, preventing you from driving until you paid the fine.
Generally, you need multiple unpaid parking tickets on your record before local police departments take measures to this extreme.
Final Word – Do Parking Tickets Increase Insurance?
Parking tickets will not impact insurance premiums in most situations.
However, if you avoid paying your parking tickets, then you could face further penalties. Drivers with excessive numbers of unpaid parking tickets (10+) could have their license suspended by the DMV until the tickets are paid, for example.
To avoid any potential complications, it’s best to pay parking tickets quickly. Whether you have one parking ticket or 1,000 parking tickets, however, it’s unlikely to impact insurance premiums – as long as the tickets are paid.