How Long Does a Suspended License Stay on Your Record?

Last Updated on November 6, 2023

A suspended license typically stays on your record for three to five years.

However, if your license was suspended because of a DUI or DWI conviction, then your license suspension could stay on your record up to 10 years, depending on your state.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about how long a suspended license stays on your record.

Key Takeaways:

  1. A license suspension generally remains on your driving record for three to five years, but this can extend to 10 years or more for DUI/DWI convictions, varying by state.
  2. The actual duration of a license suspension can range from 30 days to several years, but the suspension’s record persists longer, affecting insurance rates and driving history.
  3. License revocation is more severe than suspension, requiring a complete re-application for driving privileges, unlike a suspension which has a set end date.
  4. Insurance premiums can be significantly higher for those with recent suspensions on their record, with some insurers extending their lookback period to assess risk and set rates.

A Suspended License Stays on Your Record Three to Five Years, on Average

If your license was suspended for any reason, then you can generally expect that suspension to stay on your record for a minimum of three to five years.

Depending on the type of conviction, a suspended license could stay on your record even longer. A suspension caused by a DUI / DWI conviction, for example, could stay on your record 10 years or longer, depending on state driving laws.

The license suspension itself lasts as long as the suspension. If law enforcement checks your license during the suspension, they’ll see your license is suspended. After the suspension ends, they’ll be able to see the record of the suspension – but your license will no longer appear as suspended.

Common Reasons for License Suspension

Typically, your state DMV will suspend your license if you commit one serious violation or multiple minor violations in a short period of time.

Rules vary from state to state. However, common reasons for a license suspension include:

  • Speeding at least 15mph over the speed limit
  • Speeding faster than 75mph
  • Failure to stop and give aid when involved in an accident (i.e., hit and run)
  • Willful racing with another vehicle
  • Multiple speeding convictions or other moving violations
  • Failing to appear in court or failure to pay a fine

How Long Does a License Suspension Last?

License suspensions typically last 30 days to 1 year, depending on the violation.

A major speeding violation, for example, could lead to a 30 day license suspension, while two DUIs in a six month period could lead to a three year license suspension.

Your license suspension lasts for the given period. However, the record of your license suspension remains on your record for three to five years, depending on your state.

License Suspension vs. License Revocation

Some states revoke driving privileges after multiple violations.

A license revocation is more serious than a license suspension:

  • With a license suspension, you are prohibited from driving for a given length of time (say, 30 days to 1 year)
  • With a license revocation, you are no longer permitted to drive at all until you apply for reinstatement of your driving privileges at the DMV

If your license has been revoked, then you need to re-apply for a license at your local DMV – similar to getting a license for the first time. Depending on the terms of your revocation, you may need to wait a period of time before re-applying for your license.

How Long Does a Suspended License Impact Insurance Rates?

If you have a suspended license on your record, then you’ll pay higher insurance premiums for as long as the incident remains on your record.

Most insurers check your recent driving history to judge risk. If you have a license suspension within the last three to five years, then you’ll typically pay more for car insurance than a driver with no license suspensions in the last three to five years.

The longer your suspension goes into the past, however, the lower the chance it has of impacting insurance premiums. A suspension in the last year, for example, could cause insurance premiums to double, but a suspension five years ago could only cause 10% higher premiums. Even though the suspension is still on your record, your insurer cares less because it’s farther in the past.

Lookback periods vary between insurers. Some insurers ignore a driving record beyond three years, for example, while others check everything on your record to accurately assess risk.

Lookback periods also vary between states. Some states only allow insurers to check a certain length of time, for example. Some states erase most of your driving record after three years, while others keep DUIs on your record for 10 years or longer.

Check quotes with multiple insurers to verify you’re paying a fair price for car insurance. Some insurers care about everything on your driving record, while others only care about recent history. If your license suspension was greater than five years ago, then some companies may ignore it, while others use it to charge higher premiums. If your license is currently suspended, you will not be able to find new insurance or renew your old one.

DUI / DWI Suspensions Could Appear on Your Record for 10 Years or Longer

Some states have passed laws making DUI and DWI convictions more serious. As part of those laws, DUI and DWI suspensions could appear on your record much longer than conventional suspensions – including up to 10 years or longer.

Some states require DUI and DWI convictions to appear on your driving record for life – even if the suspension related to that conviction eventually disappears.

If your license was suspended because of driving under the influence, then your license suspension – and/or the DUI that caused the suspension – could remain on your record for 10 years or longer, depending on your state.

Contact your DMV to Request Your Driving Record

Your state DMV can provide you with a copy of your driving record.

Your driving record could show all recent convictions and suspensions. The further your suspension goes into the past, the less likely it is to appear on your record.

Contact your DMV to verify your state DMV has accurate information about your driving record and driving history.

Final Word

On average, a suspended license stays on your record three to five years – or up to 10 years for more serious convictions.

By contacting the DMV, you can pull a copy of your driving record to verify the information on that record is correct.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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