What is a clean driving record?

A clean driving record is usually one without any accidents, traffic violations, or points. The definition of a clean driving record can vary, because some companies consider zero claims to mean a clean driving record.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Insurance Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 6, 2022

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What You Should Know

  • clean driving record is typically one with no moving violations, accidents, or other incidents
  • Definitions of a clean driving record may vary depending on which auto insurer you purchase coverage from and which company you apply to work for
  • clean driving record can save an average of 37% on rates over rates for a driving record with moving violations, accidents, etc.

One of the best ways to get a cheap auto insurance rate is to have a clean driving record. But what exactly is a clean driving record? If you got a speeding ticket three years ago, do you still have a clean driving record? What are employers looking for when they ask for a clean driving record? What is considered a clean driving record for employment?

Today, we’re going to answer all your questions and help you with understanding your auto insurance policy so you know exactly what a clean driving record means.

Ready to find out how much your auto insurance rate might be with a clean (or not-so-clean) driving record? Enter your ZIP code in our free tool to get started.

What is a clean driving record?

What does having a clean driving record or a clean driving license mean? What is considered a safe driving record? What is considered a bad driving record? What does a clean Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) mean? Keep reading to find out.

A clean MVR lists essential information about a person’s driving history. This can consist of accidents and various violations. Employers and insurers that check your MVR may have different definitions of a clean driver record.

Most define a clean driving record as is one that is free of any accidents, moving violations, or points.

However, some insurers and employers have different definitions of this rule. An auto insurer might argue that you only have a clean driving record if no claims have been filed, for example.

Employers, on the other hand, may be more willing to overlook minor violations. Does a clean driving record with a speeding ticket mean your driving record isn’t clean anymore? How much does a speeding ticket raise your insurance? A single speeding ticket three years ago, where you were driving a few miles over the speed limit, may not be a problem for some employers but could be a problem for others.

There are also insurance companies that overlook minor moving violations. Some insurance companies may claim you have a clean driver record if you only have one or two moving violations (particularly minor violations).

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Why does a clean driving record matter?

Your driving record is important because insurance companies use it as a way to adjust your insurance rates, and in some cases, even to determine whether or not you’re insurable (high-risk drivers, those with exceptionally poor driving records, sometimes find it difficult to purchase insurance).

Also, some employers may consider your driving record when considering you for hire. If you don’t have a clean driving record, don’t be tempted to be dishonest on your application. More on this later, but suffice it to say that if you lie on your application, your employer will probably find out, which could result in consequences up to termination (or not being hired).

Will a clean driving record affect my auto insurance rates?

Your driving record will affect your insurance rates. A clean driving record will mean lower rates than a driving record with traffic violations attached to it.

To get an idea of how your driving record can affect car insurance rates, take a look at this table.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates Based on Driving Record
Insurance CompaniesAverage Annual Rates with a Clean Driving RecordAverage Annual Rates with One AccidentAverage Annual Rates with One DUIAverage Annual Rates with One Speeding Ticket
State Farm$2,821.18$3,396.01$3,636.80$3,186.01
American Family$2,693.61$3,722.75$4,330.24$3,025.74
Liberty Mutual$4,774.30$6,204.78$7,613.48$5,701.26
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As you can see, rate increases for driving offenses can be significant. While a clean driving record can average $260 per month, a speeding ticket could mean an increase in rates of 17%, while an at-fault accident could mean 32% higher rates. A DUI, on the other hand, results in an average rate increase of over 60%.

Why do insurance companies prefer drivers with clean driving records? Because your driving record is the best way to estimate what your future driving will look like.

While companies can’t see the future, they assume that if you have a clean record, you’re a responsible driver. This means you’re a lower insurance risk than someone with a poor driving record, so you’ll qualify for lower rates.

What’s the best way to get affordable clean driving record auto insurance? Or car insurance if your driving record isn’t so clean? If you have a clean driving record, you may qualify for discounts. Also, you should compare clean driving record car insurance rates. Use a tool like the one on this page to obtain multiple clean driving record car insurance quotes.

Should I lie about a clean driving record?

If you’re reading this article, we assume you have minor infractions on your driving record that may prevent you from having a clean record.

In that case, we recommend not lying on your insurance or employment application form. If you need an acceptable driving record for employment, it’s best to tell the truth so you aren’t discovered lying later down the road.

A single, minor moving violation may not disqualify you from cheap insurance or a better job. But lying about that moving violation almost certainly will. Insurance companies and employers have the ability to pull court records to get details of your case. Insurance companies have access to your last seven years of driving history via your CLUE report.

This means there’s no covering up your driving record, so choosing to lie about it will be obvious, and you will be caught.

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Will a speeding ticket prevent me from having a clean driving record?

All insurance companies and employers have different policies when determining a clean driving record. Generally, however, a single speeding ticket will not prevent you from having a clean driving record with most employers or insurance companies assuming it’s not a criminally excessive speeding ticket, such as reckless driving.

When employers and insurance companies want a clean driving record, they generally want someone with no serious past offenses. If you have a history of driving recklessly, endangering other people, or making expensive insurance claims, your employer or insurance company will likely have a problem.

By contrast, if you have a single speeding ticket, red light violation, or other relatively minor offense, it’s less likely to affect your clean driving history.

However, all insurance companies and employers are different. Some employers or insurance companies do claim that a single speeding ticket violates your clean driving record, so you’ll need to do your research.

How far back does my driving record go?

In most cases, your employer or insurance company will be able to pull a driving record that goes back between seven and 10 years. This driving record will list every minor or major violation over that time period. Whether it’s a speeding ticket, running a red light, or an incident where you drove without insurance, it will appear on your report.

Serious violations like a hit and run or DUI often remain on your record for ten years, while minor violations may disappear from your record after five or seven years. However, the length of time certain violations remain on your record varies by state.

Related: How Long Does a DUI Affect Your Auto Insurance Rates?

What is a bad driving record?

As we noted earlier, a bad driving record has one or more at-fault accidents, DUIs, or other moving violations. It can also include drivers who have had gaps in insurance coverage.

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How do I get a clean driving record?

If you don’t already have a clean driving record, you can take several steps to improve it. The first and most obvious is to drive safely.

If you have points on your driver’s license, consider taking steps to remove or reduce the number of points (read the next section for more on that).

If you’ve been stopped for any “fix-it” tickets, you should take care of those immediately. What is a “fix-it” ticket? Typically it includes violations for things like an expired vehicle registration, misplacing important documents (your driver’s license or insurance card, for example), or equipment violations like a broken tail light.

You also have the option to fight a ticket in court. More than 50% of traffic ticket cases are dismissed in some states, which means they never show up on your record. If you do choose this route, your best bet is to be honest and respectful when explaining your case to the judge.

Depending on where you live, you may have other options like going to driving school. Check with your local DMV to find out more.

How can I remove points from my license?

Having points on your license may disqualify you from having a clean driving record. But if you’re wondering how to remove points from your license, fortunately, you may be able to do so by contacting your local DMV.

Some DMVs require you to pay a fine to remove points from your license. Others, like Nevada’s DMV, require you to sign up for a defensive driving course.

If you need a clean driving record for a job, you may need to contact your DMV to remove points from your record so you have a clean license although the incident that caused the points may still remain on your record.

What’s the bottom line?

What is a good driving record? A clean driving record? Having a clean driving record depends entirely on your employer or your insurance carrier. Different employers and insurance carriers have different rules when it comes to maintaining a clean driving record.

Some employers require you to have no moving violations, no accidents, and no points to be considered a clean driver. Other employers require no accidents in the past five or seven years.

Insurance companies, meanwhile, may be more or less picky. Some insurance companies will consider your driving record clean if you have no accidents and no points. Others require you to have no points, no moving violations, no accidents, and no claims.

Ultimately, you’ll need to talk to your insurance company or employer to determine if your driving record is considered clean by the company’s standards. There’s no single answer to the question, “what is considered a clean driving record?”

The best way to find clean driving record car insurance or car insurance without a clean driving record is to shop around. Once you’ve compared rates, you’ll be better able to determine the best coverage for your needs at affordable rates and buy clean driving record auto insurance.

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Do you have more questions?

Do you still have questions about clean driving records? Read these frequently asked questions for more.

#1 – How can I check my driving record and should I check my driving record?

If you’re not sure what’s on your driving record, it’s a good idea to get a copy, so you know what your insurance company is looking at when you apply for coverage. Additionally, no system is perfect, so you may even be able to find mistakes that you can appeal to the DMV.

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#2 – What are some tips if I plan to drive for Uber, Lyft or DoorDash?

Rideshare and food delivery services have differing, and sometimes quite strict, expectations for driving record when they hire drivers.

  • Uber requires drivers have records with no major violations and no more than one minor violation
  • Lyft requires records with three or fewer moving violations, no major violations for the previous three years, and no driving under the influence or driving felonies for the past seven years
  • DoorDash requires records with three or fewer moving violations, no major violations for the previous three years, and no driving under the influence or driving felonies for the past seven years

Also, while the companies set basic requirements, individual states may have other requirements drivers must meet. You’ll need to check local laws to find out what the requirements are in your state.

You can compare car insurance rates to see how much you might spend on coverage based on your driving record using our free tool. Enter your ZIP code to get started.

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