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How Long Does a Car Accident Stay On Your Record?

On Behalf of | Jun 30, 2023 | Uncategorized

When you’re involved in a car accident, it’s natural to wonder how long it will stay on your driving record. Let’s explore the duration and implications of car accidents on your record in Washington.

Duration of a Car Accident on Your Record

According to the Washington State Department of Licensing, the duration a car accident remains on your driving record depends on certain factors:

  • Non-Commercial Vehicle Accidents: If your car accident doesn’t involve a commercial vehicle, it will typically stay on your driver’s license for a period of five years.
  • Commercial Vehicle Accidents: Accidents involving commercial vehicles, such as trucks or buses, are retained on your driving record for a longer duration of ten years.
  • DUI Convictions: If you’re convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), the accident associated with the DUI offense will remain on your license indefinitely. Washington state law does not permit the expungement of DUI convictions from a person’s record.

Impact on Insurance Premiums

Car accidents can have a significant impact on your auto insurance premiums. However, the effect on your premiums depends on the fault assigned for the accident:

  • Not at Fault: If the car accident was not your fault, it is unlikely to result in increased insurance premiums. In such cases, you are not considered a higher-risk driver, and your premiums are typically not affected.
  • At Fault: If you were responsible for the accident, it is likely to increase your insurance premiums. Insurance companies may perceive you as a higher-risk driver due to the accident and adjust your rates accordingly.

Clearing Your Driving Record

Clearing your driving record is a common goal for drivers, as accidents on your record can lead to higher insurance premiums. In Washington, there are two approaches to achieving this:

  • Clearing Errors: If you identify errors on your driving record, such as expired traffic violations or accidents that haven’t been removed after the prescribed period (five years for non-commercial accidents), you can report these errors to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV can rectify the inaccuracies and remove them from your record.
  • Expungement: If you have legitimate traffic violations or accidents on your record, you have the option to file an expungement request. However, it’s important to note that expungement approval is not guaranteed. If your request is granted, you may be required to attend traffic school as part of the expungement process.

Consult Our Car Accident Lawyers in Washington

After a car accident, you may have numerous questions and concerns. The experienced car accident lawyers at Alliance Law Group are here to help. We can provide answers, protect your rights, and guide you toward the best possible outcome for your case. Schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys by calling 253-300-2055 or contacting us online. Don’t let a car accident weigh you down. Reach out to our skilled attorneys today and gain the support you need.