In today’s overscheduled world, any information that isn’t at your fingertips is out of sight, out of mind. So when you set down the mail, it’s easy to forget about that ticket you need to pay from when the motion-sensor camera caught you driving through a red light. However, where you forget, the DMV remembers. Your driving record has the ability to affect many areas of life, some of which may surprise you. Here are eight ways your driving record could ruin your future:
1. Auto insurance: Insurers determine auto premiums based on many factors, one of which is your driving record. It’s no surprise that these companies prefer to insure individuals who drive safety and file few claims. Often times companies with give discounts for insuring home insurance along with your auto insurance. For this reason, multiple tickets and accidents on your record can result in higher premiums. How high? A speeding ticket can raise your rate by up to 20 percent. A more serious offense, such as reckless driving or a DUI, can cause your rate to skyrocket by up to 300 percent.
2. Life insurance: Similarly, life insurance premiums are determined by your risk of dying. An unsafe driver has a higher risk of being involved in a serious accident, which can knock you down to a less preferred tier of life insurance, complete with a premium that can be several hundred dollars more per year.
3. Credit score: If you neglect to pay a ticket, like in our example above, your credit score can take a hit. Once the bill’s deadline comes and goes, fees are slapped onto the amount you already owe. You may start getting calls from collection agencies saying that you owe a huge amount, at which point you remember that bill that you set aside for later…ten weeks ago. By then, it’s too late. Your deflated credit can affect your ability to apply for a loan, credit card or even to rent an apartment.
4. License suspension: Serious driving infractions and unpaid tickets often result in the suspension of your license. In such cases, the DMV can refuse to register your car, which can lead to more tickets if you continue to drive an unregistered car or with a suspended license. It’s a cyclical mess that can be difficult to get out of.
5. Hard time: Hard time in jail, that is. Unpaid tickets can result in a misdemeanor charge and a warrant for your arrest. Not to mention, a DUI can land you in the slammer that same day.
6. Professional career: Losing your license can also result in the loss of your job, particularly if your job requires driving or comes with the perk of a company car. And then when you interview for a new job, some employers will turn you away if they see a DUI or other serious violations after conducting a background check.
7. Loss of rights: A DUI or other serious violation can be classified as a felony if the incident(s) resulted in severe damage or death. Convicted felons are stripped of a number of rights, such as the right to vote, hold public office, serve on a jury, receive federal aid for higher education, travel overseas etc.
8. Adoption: Adoption agencies have different policies, but many of them will look at your driving record. A DUI or other serious violation may result in an extensive interview during the home study or may result in outright refusal of your application. The more recent the violation, the more likely it is to affect your eligibility to adopt.
To maintain a bright future, always drive with caution and respect other drivers who share the road with you. If you do happen to receive a minor ticket, pay it immediately before you have the chance to forget about it. In fact, it’s so important to drive safely that many insurers offer auto insurance discounts to safe drivers. If you would like to speak with an insurance professional today, email your questions, or call Rod at 701-238-7309. Ask Rod if you qualify for savings today!