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Do Speeding Tickets Show Up on Background Checks? 

Michael Kuzma Attorney at Law  June 5, 2024

Police making a speeding ticket for a driverAs a driver, one of the most common concerns is whether a speeding ticket will show up on a background check. This question is particularly relevant for individuals who are applying for jobs, seeking promotions, or undergoing any form of verification that involves a thorough look into their personal history. Understanding how these violations are recorded and reported can help you better manage your driving record and its impact on your professional and personal life. 

From my office at Michael Kuzma Attorney at Law, I have practiced law since 1998, focusing on traffic law, criminal defense, and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) cases. My goal is to provide you with a comprehensive guide on this topic, shedding light on the implications of speeding tickets and offering practical advice on how to handle them. 

Understanding Speeding Tickets

To fully grasp the implications of speeding tickets, it's crucial to understand what they are and how they are classified.  

A speeding ticket is a citation issued by law enforcement when a driver exceeds the speed limit. These citations are categorized into two types: 

  • Moving violations occur when the vehicle is in motion. Speeding is a prime example. 

  • Non-moving violations: These occur when the vehicle is not in motion, such as parking tickets or equipment violations. 

The key difference between moving and non-moving violations lies in their impact on your driving record. Moving violations, like speeding, are considered more serious and often carry more significant consequences, including points on your license, higher fines, and potential increases in insurance premiums. 

Do Speeding Tickets Show Up on Background Checks?

The short answer is it depends. Let's delve into the various factors that influence whether a speeding ticket will appear on a background check. 

How Speeding Tickets Are Reported

Speeding tickets are generally recorded on your driving record, which is maintained by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Whether they show up on a background check depends on the type of check being performed: 

  • Criminal background checks: Generally do not include speeding tickets unless they are associated with more serious offenses. 

  • Driving record checks: Will almost certainly include speeding tickets, as they are part of your driving history. 

  • Employment background checks: May or may not include speeding tickets, depending on the employer's specific requirements and the nature of the job. 

Speeding tickets can have significant implications for your insurance rates and driving record, including issues with insurance rates and license suspension or revocation. This is because insurance companies typically review your driving record when determining your premiums. A speeding ticket can lead to higher rates.  

The Timeline of Speeding Tickets on Records for New York Drivers

In New York, the timeline for how long speeding tickets stay on your record is an essential aspect that drivers need to be aware of. Generally, a speeding ticket remains on your driving record for a period of up to 4 years from the date of the offense. However, the impact of these tickets can vary depending on numerous factors. 

Points System and Duration 

In New York, each speeding ticket is associated with a certain number of points on your driving record. The points can range from 3 points for minor speeding to up to 11 points for excessive speeding over 40 mph of the speed limit. These points remain on your driving record for 18 months from the date of the violation. Accumulating 11 points within an 18-month period can lead to license suspension. 

DMV Record 

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) keeps a record of all your driving violations, including speeding tickets. While the points associated with a speeding ticket expire after 18 months, the ticket itself can remain on your DMV record for 4 years from the date of the offense. Notably, insurance companies can access this record, which may affect your premiums long after the points have dropped off. 

Insurance Implications 

As mentioned earlier, insurance companies may review your driving record when determining your premiums. Typically, insurance companies look at your driving record for the past 3-5 years. This means a speeding ticket could affect your insurance rates for several years, even if the points have expired. 

Serious Violations

If the speeding ticket is part of a more serious violation, such as reckless driving or DUI, it can stay on your record for a more extended period, often up to 10 years, and lead to significant legal consequences. 

Understanding these timelines can help New York drivers better manage their driving records and take proactive steps to minimize the long-term impact of speeding tickets. Whether you’re dealing with points on your license or increased insurance premiums, being informed is the first step to mitigating these consequences. 

How to Handle Speeding Tickets

Receiving a speeding ticket can be stressful, but knowing how to handle it can make a significant difference. Contesting a speeding ticket can be a viable option, especially if you believe the citation was unjustified. Start by gathering any evidence that may support your case, such as photographs, witness statements, or GPS data.  

It's crucial to understand the local traffic laws and how they apply to your situation, as this will inform your defense strategy. Consulting with an attorney can be invaluable; an experienced attorney like myself can help you build a strong case and navigate the legal process effectively. 

Deciding whether to pay the ticket or contest it depends on various factors. You might choose to pay the ticket if the violation is minor and the consequences are not severe. Conversely, if the speeding ticket carries significant penalties, such as points on your driving record or higher insurance premiums, contesting it might be worth the effort.  

The severity of the violation, the potential impact on your driving record and insurance rates, and the likelihood of success based on your evidence and circumstances should all be considered when making this decision. 

Understand Your Rights & Your Options

Whether speeding tickets show up on a background check depends on the type of check being conducted. While they are likely to appear on driving record checks, they usually do not show up on criminal background checks. Understanding the implications of speeding tickets and knowing how to handle them can help you manage their impact on your life. 

If you find yourself facing a speeding ticket in Buffalo, New York—or the surrounding areas—don't hesitate to reach out for professional advice. As someone who has been practicing law since 1998, I am committed to fighting vigorously to preserve and protect your rights. Contact me today for a free consultation, and let's work together to achieve a favorable outcome.