How Long Do Traffic Tickets Stay On Your Driving Record?

driving record

Tickets for DUI, No Insurance, MIP, Driving While Suspended, and Leaving the Scene of an Accident stay on your driving record forever if you are convicted of the offense.

Some Tickets Stay On Your Driving Record Forever

Here is a list of tickets that stay on your driving record forever:

  • Driving Without Insurance
  • DWI
  • DUI
  • Excessive BAC (Blood Alcohol Content)
  • No Driver’s License (state, not municipal)
  • Vehicular Manslaughter
  • Vehicular Injury
  • Vehicular Homicide
  • Violation of Interlock Device
  • MIP (Minor in Possession of Alcohol)
  • Driving While Suspended or Revoked
  • Leaving the Scene of An Accident (State, not Municipal)
  • Driving Without a License (State, not Municipal)
  • Driving Motorcycle Without Permit/Endorsement

Which Traffic Tickets Stay On Your Driving Record For 5 Years?

Tickets that lead to a suspension or revocation of your driver’s license must stay on your Missouri driving record until 5 years after you get your license reinstated, unless they are the types of tickets (listed above) that must remain on your driving record forever.

FOR EXAMPLE:  A municipal court conviction for “Leaving the Scene of An Accident” stays on your driving record for 3 years. But if that ticket causes a suspension of your license, it must remain on your driving record for 5 years from the date of license reinstatement. (A state court conviction for “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” stays on your driving record forever.)

What Other Types of Tickets Stay On Your Driving Record Forever?

If you are convicted of an additional traffic ticket along with any of the “permanent” tickets (listed above) during the same traffic stop, and that causes your license to be suspended or revoked, both the “permanent” ticket and the additional “companion” ticket will stay on your driving record forever.

FOR EXAMPLE: If you plead guilty to a 12-point ticket for “Driving While Suspended” and a 2-point speeding ticket that you received during the same traffic stop, that accumulation of 14 points will cause your driver’s license to be revoked for 1 year, and both tickets will remain on your Missouri driving record forever.

How To Get Old Speeding Tickets Removed From Your Driving Record

Standard speeding tickets stay on your driving record for 3 years, but they count toward a suspension for only 18 months.

You can contact the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) and ask them to purge your driving record of any tickets that are 3 years old or older.

Here’s how to contact the DOR to request the removal of old speeding tickets from your driving record:

  • Email your request to [email protected]
  • Call the DOR at (573) 526-2407 and ask them to remove all old tickets
  • Mail a written request to:

Missouri Department of Revenue
301 West High Street – Room 470
PO Box 200
Jefferson City, MO, 65105-0200

Do You Have To Hire A Lawyer To Keep Points Off Your Driving Record?

In most counties in Missouri, you have to hire an attorney if you want to get a speeding ticket “fixed” (reduced to a non-moving, no-point infraction).

An experienced speeding ticket lawyer can get a traffic ticket reduced to “Illegal Parking” or some other non-moving, no-point infraction, so no points will be added to your driving record and your insurance company will never know you received the ticket.

  • You won’t have to appear in court if you hire an attorney to fight your speeding ticket
  • Your attorney can give you an estimate of the amount of the fine and court costs
  • Most courts give defendants at least 30 days to pay

How To Withdraw Your Guilty Plea After You Paid The Fine For Your Speeding Ticket

If you have already pleaded guilty to a traffic ticket and paid the fine, you can hire an attorney to withdraw your guilty plea and get your ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation.

PLEASE NOTE:  It is much easier to withdraw your plea if 1) you did not have an attorney representing you and 2) not much time has passed since your guilty plea.

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Lawyer To Fight Your Speeding Ticket?

Hiring an attorney to fight your speeding ticket is more expensive than just pleading guilty. However, if you plead guilty to a speeding ticket, points will be added to your driving record and your car insurance rates may increase.

If you accumulate too many points on your driving record, your license will be suspended or revoked.

You can call around and get price quotes from traffic law attorneys to find out how much they will charge to represent you. Most traffic ticket lawyers can give you a flat-fee price quote for how much they charge, and an estimate of the fine and court costs you will have to pay to the court.

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For a free consultation about your Missouri speeding ticket, contact St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or [email protected]

Which Traffic Tickets Stay on Your Driving Record Forever?

Traffic tickets such as DUI, No Insurance, and Driving While Suspended remain permanently on your Missouri driving record.

A regular speeding ticket stays on your driving record for only 3 years, but the following traffic violations stay on your Missouri driving record forever:

    • DUI or DWI
    • DUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs)
    • Excessive BAC (Blood Alcohol Content)
    • No Insurance
    • No Driver’s License (if state violation, not municipal)
    • Vehicular Manslaughter
    • Driving While Suspended or Revoked
    • Leaving the Scene of an Accident (if state violation, not municipal)
    • Any Felony

Why Do Some Speeding Tickets Remain Permanently On Your Driving Record?

If you receive an additional traffic ticket along with any of the “permanent” tickets listed above during the same traffic stop, both the permanent ticket and the additional ticket will stay on your driving record forever. For example, if you receive a DUI and a speeding ticket during the same traffic stop, both tickets will remain on your Missouri driving record forever if you are convicted of both offenses.

Exception:  A First-Time Misdemeanor DUI Conviction Can be Expunged After 10 Years

While it is true that a conviction for any of the traffic violations listed above will stay on your driving record forever, there is one exception:  It is possible to get a first-time misdemeanor DUI conviction expunged from both your criminal record and your driving record, if 10 years have passed since your conviction date with no other alcohol-related driving convictions or alcohol-related enforcement contacts/actions during that time. Click here to read my previous blog post about how to expunge a first-time DUI.

Keep Tickets Off Your Driving Record by Hiring a Traffic Law Attorney

In most cases, an experienced traffic law attorney can get all of these “permanent” tickets (DUI, Leaving the Scene of an Accident, Driving While Suspended, etc.) dismissed or reduced to non-moving, no-point violations that won’t affect your driving record or insurance rates.


Call St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 to get a price quote for legal representation and an estimate of your fine & court costs. Or email Andrea at [email protected]

Some Drug and Alcohol Convictions Stay on Your Missouri Driving Record Forever

The following drug & alcohol-related convictions stay on your Missouri driving record forever:

    • DUI/DWI (Driving While Intoxicated)
    • DUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs)
    • Excessive BAC (Blood Alcohol Content)

Please Note:  It is possible to get a first-time DUI conviction expunged after 10 years of good behavior. (See below for further information regarding expungement of a first-time DUI.)

Types of Convictions That Stay on Your Missouri Driving Record Forever

In a previous blog post about convictions that stay on your driving record forever, I listed the types of convictions that remain permanently on your Missouri driving record. In addition to DUI, DUID, and Excessive BAC, the following convictions stay on your Missouri driving record forever and are not eligible for removal:

    • No Insurance
    • No Driver’s License (state, not municipal)
    • Vehicular Manslaughter
    • Driving While Suspended or Revoked
    • Leaving the Scene of an Accident (state, not municipal)
    • Any Felony

What is Expungement?

Expungement is the removal or deletion of all court records of your arrest, plea, trial or conviction. The only types of alcohol-related convictions that are eligible for expungement in Missouri are first-time DUI or MIP convictions. The option of expungement is not available for felony DUIs or for anyone convicted of driving a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

How to Get a First-Time DUI Conviction Expunged

Missouri law allows anyone who pleaded guilty to, or was convicted of, a first-time misdemeanor DUI to apply to have the court expunge (remove or delete) the DUI charge 10 years after the offense occurred, as long as the individual has had no other alcohol-related driving convictions, “alcohol-related enforcement contacts,” or any pending “alcohol-related enforcement actions” within the 10-year period since the conviction. See Missouri statute RSMo 302.525.3 for an explanation of what is an alcohol-related law enforcement contact.

If a judge finds that you meet these requirements, then the court will enter an order of expungement, and all records of your DUI arrest, plea, trial, or conviction will be deleted.

How to Get an MIP Conviction Expunged

For a first-time MIP conviction to be expunged, you must show that you have had no other alcohol-related convictions or “alcohol-related enforcement contacts” since the original MIP conviction, and that you are applying for expungement at least 1 year after the original conviction date, or after you have reached age 21.

Marijuana and Drug Paraphernalia Convictions Stay on Your Criminal Record Forever and Can Not be Expunged

If a police officer pulls you over for a traffic stop and charges you with possession of drugs (marijuana) or drug paraphernalia (such as a pipe) and you are convicted of those charges, no points will be added to your Missouri driving record for that conviction. However, a conviction for possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia will remain on your criminal record forever.

An Attorney May be Able to Get Your Drug Possession Charges Reduced to a Lesser Offense

When facing a misdemeanor charge of possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia, you can hire an attorney to negotiate a plea bargain with the court to get your drug charges dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense, so they won’t show up on your permanent criminal record. Keep in mind that your chances of success are not as good if you have multiple prior drug-related convictions on your record.

The outcome of your case depends on which court your case is being prosecuted in, your criminal history, and the details of your specific case.

While expungement is an option for some first-time DWI or MIP convictions, drug-related convictions can never be expunged from your Missouri criminal record.

The Court May Order You to Attend “ADEP” or “SATOP” Class

If your attorney is able to get your drug possession charges reduced to a lesser offense, you will have to pay a fine and court costs, and you may also be required to take a court-ordered class, such as “ADEP” (Alcohol and Drug Education Program) or “SATOP” (Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program).

Depending on the facts of your case, you may be offered an “SIS” (Suspended Imposition of Sentence) and 1 or 2 years of unsupervised probation. With an “SIS,” no conviction is entered on your permanent record if you successfully complete your period of probation without any further convictions.

If You Have Already Pleaded Guilty to Drug Possession Charges, an Attorney May be Able to Withdraw Your Guilty Plea

If you have already pleaded guilty to drug charges, it may be possible for an attorney to withdraw your guilty plea and negotiate a plea bargain with the court to have your drug charges reduced to a lesser offense.

However, if too much time has passed since your guilty plea, or if you were originally represented by an attorney when you pleaded guilty, the court may not allow the withdrawal. For more information, go to the Withdrawal of Guilty Plea page on my website.


If you have been charged with possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia and would like a price quote for legal representation, contact St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email her at [email protected].

[This post was updated on November 11, 2013.]

Some Missouri Courts Dismiss “No Insurance” Traffic Tickets if You Buy Insurance

Most courts in the St. Louis, Missouri area will dismiss a “No Insurance” ticket if you later provide proof that the car you were driving was insured at the time the police officer pulled you over, or that you purchased auto insurance afterward. You may also have to pay court costs, which can range anywhere from $25 to $60, depending on the court. (A ticket for “No Insurance” is the same as a ticket for “Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility.”)

A “No Insurance” Traffic Ticket Causes 4 Points to be Added to Your Missouri Driving Record and It Remains on Your Driving Record Permanently

If you are unable to get a “No Insurance” traffic ticket dismissed or amended to a lesser charge, then you will have to pay the fine for the ticket and 4 points will be added to your Missouri driving record. If you accumulate 12 points within 12 months, your Missouri driver’s license will be revoked for 1 year. If you accumulate 8 points within 18 months, your driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days, if it’s your first suspension.

In addition, a conviction for “No Insurance” will stay on your Missouri driving record forever and will never be eligible for removal. In this previous blog post, I list other types of tickets that remain permanently on your driving record.

You Can Get a “No Insurance” or “Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility” Traffic Ticket Dismissed Without Hiring a Lawyer in Most Courts in the St. Louis, Missouri Area

Some courts in the St. Louis, Missouri area will allow you to bring proof of insurance to the court clerk’s office prior to the court date, so you don’t have to appear in court. Other courts require that you go to court on the court date and show proof of insurance to the judge before the court will dismiss a “No Insurance” or “No Proof of Insurance” traffic ticket.

Whether you had insurance when the police officer pulled you over, or if you purchased insurance after the traffic stop, some Missouri courts will not allow you to request a dismissal of a “No Insurance” ticket on your own, without the assistance of an attorney. (Call the court clerk’s office ahead of time to find out.) If that is the case, you will have to hire an attorney to file a pleading and provide proof of insurance on your behalf before the prosecuting attorney will consider negotiating a plea bargain to have your “No Insurance” ticket amended or dismissed.

Procedures for Handling “No Insurance” Tickets in Some Municipal Courts in the St. Louis, Missouri Area   

In St. Louis County Municipal Court (North Division) in Hazelwood, Missouri, if you receive a traffic ticket for “No Insurance” and you did not have insurance at the time of the traffic stop, you can appear in court and ask the judge to allow you to take a driving class to get rid of the “No Insurance” ticket. You will need to buy car insurance prior to the court date so you can show proof of insurance to the judge.

In St. Louis City Municipal Court, if you receive a “No Insurance” traffic ticket and you purchased car insurance after receiving the ticket, then you can appear in court on the court date and show the judge your proof of insurance, and the judge will dismiss the ticket upon payment of court costs of $50.50. If you actually had insurance at the time of the traffic stop but you didn’t have proof of insurance with you, then bring your current insurance card to court on your court date and show it to the judge, and the judge will probably dismiss the “No Insurance” ticket, sometimes without payment of court costs.

In Ballwin Municipal Court in Ballwin, Missouri, the fine for a “No Insurance” traffic ticket is $175. If you had insurance at the time the police officer pulled you over, and there was no accident involved, then you can bring proof of insurance to the court clerk’s office and they will dismiss your “No Insurance” ticket upon payment of court costs. If you did not have insurance at the time you were pulled over but you purchased insurance afterward, then you can hire an attorney to negotiate a plea bargain with the Court to have your “No Insurance” ticket amended or dismissed. You can not bring proof of insurance to court on your own and expect the judge to dismiss your ticket if you did not have insurance at the time of the traffic stop.

In St. Ann Municipal Court in St. Ann, Missouri, the fine for a “No Insurance” ticket is $151. If you did not have insurance when you received the ticket, but afterward you purchased at least 3 months’ worth of car insurance, then you can show proof of insurance to the court and your “No Insurance” ticket will be dismissed with a fine of $101. If you did have insurance and can provide proof that your car was insured on the date the ticket was issued, then the court will dismiss the ticket upon payment of $26.50 in court costs.

In St. Peters Municipal Court in St. Peters, Missouri, if you buy insurance after you receive a “No Insurance” ticket, your attorney can negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor to have your ticket amended or dismissed. The total fine and court costs will be approximately $375 and no points will be added to your driving record. If you did not have insurance at the time of the traffic stop and you are unable to purchase insurance now, then you must appear in court on your court date. At that time, the judge will determine the amount of the fine that you owe plus court costs, and 4 points will be added to your Missouri driving record.

In Florissant Municipal Court in Florissant, Missouri, if you receive a traffic ticket for “No Insurance” but you had insurance on the date you received the ticket, you can bring proof of insurance to court and the judge will dismiss the ticket upon payment of court costs of $26.50. If you did not have insurance when the police officer pulled you over, you can purchase insurance afterward and bring proof to the court clerk’s office prior to the court date and pay a $125 fine. If you did not have insurance when you received a “No Insurance” ticket and you are unable to purchase insurance afterward, then you must appear in court on your court date, at which time the judge will assess your fine, but no points will be reported to the Missouri Department of Revenue. Unlike most municipal courts in the St. Louis area, Florissant Municipal Court does not report points to the Missouri Department of Revenue for “No Insurance” traffic tickets.

In University City Municipal Court in University City, Missouri, the court will not allow you to request a dismissal of a “No Insurance” ticket on your own, without the assistance of an attorney.  Therefore, you must hire an attorney to file a pleading and provide proof of insurance on your behalf before the prosecuting attorney will consider dismissing your “No Insurance” ticket.

Your Driver’s License Will be Suspended if You Cause a Car Accident While Driving Without Insurance

If you cause a car accident while driving a vehicle that is not insured, your driver’s license will be suspended. For more information, see this page of the Missouri Department of Revenue’s website regarding the consequences of a conviction for driving without insurance.

The offense of “No Insurance” or “Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility” is a misdemeanor and is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not to exceed 15 days and/or a fine not to exceed $300. This link takes you to the Missouri law that prohibits driving without insurance.

An Attorney May be Able to Withdraw Your Guilty Plea for a “No Insurance” Ticket and Cancel the Suspension of Your Driver’s License

If you have already pleaded guilty to a “No Insurance” traffic ticket in Missouri, it is possible to hire an attorney to withdraw your guilty plea and negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecuting attorney to have your ticket dismissed or amended. If the “No Insurance” ticket is dismissed or amended to a no-point infraction, then those 4 points that were added to your driving record for the “No Insurance” ticket will be removed. If your driver’s license was suspended because of too many points, then the removal of those 4 points may be enough to cause the suspension to be cancelled or “lifted.”

You will have to provide your attorney with proof that you have purchased auto insurance, and you must act quickly; most courts will not allow the withdrawal of a guilty plea if too much time has passed since your guilty plea, or if you were represented by an attorney when you pleaded guilty.

For more information regarding Missouri traffic law, see my traffic law resources page for links to information regarding Missouri speeding tickets, points, Missouri driver’s licenses, courts, and other traffic-related issues.

“Driving While Suspended” Traffic Ticket Stays on Missouri Driving Record Permanently

Some traffic tickets stay on your Missouri driving record forever, such as: “Driving While Suspended”, DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), DUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs), Excessive BAC (blood alcohol content), “No Insurance,” “No Driver’s License” (state, not municipal),  “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” (state, not municipal), vehicular manslaughter, any felony, and any conviction involving a drug- or alcohol-related driving offense or enforcement contact.

In Missouri, some first-time DWI and MIP convictions are eligible for expungement (removal or deletion) from your permanent record. See my blog post for more information about expungement of these types of convictions.

A “Driving While Suspended” Traffic Ticket Will Never Qualify to be Removed from Your Missouri Driving Record

Once a year, the Missouri Department of Revenue removes certain types of tickets from its database of driving records. A speeding ticket or other traffic violation can be removed from your Missouri driving record if 1) it was issued for a minor offense, 2) it is more than 3 years old, and 3) it did not cause a suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.  Convictions that stay on your driving record permanently (for “Driving While Suspended,” DWI, DUID, etc.) are not eligible for removal.

What Kinds of Traffic Tickets Are Considered “Minor Offenses” and Qualify to be Removed From Your Missouri Driving Record?

The state of Missouri considers the following to be “minor offenses” and are eligible to be deleted from your driving record: speeding tickets, stop sign violations, “Failure to Signal,” “Failure to Yield,” and “Careless & Imprudent Driving.” These types of tickets will be removed from driving records during the Missouri Department of Revenue’s annual purging of old tickets from its driving record files.

Unfortunately, the Missouri Department of Revenue’s annual housecleaning of its files does not catch all traffic tickets that are eligible to be deleted. See my previous blog post titled “Speeding Ticket Points Stay on Your Missouri Driving Record for Only 18 Months” to find out how to determine if you have old speeding tickets or other traffic violations that are eligible to be deleted from your driving record and how to request that those old tickets be removed.

What Should You Do if You Get a “Driving While Suspended” Traffic Ticket in Missouri?

Don’t ignore a “Driving While Suspended” ticket, mistakenly thinking that it’s just another speeding ticket. As noted previously, a conviction for “Driving While Suspended” stays on your Missouri driving record forever, and any insurance agent who reviews your driving record  prior to giving you a price quote for car insurance will be able to see it.

If you want to avoid a conviction for “Driving While Suspended,” you can hire a traffic law attorney to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecuting attorney to get the ticket amended to a non-moving, no-point violation. Your lawyer will need to show proof to the Court that your driver’s license has been reinstated before the prosecuting attorney can recommend any type of reduction or amendment of the charge.

If you have multiple “Driving While Suspended” convictions on your driving record, you have less of a chance that a court will agree to amend or reduce your current “Driving While Suspended” charge.

12 Points Are Added to Your Missouri Driving Record for a “Driving While Suspended” Conviction and Your Driver’s License Will be Revoked for 1 Year

If you decide to not hire an attorney to negotiate a plea bargain with the Court and, instead, you decide to just pay the fine for the “Driving While Suspended” ticket, then a conviction for “Driving While Suspended” will be added to your driving record. That conviction will cause 12 points to be added to your driving record. In Missouri, if you accumulate 12 points on your driving record within 12 months, your driver’s license will be revoked for 1 year.

How To Get Your Missouri Driver’s License Reinstated

To find out how to get your driver’s license reinstated, call the Missouri Department of Revenue at (573) 526-2407 ext. 1 or go to this page of the Missouri Department of Revenue web site for information about what is required to get your driver’s license reinstated.

The Requirements for License Reinstatement Vary, Depending on the Reason for the Suspension or Revocation

The requirements for getting your license reinstated depend on the reason your license was suspended or revoked in the first place. For example, if your license was suspended because you refused to take a breathalyzer test during a DWI traffic stop, then you will have to complete a SATOP (Substance Abuse Traffic Offenders Program) class before you can get your driver’s license reinstated.

If your license was suspended because of unpaid speeding tickets, you will have to pay the fines for those tickets and obtain compliance letters from each court to show proof of payment before your license will be reinstated. If you have already pleaded guilty to the traffic violations but your guilty plea was fairly recent, it is possible that a lawyer can withdraw your guilty plea and negotiate a plea bargain with the Court to get the traffic ticket amended to a non-moving, no-point infraction. You will still have to pay fines and court costs, and compliance letters will be required before your license will be reinstated.

You may have to provide proof that you have purchased liability insurance coverage for your car before your driver’s license is reinstated. There is a form called SR-22 that must be filed with the Driver License Bureau in Jefferson City, Missouri to prove that you have met this requirement. Your insurance agent can file the form for you after you purchase the insurance.

Regardless of the reason for your driver’s license suspension or revocation, you will also have to pay a small fee (either $20 or $45), in addition to any fines or court costs that you owe, in order to get your driver’s license reinstated. The amount of the reinstatement fee varies depending on the reason for the suspension or revocation.

For more information about Missouri traffic law, go to my Traffic Law Resources page for links to information regarding Missouri speeding tickets, points, courts, Missouri driver’s licenses, and other traffic-related issues.