How Your Driver's License Status Affects Your Auto Insurance Rate

By Michael Klazema on 10/29/2018

One of the things that can change if you get a cited for a traffic offense is your driver’s license status. As minor offenses pile up on your driving record—or if you find yourself getting in trouble for a major infraction—then your license could be suspended, revoked, or otherwise limited. These actions against your license are known as status changes. Not only can they impact your ability to drive legally, but they can also impact your auto insurance rates.

What You Need to Know about Driver’s License Status

The important thing to remember in conversations about driver’s license status is driving is a privilege, not a right. Just as you can earn a driver’s license by taking a test and proving you are a knowledgeable, law-abiding driver, you can lose your driver’s license by proving the opposite. If you are repeatedly caught breaking traffic laws, or if you are convicted of a major offense like drunk driving, the state may change the status of your license to keep you off the road. The goal of these status changes is typically to keep other drivers safe.

Most states operate on a points system when it comes to driver’s licenses. If you accumulate a certain number of points over a set period, your license will be suspended or revoked.

States offer differing levels of leniency with their points programs, so it’s important to know what the system looks like where you live and drive. For instance, in Georgia, offenses range from 1-6 points and license suspension occurs if you accumulate 15 or more points in a 24-month period. Aggressive driving, the unlawful passing of a school bus, and driving more than 34 miles per hour over the speed limit are all six-point offenses while texting and driving is a one-point offense.

Other states have different systems—and some states don’t even use points—but the basic philosophy is similar. Simply accumulating points isn’t the only way you can end up with a suspended license, either. DUIs can sometimes lead to automatic license suspensions. Failing to take care of a traffic ticket will also lead to license suspension. Finally, if you are pulled over and cannot show proof of auto insurance, your license will likely be suspended.

License Status and Auto Insurance

Your license status can affect your auto insurance rates and coverage. Insurance companies pay attention to your driving record. They know people who receive more traffic citations tend to be more dangerous drivers. Since insurance companies want to control their level of risk whenever possible, they will react to a riskier driver in one of two ways: charging that person higher insurance rates or dropping their policy altogether.

Insurance companies take these steps even for point accumulations. If you have reached the point at which your license has been suspended, there is a good chance your insurance company will decide not to cover you anymore. Other status changes may cause your insurer to discontinue your coverage. For instance, if your license has been suspended, you may be able to apply for a restricted or “hardship” license. This license status limits your driving privileges, often only allowing you to drive to commute to work or school. You may have to negotiate with your insurance company to maintain coverage or work with your insurance broker to find a new provider that will 1) offer the high level of liability coverage you need and 2) willingly sell you coverage.

Simply put, driver’s license statuses are a crucial part of the equation when it comes to finding auto insurance—especially if you are expecting affordable coverage. To see what your license status looks like right now, use to run a self-check on your driving record.

Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • November 20 The #MeToo movement is bringing about legislative changes employers need to know about. We review some of the laws recently passed in California.
  • November 15

    Replacing an inconsistent array of procedures, Ontario's government has passed into law a reform act intended to clarify how police departments should handle requests for information to be used in background checks. 

  • November 14 The federal government has vowed to cut its backlog of security clearance background checks in half by spring. Currently, the backlog is approximately 600,000 names strong.
  • November 08 A Texas-based company was found to be supplying landlords with inaccurate background check results, potentially affecting housing decisions. The company must pay a record-setting settlement.
  • November 07 Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt brand trusts to perform the crucial function of background checks on job candidates before extending offers of employment.
  • November 06 The man previously responsible for running background checks on New York City’s school bus drivers says the city’s Department of Education has been pushing back against more thorough checks. The DOE reportedly circumnavigated proper bus driver vetting channels for most of the spring and summer this year.
  • November 06 If you have a series of speeding tickets or other traffic violations, do you need to disclose them as criminal history?
  • November 01 South Carolina's legislature recently adopted a measure to expand access to expungement opportunities for the state's ex-convicts, but other gaps in the process remain. Advocates disagree on how to address the problem to protect offenders as well as the public.
  • October 31 Background checks will show different things depending on the type of check. Here are a few ways employers can use background checks to learn about candidates.
  • October 30 The Pentagon recently disclosed a breach that exposed the personal information of roughly 30,000 personnel. The government blamed the breach on a contractor, calling into question background check policies for federal government vendors.